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Wednesday, 19th January 2022

Recently returned from abroad? ‘Back for Business’ could be for you!

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Aileen Markey who spent almost three decades abroad before returning home from New York to set up her own business. She now runs her own online gluten-free business, Unglu-d.

Louth participant Aileen Markey encourages others to apply for Government-backed programme aimed at returned emigrants 

If you have recently returned to County Louth and are setting up a new business or are thinking of returning home with a great idea you want to get off the ground – then Back for Business could be for you.   

Back for Business is a development programme funded from the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme that was established to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning to live in Ireland. 

It is aimed at those who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years or those planning to return in the near future.  

It was launched earlier this month by Colm Brophy T.D. Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora and now the programme is looking for applications for the 2022 programme from those living or hoping to return to Louth.  

There is no charge for those selected to participate and the closing date for applications is Tuesday, February 15th, 2022. The programme will run from the end of February to June 2022. 

Now in its fifth year, Back for Business addresses the challenges that all early-stage entrepreneurs encounter, but also focuses on the additional barriers faced by those who have been living outside Ireland for some years. Their personal and professional networks in Ireland have weakened since they have been abroad and their knowledge of the entrepreneurial eco system is not well developed.    

Participants on last year’s programme more than tripled their combined workforce and more than doubled their turnover during the six-month cycle of the programme – despite the restrictions placed on businesses as a result of the Covid pandemic.  

There are places for up to 50 entrepreneurs to participate in Back for Business 5. Those interested in learning more can download a brochure and register their interest in receiving an application form by visiting    

Those selected to join Back for Business 5 will take part in round table sessions, focused on goals and milestones, which are facilitated by voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business.    

Former participants from Louth include Aileen Markey who spent almost three decades abroad before returning home from New York to set up her own business. Aileen runs an online gluten-free business, Unglu-d, providing services and support to people with Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerances. Aileen took part in the second cycle of Back for Business and encourages any returned emigrant, involved in an early-stage venture, to apply for the programme.  

Aileen said: Back for Business is a very welcoming and positive experience for anyone returning to Ireland with a new business idea in mind. It helps establish networks, gain information and insights from skilled business leaders and peers, and develops confidence and resilience to face the challenges ahead.”  

Colm Brophy T.D.  Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora said:   

 “Back for Business has been a great success in recent years in supporting new businesses being started by returning emigrants throughout Ireland. Past participants have made significant progress and I am proud of their achievements. Their new businesses generate economic activity and additional employment across the country. Back for Business presents a great opportunity for Irish citizens returning to Ireland who wish to tap into their entrepreneurial potential. I would encourage all those eligible to apply.”  

Back for Business has been designed and is being implemented by Fitzsimons Consulting, specialists in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth.   

The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is Tuesday, February 15th, 2022. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, please see 

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