Strokestown businessman and member of Strokestown Business Association, Emmett Corcoran has proposed this week that Enterprise Ireland should positively discriminate in favour of Start-up Businesses from the west of Ireland when assessing businesses for their various accelerator programs.
“Enterprise Ireland does some fantastic work with rural start-up businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services industries. Programmes such as New Frontiers see’s many start-up businesses get some much needed funding and mentoring support to develop their businesses.”
“The Local Enterprise Offices too play an important role in getting new businesses up and running. However, when it comes down to Enterprise Ireland graduating businesses into major funding rounds such as the Competitive Start Fund which see’s Enterprise Ireland investing €50,000 in exchange for 10% of a start-up business there should be some positive discrimination in favour of rural businesses.”
“I know from experience that entrepreneurs from the west of Ireland take great pride in their localities, their commercial success is often shared with those in their communities by way of job creation. There is a special connection between rural entrepreneurs and their homes. I believe that if EI were to have greater consideration for the location an enterprise is located and in addition to the merits of a venture, give weight to the geography of a business we could see greater sustainable job creation occurring in the west.”
“Of course, I am not saying that projects without merit should be funded for the sake of regional balance but for those on projects on the border-line that might just be worth a shot specific resources should be set aside to give them a chance.”
“I am a firm believer in the creativity and innovation of rural entrepreneurs and have no doubt that if a policy of this nature was to be adopted by Enterprise Ireland that it would pay dividends very quickly. The initial investment could be as small as €15,000,000 and could have a significant impact on the economic fortunes of rural regions. I also believe EI would see a return on their invest over time,” concluded Corcoran.
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