From Castlebar - County Mayo -

GMIT Innovation Centre
New Enterprise Training Programme for Mayo
By Judith Feehan
30, Jun 2010 - 08:15

A new enterprise-training programme for Mayo was launched in April 2010 at the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC) GMIT Castlebar. Mayo South West Development Company and Mayo North East Partnership funded the programme under the Rural Development Programme 2007 - 2013.

(L-R): Lorraine Toner (South West Mayo Development Company), Colin Cannon (participant), Walter Conway (participant), Mary Conway (participant), Sean Gilligan (participant), Maria Staunton (IiBC), Joanne O'Hora (participant), Brid Kivneen (participant), Monica O'Malley (North East Partnership), Robert Grealis (Discovery Partnership / mentor), Patrick Delasseus (GMIT)

The four-month training programme was delivered on a part-time basis. It had a combined approach of practical learning through workshop delivery, hands-on experience and one-to-one mentoring for all participants. The IiBC also facilitated networking and other supports necessary to navigate the business start-up process.

Eight entrepreneurs participated on the current SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) Programme. A similar programme with eight entrepreneurs is running in the IiBC in Galway. The products / services being developed include innovative flood technologies, bespoke furniture design, silk scarves, fascinators, organic make-up products, sports website, services for the tourism industry, seafood products etc.

Alan Flannery and Colin Cannon two former graduates from Letterfrack at GMIT are two such participants on this programme. 'When thinking about starting up our business we were delighted to receive the support and assistance that this training offered. We are now at a stage where we are getting ready to launch Groove Furniture. I would recommend anybody embarking on a startup venture to participate in a training programme like this to improve chances of success' Colin Cannon (Groove Furniture)

The IiBC provides a professional, modern environment for early-stage entrepreneurs and businesses. In addition to business accommodation, there are opportunities to engage with other businesses at the same or similar stages of development. Most importantly, the management at the centre provides excellent support and advice. For more information contact

Maria Staunton, Centre Manager of the IiBC stated the need for the course ‘at the end of 2009 we received a lot of calls from individuals looking for help to start their own business. Normally we are involved with HPSU companies however we do understand the need for job creation in today's environment and all participants on the course have the potential to start employing some people in the near future. We were delighted to work with both South West Mayo Development Company and Mayo North East Leader Partnership in getting the course delivered.

South West Mayo Development Company and Mayo North East Leader Partnership both deliver the Rural Development Programme, also known as Leader. Both companies are supporting the development of enterprises and communities.

The criteria for eligibility of projects are set down by the EU and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

If you have a project which you think might be eligible, contact one of the South West Mayo Development Company or Mayo North East Leader Partnership Project Officers who will give you advice and assistance.
Mayo Development Company 098-41950 or Mayo North East Leader Partnership 094-9256745


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