Enterprise Ireland announced today [Tuesday] that over 120 new business ventures have successfully completed the first Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Programme. Based on the success of the first year of the programme, a further €12.65m is now being invested for the next three years of New Frontiers, which aims to develop sustainable businesses that will create jobs throughout the country. New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology.
The call for applications opens today and potential entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea are encouraged to apply for a place on New Frontiers. The programme provides budding entrepreneurs with a package of supports including funding of €15,000, office space, mentoring and workshops to help accelerate their business development. The aim is to equip participants with the skills and contacts they need to successfully start and grow a company.
Following a competitive process 150 potential entrepreneurs were offered a place on the intensive six-month core element of the Programme in 2012 which focuses on developing the person as an entrepreneur and bringing their business idea to fruition. They were provided with the practical skills needed to run a business and challenged to realise their goals. To date, 120 have successfully developed their ideas and launched their business start-ups, the remainder continue to work with New Frontiers to further their business idea.
Announcing the results of year one, and launching the next three years of the programme, Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock TD said:
‘The first New Frontiers Programme has delivered fantastic results. These 120 new companies are creating sustainable businesses, jobs and economic stability in regional locations throughout Ireland.
‘Through the Government’s significant investment of €12.65m over the next three years of New Frontiers, we aim to replicate this success and help 450 new entrepreneurs get started. Enterprise Ireland is working in partnership with the Institutes of Technology to give potential entrepreneurs the skills they need to successfully set up and run a company’.
Yvonne Brady, CEO and founder of EVB Sports Shorts Ltd, joined the New Frontiers programme in March 2012. EVB Sport will provide a line of sportswear to allow women be active and stress free. Yvonne successfully completed the New Frontiers Programme and has since been awarded Competitive Start Funding of €50,000 from Enterprise Ireland to further develop the product and business, to make her business market- ready.
Commenting on her experience of the New Frontiers Programme Yvonne said:
‘I urge everyone with a business idea to apply to the New Frontiers Programme. It provided me with such amazing resources, coaching, mentoring and placed me in a creative space with other like minded individuals all trying to get a business off the ground. Between the Enterprise Ireland led support and the interaction between the participants, the programme has delivered on a huge scale for me, and EVB Sports Shorts’.
Declaring the call for budding entrepreneurs open, Greg Treston, Head of Research and Innovation and High Potential Start-ups said:
‘The feedback from participants on the first New Frontiers Programme has been extremely encouraging. We are excited to be launching the programme for the next 3 years and look forward to working with more first time entrepreneurs to help them build the skills and capabilities necessary to bring their ideas and ambition to success in the highly demanding international marketplace and as a result create more sustainable jobs in Ireland.’