A new all-island scheme is being launched by InterTradeIreland whereby small businesses can apply to take part in workshops to help transform their approach to innovation and to ultimately launch new products and services in nine months.
Firstly, InterTradeIreland will be holding briefing events around the island during October. Based on these workshops, 30 companies will then be picked to take part in workshops. These businesses will then be whittled down to 12 companies that will be given in-company mentoring and coaching worth up to €23,000 to guide them through the delivery of their business growth plans.
The Innovation Challenge programme was first piloted last year. According to InterTradeIreland it helps businesses transform their company’s prospects in just nine months by learning and applying the most effective methods of generating, marketing and launching new products and services.
InterTradeIreland’s director of strategy Aidan Gough said this new programme is an opportunity for SMEs to revitalise their business.
"The SME sector represents 98pc of all enterprises in Ireland and Northern Ireland and increasing their contribution to innovation-led growth and job-creation is essential in creating an innovation-driven economy that maintains a competitive advantage," said Gough.
The new programme will be open to managing directors or CEOs of SMEs with between 10 and 250 employees.
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