Ireland creates €100,000 fund to mentor returning emigrant entrepreneurs

9 May 2017

Flying back to the nest. Image: OfeMartinez/Shutterstock

Irish Government-funded mentoring programme to support returning emigrants who wish to set up businesses in Ireland.

A new Irish project is underway, designed to help native entrepreneurs who have ideas on how to navigate potential hurdles such as gaps in personal and professional networks.

The initiative will work to assist emigrants who have returned, or plan to return, to live and work in Ireland to foster and support entrepreneurial activity.

‘Time spent living abroad improves capacity to succeed in creating and growing businesses’

Funding of up to €100,000 will be allocated to the project this year as part of the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on local diaspora engagement.

The return of the natives

The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh, TD, said: “Returning emigrants often have much to offer their local communities. Research suggests that time spent living abroad improves capacity to succeed in creating and growing businesses.

“Yet returning emigrants face challenges unique to them in setting up business. These include gaps in personal and professional networks, support and up-to-date local knowledge, which would be crucial to successful establishment of new businesses.

“The programme will seek to attract applications from returning – or recently returned – emigrants with entrepreneurial ambition, whether starting, partnering, acquiring or investing in existing businesses or playing an entrepreneurial role, advising and supporting innovation within existing businesses,” added McHugh.

Updated, 4.53pm, 10 May 2017: A previous version of this article mistakenly used an image of the Côte d’Ivoire flag instead of the Irish one. The image has been changed to reverse this backward gaffe and we are taking a long look at ourselves in the mirror.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years