New entrepreneur initiative aims to create 100 new companies

27 Feb 2012

Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock launched a new programme called ‘New Frontiers,’ which aims to help develop entrepreneurial skills.

New Frontiers is targeting high-potential entrepreneurs, offering them a six-month intensive programme to help develop their entrepreneurial abilities. It aims to give them the skills they need to run and develop sustainable businesses.

The programme expects to produce companies eligible for Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up supports.

Enterprise Ireland is funding and co-ordinating the programme, providing €4.25m to 13 Irish institutes of technology to help deliver the programme. It is hoped 100 new companies will emerge from this scheme.

“The focus of the New Frontiers programme is developing people into entrepreneurs – laying the foundations and imparting the entrepreneurship skills needed to move from business concept to reality,” said Sherlock.

“Enterprise Ireland is working in partnership with the institutes of technology to ensure that the participants create sustainable businesses, jobs and economic stability in regional locations.

“By giving the individuals the skills they need to successfully set up and run a company, they will be capable of replicating that success with other ideas in the future,” he said.

Phase 1 of New Frontiers

Two hundred and fifty applicants will be accepted onto the first phase of the programme, where their business idea and capabilities will be tested. They will get workshops on business value proposition, market research, sales training and financial management over a part-time, eight-week period.

One hundred and fifty will then qualify for the six-month element of the programme, which aims to equip them with practical skills needed to run a business. Participants will be given financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they develop their business during this time. They will also be given office space in an institute of technology’s incubation centre, along with mentoring and access to networking opportunities.

“The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme is for people who have an innovative idea and want to learn how to set up and run a company around it,” said Martin Lyes, manager of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland.

“We are looking for people who can create sustainable businesses with the potential to deliver local employment,” he said.