New Limerick training facility benefits from €1m funding

7 Oct 2010

A business support training and education initiative has received €1m funding to help it give trainees the expertise needed to manage a successful franchise.

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), supported by Limerick Chamber of Commerce, has announced the establishment of Europe’s first third-level centre of excellence for franchise development.

An innovation in education and business support training, the centre has secured up to €1m in funding from the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) to cater for up to the 100 former Dell employees in the first programme, which begins in January.

The EGF funding will be ring-fenced for training of people made redundant by Dell and downstream companies who take up the programme, the centre said. The programme, however, will not be exclusive to former Dell employees and expects to offer up to 100 places in two annual programmes, starting in January and July each year.

Comprehensive businesss training

The Franchise Acceleration Start-up Training (FAST) programme run at the centre will provide comprehensive and inclusive business enterprise training, covering all aspects of running/owning or managing a successful business with a particular focus on franchises. It will also offer retail management support for persons interested in start-ups in this sector.

Announcing the establishment of the National Franchise Centre, LIT president Dr Maria Hinfelaar said: “This is a huge opportunity for hundreds of people across Ireland and beyond to get all the experience and expertise they need ahead of taking on or managing a franchise. The National Franchise Centre will create franchise-ready candidates trained in all aspects of running a successful franchise business and create a meaningful amount of employment.

“Like any project, it will take time to build but the very fact that we have been able to draw down funds for people made redundant by Dell and associated companies means that we can hit the ground running in January and would welcome as many applications as possible from them. 

Limerick Chamber of Commerce president Kieran MacSweeney, who also provides support to LIT in a broad range of development activities, acknowledged how financial assistance from the EGF in training the former Dell workers was much appreciated.

“We are extremely grateful to the for the EGF making up to €1m available for training of former Dell and down-stream company workers under this programme.”

The National Franchise Centre FAST programme will open for applications for the programme in November.