Invitation to idea2enterprise
Funding and Support for Business in Westmeath
Calling on all business owners, members of the farming community, budding entrepreneurs and those who are long term or recently unemployed with a business idea as well as community leaders in County Westmeath to attend the launch of :
Thursday 28th June 2012
1.30pm - 3.00pm Creggan Court Hotel, Athlone
5.30pm - 7.00pm Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar
idea2enterprise is a programme of supports for new and existing businesses from Westmeath Community Development, delivered over a six month period. The aim of the programme is to encourage and support businesses to apply for grant aid under the LEADER Rural Development Programme. You are invited to attend one of these launch events and also to share this invitation with your circle of colleagues and associates. Admission is free of charge.
Participants in the programme will receive support tailored to their needs in areas of business planning and grant application through idea development workshops, information on business planning, financial forecasting, sources of funding, market research, sales and marketing, branding and business management.
Westmeath Community Development administers LEADER grants under the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme providing funds for the implementation of innovative approaches to rural development at a local level.
Supported by Westmeath Community Development under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme 2007 – 2013.
‘idea2enterprise ’ - a six month programme of supports for new and existing businesses from Westmeath Community Development will be launched on Thursday 28th June, taking place in The Creggan Court Hotel, Athlone at 1.30 – 3.00pm and Bloomfield House Hotel, Belevedere, Mullingar at 5.30pm – 7.00pm. Business owners, members of the farming community, budding entrepreneurs, those who are long term or recently unemployed with a business idea as well as community leaders are invited to attend the launch events and to extend this invitation to their contacts and associates. Admission is free of charge.
The aim of the launch is to create awareness of the supports available for rural businesses to access LEADER funding, develop new projects and create jobs in the Westmeath rural area. Westmeath Community Development administers LEADER grants following specific criteria under the Rural Development Programme which receives 55% of its funding from the EU and 45% from the Irish Exchequer and places major emphasis on the implementation of innovative approaches to rural development at a local level.
Speaking about the programme Joe Potter, CEO of Westmeath Community Development said ‘We look forward to the launch of the idea2enterprise programme and we encourage as many people as possible to attend. The aim of the programme is to support local businesses to apply for grant aids and to help eligible projects in making their idea a reality through LEADER funding”
Participants admitted to the six month programme will receive support in areas of business planning and grant application through idea development workshops, information on business planning, financial forecasting, sources of funding, market research, sales and marketing, branding and business management. Partnering with Westmeath Community Development, NG Management Services will roll out this six month programme with a team of expert consultants.
‘We are inviting anyone who has a new business idea or is thinking of expanding their current business to come along and register for this programme, including community projects which will create jobs. The various criteria for the LEADER funding will be demystified and participants will be guided through the application forms and supported to apply for grant aid for eligible projects, which can now be up to 75% of capital expenditure, up to a maximum of €150,000,’ said Nuala Greenan, NG Management Services. A panel of consultants has been assembled in the relevant sectors of micro-enterprises, tourism, craft, renewable energy, food, farming, agri-tourism and angling as well as agri-diversification.
LEADER is the EU initiative for Rural Development that provides approved Local Action Groups with public funding (EU and national) to implement plans for the development of their own areas. Under the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme, funding of €425.4m is being provided for LEADER projects.
Support is provided for the generation of economic activity and enterprise, including diversification into non-agricultural activities, the creation of new and the expansion of existing enterprises, job creation and sustaining of existing jobs as well as the generation of additional and alternative incomes in rural areas. The encouragement of tourism activities and for the maintenance, restoration and upgrading of the cultural heritage is also assisted under the Programme.
There are seven measures under LEADER, all of which are open to any rural dweller. However there is one, agri-diversification (farm diversification), which is exclusive to farmers and their families. The seven measures are, diversification into non-agricultural activities, support for the creation and development of micro-enterprises, encouragement of tourism activities, basic services for the rural economy and population, village renewal and development, upgrading of rural heritage, training and skills.