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Leitrim Senior Entrepreneur Recruitment Gets Underway!

[ Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 ]
Around 3,400 people, aged between 50 and 64, started their own business in Ireland last year but that figure could dramatically increase in 2012 if more people in that age group from Leitrim and around the country were encouraged to seek assistance for their business ideas.
That’s according to the organisers behind the ‘Senior Entrepreneurs’ initiative, which includes the Leitrim County Enterprise Board and Senior Enterprise, which are encouraging more Irish people aged 50 and over to set up their own businesses and to access enterprise supports.
In a bid to boost the number of Senior Entrepreneurs in Ireland, a two-day ‘Start Your Own Business’ Residential Workshop is taking place on May 8th and 9th in Portlaoise, with sixty places on offer to those from all parts of Ireland with a business idea. The places will be allocated to suitable budding entrepreneurs on a first come basis, so early application is essential.
People in Ireland, aged 50 and over, are still less likely to start their own business than younger people (GEM Research). The most ‘entrepreneurial’ age group in Ireland are those aged between 35 and 44. Those in this age group are twice as likely to be early stage entrepreneurs, than are those in the 50 and over age category.
Encouragingly, 14% of all new firms set-up in 2011 were set up by people aged between 50 and 64, at the rate of around 280 businesses a month last year.
‘Senior Entrepreneurs’ is a specially designed training programme, jointly organised by all the County and City Enterprise Boards and Senior Enterprise, which is an INTERREG supported EU initiative led by the Mid-East Regional Authority. The Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology is also supporting the training initiative.
“Our County needs to call upon all the entrepreneurial talent available, regardless of age, to help create economic growth and job opportunities here in Leitrim,” according to Joe Lowe, CEO of the Leitrim County Enterprise Board. “Look at the skills, knowledge, networks and experiences that are accumulated by those aged 50 and over and how these resources and skills can be harnessed to set up successful local businesses, to help create local jobs,” he added.
Applications to the Leitrim County Enterprise Board are being accepted until 1st May for the residential workshop at the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise and organisers have advised that places will be allocated on a ‘first come’ basis to suitable budding entrepreneurs. The subsidised fee of €75 includes accommodation, meals and all training materials.
Speaking about the workshop course content, John Byrne from Senior Enterprise said: “Potential Senior Entrepreneurs will be given the tools and techniques they will need to help turn their business idea into a real start-up. For example, they will be focussing on the feasibility of their business idea, its market potential, the finance required, in addition to the sales and marketing plans for the business.” He added: “Uniquely, the ‘Start Your Own Business’ Programme also addresses the issue of succession planning and the passing on of the business, which are of particular importance to this age group.”
To help increase awareness of the training initiative, the organisers have enlisted the help of several successful Senior Entrepreneurs, who all established businesses during their fifties and sixties. They include: Peter Cullen from the Jelly Bean Factory, Cathy Whitty from Cathy’s Spelt for Health, Jean Condron from Hats by Jean and Damien Carolan from Pharbiz.
Further information about the Senior Entrepreneurs ‘Start Your Own Business’ Workshop on May 8th and 9th is available from the Leitrim County Enterprise Board at www.leitrimenterprise.ie or by telephone on (071) 9620450. Further information is also available at www.seniorenterprise.ie  
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