Presentation of certificates to Westmeath Community Development Business Development Programme Graduates



Graduates of the QQI Level 5 accredited Business Development Programme run by Westmeath Community Development in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection and the Local Community Development Programme:

Back Row – Subahat Khan, David Callinan, Seamus Caulfield Tutor, Pat Carroll, Seamus McKenna Westmeath Community Development Athlone, Jonathan Callaghan.  Front Row – Dan Grehan, Programme Manager, Yvonne Delaney, Margaret Hargraves QQI Co-Ordinator, Malachy O’Brien, & Gerald Fallon.   

On Monday 11th May the most recent graduates of the Westmeath Community Development Business Development Programme were presented with their QQI certificates. This is a 24 week Programme which is funded by the Department Of Social Protection and the Local Community Development programme. Sixteen people completed the programme and are in the process of establishing their businesses. 

The Business Development Programme is a special Community Employment Scheme that has been running in Westmeath for over 12 years. It enables unemployed people considering self-employment to undergo an accredited business development programme while developing their business idea and their business plan. Dan Grehan, Programme Manager, commented “the course is one of a number of supports that Westmeath Community Development has in place to support new businesses being established by people on the live register. In 2014 we have had over 155 people establish new enterprises, primarily with the support of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance schemes that we operate in conjunction with the Department Of Social Protection.”

Course participant David Callinan, (Customer Candles Ireland) commented “I found the Start Your Own Business course invaluable and I learned a lot from it. Excellent course that provides all the tools needed to start and grow your own business. Great back up and support even after the course finished. “A big thank you to Seamus, Margaret & Dan for all their help and support”.  The book “How to Build a Profitable Business” by Seamus Caulfield is a must for anyone thinking of starting a new business.”

The course tutor, Seamus Caulfield, of Metamorphosis Consultants, noted that this was a particularly strong group. “The dynamic in this group was very good, while the businesses are in diverse sectors, this can assist the small business in identifying their own strengths and weaknesses and the challenges they are likely to face in their ventures”.

The businesses established included – Candle Making, Sound Engineering, Equestrian Centre, Catering, Car Sales, Crafts, Alternative Remedies, Organic Farming & Home Maintenance.

The next Programme is scheduled to start in Athlone on 20th July 2015.

For further information on the Business Development Programme, or on supports available from Westmeath Community Development, please contact Dan Grehan on 0449348571 or Seamus McKenna on 090649455.