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Westmeath Community Development 

Enterprise Supports under the Local and Community Development Programme

WCD has a range of supports on offer for people establishing new businesses under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and the Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) schemes. These supports include:

  1. One to one business appraisal, advice and guidance.
  2. Ongoing one to one advice and guidance whilst on BTWEA/STEA.
  3. Referral to County Enterprise Board and other courses.
  4. Access to Dept. of Social Protection/FAS Business Development Programme managed by WCD.
  5. Access to Back to Work Enterprise and Short Term Enterprise Allowance Schemes operated in conjunction with Dept. of Social Protection, along with Technical Assistance Support from Dept. of Social Protection.
  6. Information and assistance on various financing bodies & schemes; CEB, RDP, Microfinance Ireland.
  7. Direct access to Athlone Community Taskforce and Mullingar Employment Action Group Loan Scheme’s via Athlone and Mullingar Credit Unions.
  8. Access to support for Bookkeeping advice and guidance.
  9. Access to support from Business Coaches for new enterprises.
  10. Access to networks in Mullingar and Athlone for the self-employed and employers.

If you are interested in applying for either of these allowances you can do so by filling out the following the following forms which are available to download here: btw eligibility form.doc stea1.pdf btw2.pdf

As part of the application for this process individuals should look at the draft workbook, as this will be required as part of the application process. btwea workbook 1.doc

For further information on the services available contact our Enterprise Staff;

Mullingar - Dan Grehan, dgrehan@westcd.ie / 044 9348571 or

Athlone - S McKenna, smckenna@westcd.ie / 090 6494555

2014 GRADUATES OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

BDP.Group.2014

 

Back Row Left - Right: Darragh Keegan, Noel Broderick, John Neilly, Helen English, and Dan Grehan W.C.D. Seamus McKenna W.C.D. Seamus Caulfield Tutor.

Frint Row Left - Right: Concepta Conlon, Margaret Hargraves W.C.D. Laura Leonard W.C.D. & Nicola Murray.

On Monday September 1st, the most recent graduates of the Westmeath Community Development Business Development Programme in Athlone were presented with their FETAC certificates. The course, which had been run over 6 months, and was funded by the Dept. of Social Protection and the Local and Community Development programme. Fourteen people completed the programme and ten have now gone on to establish their businesses and one has since gone into full-time employment.

The Business Development Programme is a special CE scheme that has been running in Westmeath for over 10 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.  To date we have had over 150 participants establish new enterprises, primarily through the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance schemes that we operate in conjunction with the Dept. of Social Protection.”

Laura Fallon – Financial Controller W.C.D. presented the FETAC Certs and complemented the graduates and wished them well in their ventures “in the current climate it can seem quite daunting to go into self-employment, but the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in Co Westmeath with Westmeath Community Development’s Rural Development and Local Development Programme, as well as other agencies in the county, like the County Enterprise Board, will continue to provide supports for new businesses, as the micro enterprise sector will be key to getting the country out of recession.”

Course tutor, Seamus Caulfield, of Metamorphosis Consultants, stated that this year’s group was particularly strong “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”.

Nail Technician,Personal Development Coach, Psychic Readings, Landscape/Gardener, Cooper, Home Maintenance, Fitness Instructor, Electrical Service, Wooden Floor Sales/Fitting & Restoration, and Carpentry Service.

For further information on the Business Development Programme, or on supports available from Westmeath Community Development, please contact Dan Grehan on 044 93 48571 or Seamus McKenna on 090 64 9455.

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Successful Year for Enterprise Development

In 2013 WCD Enterprise Offices assisted over 100 people set up their own businesses with the support of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, in conjunction with th Dept of Social Protection.  This programme aims to help people make the transition from unemployed to self employed.

One of our enterprise supports is the Business Development Programme, where people receive guidance and advice on how to go about establishing their own business.

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Jumpstart 4 Business - Athlone

 

Back Row from left to right: Siobhan Redmond, Maria Bourke (Tutor), John Jessop, Seamus McKenna (Westmeath Community Development) Front Row Left to right: Dan Grehan (Westmeath Community Development), Manuela Chima, Patsy Preston, Aisling Warby

Pictured above are people who received certificates of participation for completing the Jumpstart 4 Business course sponsored by WCD in Athlone. Over the five weeks the group focused on creating the habits and mind-set of successful entrepreneurs.

"This is the first time we have offered the course in Athlone" explains Dan Grehan Employment Officer WCD. "Following successful pilot scheme in Mullingar in April/May 2013 the Jumpstart 4 Business course will be an on-going feature of the business development supports on offer to new enterprises available both in Mullingar and Atholne to those starting a new business under the Back to Work Allowance (BTWA) scheme".

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Jumpstart for Business

             

Front row: Imelda O'Donnell, Angela Maher, Keith Dunne, Cara Gorman, Tiona Kilbride

Back Row: Wendy Clinton, Rosaleen Coates, Joe Potter CEO of Westmeath Community Development Ltd., Dan Grehan WCD, Maria Bourke InspirAction, Nick Hargraves 

Jumpstart 4 Business - Pilot Scheme - May 2013

Presentation of certificates for the Jumpstart 4 Business programme.

As part of our ongoing work with people who have established new businesses under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Westmeath Community Development, Enterprise Section, identified the need for these new business owners (trading for less than one year) to spend more time “Working On The Business” rather than “Working In The Business”.

Following a tendering process Maria Burke, InspirAction, was contracted to deliver : Jumpstart 4 Business  -  a comprehensive 5 week course delivered to the WCD Pilot Group in workshop style. The three main areas of focus were on:

  • Your Business
  • You
  • Harnessing the Power of your Mind

Using the Steering Wheel Analogy – it is vital to get balance not only in your business (Business Wheel ) but in your personal life (Wheel of Life) also as YOU are the centre of your business!

Based on the concept that “YOU have ALL YOUR right answers inside YOU” each participant received a Journal split into 5 sections for use both during class and to complete weekly Action set at class.

1. Action

2. Focusing on my Business

3. Working on Me

4. Positive Thoughts (aka Affirmations)

5. Weekly Goals Journal (introduced in week 3)

This has now become an active tool for participants as they have been using it daily / weekly for the last 5 weeks. As it is a highly organised tool participants can easily refer back to it at any stage.

For further information on the programme and on the Enterprise Supports available from WCD contact Dan Grehan or Seamus McKenna, – Email dgrehan@westcd.ie or smckenna@westcd.ie 

This project was funded by the Local and Community Development Programme for new Businesses Owners

                    

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Presentation of Certs to WCD to Business Graduates in Athlone

In the picture: Back Row: from left - Oliver Kelly, Vinny Bagnall, Keith Dunne, Viktor Podcernin, Seamus Caulfield (tutor), Seamus Dolan, Tony Flannery, Shane Gavin . Front Row from left – Seamus McKenna (Westmeath Community Development), Maria Bourke, Margaret Hargraves (FETAC Co-Ordinator), Dan Grehan (Programme Manager), Siobhan Redmond & John Kelly.

On Monday April 22nd, the most recent graduates of the Westmeath Community Development Business Development Programme were presented with their FETAC certificates. The course, which had been run over 6 months, and was funded by the Dept. of Social Protection/Fas and the Local and Community Development programme. Sixteen people completed the programme and 11 have now gone on to establish their businesses and one has since gone into full-time employment.

The Business Development Programme is a special CE scheme that has been running in Westmeath for over 10 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 2012 we have had over 120 people establish new enterprises, primarily through the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance schemes that we operate in conjunction with the Dept. of Social Protection.”

CEO of Westmeath Community Development, Joe Potter, complemented the graduates and wished them well in their ventures “in the current climate it can seem quite daunting to go into self-employment, but the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in Westmeath and Westmeath Community Development, through the Rural Development and Local Development Programme, and the other agencies in the county, like the County Enterprise Board, will continue to provide supports for new businesses, as the micro enterprise sector will be key to getting the country out of recession.”

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 – Personal Development Coach, Psychic Readings, Landscape/Gardener, Pub Rental, Home Maintenance, Fitness Instructor, Electrical Service, Wooden Floor Sales/Fitting & Restoration, and Carpentry Service.

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.

                    

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Funding for SME's in the Mullingar Area

A new funding initiative has been launched to help small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the Mullingar Area.

LinkedFinance facilitates person to person lending also known as crowd funding, they aim to give struggling SME’s in the Mullingar and surrounding area a chance to access finance outside the traditional banking sector.

Businesses with two years good trading accounts can generate between €5,000 and €50,000.

The funds are generated from the public such as customers, employees or business associates wishing to invest their savings.Loans are generally 36 months and unlike the traditional banking sector there are no penalties incurred for paying the loan in full before the term ends.

For more details go to www.linkedfinance.com

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Success for Mullingar’s First Call Centre Course

Success for Mullingar’s First Call Centre Course

In picture: Frank Murtagh, John Humphries, Niamh McGuinness, Caroline Sleator, Margaret Hargraves, Robert Barry, Gillian, Mary Courtney, Siobhan Molloy, Tricia Mckenna, Joe Potter

Mullingar’s first call centre and business process outsourcing course has proven an enormous success.

The 10 week course was a joint initiative from Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and Westmeath Community Development (WCD) as a strategy to market Mullingar as the business process outsourcing capital of Ireland, and to fulfil the two organisations pledge to pro actively reduce unemployment in the Midlands.

Fourteen unemployed people successfully participated in the course and achieved Fetac Level 4 & 6 Certification in Customer Service, Teleservice and Data Entry Modules.  Gaining these additional skills combined with their existing knowledge and experience in sales, marketing, IT, and finance sees all those involved become part of an extensive pool and database of resources available to employers in the Midlands, which has highly skilled, professional specialists available to fulfil local employers’ business needs. 

Currently WCD and Mullingar Chamber, through their Employer Links Programme, have over 150 highly skilled individuals registered on the database who can offer expertise in the following fields:  IT, Finance, Office Administration, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing and many other professional services as well as a variety of language skills.

As speculation around the town turns to job creation John Humphries CEO of Mullingar Chamber stated:

“Mullingar Chamber has been in constant communication with relevant agencies updating them on the progress of the joint initiative. Since early 2012 we have had great support and encouragement from the IDA, Westmeath County Manager Danny McLoughlin and principally Westmeath Community Development who lent their expertise and also funded the course. Now that the trainees have successfully completed the course we have been extremely active in finishing the process of jobs creation and seeking serious investors interested in locating to the Midlands and well as support from our elected TD’s, and with our pool of highly trained individuals and determination from all parties we are confident that it won’t be too long before we bring news of success to the Midlands”

If anyone wishes to avail of Westmeath Community Developments ‘employment mediation’ support or place their skills on the register/database they can email Patricia McKenna at tmckenna@westcd.ie. Likewise any businesses with recruitment needs can contact either the Patricia or Mullingar Chamber at info@mullingarchamber.ie

This project was funded by Westmeath Community Development under the Local and Community Development Programme.

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Invitation to tender

Westmeath Community Development are seeking tenders to deliver a Personal Development Programme for new Businesses established under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

Since the start of 2012 we have assisted over 80 people to establish new businesses under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme, operated in conjunction with  the Department of Social Protection. We provide a range of supports to new businesses, including access to business mentors and business coaches, access to County Enterprise Board training courses and access to loan finance in conjunction with other groups and credit unions.

However, we have also identified the need to provide further supports to these new entrepreneurs to assist them in dealing with the challenges that self employment brings.

The training will be for between 15-20 people. There is no specific course length and will depend on the course content. We are looking to start this course for early November.

The tender should outline the course content, location, duration and costs.

The closing date for receipt of tenders is 5 pm on Wednesday, October 24th 2012. For further information contact Dan Grehan on 044 9348571.

                                                                                                        

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Invite to Tender to deliver Business Development Programme

WCD invites tenders from suitably qualified organisations and individuals to deliver a Business Development Programme in Athlone from July to December 2012

The Business Development Programme is a special FÁS Community Employment Scheme, aimed at delivering a business development programme to unemployed people with a self employment idea, and is part of the Local and Community Development Programme Annual Plan for WCD for 2012. 

The course will be run one full day per week over 24 weeks for upto 20 people, with setting and monitoring of assigned tasks for participants to work on over the remaining 12 hours of their week outside of programme contact time, to develop the participants’ business idea.

It is expected that participants will progress to developing a business supported by the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance administered by the Dept. Of Social Protection.

It is required that the successful tender will have extensive experience in delivering enterprise training to the target group.

A third level qualification in a business related area is desirable, combined with experience of one-to-one mentoring.

The course provides FETAC certification at Level 5.  The administration of required documentation, compilation of client portfolio and the grading of same is required from the consultant.

The tender needs to contain;  

  1. A tender price
  2. A current tax clearance certificate
  3. Professional Indemnity Insurance  
  4. Evidence of previous experience
  5. Programme Content – a  Detailed curriculum covering the following areas for group sessions and assigned tasks;
  • Enterprise Models
  • Taxation
  • Sales and Marketing
  • General Business Management
  • Finance
  • Managing Personal Development
  • Business Planning

Tenders and accompanying information to be submitted to Frank Murtagh, Ass CEO, WCD, Business Development Centre, Parnell Square, Athlone no later than 5pm on Wednesday, June 20th.

 

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