The Business Development Programme (BDP) is a special Community Employment (CE) which is in operation since the late 1990's. The BDP enables unemployed people considering self-employment to undergo an accredited business development programme (FETAC Level 5) while developing their business idea and their business plan.

The course is funded by the Department of Social Protection's CE programme and it runs for a period of 24 weeks, alternating between Athlone and Mullingar. Participants attend the course one day per week, and receive one to one sessions with the coordinator and tutor and outside advisors if required.

The course is one of a number of supports that WCD has in place to support new businesses being established by people on the live register. To find out more about these supports visit our Enterprise Supports.

For further information on the BDP contact:

Dan Grehan on 044 9348571 or email:

Seamus McKenna on 090 6494555 or email:

Invite to Tender to Deliver Business Development Programme

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WCD invites tenders from suitably qualified organisations and individuals to deliver a Business Development Programme in Mullingar from February 2017 to August 2017 

The Business Development Programme is a special DSP Community Employment Scheme, aimed at delivering a business development programme to unemployed people with a business idea, and is part of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme for 2017.

The course will be run for one full day per week over 24 weeks with 18 participants, 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 essential, combined with experience of delivering training to groups.

The course provides QQI certification at Level 5.  The administration of required documentation, guidance and monitoring of client portfolio and the grading of same are required from the consultant.

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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. 

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Business Training Programme Athlone

The special CE Business Development Programme which is run by the DSP in conjunction with Westmeath Community Development will commence in July 2014 in Athlone. 

The programme which runs for 24 weeks will cover all the skills involved in bringing a business project from the idea stage right through to the comercial reality. For further details download the brocher by clicking on link: BDP.Brochure.July.2014.pdf

To apply for this programme please contact your local DSP Employment/Intreo Office to check out eligibility and to apply for this vacancy. Job reference number will be required (REF:ES-844442). The closing date for applications is the 20th June 2014. Please send CV to: Special CE Business Development Programme, Enterprise & Innovation Centre, Clonmore Business Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. E-mail: