Presentation on theme: "Donegal County Council"— Presentation transcript:
1 Donegal County Council AER Training Academy – 2nd April 2014Business Boot Camp ProjectDonegal County Council
2 Presentation Outline Introduction to County Donegal The Business Bootcamp ProjectImplementation and Organisation StructuresPartnersCommunications - Strategies and ToolsEvaluation PlanFunding ModelProject Outcomes
3 Location of Donegal within the Island of Ireland Northern most county in Ireland.Border of 140km with Northern Ireland and 9 km with the RepublicPopulation – 161,137 (Census 2011)NW Cross Border Population 380,000DONEGALNORTHERN IRELANDREPUBLIC OF IRELAND
4 This is Donegal 2014A fast growing County (grew by 13,873 people between 2006 – 2011; represents a 9.4% growth)A highly educated and motivated workforce (26,867 people attained 3rd level qualification in 2011)A location for overseas InvestmentDeveloping a world wide network(Donegal diaspora.com project)Telecommunications connectivity (Project Kelvin)
5 This is Donegal 2013 Research and Development Resources (Third level colleges, Cross-Border links)Abundant natural resources (wind, wave, landscape, renewable)A growing cross border gateway (Derry- Letterkenny)An outdoor capital (Tourism, maritime)A culturally rich & creative county
6 The Business Bootcamp Project – Key Drivers Northern IrelandTrend is mirrored in both regions- In Donegal, high unemployment rate for 15 – 24 years oldRepublic of IrelandHigh levels of unemployment among the young generation in each jurisdiction- In Donegal, 18,869 people unemployed (26.2%)
7 The Project - Key Drivers Local Research had highlighted:Lack of competitiveness and job opportunities in rural regionsEspecially among the younger mobile age groupsAn increased level of migration among the younger mobile age groupsThis region is at a social disadvantage because of the rural dispersal of the populationKey obstacles to entrepreneurship were:- Access and distance- Connectivity (telecommunciations MANs, Project Kelvin)- Access to Finance- Isolation- Lack of clusters
8 The Project –Key strategies County Development Board launched a 10 year development strategy in 2002All agencies agreed on need to prioritise support for enterprise creationVery good entrepreneurial potential and culture in DonegalCollaboration with all enterprise agencies, including Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) goodSupports available yet still an identified gap
9 The Project – key drivers Business Boot CampRestricted market locally in Donegal- need to look outside, e.g. cross border market, national and European marketsChallenge – how do we make such markets accessible to DonegalDonegal Diaspora Project – assistance in making international linksHow to we turn comparative advantages into competitive advantage?
10 The Project Objectives Business Boot Camp is a three year programme: (Jan 12–Apr 15) :To address the development of a dynamic economy across both rural and urban areasTo reverse youth migration from rural areasTo help young entrepreneurs to develop and grow their business ideasTo exploit opportunities that arose from this cross-border relationship.Aim: ‘To enhance the capacity of young entrepreneurs to develop businesses in underutilised growth and export sectors, creating a more diverse and sustainable cross-border economy, through the extension of the economic impact of the COMET region and the economic use of natural resources in the North West of Ireland.’
11 Business Boot Camp: The Project )Business Boot Camp: The ProjectTargetsThe cross-border partnership(both north and south) sought:To deliver Boot Camp ‘Start’ to 36 young entrepreneurs per annum.To deliver Boot Camp ‘Grow’ to 36 additional young entrepreneurs per annum.To deliver Boot Camp ‘Export’ to 12 participant businesses per annum on a location needs basis.To establish a vibrant interregional business network with 50 members.Niche SME sectors targeted:Creative IndustriesHealth & Life SciencesEngineeringRenewables & The Environment (including marine science and forestry)TourismSoftware & Emerging TechnologiesFood & Agri. Food BusinessTradable Services (including financial and customer services
12 Project ElementsBusiness Boot Camp – START It develops young entrepreneurs on the cusp of starting their business with a suite of tailored interventions to maximise success. Business Boot Camp – GROW It is a business development programme which takes businesses through the process of realising growth potential and businesses have to be trading for at least 6 months Business Boot Camp – EXPORT It is an intensive residential project in a transnational setting, affording businesses an invaluable opportunity to expand business ideas and introduce to export potential.
13 Business Boot Camp –Network Online Business Boot Camp Materials Project ElementsBusiness Boot Camp –NetworkIt will connect, develop and promote inter-regional trade by young entrepreneurs across the regionsOpportunity for all participants to continue developing networks created during the projectBe open to young entrepreneurs outside the Boot Camp Project, who are looking to develop a business network.Online Business Boot Camp MaterialsAll participants have access to a World Class Enterprise Resource Centre at no extra cost to project or individualAccess to a world class online support platform (Cost - £250,000)Access to highly interactive support materials used during workshops.Access to constantly updated market information – 4,000 factsheets, video guides, case studies.
14 Business Boot Camp SWOT Analysis StrengthsWeaknessesClose fit of project aims and objectives with Interreg IVA Priority aims and objectives of supporting economic strategiesBusinesses and entrepreneurs can take advantage of cross-border opportunitiesAllows for creation of potential high growth business in identified sectorsCan lead to an increase in entrepreneurial culture across regionsAn increase in exports and growth activities can lead to an increase in entrepreneurial activitiesYoung entrepreneurs have least experience so require substantial guidanceSelf belief is a concern for many a young personLeast likely group to engage in government support programmes, can lead to increased recruitment challengesAs wages are higher than international competitors, could result in exports suffering on price competition thus reducing the overall impact of participant businesses in the economy long-term
15 Business Boot Camp SWOT Analysis OpportunitiesThreatsExpansion beyond initial partnership region can create further economic developmentRelease of creative ideas can have positive impact on business creation, increase in skills base, export and growth opportunities and sharing of knowledgeFostering of relationships in global export markets both through shared events and online activitiesEconomy exiting recession can result in increased opportunities for entrepreneursIssues with availability of corporate finance can result in some entrepreneurs not getting the funds needed to establish the businessDelays in project assessment and funding can cause a change in growth sectors or further youth migrationLong term unemployment due to current austerity measures together with negative media reporting, can create an environment that is not conductive to promoting entrepreneurship
16 The Project Eligibility requirements Project participants must meet the following criteria:16-35 years of ageLive in the following areas: Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, North Down, Carrickfergus and County DonegalWant to address constraints to developing or growing own businessWant to learn from the experts in the field of SME and micro-enterprise development
17 Implementation and Organisation The Business Boot Camp is based around 3 intensive interventions that develop young businesses at crucial points in their lifecycle, while at the same time, exploiting under-utilised, emerging or growth SME sectors, extending the impact of the regions’ largest economic generator and building a solid regional business network.Project GovernanceOverall Project Steering Committee established with north/south partnersReports back to parent organisations / bodies (elected council)Regular monitoring and reporting of progressDedicated Project Co-ordinator employed for duration (3 years)
18 Partnership and Collaborative Working Business Boot Camp projectIs a north/south initiative spanning two jurisdictionsIs run in conjunction with partner agencies in each of the targeted Interreg IVA regions i.e. Donegal, Belfast Metropolitan areaUtilises specialist local enterprise expertise e.g. Enterprise Support Agencies (IDA, Enterprise Ireland, County Enterprise Board in Donegal)Maximises the sharing of best practice across enterprise development agencies in the regionsComplements existing supports & Avoids duplication.
19 Project PartnersDonegal County Council is made up of 29 elected members from Local Government across 5 Electoral AreasCOMET (Councils of the Metropolitan Area) is made up of six local authorities in the Greater Belfast metropolitan areaBelfastLisburnCastlereaghNewtownabbeyNorth DownCarrickfergusServices were also procured for the delivery of elements of the programme. These partners were:The Advantage Foundation (Northern Ireland)Full Circle Management Solutions (Northern Ireland)
20 Finding PartnersDonegal County Council established a European Unit in 2010Belfast City Council has an EU Unit alsoBoth EU Units identified common challenges in their regionsKey issues identified: to address youth unemployment at a local levelTo look at opportunities to assist young people to start or grow their own business in the current adverse economic conditionsTo create a more diverse and sustainable cross-border economy
21 Partner AllianceThe partnership represents a new cross-border relationship (strategic alliance between Donegal and Belfast Councils)The partnership benefits both regions:By establishing a trade bridge between both jurisdictionsFor Donegal - The COMET region represents through its ports and infrastructure, the entrance point for tourism, trade and exportsFor COMET – Donegal has underutilised natural resources such as Renewable/ Alternative resources, highly educated workforce and emerging hi-tech industries which can be further developed
22 Partner ArrangementsCOMET are lead partners – interaction with Funding Body, recoupment of monies, etcThe project is staffed jointly by members of the partnership and incorporates- a joint cross-border management team- a cross-border events- a project co-ordinator (based in Donegal County Council)A project overseeing committee meets on a quarterly basis or more often if required to decide key dates and milestonesThe relevant agencies in the partnership works closely together to share expertise and knowledge
23 Partner ArrangementsCo-ordination and management through a central point so all activities are managed on a needs basis across all regionsPartners agree to co-ordinate and exchange informationUse of collaborative on-line system in place to be used by all parties – Business Boot Camp Web resourcesJoint monitoring of Project budgetJoint organisation and implementation of all Networking Events in each of the regionsCentrally agreed criteria, ensuring equality of access and quality across the project
24 Communications Key Communication Challenges Rural dispersal of the population of County DonegalTelecommunications / access difficultiesLack of clusters and networks locallyProject Co-ordinatorUndertook regular feedback interviews with participantsAssembled a representative group of young people together to provide opinions, feedback and input into projectCommunication Plan and Strategy AgreedAdvertisements and editorials in papersLeaflets, Flyers and PostersRadio interviewsSocial Media WorkshopFacebook pageEvents
25 Communications Flyers Business Bootcamp ProgrammeStruggling to find a job? Why not make your ownIf you are aged between years old, live in County Donegal and wish to start or grow a business.Then you’re eligible for the business boot camp! The programme is backed by Donegal County Council and is run by Programme partners, Enterprise NI,Advantage and Full Circle.The Business Bootcamp programme seeks to nurture those with a business idea, a business to developand grow or simply just the dream of being your own boss. With one to one mentoring, expert advice,unrivalled training in business plan preparation, future planning and marketing strategy, help withfinding funding, help to manage your business more effectively, bespoke residential training for growthparticipants, either a business plan or growth plan…the list is substantial.And in the current economic environment what’s even better is that it is all entirely…Free!You can find out more at the below: or
26 Communication Messages The Business Boot Camp is unique and innovative on the Island of Ireland as it is the only programme of its type that supports young entrepreneurs through a combination of resources, it is free and provides a number of benefits:Everything you need to prepare for initial start up phaseOpportunities to discuss idea with experienced business professionalsReceive 3 months start up supportEnterprise Shadowing with an established business24-7 Online Support Platform and Business ToolkitUnrivalled training in business plan preparation, future planning and market Strategy to help you prepare for life in businessHelp with identifying suitable funding and assistance in applying for itEssentially, the opportunity to access start up finance
27 Communications Internal Communications External Communications MeetingssTelephoneOnline SystemsConsultations with enterprise providersConferencesExternal CommunicationsSeminarsWorkshopsInternetBroadcast and Print mediaElectronic press releasesEndorsements and PromotionsInterviews and PhotographsLeaflets and Posters
28 Evaluation Strengths Weaknesses Brought together a strong meaningful partnershipSharing of skills and knowledgeLarge network pool – mailing list database of over 15,000 organisations and businesses (Donegal Diaspora Project)Encouraged and supported young entrepreneurs to start and grow their businessCreated a cross border network for trade and partnershipsMore diverse and dynamic economyIdentified a ‘gap’ in entrepreneurial supports for SMEsIdentified Virtual/Digital elements: has the potential to develop further with fundingApproach used innovative – how they recruited, trained, mentored and supported businessesSkills deficiencies – additional support needs identified and gaps in mainstream supports identifiedDeciding on which business ideas or businesses to assist – unable to accommodate all demandsWould benefit from a transnational element e.g. access to trade abroad, access to networksEligibility criteria somewhat restrictedSMEs may appeal to some niche areas – trying to ensure spread / coverage of sectors
29 Evaluation: participant feedback “Well done. Had a very enjoyable day on Thursday. Today I have taken Grainne Kelly’s advice and set 5 goals/values for the business (written down) and have set in motion that each team member have 5 monthly goals that are in line with them. We will see how we go from there Austin Duignan, Donegal Rapeseed Oil Co Ltd.“One usually has to travel to the cities to these events, for the opportunity to hear and meet such an array of speakers, (and usually at a stiff price. Inspiration, business advice, take care of yourself advice, insight into real life journeys all rolled into one day, brilliant. Thanks again,” Joe Coyle Financial Consultants Ltd“I think this would be a great annual event. It was nice not to have the pressure of having a stand there, it meant I could just enjoy the speakers and meeting other business owners. It was a good mix of speaker and break-out sessions. I liked that it wasn’t all about doing business, it was also about taking care of yourself while doing business. Looking forward to the next event!!”Paul Murray Architectural Services + Design
30 Attended by Donegal County Council representatives e. g Attended by Donegal County Council representatives e.g. The Mayor, County Manager and Director of Services, Community, Culture and Planning. Speakers included boot camp participants Tania McGroarty, Niall Mulrine and Joe O’Donnell. A video produced by boot camp participant Andrejs Plavins was also showcased on the day.
31 FundingProject funded under The European Regional Development Fund Through The European INTERREG IVA Structural Funds Programme Programme Objective: Supporting Strategic Cross-Border Co-operation for a more Prosperous and Sustainable Region – Enterprise Theme Duration: January 2012 – April 2015 Grant Aid: £831,205 under Priority 1, Theme 1: Enterprise
32 Project OutcomesThis project contributes to broader economic development through the development of the SME and youth sectors:Engaging potential young entrepreneurs who are on the cusp of starting a business and guiding them through the start-up process;Engaging businesses with unrealised growth potential and growing these businesses;Engaging business that are on the cusp of exporting and exporting for the first time; andCreating a cross border network for trade and partnershipsWorking with young people with a view to passing them on to progressing on to higher level supports.
33 Project Outcomes To date, START Programme 93 young entrepreneurs have participated on the programme in the COMET and Donegal regionsTo date, GROW Programme80 young business owners have participated on the programme in the COMET and Donegal regionsFor START Programmeof the 40 Year 1 participants, 36 completed their business plans (90% Completion Rate) and28 have started their business (70% Start Up Rate).COMET Region participantssome participants have gone on to secure Arts Council funding (CIIF Creative Industries Innovative Fund) and NISPO (Proof of Concept) funding in order to assist them in getting up and running with their business.
34 Project Outcomessiansplan.com which was a Donegal/Belfast grow programme participant, originally from Donegal but moved to Belfast has secured 100K in CrowdfundingSome participants, have gone on to become Invest NI clients and have been part funded to go to Trade ShowsOther participants have also progressed onto further high potential start up accelerator programmes i.e. Invest NI Propel Programme (NI) and New Frontiers Programme (ROI) in USAFirst Business Connections networking event held in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town on February 2014 was a considerable success and inspirational (115 businesses attended)Holding a second event in The Holiday Inn, Belfast on the 7th May 2014 (150 businesses expected)
35 Overall Project Outcomes Project very well received locallySMEs have participated positively in all aspects of the ProjectThe Project met a clearly identified need and gap for SMEs locallyNew networks and relationships have been establishedGreater openness to wider/ cross-border/ regional opportunities
36 Project Improvements Future supports required: EU: A lot of support provided to improve access and connectivity – e.g. project Kelvin, complimenting local and national investmentTrying to address local gaps which remain in telecommunicationsIsolation – promote networking within and outside the region – Boot Camp networks, Diaspora networksAccess – continued problem – lobby for improvements (Derry and Donegal airports)Access to finance is an issue – information and support (e.g. COSME?)EU unit – key role in accessing networks, policy and fundingHow do you continue to build on comparative advantage and build this into competitive advantage?