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December 04, 2012

Bord na Mona Give Kildare Business Start-Up a Helping Hand

Sponsored prize fund for winning business concept

Bord-na-Mona Minister for State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD was on hand as Bord na Móna confirmed its commitment to the sponsorship of an entrepreneur coaching programme targeted at highly motivated professionals who have unfortunately, recently become unemployed. 

The Enterprise Evolution Programme (EEP), which offers these professionals the opportunity to develop their own business ideas into a viable commercial success, is jointly delivered by IT Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology and Innovo Training and Development, with the support of Bord na Móna

Minister Sean Sherlock TD commented; “The Enterprise Evolution Programme (EEP) is a great example of a programme which will help budding entrepreneurs to make their ideas a reality. This very much ties in with the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2012.  I would like to commend Bord na Móna for their support of the EEP."

The first winner, De Paor Pottery, Pottery in Motion, founded by local Kildare native Danielle Power, will offer a unique service including a range of products, from ‘Paint your own pottery parties’ to creating memorabilia to mark important life milestones. 

Danielle Power, Creator of De Paor Pottery commented; “The funding that Bord na Móna have given De Paor Pottery will go towards making our business a reality and without their sponsorship this would not be possible.”

As part of their sponsorship of the EEP programme, Bord na Móna award a prize to the most innovative business idea presented by the students of the course.  The winning business idea is then given start up funding from Bord na Móna to help turn their business concept into a viable reality.  In addition, the winner is given access to vital technical and marketing advice from experienced executives in the group.

Bord na Móna recognize the importance of developing and supporting new enterprise ideas and business start ups. 

Gabriel D’Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna commented; “As part of the EEP we have sponsored, for the past two years, a €5,000 start up fund for the best small business start-up in diverse areas from Pottery Production to the manufacture of specialized racing sail boats!  We recognize the vital importance of bridging the gap between business theory and practical commercial entrepreneurship.  This programme offers this and we congratulate the IT in Tallaght and their partners Innovo on the initiative.  We want to continue to help support people who are taking control of their own future and play our part in bringing their business ideas to life.  Bord na Móna are pleased to be associated with this venture.  It is a critical element of our company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme and a tangible demonstration of our commitment to helping the talented start-ups get up and running.  We are happy to be in a position to give these businesses a helping hand.

It was difficult to decide on a winning start-up this year.  All of the entries were very impressive.  Therefore the 2012 start up fund was split and awarded to two business concepts; De Paor Pottery and another start-up from the EEP programme currently under consideration..  Both excellent ideas are currently being developed into fully commercial businesses.

In 2011, the winning business concept, a Student Enrollment Services business, came from a group of three professionals from different career backgrounds including Accountancy, IT and Business which offers the company a broad range of capabilities. One of the team Jonathan Furlong commented; “The prize fund we received from Bord na Mona was priceless, it enabled us to form our company and develop initial prototypes while identifying on-going sources of funding.  The prize fund along with the knowledge gained from participating in the programme provided us with the guidance and mentoring we needed to transform an idea into a realistic and viable business plan.”