YBI was delighted to send a representative (Lucy Wray, Head of Network Members) to a very special event in Dublin this week. On Wednesday, 6th November 2019, over 60 attendees gathered at the iconic Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, for a morning of celebrations. The occasion marked the start of year two of Inner City Enterprise’s (YBI’s member in Ireland) Young Entrepreneurs Programme, which launched back in September 2018.
In its first year, the Young Entrepreneurs Programme has supported 105 aspiring young entrepreneurs, many of whom have faced significant challenges in their lives. This four-week programme, which has been made available free of charge to 18-30 year olds living in Dublin, provides support in developing personal skills and technical business skills through modules including: Confidence Building, Leadership, Team Work, Finances and Social Media. By the end of the course, participants leave with a viable business idea and a completed business plan.
One such young person to participate in the Young Entrepnreuers Programme so far is Rebecca Curran, who has subsequently established her health and wellness company, ‘Dream Catching Duo’. Rebecca has placed great emphasis on the value of the support she received from ICE, which has in turn provided the expertise and confidence she needs to take the plunge into the world of business. During her speech at Tuesday’s launch event, she remarked “without the support I received from ICE, I would not be here today. It shaped my business and me as a person."
Rebecca was not the only one to speak highly of the efforts of ICE. Lord Mayor of Dublin and major ICE advocate, Paul McAuliffe, gave a memorable keynote speech in which he sang the praises of the team. Paul commented upon his personal affinity with aims of ICE as a result of his own father’s enduring hard work and determination in setting up and growing a successful business.
Well-known Irish entrepreneur and businessman, Bobby Kerr, also shared insights to his own entrepreneurial journey in setting up Ireland’s leading chain coffee outlet, Insomnia Coffee Company. Based on his extensive experience, and at the request of ICE’s CEO Evanne Kilmurray, Bobby compiled and shared a list of five ‘top tips’ for young business owners, with a standout recommendation being “if you can, have more money than you need – because things always cost twice as much and take double the time that you think they will!”
ICE’s longstanding Chairman, Vincent Crowley, concluded the event by offering thanks to the many important partners that have supported the Young Entrepreneurs Programme so far, both financially and with in-kind contributions. These supporters, without whom the programme simply could not happen, include Citi Foundation, Citi Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, NDRC Dublin and of course YBI. Homage was paid to ICE’s supporters in cake form, which was baked by another of the Young Entrepreneurs Programme’s alumni, Susan Barron. This work of art was a sight to behold and a major talking point of the morning, with people delighted that it tasted even better than it looked! YBI’s Lucy Wray offered her thoughts about the mornings sequence of events:
“18 months ago, ICE and YBI were in the early stages of shaping the Young Entrepreneurs Programme and it is astounding to see how much has been achieved in such a short period of time. Being in a room filled with so many passionate individuals is indicative of the high impact of this intervention, and the buy-in it enjoys from so many partners and supporters. I feel excited to see what the next twelve months will bring”.
Evanne Kilmurray, CEO of ICE, noted that
”This Entrepreneurs Training Programme was invaluable for budding young entrepreneurs as it gave them the hard and soft business skills needed to get a business up and running as well as a very useful Business Plan template. An additional bonus was the support and commitment provided by ICE’s corporate Sponsors such as Citi, Accenture, BDO & Rothco to the programme giving these young entrepreneurs both the chance to meet and interact with corporate business people as well as the opportunity to run their ideas past very experienced Business Mentors."