In July 2018, YBI welcomed ICE to the network, our first member in Ireland. They have been working since 1991 to support unemployed people in Dublin’s inner city to set up their own businesses or create self-employment, supporting both pre-enterprise and new start-ups. ICE are also the newest contributor to the Citi Foundation funded Youth Business Europe programme, and will support the efforts of the other seven European members involved in this initiative, to equip 8,700 young people with entrepreneurship skills by June 2019.
Since joining the network, ICE have been working with YBI to develop a new programme of entrepreneurship support to specifically target young people (aged 18-30), the implementation of which will be funded by the Citi Foundation for the benefit of 100 young entrepreneurs in the pilot year. The programme will comprise ten modules over five weeks, focusing on soft-skills (leadership, team work and resilience) and business development skills, which will be facilitated in part by experienced volunteers from ICE’s corporate sponsors such as Citi, Accenture and William Fry Solicitors. The first of three phases of the training has just started, with 30 young people taking part.
To mark the occasion and celebrate this exciting expansion of services offered by ICE, Citi Ireland supported them to host a launch event at their Dublin office on Friday 28th September. This was attended by 60 representatives from across the sector, including high-profile guests such as the Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the Irish Minister of Finance, Paschal Donohoe, who acted as keynote speaker. The caliber of the guest list is testament to the excitement surrounding this programme, and a reflection of ICE’s strong reputation and influence within the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The event began with ICE’s founder and CEO, Evanne Kilmurray, reflecting on the key achievements of ICE, and the importance of this new programme in continuing to address the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs in Dublin. She said: “We are delighted to become part of the Youth Business Europe programme and offer this unique opportunity to young entrepreneurs in Ireland. In addition, being part of the YBI network will allow us to access new and developing approaches to encouraging and supporting young entrepreneurs”.
Evanne’s speech was followed by an address from Lucy Wray (Network Members Manager), who has been involved in the development of the programme and represented YBI. Next, a young entrepreneur who is participating in the training, Lena Seale, shared her gratitude for the opportunity, and her eagerness to take part in order to grow her modelling business. Finally, the Minister of Finance shared his heartfelt thanks to ICE, Citi and YBI for their efforts in providing this much needed support, which will not only benefit the individuals taking part, but will help to build and stabilise the Irish economy. He said:
Youth entrepreneurship is going to become even more important for countries like Ireland in the coming years. [...] In order to do even better in the future, we need to have more young people coming together to form companies, to be entrepreneurs, and in order to do that they need support and help.
To read ICE's press release about the event, click here.