We know that growing a business is tough, but everyone should have the chance to make a real go of it, especially when they are starting out.

That’s why each year Innovate Communities offers the chance for 10 local entrepreneurs or business owners to take part in ‘Incubate for Growth, a fabulous ten-month programme based in our Social Innovation Hub in Ballymun, Dublin.

The programme helps small start ups take their business to the next level by providing them with free desk space in our Hub for 10 months where they can develop their business and their networks. It also builds on the supports already provided to them by the Department of Social Protection, Local Partnerships and Local Enterprise Offices. For those already trading that may mean an increase in customers, for others it may mean setting themselves up to trade.

As well as great networking, participants get a whole load of backup to get their ideas off the ground. This includes business mentoring, marketing development, workshops and advice about their business plan. Using these supports, they are able to fully develop and validate their business proposition, identify potential customers, sales channels and funding options and grow their business offering.

The programme is now in its 5th year and has produced some extraordinary success stories over the years.

Who Can Apply?

Any small startup business, based in the Dublin North West Area can apply. Preference will be given to those who are on the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

The 10 available places will be offered to suitable candidates on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested please contact Annabelle Conway

annabelle@innovatecommunities.ie to discuss.

Participant Marian McCullagh, AOS Training

Being accepted onto this programme was a real turning point for my business. The mentoring gave me structure, made me accountable to someone other than myself and made me refocus on the direction in which I was taking my business. I think it is true to say that when you are caught up in the day to day running of a business it can be easy to forget your business strategy and direction. So for me, the programme has allowed me to take that much needed step back and to revisit and refine my business plan.

It is also so important when you are trying to keep all the plates spinning to have a sounding board and this is what I got – and more – from the HUB. My mentor has given me great support and insights since we have started working together and has encouraged me to focus on developing my website and increasing my marketing skills – both of which are being currently addressed.

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