GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme is now open for applications in Ireland

GREBE EES SME advertV2

The GREBE Project is launching the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Ireland.  GREBE will work with small to medium renewable energy businesses throughout the Western Region to provide support to facilitate their growth through specialised mentoring.

The Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme will commission mentors with the appropriate expertise to be assigned to work with businesses to address identified area(s) where help is needed, in order to deliver a bespoke support package.

Applications are welcomed from all small to medium renewable energy businesses, based in the Western Region (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway & Clare).   Participating businesses will be matched with an appropriate mentor to meet their business needs, based on areas of specialism and scoring.

An Expression of Interest application form may be downloaded from the GREBE website here or requested by email from paulineleonard@wdc.ie

Completed applications must be returned to GREBE Project, Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, or alternatively via email: paulineleonard@wdc.ie not later than 12.00 Noon on Friday 17th November 2017.

This project is funded by the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme.   For further information on the GREBE Project, please visit our website www.grebeproject.eu

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Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) 2014-2020

F&O LAG

The NIRDP 2014-2020 has six priorities and is supported by a total budget of approximately £623 million.  The six priorities are:

  1. Knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas
  2. Farm competitiveness and risk management
  3. Food chain organisation
  4. Restoring and enhancing ecosystems
  5. Promoting resource efficiency
  6. Social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas

Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group (LAG) Ltd which covers the Fermanagh and Omagh district, is one of ten LAGs responsible for delivering Priority 6 in the rural areas of Northern Ireland.  The overall aim of Priority 6, which has a budget allocation of approximately £70 million, is to promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas (LEADER).  The NIRDP 2014-2020 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

The Fermanagh and Omagh LAG will, through programme delivery with a budget of approximately £8.29 million and by working in partnership with other agencies, contribute to the development of stronger rural communities through the creation of a more diverse and outward looking prosperous rural economy. The LAG will do this by creating greater local employment opportunities. The LAG will also support innovative approaches to the development of local services and facilities meeting the needs of the changing rural population.  The LAG will achieve this by delivering the following Schemes:

  • Rural Business Investment Scheme
  • Rural Basic Services Scheme
  • Rural Village Renewal Scheme
  • Rural Broadband Scheme
  • Co-operation Scheme

Details of the Rural Business Investment scheme are available on this factsheet: Rural Business Investment Scheme Factsheet

The Fermanagh and Omagh LAG Board comprises 24 Members of which 11 are elected representatives nominated by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) and 13 social partners representing the business, community and agriculture sectors.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council acts as the Administrative Council with responsibility for all financial and administrative matters.

Fermanagh & Omagh District Council Community Plan launched

Themes and outcomes 3

Following an extensive public consultation exercise in October/November 2016, we have finalised the first Community Plan for our district – Fermanagh and Omagh 2030 – and launched it at the end of March.

The Community Plan is a long-term strategic plan for our area which will be owned and delivered by the Community Planning Partnership comprising a range of statutory and support partners with the Council as lead partner.

The Community Plan will be supported by three detailed Action Plans, which we aim to publish by the summer of 2017. Together these will focus on achieving our Vision and Outcomes.

Detailed action planning is due to progress shortly based around the strategic actions which we consulted upon and, in line with the partnership ethos of the Plan, these will be led by the following agencies:

  • People and Communities: Western Health and Social Care Trust & Public Health Agency – in conjunction with FODC Director of Community, Health and Leisure
  • Economy, Infrastructure and Skills: Invest NI – in conjunction with FODC Director of Regeneration and Planning
  • Environment: Sport NI – in conjunction with FODC Director of Environment and Place.

The Community Plan will be managed using an Outcomes Based Accountability (OBA) approach, in line with the draft Programme for Government and training on this will be rolled out in the near future.  Information sessions on the Community Plan and how the Council’s Corporate Plan align to this will be scheduled for all staff.

For further information please contact Kim Weir, Community Planning and Performance (kim.weir@fermanaghomagh.com).

Green Business Workshop in Galway (20th April 2017)

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Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) are hosting a Green Business Workshop on Thursday 20th April 2017 in GMIT Innovation Hub Boardroom.

This full-day workshop is suitable for individuals who have an idea for a sustainable green technology start-up and for existing SMEs who are interested in developing new sustainable products or services.

The workshop will be presented by a Climate Nation Entrepreneur in Residence, Ron Immink, and is funded by Sustainable Nation Ireland.  Sustainable Nation Ireland as part of their 2 degrees platform want to highlight this as a business opportunity and the aim is to increase the awareness of the opportunities in climate change and tackle climate change through entrepreneurship.

The 2oCamp is for individuals and companies that have an idea and want to explore their idea in more detail. Over a one day workshop (10:00-16:00), participants get the tools to assess their idea, develop the idea further and get the beginning of a pitch deck.

Should participant want to take the idea further, they can apply for the Climatelaunchpad competition, where they have an opportunity to develop the business further and compete with 30 European counties. The top 3 finalist will represent Ireland at the finals in Cyprus this year.

Further information and registration can be found on the Sustainable Nation website: http://sustainablenation.ie/blog/tackling-climate-change-through-entrepreneurship-join-our-2camp/

A product that comes straight from the nature

orkanatturunnar

How do you differentiate your product from that of the competitors? Áslaug Thelma Einarsdóttir raised that question at Branding energy conference that was held in Reykjavík, Iceland in late September. Áslaug Thelma is head of marketing at Orka Náttúrunnar, state owned company, wholly owned by Orkuveita Reykjavíkur, the Reykjavík power company. Orka Nátturunnar was established to comply with Icelandic regulations regarding separating of competing and non-competing entities in the energy market. The company produces both electricity and hot water form geothermal resources.

Áslaug pointed out that one of the things that make the energy market unique is that the consumer isn´t necessary all that well aware of the product he´s paying for, “How do you differentiate a company like ours from other sellers when the product is something that consumer can’t see, and you´d rather not want him to touch?”

Early on, the company decided on a strategy that focuses on forward thinking and having a positive influence on both environment and the community. “in our marketing work we´ve emphasized that what we produce, both electricity and hot water, come straight from the nature, and is a part of the quality of life that we enjoy on this island. We want to send clear message about what kind of business we are, and let the “heart“ of the company shine through everything we do.”

It is in this spirit tha Orka Náttúrunnar has worked on developing new products and Áslaug points out that the company has, among other things, focused on building a network of charging stations electric cars. “When we started on the path there were hardly more than 50 electric cars in whole Iceland, but now I gather there are more than a thousand. We want to do our part to help with environmental friendly and forward-thinking transition in transport in Iceland and have been able to play a key role,” says Áslaug, but today Orka Náttúrunnar runs thirteen charging stations. It´s been very pleasant to see how fast thing have developed. There´s great interest in switching from fossil fuels to green energy and now we’re seeing more and more companies want to install charging stations both for their employees and for customers.”

aslaug

This interview was published in the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið 19.09.2016

GREBE Project to launch Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Enniskillen

GREBE Renewable Energy launch invite Balcas

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will launch a new renewable energy business support programme which will focus on the challenges of peripheral regions as places for doing business and help develop renewable energy business opportunities.

The €1.77 million transnational project is co-funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area is the only council area in Northern Ireland to benefit from the three-year programme which includes eight partners from six countries including the Republic of Ireland, Scotland Finland, Norway and Iceland.

Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise – GREBE – will be launched on the final day of the Council’s first ever Enterprise Week.  The launch will take place at the BALCAS plant, Ballycassidy, Enniskillen on Friday 4 March 2016

The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said that the Council was delighted to have secured funding from the Periphery and Arctic Programme to participate in GREBE.

“The Council is honoured to be chosen to carry out this pilot scheme to demonstrate its effectiveness within this sector and to use that pilot to inform the other regions participating on the programme on how to roll it out within their areas.  Included in this will be the provision of a resource pack for use by all partners which demonstrates best practice in mentoring,” the Councillor said.

Speaking about the merits of this unique programme, Councillor Reilly said that renewable energy provides substantial benefits for the climate, health and the economy.

“Renewable energy projects have untold economic development benefits by keeping money within the local economy.  As well as cutting down on energy/operating costs for small businesses leading to considerable savings for them, renewables show that businesses are adapting a responsible approach to the environment.

“Businesses in the Programme area face innumerable challenges including a lack of critical mass, dispersed settlements, poor accessibility, vulnerability to climate change effects and limited networking opportunities.  GREBE will equip SMEs and start-up businesses with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges and use natural assets for renewable energy to best sustainable effect.  The renewable energy sector contributes to sustainable regional and rural development and has potential for further growth,” Councillor O’Reilly continued.

Focusing on the location for the launch of the Progamme, Councillor O’Reilly said it was fitting that BALCAS had been chosen as the venue as the company was not only a leading timber products supplier but has pioneered biomass renewable energy in the UK and has led the development of the market for wood pellet fuel in Ireland and Britain

For further information on GREBE, please contact Una Porteous, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, telephone 0300 303 1777 Ext 21211 or e-mail una.porteous@fermanaghomagh.com