|Fiontraithe le Gaeilge, the Donegal-based
entrepreneurship programme was one of the six premier
winners at the recently held Barr 50 (Top 50) awards
ceremony in Dublin’s Four Seasons hotel.
le Gaeilge is an advanced training programme for both
private and social entrepreneurs, who are living and
working in the border regions. The programme, launched
by Minister Ó Cuív last July has been
running since November 2005 with part-financing of
nearly 600,000 euros by the European Union through
the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special
EU Programmes Body by the ICBAN Partnership. Match
Funding is provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta.
Fiontraithe le Gaeilge was adjudged to be an innovative
strategy in the promotion of social entrepreneurship
with particular emphasis on the rural economy and
the Irish language. It was also adjudged to have potential
to be a best-practice model that could be replicated
in other minority communities.
The schedule completed, so far, has included several
residential study programs in locations in Belfast,
Enniskillen Derry, Letterkenny, Gaoth Dobhair, Dublin,
Galway and Gleann Cholm Cille. The modules studied
comprise law, economics, marketing, accountancy and
others that form the HETAC level 6 programme in Advanced
Entrepreneurship being offered by the Letterkenny
Institute of Technology.
The participants have recently moved on to the mentoring
phase which provides them with professional direction
on their businesses and allows them to implement a
new business plan with the help of their mentor.
The programme continues until the end of the year
and will hold its final residential session in the
European School of Entrepreneurship in University
of St Gallen in Switzerland, in November.
shows Eunan Mac Cuinneagáin (centre) director
of WestBic who are co-ordinating the Fiontraithe le
Gaeilge program, with Minister Eamón Ó
Cuív and Anne O’Connell, Price Waterhouse
Coopers, sponsors of the Barr 50 awards.