Lead Entrepreneur Thomas Ennis with Cork participant Andrew Scannell.

If you’re back in Cork, check out Back for Business!

If you have recently returned to Cork and are setting up a new business or are living abroad and are thinking of returning home with an idea you want to get off the ground, then Back for Business could be just for you.

Back for Business is a development programme, funded from the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme, that was established to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning to live in Ireland.

It is aimed at those who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years or those planning to return in the near future.

It was launched recently by Deputy Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora and now the programme is looking for applications for the 2023 programme from those living or hoping to return to Cork.

There is no charge for those selected to participate and the closing date for applications is Thursday, 12 January.

Former participants from Cork include Andrew Scannell of Clinks, an app and web-based on-demand delivery service for alcohol.

Andrew said: “This programme has been invaluable to me. It makes such a daunting journey all the easier, from networking to experienced advice, I can’t recommend the experience enough.”

This is the sixth year of Back for Business. The support initiative addresses the challenges that all early-stage entrepreneurs encounter, but also focuses on the additional barriers faced by those who have been living outside Ireland for some years. Their personal and professional networks in Ireland have weakened since they have been abroad and their knowledge of the entrepreneurial eco system is not well developed.

There are places for up to 50 entrepreneurs to participate in Back for Business 6. Those interested in learning more can download a brochure and register their interest in receiving an application form by visiting www.backforbusiness.com.

Those selected to join Back for Business 6 will take part in round table sessions, focused on goals and milestones, which are facilitated by voluntary lead entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business.

The lead entrepreneurs, who participate in a voluntary capacity, are the backbone of the Back for Business initiative. This year’s lead entrepreneurs are: Hannah Wrixon, founder of WrkWrk, formerly known as Get the Shifts; Morgan Browne, CEO of Milner Browne and Enterpryze; Paul Duggan of The Gardiner Group; Seamus Reilly, co-founder and formerly of Critical Healthcare; and Thomas Ennis, founder of the Thomas Ennis Group.

Colm Brophy said: “Back for Business has been a great success in supporting new businesses founded by returning emigrants across Ireland. New businesses generate economic activity and additional employment across the country.

“I welcome the establishment of a Back for Business Community offering additional support to past participants to further develop their new enterprises. Past participants have made significant progress and I am proud of their achievements.”

The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is Thursday 12 January. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, see www.backforbusiness.com.