IRL hosts the closing meeting of the MICRO Project on Thursday 25th October

Irish Rural Link in Moate (Ireland) hosts the Closing Meeting of the MICRO Project on Thursday 25th October 2018

26th October 2018

Irish Rural Link will host the Closing Meeting of Enhancing Competitiveness of Microenterprises in Rural Areas (MICRO), a Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, Key Action 2, Strategic Partnerships for Vocational and Educational Training. The Transnational Consortium met for the formal closure of the Project and to explore future exploitation of MICRO results and outputs. The meeting offered a unique opportunity to illustrate the results achieved and to explore the possibilities for further implementation.

MICRO was implemented by 7 Partners from 6 countries (Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia and Spain).

The idea behind MICRO was to sustain the growth and competitiveness of rural microenterprises by developing practical training resources and a dedicated Open Educational Resource (OER Platform).

After a structured need analysis the Consortium developed tailored training modules on the needs of microenterprises in rural areas, to help them building capacity and new skills.

The training is freely available in multilingual versions on the dedicated Open Educational Resource Platform: www.microsmetraining.eu.

During the meeting, Partners revised all Project Outputs: the OER Platform, the Capacity Gap Assessment, Training Content and Test & Validation activities.

An important issue discussed during the meeting was targets achieved during Dissemination activities. Partners are strongly committed to give great visibility to the Project, a dedicated Multiplier Event was held in each Project country in addition to daily online and offline Dissemination activities. Further, the MICRO website will be maintained for two years after the Project completion.

Irish Rural Link (Lead Partner) founded in 1991, is a national network of organisations and individuals advocating for sustainable rural development in Ireland and Europe.  IRL, a non-profit organization has grown significantly since its inception and now directly represents over 600 community groups and individuals with a combined membership of 25,000.  The network provides a structure through which rural groups and individuals representing disadvantaged rural communities, can articulate their common needs and priorities, share their experiences and present their case to policy makers at local, national and EU level.  As Lead partner, IRL is responsible for the management and coordination of the Micro Project.

For further information about MICRO Project:  Maria or Siobhan tel: 090 6482744

maria@irishruralllink.ie      siobhan@irishrurallink.ie  MICRO website: www.microsmetraining.eu

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MICRO Launch Event Friday 26th October

Irish Rural Link are holding MICRO launch event this coming Friday 26th October in our office in Moate. Over the past two years IRL has worked with 6 other EU partners in the development and delivery of an online training platform aimed at Micro Entrepreneurs in rural areas across Europe. This is a free event and will take place from 12pm to 2pm, followed by light lunch. All are welcome to attend.
You can register for this event on https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/irish-rural-link-launch-micro-tickets-51466489656




Watch IRL’s Conference ‘MICRO – Enhancing Competitiveness of Micro Enterprises in Rural Areas’

Irish Rural Link Launched new Online Educational Resource for Rural Micro Enterprises at their Annual Conference 2018

Irish Rural Link (IRL) – the national network representing the interest of rural communities are held its Annual Conference on Friday 11th May in Cavan Crystal Hotel.

The focus of this year’s conference was Micro Enterprise – Key to Rural Job Creation. IRL also  launched a video of our online educational resource (OER) for rural micro enterprises at the conference. This is part of MICRO, a project co-funded by the European Programme Erasmus Plus in which IRL are lead partner with Maynooth University and partners from 5 other EU Countries (Belgium, Greece, Italy, Macedonia and Spain). 

The idea behind MICRO is to develop and deploy Open Educational Resources (open and widely available training content and modules) targeted at micro and craft type enterprises in rural areas to foster their chances of growth and access to the EU single market and EU opportunities to ultimately enhance their competitiveness.

IRL believe that Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises are the backbone to rural economies and are key to creating jobs in rural areas. While there continues to be a push for foreign multinationals to locate to Ireland, the reality is that they are attracted to the cities and larger towns. In 2016, almost half of the IDA jobs created were located in the Dublin and Eastern region, with just over 10,000 and 4,000 jobs created in the Border and Midlands regions[1]. More focus must be placed on micro and SME’s and how they are and can contribute to rural development and be supported more to create employment in these areas.

Micro enterprises accounted for 92.2% of all enterprises in 2015 (CSO, 2017) and this figure is reflected across the 28 EU countries. Research for MICRO project found that under 23 million SME’s generated €3.9 trillion in value added and employed 90 million people across the EU in 2015. This accounted for 67% of EU28 employment[2].

The conference was opened by Minister of State Sean Kyne with guest speaker from the Northern and Western Assembly. A panel discussion took place with the Chair of the LEO’s and local entrepreneurs to discuss the supports available from local enterprise offices to start ups and hear about people’s experience of starting their own business. Workshops on the MICRO tools, micro finance and business management and planning also took place followed by a pleanery. 

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O5bjCCyjFs&feature=youtu.be



IRL Information Day ‘Services in Rural Areas’ Buswells Hotel, 27th September

Approx. 50 TD’s Senators attended the information briefing throughout the day. Minister Jim Daly, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People spoke at the event. He outlined the importance of Meals on Wheels Services across the country and he is pushing for this service to be delivered the length and breadth of the country. He answered questions and listened to issues from groups who provide various services to older people in the community.

The information day, allowed members of the oireachtas to drop in at time that suited them and chat about the issues but also the opportunities in rural areas and about some of the services, such as Meals on Wheels, Rural Transport – Local Link and Community education services as well as services for women.  It also gave an overview of the various projects and programmes IRL are involved in and delivering as well as EU Projects 

Some of the groups in attendance were Local Link representatives, Flexibus – Local Link Meath, Louth and Fingal, Longford Women’s Link, Africa Caribbean Diaspora Centre, Community Wetlands Forum and Meals on Wheels Network.

Minister Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment also dropped by and spoke with Mary Keyes – Coordinator of Getting Citizens Online and IT Skills for Farmers computer programmes.




Irish Rural Link Publish Rebuttal of the Government Report on Local Public Banking in Ireland

Irish Rural Link Publish Rebuttal of the Government Report on Local Public Banking in Ireland

Following the publication of the Joint Report on Local Public Banking in July, IRL have today published a rebuttal to this report outlining some of the misinterpretation of our proposal of what a Local Public Banking Model would look like in Ireland. A copy of the press release is available here and full rebuttal is available here