Watch MICRO online tool, narrated by Michael Kenny NUIM,
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. 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.
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
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
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
Minister Ring announces further CLÁR funding of €2.78 million for Play Areas in rural communities
Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, today announced €2.78million for 130 play areas and multi-use games areas (MUGAs) in rural communities under the CLÁR Programme 2018.
Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to be in a position to announce funding under the CLÁR programme of €2.78 million for play areas in rural communities. This follows on from last week’s announcement of funding of €4.8 million for safety measures around schools and community facilities in CLÁR areas.
“I have again decided that all applications that qualify under the Play Areas Measure of the programme will receive funding this year. These projects will make the areas in which they are located more attractive places for families to live in and settle, in line with the aim of the CLÁR programme.”
Minister Ring launches call for proposals under new €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund Supports, which will start at €500,000, will strengthen rural communities and economies and improve quality of life
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D., today launched the first call for proposals under the Government’s new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
The Fund will provide €1 billion in investment over the next 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas, as part of Project Ireland 2040. Initial funding of €315 million is being allocated to the Fund on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022. The Fund will be administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.