Over 50 entrepreneurial policy makers and support agencies arrive in Belfast this week (w/c 27/03/2017) to delve into what makes enterprise work in ten regions across Europe.
As part of a €2.3 million, four year initiative driven by Interreg Europe, participants from Helsinki-Uusimaa, County Kerry, Land Brandenburg, Marche Region, Hauts-de-France, Northern Ireland (NILGA), Southern Denmark, Valencia Region, Westpomeranian Region and West Region Romania will travel to Belfast, Newry and Kerry, co-ordinated by NILGA, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, who applied and won the coveted “Entrepreneurial Region of the Year” Award for Northern Ireland in 2015.
At the Learning Camp launch in Titanic Belfast, the NILGA President, Cllr Seán McPeake, commented:
“Enterprise is a high energy, high risk environment and we are delighted to host a dynamic, multi-national, multi talented group of people putting entrepreneurship into policy and practice. NILGA wants to see the next Programme for Government and the new Industrial Strategy creating a simple, effective environment for entrepreneurs to flourish. To do that, central and local government, and our partners need to be more entrepreneurial ourselves.”
Lead partner of the incoming group, Ms Christine Chang, from Helsinki-Uusimaa added:
“The iEER is initiated and driven by regional authorities with most of us having won the European Entrepreneurial region award, including Northern Ireland. However, facing the ever changing business climate and environment, it is crucial that we, the public authorities and support agencies, keep on developing the local business environment so that it’s conducive for enterprises. We are pleased to be here and look forward to learning how Northern Ireland creates an entrepreneurial environment and using this opportunity to establish future cooperation and joint actions.”
The week-long event will drive a series of enterprise clinics and promotions for the world class entrepreneurship qualities and ambitions of Northern Ireland including initiatives and pitches from Ulster University Business School, Catalyst Inc, Belfast Enterprise Academy, Young Enterprise NI, Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency, Intertrade Ireland and others, the latter half of the week will be taken up by a complementary set of initiatives co-ordinated by Institute of Technology, Tralee, Co Kerry.
iEER Boost Activity, Institute of Technology, Tralee, Co Kerry
The latter half of the week is taken up by a complementary set of initiatives in Co. Kerry. This part of the week is co-ordinated by the Institute of Technology, Tralee who are the interregional learning manager and partner in the iEER project.
The highlight of the visit in Kerry is the Cantillon Conference. This is a key event in the region for promoting and supporting entrepreneurship during Kerry’s Month of Enterprise – a month which highlights the entrepreneur support across the region through the collaboration of the enterprise supporting agencies, Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology, Tralee. This year the conference themed Building Borderless Business will provide a real time opportunity for iEER partners to network and experience this collaboration at work in regions outside metropolitan areas.
Learning camp participants will also get a chance to see how entrepreneurship is promoted and active through the whole education ecosystem in Kerry from primary school children through to third level students and beyond. The learning camp will conclude with an agency and entrepreneur showcase in the Tom Crean Business Centre, the incubator based in Kerry Technology Park on the campus of the IT Tralee.
The Northern Ireland Local Government Association is the representative body for the 11 councils in NI. Its Office Bearers are drawn from the five main political parties. NILGA’s all council Executive is a regional body which works in partnership with councils to ensure local government’s best interests are considered in decision making by Central and Regional Government, as well as investment partners and the EU.
iEER Boosting innovative Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Regions for young entrepreneurs
iEER is an Interreg Europe funded flagship project bringing together 10 regions around Europe. Initiated by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, in partnership with regions awarded with the European Entrepreneurial Region label, iEER project will define smart paths and solutions to support the regional governments and authorities in supporting young entrepreneurs. iEER works closely with the EU Committee of the Regions and the European Commission DG Grow to ensure the project results and impact to be transferred EU-wide.