The Grow project supports migrant women experiencing inequality or unemployment to set up enterprises which will lead them to greater social and economic independence. Many enterprise programmes do not address the specific needs of migrant women, which include women who are economic migrants, refugees or people with leave to remain and long term residency. Many women are experiencing isolation and marginalisation; many are parenting alone, have language barriers, have specific learning difficulties, lack the local knowledge and know how of how to set up a business in this country and are unaware of the existing supports and how to access them.
Women participating on this project are strongly committed to a business idea and are seeking self employment as a real option. The all embracing holistic support of the GROW programme provides the ideal foundation for widening and deepening the participation of women in self employment.

GROW supports aspiring female entrepreneurs from the migrant population to develop their idea and build links

GROW seminar

GROW seminar

with existing courses and structures such as the Agri-food industry, Start your Own Business, Mayo County Enterprise Board, GMIT Innovation Centre, Women’s Business Network, as well as enterprise supports offered by local partnership/LEADER companies.

The project links equal opportunities with the emerging Farmers market sector/craft sector, as well as retail sector, tourism, and services industry. The programme aims to enhance their opportunities in these niche markets.

The GROW project has a number of elements to it:
Develop and deliver a training programme specific to the needs of the participants which includes: Personal Development; Internet marketing/Social media as a marketing tool; Business plan; Marketing; Accounting; Legal requirements; Irish business culture and practice; Business English;
Provide training in Community Business/Co-operative structures/Social enterprise.
Mentoring Programme including group mentoring sessions and One to One Business Mentoring
Open Day/Seminar which provides information and links for participants to existing supports such as Mayo County Enterprise Board; partnership/Leader companies; GMIT Innovation Centre; Women in Business Network; etc
Document the barriers for migrant women entrepreneurs in accessing self-employment and developing as entrepreneurs compared with the wider female population.
Develop an end of project Tool-kit for dissemination.

A large number of people attended the GROW Business Enterprise seminar which took place in Castlebar Tennis Club. Budding enterpreneurs heard more about the opportunities and supports that are available for people setting up their own businesses here in Mayo and listen to first hand experience and advice in setting up enterprises. The GROW programme: Growing  Real Opportunities for Women is an EU funded programme run by Mayo Intercultural Action, providing supports for women to set up their own businesses. Women from throughout Mayo have availed of training, mentoring and advice to support them to develop successful enterprises.

At the seminar, Olwen Dawe, committed promoter of female entrepreneurship and owner of Irish Business Intelligence and secretary of Network Ireland, was the guest speaker and presented certificates to the GROW participants who recently completed the programme.

Other speakers at the seminar included John Magee from Mayo County Enterpise Board and Breda Murray from South West Mayo Development Company who both informed people of available supports and encouraged people to avail help and supports that is available to enterpreneurs.

Two participants on the programme, Bernika Wojciechowska and Rosaleen Molloy, highlighted the value and

GROW

GROW

benefits to their own start-up businesses of participating on the GROW programme encouraging other women to come forward and participate on future enterprise programmes.

GROW programme coordinator, Thérèse Ruane, thanked the speakers for their contributions and wished the participants well in their new businesses.

If anyone wants to find out more about the GROW Women in Business Enterprise Programme, contact Thérèse Ruane at 086 3483414 or truane1@eircom.net