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Galway business woman lashes out at Enterprise Board for lack of support

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An impression that women-led business can avail of lucrative financial incentives has been ‘blown out of the water’ by the founder of two Galway enterprises that employ more than 50 people between them.

And she slammed the Galway City and County Enterprise Board for not providing her with meaningful financial assistance despite establishing two businesses in the Tuam area over the past year and a half.

The County Enterprise Board has told her that because she provides a professional service, her businesses do not fall within their remit to provide financial support.

Imelda O’Connor O’Dea has been in business for the past 25 years and apart from receiving €650 towards the establishment of a website, anything she has been involved in has been self-funded.

“There was an article in one of the Sunday newspapers recently which stated that women-led businesses have easier access to funding from state institutions but I am one of those who is certainly the exception”, she said.

Imelda has established a homecare service in Tuam which is being used quite regularly by the HSE West and has 50 homecare assistants on her books as well as providing employment for four full time staff.

She approached the Galway City and County Enterprise Board for funding to help her establish her business and despite meeting with officials, she was told that a service industry would not receive any financial support.

“I have taken people off the live register and now I have just developed a nutritional supplement for the elderly. This product is about to be branded and marketed and I have yet again been verbally refused funding.

“I have been refused for healthcare. I have been refused for consultancy (another company she established) and now I have been verbally refused for manufacturing. Being a woman in business seems to be more of a disadvantage than an advantage”, Imelda added.

She said that she was the co-founder of two companies in the last 18 months and had approached all agencies for funding. 

“I received €650 as part funding for a website from the local enterprise board for one of the business but was actually refused the same grant for the second business. This is the only funding I have received,” she said

Imelda established A Ghrá Homecare Services in Tuam and this currently employs four full time staff. It is completely self-funded.

“We have 50 homecare assistants registered with us working on a part time basis with the company. When I went to the local enterprise board for funding for my second company which is a health and safety consultancy business, I was again refused funding.

“While the local enterprise board has offered mentoring, it comes at a cost of €50 an hour.  Given my circumstances I cannot afford the cost of the mentoring or the time necessary to avail of it, as it is taking me all my time and funds and energy to make sure all staff and expenses are paid,” Imelda added.

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Finance Minister among key speakers at three-day conference on the regions

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David Minton, Director of the Northern & Western Regional Assembly.

Balanced and sustainable regional development will be top of the agenda when new Finance Minister Michael McGrath addresses a special three-day Regions in Focus 2023 event beginning next Tuesday week, February 7.

The Association of Irish Regions (AIR) event will see a host of leading academics and industry experts gather for workshops, seminars and specialised training from February 7 to 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Coolshannagh, Co. Monaghan.

And the future development of counties, including Galway city and county, will be discussed and debated at the event attended by leading figures from industry, academia, and policymaking.

Attendees will also include representatives from Ireland’s three regional assemblies, who will offer their perspectives on the big challenges facing Ireland’s regions, including climate change, regional inequality, and the transition to renewable energy.

David Minton, Director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, which covers Galway and the North West, admitted that recent years had been difficult for the region.

“We’ve seen longstanding economic fault lines such as the shortage of housing and reliance on non-renewable energy exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and the continuing fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, placing further pressure on households and businesses,” he said.

“Events such as Regions in Focus 2023 give us the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and leading experts in industry and academia, to exchange ideas about how to improve the prospects of our respective regions for the benefit of the whole economy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Digital Accounting degree adds up for ATU Galway

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ATU Galway...Digtital Accounting.

ATU Galway has unveiled a new honours degree in Digital Accounting. The four-year, Level 8 degree (including a work placement in year three) offers the best of both worlds – careers in accounting and in the rapidly growing digital business field.

Students can expect a strong focus on practical learning, work placement and projects.  Much of the learning will take place in specialized classrooms and laboratories.

Applicants for this degree do not need to have studied accounting or business previously, nor do applicants need to have studied honours maths.

Furthermore, there is no need to be a ‘techie’ or be into computing – there is no coding or software development involved as the degree focusses on using software products as tools for Digital Accounting and Digital Business.

“Our aim is to prepare students to operate successfully in ‘real world’ situations,” explained Deirdre Lusby, Head of Department of Business & Accounting at ATU Galway.

“We have a top class and dedicated lecturing team and access to the latest technologies so students can develop the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies they will need for their future careers”.

“Lecturers on this programme are highly qualified professional accountants and digital technology specialists, many acting as examiners and lecturers for the professional accounting bodies,” added Seamus Lennon, Head of School of Business at ATU Galway.

“They maintain very close links with all of the professional bodies, industry, and employers.  We are extremely excited about this new degree programme, with graduates having career options in areas such as accounting, business, blockchain, systems analysis and digital auditing.”

For more information, go to www.atu.ie.

 

 

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