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Ministers Coveney & Phelan Seek Proposals Under New CEDRA Initiative to Advance Female Entrepreneurs in Rural Areas

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD and Minister of State for Rural Economic Development, Ann Phelan TD have announced that their Department has issued a request for tender, under the CEDRA Rural Innovation and Development Fund, seeking service providers with the vision and capability to develop and run an entrepreneurial development programme which will assist aspiring female entrepreneurs living in rural areas.

Minister Coveney said “I am delighted to announce my Department has issued this request for tender. Job creation is a huge focus for this Government and I hope that by targeting female entrepreneurs, who are currently under represented in start –up enterprises, that we can increase the level of business and employment generation in rural areas”

Minister Phelan who is responsible for the implementation of the CEDRA Report, outlined that this CEDRA initiative aims to encourage a stronger level of enterprise development in rural areas. She said “This programme is especially directed at women living in rural Ireland who have recently started or who have taken the first steps towards starting their own business. Its intention is to provide them with knowledge, support and networking opportunities so that their businesses can succeed and grow.”

“Rural women’s entrepreneurship can contribute significantly to our economic growth and it clearly represents an untapped potential. For many rural women, entrepreneurship is part of a broader livelihood strategy, often undertaken on a part-time basis, and where it is difficult to separate production tasks, as well as market and non market work. Emerging businesses need support to flourish. I have always believed in the value of mentor and being able to turn to experienced and trusted advisors from a variety of industries for advice. Most women don’t have that support, which helps explain why around the world they see fewer opportunities for entrepreneurship than men” Minister Phelan added.

A dedicated fund of up to €130,000 has been made available in 2015 to partially fund the development and running of a training, developmental and business orientated programme. This programme will run for at least 3- 6 months duration and is expected to involve up to 50 selected nascent female rural entrepreneurs who, on a competitive basis,  best demonstrate their potential to advance their businesses. It is expected that the developmental programme should be ready to start around September.

The tender has been posted on the etenders website with a closing date of 9 July 2015. A large number of interested parties have already expressed an interest in this tender and the successful tenderer will be the person or consortium which best meet the fund’s stated objectives on a competitive economically advantageous basis.

View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 117/2015 (pdf 369Kb) 


Date Released: 24 June 2015