Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, today launched a guide to starting and staying in self employment by Trevor Topping, Enterprise Officer with Inishowen Partnership Company.
"This publication brings together, in user-friendly language, details of many of the financial, legal, technical and bureaucratic challenges that will inevitably confront people running their own businesses today whether they are either starting out or long-established," Minister Coughlan said.
"It is specifically targeted at an Inishowen readership - however, much of the detail is equally applicable to a business start-up anywhere in Ireland," the Minister added.
"I am pleased to note that since 1997, no less than 554 people from Inishowen have progressed from Social Welfare to self-employment with the assistance of the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance scheme."
"While the great majority had previously been in receipt of Unemployment payments, we are now increasingly witnessing a trend where Lone Parents and people on Disability Payments are coming to the fore. From my Department's point of view, I would regard this as a very encouraging development and a validation of our proactive "Welfare to Work" policies."
"As a measure of my Department's proactive role in the area of support in the "Welfare to Work" arena, our Employment Support Section awarded grants of up to €30,000 in 2003 from the Technical and Training fund to BTWEA start-ups in the Inishowen peninsula," Minister Coughlan said.
"Particularly encouraging is the fact that those (450) businesses that were started with the help of the BTWEA scheme in the past seven years are today giving employment to upwards of 500 Inishowen people who would otherwise be unemployed or would have to seek work elsewhere. This has to be positive in the economic sense that spending power remains within the peninsula and goes on to support a variety of other retail outlets."
Ends April 19