There were a few articles in the Irish papers last Monday, July 6th, on how the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla had announced that he would allocate nearly 20 million euro to the Limerick region in an attempt to combat the mass unemployment caused by Dell making 2000 people redundant and all relevant (and other) resulting unemployment.
As I have been trying to raise funding for the Greenhouse Incubator I though that was a perfect opportunity to secure some of the much needed funds. The article stated that “The grant can be used for a number of different initiatives including job search assistance, the promotion of entrepreneurism and a one-to-one job counselling service.” Perfect match if you ask me. It also mentioned that the funds would be “drawn down through the Irish government to FAS ” but surely they would be allocated to suitable projects from there. Right? WRONG!
After making a few enquiries I was today informed that this 20 million euro would only be spent on state projects. Seeing that it’s going to FAS that amounts to 20 million spent on FAS-projects by an agency that has proven themselves to be kings of mis-spending. No funding is apparently available for projects outside that remit.
Not being one to take no for an answer I have sent an email to commissioner Spidla directly querying this and requesting if funds could be made available to the Greenhouse. The complete email can be found below. If you want to assist me in raising funds for the Greenhouse please feel free to copy the email and send it to the commissioner (albeit with a few changes so it’s clearly coming from you). The commissioners email address is here.
Your support is extremely appreciated!
There was an announcement this week in the Irish news that you were allocating around 20 million euro from the European Globalisation Fund as support to the Limerick region.
One of the articles can be found here: http://bit.ly/CLZpM
As the person behind the Greenhouse start-up Incubator I contacted the relevant government department to enquire if the Greenhouse could avail of some of these funds for our work creating new companies and employment in the Limerick region.
It seems that the Greenhouse Incubator that I have set up is the only initiative to date that has taken any concrete steps towards creating actual employment.
I’ve started the Greenhouse initiative in January after Dell announced its first redundancies.
The aim is to put people with a business idea through a 6-month incubation cycle. The Greenhouse will develop their idea into a fully formed business with all the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed, looking after incorporation, finances, patents & intellectual property, R&D, marketing etc.
At the end of this 6-month cycle the start up will be ready for further investment and expansion and we will assist them with this also.
And now for the real “surprise”: the Greenhouse does NOT charge for this! Instead of this we take a small equity stake in the start up (typically between 2 -10 %). This also ensures our continued commitment as we will only be viable if our “graduates” are successful in the long term.
We can accommodate 20 people in every 6-month cycle which basically means that twice a year we will take 20 people of welfare and help them to create jobs for themselves and others. Rough indications are that this will result in 150 new jobs every year at a minimum!
Our progress has been nothing but stunning as we are run on no-budget at the moment, just myself, my time and all the moral & material support I can get.
We are close to opening the facility but need to raise 250,000 euro to cover our operating expenses for the 1st year. All investment up to now has been put in by myself and through donations.
I was extremely surprised when the answer I received back was that no funds were available for private sector job creation projects and that all funding would be allocated to FAS, an Irish state agency that is prone to overspending and mis-management (http://bit.ly/18BZ6A) .
As you are the person in charge of allocation these funds I would appreciate it if you could have a look attached presentation to get an impression of what the Greenhouse is setting out to accomplish.
I also want to appeal to you to consider allocating some of the available funds to our project as we will be the first initiative to create new employment in Limerick.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this.
Regards, Evert Bopp
Founder, The Greenhouse incubator
+353 (0)86 8645099