Discovery Zone – Innovative Service Business Start-up

Project information

Index: 1036R4
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Innovation, research and technology development
Location IRELAND IRELAND Southern and Eastern Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2010
End: Still running

Topic of the practice

The Discovery Zone is a fully funded 6-month timeframe programme designed to assist experienced professionals who find themselves at a time in their careers where they want to develop new ideas, start a new business or explore ways in which they can use their skills, experience and talents to exploit commercial opportunities

Good Practice Information

The programme comprises classroom courses, mentoring and guest speakers and peer review and interaction, distributed as follows:
• 36 days of face to face training
• 50 hours of one to one mentoring
• Access to office facilities
• Integration into the network of opportunity of the providers

The programme is managed by the County Enterprise Board (CEB) at an approximate cost of 30.000€

The projects cover several categories of non-technological innovation introducing professionals to that concept, and works with them to develop innovation in business models and processes, in resource management, in marketing and sales techniques and in leadership and staff development.
Targeted collectives are under-employed, or unemployed professionals.

Evidence of success

After a successful pilot programme in Meath CEB, the programme was rolled out throughout Ireland and 6 other CEBs in Ireland now deliver the Discovery Zone. In the two pilot programmes delivered in the Meath Region, of the total of 32 people that participated oin this programme, 23 of them are either employed or are trading in their own business, reflecting a success rate of 72%.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Hugh Reilly

Meath County Enterprise Board

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