Success comes second time around for 3 Irish entrepreneurs

A project that has really captured our hearts is www.restart.how. Togehter with Irish partners Letterkenny Institute of Technology and EU colleagues in Spain, The Netherlands and Bulgaria we are putting second chance entrrepreneurship to the fore. Sheer grit, determination and entrepreneurial spirit was on the menu at the Irish Restart Multiplier Event at CoLab, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, on March 9th 2017. 

The 50+ strong group of delegates heard from second chance entrepreneur Sandra Walsh of Canopi Sleeves, who, when recession hit, was forced to close her fashion boutique in an affluent Dublin suburb.  Undeterred, Sandra spurred on by self-belief, determination and the support of her family, rejuvenated her career by designing an innovative product Canopi Sleeves which is now stocked in high end stores such as Harrods and Brown Thomas. 

Read more

Enterprise in Interface Areas

enter image


Many of our projects seek to push boundaries, challenge and adopt innovative approaches from across hte EU and further afield. One project that epitomises this appraoach is Enterprise in Interface areas (ENTER) http://www.enterproject.info/. 


Interface areas are increasingly common across European cities and urban areas and even much more locally where conflict is a present threat. The conflicts are generally ethnic,politically or religiously motivated and result in an increase in economic and social disadvantage for the people living in these interface areas.


The ENTER Project has been designed to counteract some of these problems by pioneering a toolkit to contribute to greater social inclusion and cohesion. This innovative toolkit will focus on the role of enterprise education and support to transform individual and community wellbeing in these interface areas. Our job is to write new training materials to make this happen.


Our partner colleagues Creative Spark in Louth held a really interesting Multipier Event recently to launch our Toolkit and focus on the challenges of starting a business as a ethnic individual. Click here to get a flavour of the day


In advance of the launch of our training materials next month, check out our EZINE


Student Entrepreneurs, 30 years ago and now

Funny how life comes around and goes around. Momentum together with Letterkenny Institute of Technology have just kicked off a major new EU project called I-Step, the International Student Entrepreneurship Programme. Working with partners in The Netherlands, Lithuania and the UK, the project is focused on internationalising entrepreneurship education throughout the EU. I-Step does this by helping colleges add an international component to their programmes helping students to become more aware of international opportunities, be more creative and more entrepreneurial.

And then I found this photo and was reminded that 30 years ago, as part of an NCBSII class in Sligo RTC, myself and Peter Nagle got through to the Top 10 (or maybe 20 I can’t remember) Student Enterprise Awards. I still have our handwritten application. Struck now that looking at the fine bunch of men that female entrepreneurship also struggled 30 years ago! In writing the press release for I-Step, I reflected on the teaching of entrepreneurship. Pat Scanlon was our lecturer at the time and I have to say I loved that business planning process (and still getting a buzz from it all these decades later). So, to that press release …..

‘In recent years, colleges in Ireland have made impressive progress teaching entrepreneurship. The quality of the programmes is increasing and more entrepreneurship programmes include active learning where students set up their businesses as part of the curriculum. However, these programmes rarely have an internationalisation element. We were motivated to join this project as we feel the next phase of export focused entrepreneurs should have access to internationalism while in education. Wouldn’t it be great if students that work on entrepreneurship subjects, were given the opportunity to work with foreign students and explore possibilities for internationalisation? This is exactly what the I-STEP project plans to do. Momentum is responsible for developing a hands-on and practical applicable manual describing step-by-step how to implement an international oriented entrepreneurship programme in a college or VET school. We have so much to learn from a European context and are delighted to be involved’.

Funded by the European Union under their Erasmus+ programme, Momentum and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, students will learn how international business works, practice their language skills, learn about culture, exports etc.. The I-STEP programme will offer several different pathways, from working with an adviser in the export market to actually setting up an international company with students from another country. For teachers I-STEP will develop the tools they need in and outside the class room to support the students. This includes setting up an online cooperation platform for the students and teachers to work with their counterparts in other countries.

I have a feeling this is a project I am joining to particularly enjoy.

Those Cork boys have it spot on

Where is the time going? It’s hard to believe September is peeking around the corner and that sprint to the year end finishing line will consume us all very soon.


Momentum had a breakthrough year in 2015, we worked really hard and specialised in our niche of EU projects that in 2016 have brought myself and Grace right across Europe. Working on the most interesting of projects and meeting the most interesting of people, it really is so fulfilling (corny as that sounds). What I love in particular is, not only are we sharing our knowledge (as we do for home contracts), we are constantly learning, seeing new ways and approaches and stepping up our game in Ireland.


I honestly thought Momentum had a business model that would work for a few years, but along came Brexit and the great unknown therein. With some 50 % of our work in the UK, you can see it is a worry for us. Now, we are so glad we cast our net wider and in September we have new projects starting in Poland and Lithuania. So the moral of the story is anticipate and react to change very quickly.


While others would see this uncertainty as a time to consolidate, we are about to expand :-) Be brave she said. Practice what you preach she said. So, we have a new staff member starting in September and will be very excited to share her appointment.


Its roll up the sleeves time and like our amazing Cork Olympic Silver Medallists say ‘Shteak Spuds & Pull Like A Dog’. EU friends, we will translate for you when we meet !