White welcomes new €500,000 fund for women starting new businesses

November 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today I welcomed a new €500,000 Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund, which will help ambitious business women to start new enterprises.

The initiative is part of Enterprise Ireland’s drive by to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs.

The fund is open to female-led start-ups in manufacturing and internationally-traded services. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis, with financial support in the form of equity investment. Applications to the fund, which provides for up to €50,000 for each successful applicant, must be submitted by 3pm on Wednesday 25th November 2015.

We have many innovative and ambitious female entrepreneurs in Dublin Rathdown, and the Government is supporting this initiative to encourage more. By targeting female entrepreneurs, the €500,000 Competitive Start Fund will give a real boost to women who want to get involved in starting international businesses, and create more jobs in Dublin.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said: “Ensuring that innovative and ambitious business women realise their full potential is critical to Irish economic prosperity and a major priority for Enterprise Ireland. This Competitive Start Fund represents a strategic investment by Enterprise Ireland in female-led start-ups. The Fund will support women to expand their business horizons and set up viable companies that can win business in international markets and create jobs at home”.

Full details of the Fund and the application form are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site: http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/ambitiouswomen. Closing date for applications is 3pm, Wednesday 25 November 2015.

Six Nations free-to-air announcement a positive development

November 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Minister for Communications Alex White today (Wednesday) said the announcement that the Six Nations Rugby Championship will continue to be broadcast live on a free-to-air terrestrial TV channel until 2021 was a positive development, which he would take into account when considering the future designation of the tournament.

It was announced today that the championship will be broadcast by TV3 between 2017 and 2021. An existing arrangement with RTÉ is in place for the period up to 2017.

Minister White said he had yet to decide whether to re-designate Irish games in the tournament, under the Broadcasting Act 2009, so that they are legally required to be broadcast live on at least one free-to-air Irish TV channel.

Minister White said: “The agreement announced today is a positive development, which will be warmly welcomed by rugby fans across the country. I will certainly take it into account when making my decision on the possible live designation of Ireland’s Six Nation ties in the longer term.

“I have been consulting with sporting bodies, broadcasters and the public on this issue, and I understand that the rugby authorities want to maintain free access to live TV coverage of Irish games in this championship. My role is to decide whether, in the long-term, this is best done by designating the events or by leaving things as they are.”

Contracts agreed between broadcasters and the sporting bodies have resulted in live free-to-air broadcasting of Six Nations matches in recent years. But there is currently no legal requirement for this because the event is only listed on a ‘deferred’ basis. This means the Irish games must be broadcast free-to air, but not necessarily live.

Earlier this year, Minister White said he was considering designating three additional events as events of major importance. They are: Ireland’s games in the Six Nations Rugby Football Championship, the All Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final, and the All Ireland Senior Camogie Final. Over 600 submissions, received in a public consultation, are currently being considered before a decision is made.

LOCAL SCHOOLS URGED TO APPLY TO €40M SUMMER WORKS SCHEME

November 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

I urge local primary and post-primary schools to apply to the latest Summer Works Scheme, which opened today,  before the November 27th deadline.
A total of €40 million is being made available for the scheme next year. It funds small and medium scale building works such as gas, electrical and mechanical works, roof and window upgrades, and structural improvements.

This is an incredibly important scheme which supports those schools who need to get minor but nonetheless urgent repairs carried out. There is always a certain level of wear and tear that occurs over course of an academic year, and the Summer Works Scheme, led by my colleague Minister Jan O’Sullivan, helps meet those needs.

Each school in Dublin Rathdown can apply for one small scale project and will be responsible for the completion of those works. A great aspect of the Summer Works scheme is that it causes minimum disruption to pupils as the majority of works will be carried out in the summer months. It also generates local construction work.

I’d encourage local schools to submit their applications as soon as possible before the deadline of November 27th. The process is now fully online and a dedicated helpline has been set up to assist schools who have queries about the process. Schools are also welcome to contact my office where someone would be happy to step them through the process.
In the meantime, I am hopeful this latest Summer Works round will benefit many of our schools in Dublin Rathdown, as it has done in previous years.

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