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The backdrop of uncertainty this year has been difficult for businesses operating in Ireland, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Rebuilding our domestic SME sector is an essential part of our overall economic and jobs-led recovery. 

Some of the challenges for SMEs highlighted in Ireland’s Competitiveness Challenge 2021 recently include boosting the productivity growth of indigenous SMEs and ensuring Ireland has a dynamic business environment. To compete effectively in the future, the sector needs to invest in digitalisation and supply chain management, find new customers and markets, and ensure they are strengthening the ability of their business to absorb future economic shocks.  

Boosting SME Success with Back to Business 

To help the SME sector improve productivity and rebuild sustainably, Skillnet Ireland has partnered with ISME Skillnet to launch the Back to Business mentoring and coaching programme. With business coaching and mentoring widely recognised as a highly effective method to improve and grow a business, the programme offers business leaders access to expert coaches and mentors with sectoral or domain experience.

Participants will develop new skills to improve their productivity and boost growth and innovation. Running until 31 December 2021, the programme offers support in a range of areas including: 

  • Digital and Automation 
  • Growth and Finance 
  • People and Leadership 
  • Business Improvement Strategies 
  • Business Processes 

Discussing the Back to Business programme, Dave Flynn, Skillnet Ireland Executive Director, Workforce Agility & Innovation said:  

“At Skillnet Ireland, supporting the success and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises is at the heart of what we do. As these businesses continue to recover, the Back to Business mentoring and coaching programme from ISME Skillnet will support them on that journey, helping them improve their overall productivity, operations, and competitiveness. Mentoring in a business environment is a tried and tested method for success and we encourage business leaders to avail of this unique opportunity.”  

Adam Weatherley. ISME’s Learning & Development Manager added: 

‘’Having piloted a mentoring/coaching programme last year in line with ISME’s ‘Back to Business’ initiative, we engaged with 12 businesses to assist them with looking at new markets, products, services and improving their business strategy. Our partnership with Skillnet Ireland will allow us to take this pilot initiative to the next level, in how we help Irish businesses in addressing the new working environment we find ourselves in. To be able to offer our members 6 hours of free coaching and mentoring with a qualified business coach, will help Irish businesses take a significant stride forward in today’s challenging economy.” 

Further highlighting the benefits of the programme for businesses, pilot participant, Andrew Whitaker of Culture Co-working, explained: 

“I learned about the relevant tools to improve my mindset, leadership, business and brand growth skills on the programme. Due to this I confidently accelerated my business over the past 18 months”. 

Learn more 

To learn more about this new programme and to apply directly visit the ISME Skillnet page

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