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Connect Ireland….The Irish initiative looking to use the power of the Diaspora…

Connect Ireland….The Irish initiative looking to use the power of the Diaspora…

Just two days ago, the Irish Sun newspaper reported that currently an average, 200 people emigrate from Ireland every day!  “More than 40,000 emigrated last year — a figure not seen since the Great Famine in the 1840s”…. the report then goes on to highlight. With unemployment currently sitting at around 14% of the working population, the figures are a shocking reflection of the demise of the Celtic Tiger and the continued fallout of the Euro and Global financial crisis and recession.

There is a history of Irish emigration, throughout the last few centuries, and a warm Irish welcome can be found in all parts of the Globe (and in a few Irish bars too!). However, one initiative currently being launched in Ireland is Connect Ireland, a crowdsourcing inspired project, that is looking to use the strength of the Irish diaspora to attract new business and business opportunities back to Irish soil…TheEmployable contacted Connect Ireland to find out more and get the low down on this innovative approach…

Tell us all about Connect Ireland? What is it, how does it work, and what are you looking to achieve?

Connect Ireland is a crowdsourcing inspired initiative asking individuals to use their contacts, family, friends and business connections, to identify and make introductions between Connect Ireland and overseas companies who are considering international expansion. Any individual who introduces a company that subsequently invests in Ireland and creates new jobs will receive a minimum reward of €1,500 per job, up to a maximum of 100 jobs, from the Irish Government.

Connect Ireland has been appointed by IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland, to deliver the Succeed in Ireland initiative as part of the Irish Government’s Jobs Action plan for 2012 and aims to create a minimum of 5,000 jobs over five years.

Any stand out good news stories so far?

We have received interest from all over the world including the US, Canada, India, China, Brazil and other countries. Since our launch date on March 8th, as a result of introductions made by people in Ireland and overseas, Connect Ireland has built an impressive pipeline of potential projects including a number of final stage negotiations with companies planning on investing in Ireland.

Hireland is another excellent Irish employment initiative, do you think the financial crisis has unleashed an innovative spirit in the Irish people?

Irish people have always been known for their innate entrepreneurial drive. Business people everywhere are dealing with reduced demand for products and services, tighter regulations and restricted access to finance. These factors have combined to make some more cautious while others are trying new ideas to get ahead. More Irish SMEs than before are now looking to export markets to grow their businesses and also strategic partners to tap into new markets. These activities will serve to strengthen businesses across Ireland and ultimately lead to a more robust economy.

In this sense too, do you think Ireland is leading the way within Europe, in innovative attempts to create new jobs?

Ireland has one of the world’s largest Diaspora communities with an estimated 70 million people claiming Irish ancestry. Harnessing this great asset in a systematic way via Connect Ireland is a very innovative way to drive jobs. Ireland is the first country in the world to offer an incentivised referral system to boost efforts to attract foreign direct investment.

What can someone do, right now, to help this scheme succeed?

Visit www.connectireland.com and register your support. Tell your family, friends, business contacts about Connect Ireland and think about who else who you know that can help put us in touch with a company that is expanding internationally. Connect Ireland is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

TheEmployable welcomes this innovative project to try and drive employment and jobs. Ireland is currently coming up with some really creative approaches, to try and combat the Euro crisis and recession, and Connect Ireland is another scheme that hopefully will work. We support this scheme and let’s hope that this type of innovation can be replicated elsewhere!

Need some help on how to Apply for Jobs – you might want to check out TheEmployable ebook…


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