Last November, an opportunity organised and funded by South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) and supported by Tipperary Town Businesses, was launched by Minister Simon Coveney at Tipperary Technology Park.
Fifteen unemployed or underemployed people were asked to avail of a chance to make a move from being unemployed to becoming self-employed. They were required to have a business idea that needed a structured platform to progress their idea through training and business mentoring which was offered as part of the ‘Tipperary Town New Enterprise Competition’. Participants were offered practical assistance to develop their idea from concept stage to business start up.
Kate Keating-Kelleher was born in Limerick but left Ireland for the UK when she was 4 years old and returned home to Ireland to live when she was 21. She now lives in Newtown, Tipperary with her partner and three children aged 16, 14 and 11 years.
At present, Kate is one of the participants in the STDC/ Dolmen Entrepreneurship programme and was one of the key-note speakers at the ‘Ideas Generation Workshop’ organised by STDC in conjunction with Tipperary Town Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday.
She is preparing to start her company, ‘Experience Tipperary’ an inbound travel consultancy with its sole focus on County Tipperary. The aim of the business is to increase the amount of tourists visiting Tipperary by providing inclusive packages, planned itineraries, activity breaks and English language camps for Spanish students.
Kate trained and worked in furniture restoration at Fleury’s of Cahir, specialising in the art of gilding. She has over 20 years of experience as an administrator and customer service agent, working for a few different companies, including Cordis and Red Nose Wine. She also has worked as a co-ordinator with Spanish company Rosa Dels Vents, an agency that sends language students to Ireland for 3-week learning holidays.
While seeking work and spending her days walking long, looped walks with her young field spaniel, she realised that her work with the Spanish company had given her experience in an area that could be beneficial to starting a company which would facilitate tourists planning to visit County Tipperary. This is where Kate first thought about her love for Ireland and its beautiful scenery and history could actually become a business and jumped at the chance to be a part of the STDC/Dolmen Tipperary Town Entrepreneur programme.
Being part of STDC’s Entrepreneur Programme has assisted the business start-up process by equipping me with the essential skills to write a comprehensive business plan that will stand up to forensic analysis.
“The level of support has been immeasurable, particularly from Tina Mulhearne and Sean McNulty, but also from the other course participants.
“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this programme,” said Kate.