Irish business professionals from around the world are set to meet at Iveagh House in Dublin tomorrow for the IIIBN’s – in association with the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme – Mentoring Future Leaders evening.
Kicking the event off, guest speaker Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan TD, will update attendees on the recently launched ‘Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy’. Following this, there will be a panel discussion addressing the importance of supporting young Irish people at home and abroad.
Speaking about the event, Minister Deenihan noted: “Supporting business networks is an important aspect of our newly launched Diaspora policy – Global Irish. These networks provide Irish people with a ready-made base, both before they leave Ireland and when they arrive in a new country. They help with making contacts, opening doors and providing companionship in what can often been a lonely start in a new place. These networks quickly become part of an individual’s infrastructure. IIBN is one of the most professional Irish business networks I have encountered, with chapters here in Dublin, in London and in New York and I am delighted to support their work to assist young Irish get established in their new cities.”
The recent downturn saw an upswing in Irish emigration. Many of these were young, well-educated, ambitious Irish people moving across the globe, particularly to the UK, America, Canada and Australia in search of work. To support these individuals, the IIBN launched the Irish Executive Mentoring Programme (IEMP) in 2012, which was re-launched in 2014 utilising an online mentoring platform. The Future Leaders Programme (FLP) was launched in the UK in 2013 and in Ireland in 2014 – a bespoke light touch one on one year long mentoring programme. In this short time the programmes have partnered 200 young professionals under the IEMP and 30 Future Leaders with leading Irish business experts around the world. Both of these programmes have received support from the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme which is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Among those young entrepreneurs was Damien Kennedy, co-founder of WheyHey, an all-natural protein ice cream that contains no sugar and nothing artificial that it has become a best seller across Odeon Cinemas, Wholefoods markets, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and Virign, as well as becoming a staple for many Premiership football and rugby clubs across the UK and Ireland. In January, Wheyhey launched across Centra/Supervalu stores nationwide in Ireland. Commenting on his experience of the Future Leaders Programme, Kennedy said: “Our goal is to build an Irish super brand and force ‘big food’ to change their ways within 10 years. The key introductions and having an experienced sounding board in the Future Leaders Programme is playing a major role in helping us achieve that.”