At the end of the month iEER partners will delve into the topic of entrepreneurship in outlying areas when iEER heads off to a learning camp in Northern Ireland and county Kerry in Ireland.

The learning camp combines two regions which both have strong roots in entrepreneurship and are among the top in Europe when it comes to attracting foreign talent and investment. Both regions have experience in the hurdles often associated with building a business in outlying areas, be it connectivity, challenges of remote locations, issues with infrastructure or problems in finding and maintaining talent.

The camp starts in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, where learning camp participants will be hosted by iEER partner NILGA. Northern Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe and also boasts a well-performing education system. In Belfast iEER partners will be introduced to local initiatives such as the Belfast Enterprise Academy, an award-winning one year programme open to all higher education students in the Belfast City Council area, and Young Enterprise Northern Ireland, a charity developing the entrepreneurial skills and aspirations of young people.

iEER partners will also get together in workshops to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs in outlying areas. How is infrastructure aiding or inhibiting running a business? Where can one find skilled workers who fit the company’s needs? How to scale up companies in rural areas? These are all questions participants will tackle in workshops.

From Belfast participants will travel across the island to County Kerry on the South-West corner of Ireland. Kerry is one of the most sparsely populated counties in Ireland and has a thriving tourism industry due to the beauty of its landscape.  Hosted by the Institute of Technology, Tralee the learning camp participants will be introduced to the Kerry Technology Park including the startup incubator Tom Crean Business Centre. The visit to the IT Tralee will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn how the region educates children and teenagers about entrepreneurship.

The highlight of the visit in Kerry is the Cantillon Conference, which is a key event in the region for promoting and supporting entrepreneurship during Kerry’s Month of Enterprise – a month which highlights the entrepreneur support across the region through the collaboration of the enterprise supporting agencies, Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology, Tralee. This year the conference themed Building Borderless Business will provide a real time opportunity for iEER partners to network and experience this collaboration at work in regions outside metropolitan areas.

The camp kicks off on Monday 27 March. Follow us on Twitter @BoostiEER for real-time information on our activities in Northern Ireland and Kerry.