A new generation development strategy
Reduction of €15 Billion costs over four years, now extended to 2014. The target is to reduce debt-to-GDP ratio to 3 per cent. Consideration Borrowing, excluding the banks, was 11.9% of GDP for 2010. Conclusion: Reduced economic growth, business failures, increase in taxation and social welfare costs.
Summation: This is an apolitical conclusion based on facts already in the public domain. Much media and political focus will continue on the Eurozone development. Sadly there is little evidence of a (re)structured development plan in what is now very changed circumstances. Those who continue to gain solace in export growth still fail to grasp that trend is based on economic activity in client countries rather than domestic influences.
In very basic terms there is a major need to restore the economy. The traditional means of economic development are no longer fit for purpose.
This, and allied proposals, require a new generation - Public Private Partnership. Development12 envisage a working relationship with Local Authorities, to recognize and develop its local potential. The wider vision is business support for Micro and SME operations. Efforts to be made in developing County Marketing Companies and securing alternate financial supports for the business sector.
The projects are of proven merit in Europe. Similar projects can be considered locally. Those counties, with energy generating potential, should also maximize on its local potential rather than a distribution hub.
Development12 recognizes that traditional development strategies must adapt to the bigger challenges, Development12 will focus on, Export, Marketing, Innovation, Business Support, Finance and Training.
Structures will centre on existing County Council models. Local Authorities tend to have an existing EU gateway. Europe has a track record in successfully adopting Cluster Networks, social innovation in flagship programmes.
Within its DNA, Ireland has an impressive legacy in community development. The challenge is to ignite that community enthusiasm and match that we support resources, to present an effective bottom up development forum.
EU strategy in recent years has been to localize its policy to achieve impact. It is suggested that the county of Mayo pursues a pilot for new generation local development. The hard facts are that Local Authorities depend on the success or failure of its commercial constituency. Central Exchequer funding will continue to decline further, placing additional pressure on operational needs.
The local authorities have a track record and an insight into EU funding requirements. With the notable exception of the ill-fated mobhaile.ie websites, then managed by Local Government Management Services Board, which cost and lost €4m.
Development12 seeks early research into how best to directly access EU development projects. The Small Business Act 2008 has hitherto received little recognition in Ireland. SBA has now entered EU development policy as "THE" template for small business; Micro Finance, Innovation, and Export etc. The Micro business sector in Ireland, a vital cog in economic revival, lacks the standard of its EU peers. No doubt, this aspect will be highlighted as an alibi by facility refusing banks.
In the current challenging marketplace, the Micro business sector must have a robust business model. In steadier economic times the Micro sector, especially in startup mode faced high attrition rates.
The new generation business must have the market, must have the business model, must have an enhanced level of support and must have access to credit/funding.
It is impractical and unfair to expect a Local Authority to solely undertake such a level of engagement. As previously indicated Mayo County Council is better placed to meet this challenge. Logically a Public Private Partnership should be considered. Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and the Innovation Centre would be included as stakeholders. Ultimately the makeup of the proposed group will determine its membership. Little can be achieved in a non-executive environment, the focus must be to address the development shortfall and quickly agree measures to advance actions and impact.
Micro and medium sized enterprises are vital locally and nationally, in terms of preserving and creating jobs. This requires a business friendly environment in which to flourish and prosper.
"Public authorities can do a lot to improve business conditions for SMEs. We need to multiply these concrete success stories and make Europe more business-orientated and business-friendly, as set out in the SBA"
European Commission Vice-President, Antonio Tajani, European Enterprise Awards May 24 Budapest. Barcelona has developed Activa, an innovative enterprise support and training organization which has led to the creation of nearly 12,000 jobs.
There is proof and evidence of what can be achieved in bottom up development. The EU has been active with Micro business support programme using the SBA model. It is practical to replicate similar support programmes in Ireland.
The availability of credit/funding for the existing and small business sector in recent attempts to engage with local credit unions to consider a local Venture Capital/Micro Finance arrangement. It is conditional on intending participants engaging on a business management course and subscribing to a business support/mentoring programme.
Present circumstances does not auger well for traditional bank support. Development12 should seek to engage with alternative sources of financial support. Considerations can be given to expanding EU Micro Finance support to a county basis and, where appropriate, to engage with Credit Unions at Chapter levels
There is an evident need to restore economic stability in Ireland. The Eurozone saga will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. The underlying challenge is sustain or create employment and restore some confidence.
DEVELOPMENT12 seeks a Public Private Partnership with county councils and others to drive a local and effective development programme. The early task of this proposal is to identify the real needs and put in place a structure to deliver solutions. A County Marketing Company can be considered in a marketing role for Micro producers and Tourism. The merits of group based development platforms are already highlighted in 360 Degree Development with regards to retail, export and local enterprises.
DEVELOPMENT12 is a needs led development model, to provide a robust business model to include training and support, ideally, on a group basis.
Participating enterprises will be supported with access to funding, sales, product development, export and local market development
European Micro Finance http://www.european-microfinance.org/index2_en.php
Community Development Finance Association http://www.cdfa.org.uk/
360 Degree Development
Hotel Panda, Budapest http://www.promotinggoodpractice.co.uk/2011_08_01_archive.html
The E factory, Uppsala, Sweden http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction
Prato Chamber of Commerce, Italy http://www.nicefashion.org/en/professional-guide/recycling/Recycledtextiles.html
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