Are You Fit Enough For Business Bootcamp?

Budding young entrepreneurs from rural parts of Tyrone are being given the opportunity to win a trip to the Faroe Islands by flexing their business muscles at a special one-off boot camp in the county this month.

The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship (RYE) project is hosting a free summer boot camp at Todds Leap Adventure Centre outside Ballygawley on July 23 where young people can avail of expert advice to complete a business action plan and have a chance to meet with like minded young people.

The Rural Development Council (RDC) is the lead partner in RYE, a pilot project that is being rolled out across the most disadvantaged areas in the northern periphery region including the North of Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Finland. It aims to reverse rising youth migration caused by high unemployment and lack of opportunity by encouraging rural young people to embrace self-enterprise.

The most recent official statistics show that in Omagh, 762 young people aged 16-39 left the area over a four year period to emigrate abroad whilst a further 1,285 in the same age category went to the UK.

In Dungannon alone 1,541 young people aged 16-39 emigrated abroad with a further 875 young people in the same age group moving to the UK in the period 2007-2011. In neighbouring Cookstown, 386 young people aged 16-39 emigrated abroad with a further 551 moving to the UK in the same period.

It is widely recognised that since 2011 there have been huge numbers emigrating from towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

RDC director Tracey McNally said rural areas across Northern Ireland are suffering due to the increasing level of brain drain. “Rural communities are being drained of their very best asset, their young people. The RYE project intends to begin to address that imbalance by
encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship, where young people are being asked to think about another alternative, one where they can stay at home, run their own business and revitalise their community.

“We aim to equip young people with the tools to kick start that journey to considering self employment by offering advice and mentoring one-to-one and through our interactive website at where they can log on and start to examine the questions they need
to be asking if they have a business idea.

“The summer workshop at Todds Leap is another avenue for young people to start to think about setting up a business. I would encourage all those young people who are in a rural area to sign up for the July 23 event and make good use of the expert guidance on the day. Where better to have this workshop than in a rural setting where the meaning of entrepreneurship is exemplified?”

So are you ready to sign up? The only rules are that you are aged 18-30, live in a rural area and have an idea for a business. The event is free and lunch and an activity will be provided.

Registration is essential. Contact Michelle Canning at the Rural Youth Entrepreneurship project on 028 8676 6980 or email