The Grow Remote movement to transform the working landscape of Ireland by encouraging and enabling more people to work remotely has secured €500,000 in State funding.

The not-for-profit group has secured €500,000 from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) with matched funding expected from Social Enterpreneurs Ireland and the Western Development Commission, leveraging the funding raised to €1m.

In all some €40m was awarded to 26 successful applicants representing all regions of the country, bringing the total amount awarded under the Fund to almost €100m to date.

“It is a fundamental truth that every community needs more income coming in, circulating – that’s how we bring back our main streets, our GAA teams and our farmer’s markets”

The fund is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and it aligns with the Future Jobs Ireland framework. It is administered for the Government by Enterprise Ireland.

The REDF was introduced in 2017, to co-finance the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative enterprise projects that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the regions in order to help sustain and add to employment at county, regional and national level.

When great minds think alike

Grow Remote began as a WhatsApp group among like-minded proponents of remote working serving as an economic supercharge for the Irish economy, enabling workers to remain in their community and boost the local economy.

Today Grow Remote has 60 local chapters and more than 10,000 members across Ireland.

Grow Remote co-founder and community enterprise manager with Bank of Ireland Tracy Keogh said the investment will add impetus to the mission to spread the potential gains of remote working to communities.

“Enterprise Ireland, the Western Development Commission, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation – they are all backing the vision of a grassroots community group and injecting cash that would enable us to set up the organisation for success.

“The one thing I love about Grow Remote is we are addressing principles. It is a fundamental truth that every community needs more income coming in, circulating – that’s how we bring back our main streets, our GAA teams and our farmer’s markets.

“And remote working enables us to bring employment to the hardest hit of areas,” Keogh said.

“There is a nationwide backing for this movement.”

The future of the regions

“The Irish economy has had a remarkable turnaround in recent years, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” said the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD.

“Although we have made a lot of progress with six out of 10 jobs created outside Dublin since 2016, some parts of the country are not recovering as quickly as others.

“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is about supporting every region to build on its unique strengths and ultimately create sustainable jobs. Collaboration is at its core – among the public and private sectors, within and across regions.

“The projects we are funding today are at the cutting edge of innovation. I am confident that they have the potential to make a real and lasting impact on enterprise development at both regional and national level.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 8 January, 2020

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