Irish firm helps displaced Ukrainian entrepreneurs reinvent themselves

Kildare’s TalentPool is helping entrepreneurs and business people from Ukraine apply their business skills to the Irish market.

Displaced entrepreneurs and business professionals from war-torn Ukrainie look set to benefit from a new training programme that will help them reinvent themselves in Ireland.

Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Christine O’Brien, TalentPool identified a need for a practical solution that would help those who have moved from Ukraine to quickly re-invent, or adapt, their skills, so they could operate in and contribute to the Irish economy while building a new life in Ireland.

“It is a challenge for anyone to start a business, let alone do it in a new country, with a different culture and in another language”

TalentPool’s highly-regarded Small Business programmes have now been fully translated and are delivered in Ukrainian, in real-time using simultaneous subtitles.

Their specialist business trainers have transformed their suite of business supports so they are also available in Ukrainian. This support includes networking events, and most notably free business mentoring which is available to participants during and after their Start Your Own Business courses.

A platform to flourish

“Many of our clients already possess business skills, and have run their own businesses, others are budding entrepreneurs,” O’Brien explained.

“It is a challenge for anyone to start a business, let alone do it in a new country, with a different culture and in another language.  We felt that this course in Ukrainian helps our clients to get to grips with the requirements for business in Ireland, in their native tongue, eliminating any confusion that may occur because of potential language barriers.” said Christine O’Brien, CEO of TalentPool, and creator of the training courses.

Pivoting on their courses in English which simplify the start-up process, the Small Business module addresses the Irish market from a multi-faceted perspective.   Covering everything from communications, and taxation, to digital marketing – this innovative course was translated in its entirety into Ukrainian and is delivered online.  The first course was run over six days in July 2022.

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE),  the OECD stated that: “SMEs and entrepreneurship are central to Ireland’s challenge of generating a broad-based growth and prosperity”.

DETE stated that the continued growth of our economy is highly dependent on entrepreneurs and the SMEs that they create, develop, and grow.

The courses TalentPool provide very much feed into the priority of the job creation and social inclusion aspirations of both the Irish Government and the EU.

“Helping in any way we can to lessen the distress of such a huge upheaval while giving hope to people who have had their lives, their homes and their livelihoods ripped from them, is humbling,” said Cosmo Mellon, director at TalentPool.

“Our vision was to embrace this issue and support those affected by creating this course, giving people a platform to flourish in their business life, and a leg-up to start something that will ultimately support their families while they create new lives in Ireland.”

TalentPool is preparing to deliver more of these unique courses over the coming months, as those who were displaced look to immerse themselves in Ireland’s business communities utilising their skillsets from Ukraine.  “We couldn’t think of a more practical solution to help get families on their feet, and we’re ultimately helping both them, the next generation of their families and the Irish economy”, O’Brien said.

For more information on how you can access these courses, please contact TalentPool at   

Main image: TalentPool founders Christine O’Brien and Cosmo Mellon

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.