Tipperary County Council participated in a workshop on Social Innovation organised through the EU Interreg Europe ‘Rural SMEs’ Project of which it is a partner.

The overall objective of the project is to improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes which support SMEs in all stages of their life cycle to develop and achieve growth and engage in innovation.

The ‘Rural SMEs’ Project aims at improving the policies on regional support systems for entrepreneurs through exchange of experiences and identification of good practices to increase the creation of innovative SMEs in rural areas, while also supporting those SMEs which are already established.

As part of this exchange of experiences and good practice, Ms. Mary Fogarty from the social enterprise ‘The Cottage Tearooms’, Loughmore, Co. Tipperary, represented Tipperary County Council at the workshop on Social Innovation in Sümeg, Hungary. Ms. Fogarty outlined the development of The Cottage Tearooms, which arose from the lack of services and rural isolation in the community of Loughmore. She also addressed how she and her business partner were inspired to engage with the local community to start the business and identified the challenges encountered along the way, right up to the success story that the business is today.

Previous topics covered under this EU Project included Co. Tipperary Student Enterprise Awards run by Tipperary Local Enterprise Office; Premier Green Energy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, which is a company operating in the circular economy; and the Tipperary Energy Agency which addressed the use of energy in ICT.

Pictured – Mary Fogarty, “The Cottage”, Loughmore, and Angela Sheehan, TCC, attending the Interreg Europe Rural SMEs Workshop on “Social Innovation” in Sumeg in Hungary.

For more information on Rural SMEs:
Website: www.interregeurope.eu/ruralsmes
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RuralSMEs/                                          
Twitter: www.twitter.com/RuralSmes