On Thursday, 30 August, The Mill Enterprise Hub in Drogheda launched its official strategy, highlighting its ambitious Action Plan for 2018-2020. One of the priorities in the new strategy document is to encourage highly-skilled locals who are commuting to Dublin to avail of the supports and entrepreneurial community spirit at The Mill to create new startups.
According to Breanndán Casey, Manager of The Mill “The 2016 census shows that up to 33% of the local population are commuting daily to Dublin, often up to three hours per day. This is an incredible waste of energy, and The Mill is here to support those individuals who have the skills and desire to work for themselves and create a scalable high-value business”
The overall focus of the new strategy plan is to increase their role in economic development in the NorthEast & nationally. The plans include attracting ambitious startups with international potential, developing an accelerator programme, and to continue to create new innovative initiatives such as the M1 Payments Corridor programme which is developing the NorthEast as a Fintech Hub. The Mill will also continue to strengthen its existing relationship with regional economic development support agencies including Enterprise Ireland, DKIT, DCU, and the Louth and Meath Local Enterprise office.
Dr.Michael Mulvey, President of DKIT, officially launched the Strategy Plan “DKIT is a long-time supporter and Board member of The Mill. This plan recognises that we need to further develop the NorthEast as a standalone economic zone whilst capitalising on our proximity to Dublin and Belfast, and on the large highly-skilled population within our region”.
The Mill opened its doors to start-ups in 2014 and has since become the main Hub for the accelerated creation & growth of healthy new enterprises in the South Louth, East Meath and wider Drogheda area region. It currently houses 31 companies ranging from startups to emergent FDIs who currently employ 83 employees.
2017 saw the opening of a 750m2 extension of The Mill which was the culmination of a ten-year project that successfully merged the best of public and private support for entrepreneurs. Louth County Council were instrumental in getting the project off the ground, and Louth LEO, Leader, and Enterprise Ireland contributed to start-up costs. Critically, The Mill were supported by Drogheda Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses who contributed circa €350,000 in philanthropic donations to the project.
The Mill offers an integrated mix of space, mentoring, learning, group dynamics and supported ‘ambition’. The Mill is determined to capitalise on their success to date by continuing to develop innovative projects such as the M1 Payments Corridor, Illuminate, Drogheda Young Innovators, and by encouraging the development of networks and support structures for small businesses. The Mill also played a key role in starting the new ‘M1 Drogheda Chamber’ Skillnet which offers local subsidised training to SMEs across all sectors along the M1 region.