Heather McLaughlin, The Rural Centre is the Northern Ireland partner and over the next two years will work with the other six partners to look at the problems women face creating employment in rural areas and how to overcome them. Over the 2 year project each of the partners hosts a visit to their region to share how women develop business ideas in rural areas. Visits have taken place in Spain, Cyprus, Hungary and N Ireland. In October it was the turn of the partners from Turkey to host a visit to their region of Konya.
Heather was accompanied by Shauna Gallagher from Nature’s Inspiration who hosted the group at her shop in the Buttermarket, Enniskillen during their visit to Fermanagh in June 2014 where they met and visited a number of women entrepreneurs.
The ENWRA partnership is funded through Grundgtvig Life Long Learning Programme to deliver a programme of meetings and visits hosted by each of the seven partners to their regions to provide women with the opportunity to look at how women create employment in rural areas.
In Turkey the participants visited the Department of education and Komek Centre which provides vocational training for women. The main challenges faced by women included an outflow of young people to cities seeking education and employment due to a shortage of opportunities in their own area. The older women who were left in rural areas tended to work in factories and very few had set up their own business even though they were skilled in local crafts such as dress making, sticking and art. Because of lack of women entrepreneurs in the area to act as role models to show what was possible the women did not value these skills as the potential to create employment for themselves. There still existed poor local infrastructure to support women who wanted to work with limited local transport and a lack of affordable childcare to support women who wanted to work.
Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates: Spain 9 – 13 October 2014 Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014 Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014 Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014 Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014 Germany 10 – 14 December 2014 Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015 Poland 19 – 22 June 2015
This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer: “ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”