The Crafts Council of Ireland has announced Ireland’s involvement in an EU project promoting jobs in the craft sector.
The Innocrafts programme, which commenced this year, aims to promote entrepreneurship and business creation in the artistic and contemporary crafts sector by improving the effectiveness of regional and local development policies through sharing and exchanging experience and good practices.
According to the Crafts Council of Ireland, the crafts sector requires targeted support through appropriate mechanisms in order to grow. Innocrafts aims to improve access to such supports.
A focus group comprising representatives of the crafts sector, enterprise and rural development agencies, and the third-level education sector met for the first time in Kilkenny last week to discuss the project and explore potential strategies.
“We currently deliver a number of programmes to support craftspeople at all stages of their career in order to sustain and grow the sector into the future,” said Crafts Council chief executive Karen Hennessy. “Receiving funding through Interreg IVC for this type of initiative will significantly assist us in delivering targeted supports in partnership with our local and regional partners for the benefit of the Irish craft sector. It will also open up the potential for increased collaboration across the EU as we actively engage with our peers in other countries and share knowledge and experiences.”
The project will focus on business models and business support services, access to innovation design and financial assistance to small and medium enterprises, SMEs networking and information exchange, and promotion of entrepreneurship among target groups such as young and female entrepreneurs.