LEAN For Microenterprises - 2021 Programme

LEAN For Microenterprises - 2021 Programme

The Local Enterprise Offices, as part of our ongoing commitment to our micro-enterprises, are starting a new LEAN for Micro programme for 2021.

What is LEAN and the LEAN for Micro programme?

  •  The LEO Lean for Micro Programme is based on the Enterprise Ireland LeanStart model. It was piloted in 2015, and is now run across all 31 LEO regions. The funding is a Measure 2 Fund, and all LEO companies are eligible for the programme. As with the LeanStart, the programme is delivered by a Lean consultant from the Enterprise Ireland Directory of Lean Service Providers.
  • There are two delivery methods: 1. One-to-Many – In this delivery method, one Lean Service Provider is selected by the LEO after tender and works with all of the companies on the programme. There is an initial 1-to-2-day “Introduction to Lean” workshop followed by up to 5 half-day visits to the company. 2. One-to-One – In this delivery method, the company itself selects the Lean Service Provider it wishes to work with on its project.
  • With both methods, the Lean Service Provider will visit the company, evaluate its processes, and speak with the company’s managers about challenges faced by the business and the improvement project opportunities to be carried out over several weeks. A number of Lean tools and techniques will be applied as appropriate to the needs of the business and improvement project at-hand. Additionally, management and staff will be trained and mentored on Lean. 
  • There is no limit on the number of times a company can participate on the programme. At the end of the engagement with the Lean Service Provider, a final report, case study, and metrics, are sent to the LEO.
  • Lean is the belief that waste exists in all processes and the aim of any lean project is to support a business to eliminate that waste and only have steps that add value to your clients. Put simply, Lean is about taking what you do for you business and finding ways to do it Quicker, Cheaper, Better, and Together as a team.
  • Lean for Micro is about more than cash savings to small business owners though. For many it is about building a stable, secure, and sustainable business that is agile enough to face economic challenges.
  • For many it is about liberating themselves from Non-Value adding activities through questioning and re-designing their processes, allowing them to focus on business growth and Value-Adding activities.
  • For many, Lean has given them the ability to get home on time, work less at the weekends, while still getting the work done. All of these businesses achieved these outcomes by focusing on the elimination of waste from their processes, creating standards, implementing visual management, applying 6S-Workplace organisation to their workplace, and by accepting that what has taken us this far in the business, may not take us where we want to go.
  • Through the Lean for Micro Program, helps great businesses like yours BE BETTER!

Case Studies of Business Who have Benefitted from LEAN through the LEAN For Micro Programme:

Click Here

How to apply:

Who is it for?

  • Both manufacturing & service Businesses
  • Business Owners, Managers and employees looking for ways to do things Better, Smarter, Cheaper & Together, improving profits, customer service and employee engagement

What can I expect?

  • This isn’t a lecture, this is a hands on facilitated workshop from the award winning Lean team in Jigsaw Better Business. You will gain an understanding of what Lean Thinking is, how this approach can be applied to your business, Lean Wastes, and most importantly Eyes for Waste.
  • You will be introduced to some core Lean tools like 6S, Standard Work, and Flow, take part in practical Lean exercises, and have the opportunity to discuss your business challenges with Jigsaw Better Business Lean Experts.
  • You will also hear how the Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA are supporting businesses to Grow Lean.

What will I gain?

  • See how to look at your business, its processes and how you work with fresh eyes. Identify opportunities to improve and how you can access supports to Grow Lean.

Will it be technical or boring?

  • Lean is about practical but not always obvious ways of looking at problems and opportunities. To help explain this Stuart will be take you through an introduction to Lean with practical examples of typical businesses and pointing out typical opportunities along the way.

Will I need to talk about my business in public?

  • No more that introducing who you are and what you do. That said however, most businesses share the challenges they are facing and how they want the lean program to help. One of the most common take-aways from the group sessions is that very different businesses face very similar challenges.

Core Deliverables

  • Learn the Tools & Thinking on which Lean & Efficient Businesses are built: Standardization, Visual Management, & 6S
  • How Lean Thinking links in with Strategic management frameworks.
  • Use Lean Workplace Organisation to improve productivity, increase flow, shorten processes and even implement Social Distancing
  • Use Lean Problem Solving to navigate & solve operations challenges in you business
  • Get the support of an Expert that will be focused on supporting you, your business, and the challenges within it.


  • 2 x 3 hour group training workshops. These will take place on the 24th March and the 31st March. These sessions will be delivered online / remotely.
  • 5 x ½ days or equivalent, individual in company sessions. These sessions will be delivered online / remotely. If, and when safe to do so, these sessions can take place on your premises in line with the current HSE guidelines.
  • These individual sessions are focused on your business challenges and supporting you to bring lean thinking to your team. They can include all members of your team.

Who is delivering LEAN for Micro 2021?

  • The programme will be led by Stuart Nelson, an award-winning LEAN Mentor, Business Coach, and Director of Jigsaw Better Business. Stuart has extensive experience in consulting, training, retail, and operations management. With Black Belts in Lean & Six Sigma and 3rd level qualifications in Psychology, Innovation, and Coaching, he has a unique skillset and is well placed to guide the person and the process through change. The Jigsaw Lean team are people-people and always seek out and support the people behind the process.
  • Jigsaw Better Business are Irelands leading provider of lean training and mentoring to the Micro and Small business sector. Our aim is to help make businesses better through creative problem solving, people development & process innovation.


  • Our subsidised cost of this programme is €150 per business. This is only payable once you have been offered and accept a place on the programme.

How to apply:


  • Who is eligible?
    • Micro-enterprises – those employing 1-10 employees
    • Those trading with 1-18 months+
    • Established manufacturing or service businesses
    • Suitable for all sectors
    • Clients who are open to change
    • Clients who have growth potential
    • Clients with a steady and growing customer base
    • Clients who have potential to export or who are already exporting their product or service