Design4Growth pilot scheme announced

Pilot scheme to encourage small enterprises utilise strategic design launched as part of Irish Design 2015


Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD and an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh, today announced a pilot scheme Design 4 Growth, to encourage small enterprises to use strategic design to improve their businesses. The Scheme is part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), the year-long initiative backed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, aimed at promoting and celebrating Irish design in Ireland and internationally.

The Design 4 Growth pilot scheme is being delivered by Dublin City Local Enterprise Office (LEO) on behalf of the four LEO offices and PIVOT Dublin, Dublin City Council. Founder of the Irish Centre for Design Innovation, Toby Scott, has been appointed as the Senior Design Strategist for the pilot scheme. He will work with a panel of design strategists who in turn will help the companies involved, in identifying ways in which design can improve their business.

Through Design 4 Growth, 50 businesses will have the opportunity to attend an introductory workshop aimed at providing an understanding of design strategy in business development. Following the workshop, fifteen of these companies will then be selected to work with a design advisor on a part funded basis to develop a design strategy, specifically tailored to improving their business. Five businesses will then be chosen to implement the design strategy.

Minister Nash said, “Encouraging Irish businesses to invest in design as a key component of innovation and competitiveness is central to the objectives of the Irish Design 2015 programme. The Design 4 Growth pilot scheme will assist participating companies in identifying practical ways in which good design can enhance their product or service, maximising opportunities for success in today’s competitive market place and ultimately creating additional jobs here in Ireland. As an outcome of this pilot scheme, we look forward to increasing the number of micro and small Irish companies who use design as a strategic element in their business development.”

Ardmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh said, “Experience has shown that integrating design as part of a company’s strategy can assist in creating greater demand for products and services.  Design 4 Growth will give businesses the opportunity to have access to experienced design strategists and will assist them with their marketing strategy, which will be an invaluable asset to their future growth.   Go n-éirí go geal leo leis an bhfiontar nua seo.” 

The Design 4 Growth pilot scheme is one of a number of enterprise development initiatives announced this year as part of ID2015. The year-long programme, which emerged from the Global Irish Economic Forum in 2013, aims to promote Irish design capability nationally and internationally and to encourage small and medium Irish companies to use design as their critical competitive advantage.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of ID2015 says that encouraging small Irish enterprises to be design-focused across all areas of their business is vital. “We are delighted to be working with Dublin City Council and the Local Enterprise Office network on introducing this pilot scheme to support emerging companies in growing and expanding their business. The programme reflects the commitment of each partner organisation in helping design-focused enterprises to become our future exporters, contributing to Ireland’s reputation abroad as a source of innovative products and services,” said Ms Hennessy.

ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland.