GMIT offers Springboard course in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, October 02, 2018 Press Office
Press Release

High-profile entrepreneurs to deliver part-time course at the Galway campus

GMIT is delighted to offer the highly sought-after Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship course under the Government-Higher Education Springboard programme. This funded, part-time course is aimed at those working in the Agri-Food sector who would like to enhance their business skills and enable those with food or product ideas to develop them into viable businesses. 

The course is delivered once again by high-profile entrepreneurs Brendan Allen, Castlemine Farms, JP McMahon, Galway Restaurateur and Ronan Byrne, The Friendly Farmer. The course has had great success over recent years but was previously only available to unemployed people. However, this year GMIT is delighted that Springboard has awarded funding to make places available for both the employed and unemployed.  

The course attracts a wide audience of people including local and regional food producers, the wider agricultural community, rural farmers and food entrepreneurs, where entrepreneurial training has not typically been prioritised. Many of the participants that attend the course have a food product or an idea in mind that they would like to develop and some may be trading at local markets but are unsure how to expand. For many it may be just an idea and they are unsure what to do next.

The course caters for all participants regardless of what stage their business is at. It helps participants overcome the challenges and uncertainties food producers face by providing them with the knowledge and work-based skills required to foster and develop their food ideas into successful businesses. In addition to this, the peer led training (entrepreneurs learning from entrepreneurs) used in the delivery of the course has significantly contributed to its great success; it allows participants to network with likeminded people and to learn from those that have been in their position. Graduates of the course who are now established Food Entrepreneurs also contribute to the delivery of the course, detailing their start up journey and how they effectively implemented the knowledge and skills they gained from completing this course.  The course has been remodeled and is now taught using a combination of online and face-to-face lectures. This allows for an interactive and flexible learning environment enabling participants to study at their convenience.    

Dr Lisa Ryan, Head of the GMIT Dept of Natural Sciences, says: “The course has been developed by a combination of qualified staff in Food Science and Nutrition together with a panel of food entrepreneurs and promotes work-based learning i.e. “learning by doing”. Interacting with food entrepreneurs provides participants with the opportunity to network and be inspired by their success and learn the reality of setting up and growing a food business. The industry leaders provide mentoring and support to participants throughout the course. Our graduates of the course found the experiential learning environment and interaction with industry an extremely beneficial and rewarding experience.”

“Fantastic course, brilliant mentors, a must do if you are serious about starting a food business” – course graduate Liam Lundy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was challenging and motivating throughout. The teaching methods and group work enabled me to get the most out of the course. For anyone considering embarking on their own food business this course is a must,” – course graduate Susan Clancy.

This part-time Certificate (Level 9) will be delivered via blended learning over two days per week for 16 weeks. One day will be classroom-based and the other will be delivered online. The course commences at GMIT’s Galway campus on Monday, 22 October (2018). The course is funded by the Springboard Higher Education programme and is FREE to unemployed applicants. The fee for employed applicants is €255 (normally €2,550). With limited places on offer, applicants are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.

Successful applicants will have access to high-level support and mentoring throughout the course together with the opportunity of gaining practical support for business start-ups that will emerge from the programme. Moving away from the traditional style of teaching, this course will take a practice-based, real-world, collaborative approach in its delivery methods.

Graduates of this programme will possess the skillsets to develop and execute a business concept. They will have a unique awareness of the business creation dynamics and also the personal traits required to establish a business in the food or any other sector.

Applicants must apply for this course through .The closing date for applications is the 19th October, 2018.  For further details on this course in GMIT, please email or telephone 091-742510 or visit


Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications Officer
Tel 091 742826/ 087-9618355 (m) email: