Previously unemployed Monaghan business woman Marie Kirk is launching a new Virtual Business Office today, which has seen her sign a contract with global teaching company TEFL Express
“Last year I was working in a job I loved in Dublin Airport, but due to the cost of childcare and commuting, I could not afford to stay at work, it cost me minimum €w400 just to walk out my door to go to work, that was even before I bought a cup of coffee! So in July of last year, I left my position in Dublin Airport and became a stay at home mum in Monaghan.
“I was on thge back to work allowance, w188 per week, This allowance only lasts for a short period of time and then you are means tested so that I am now entitled to €w48.60 per week. My husband is in full time employment so we do have one income coming in.
“About 10 years ago I had got very involved in a project relating to the Virtual Assistant industry, it was very new to Ireland. I spent some time campaigning and promoting this industry, but I had a lot of issues with Broadband availability and was unable to create what I really wanted to and so I stepped away from it. This January I decided to revisit it as I knew that going back to work for me was not an option, child care was just too much, I have only one child, but families with more than one are really struggling - child care is turning in to a second mortgage. This is not just a problem that I am struggling with, there are families all over Ireland that are struggling to pay mortgages, bills, childcare costs, etc
“This time I have decided to approach this project differently and I have now been working with Monaghan Women in Business, Monaghan Enterprise Board and the Monaghan Partnership/Integrated Development as they offer amazing support to people setting up from home or as sole trader, most of which I never realized were available. My local councillor Noel Keelan has been a fantastic support and has really helped me get this project off the ground.
“I am just a house wife that decided in January this year that I was going to take back control, if I can’t go to work, then I will bring the work to me. I set up my home office, which I have designed now as my “Virtual Business Capsule”, I reinvented and redesigned my Virtual Professional Business and will be launching in September and I have just signed a global contract with an International company, who has an amazing business model and uses Virtual Business Professionals as part of its international team.
“The company that I will be working with is called – TEFL Express (www.teflexpress.co.uk) TEFL Express is a leading provider of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) training courses, graduates will gain skills and confidence required to run a TEFL classroom. In conjunction with its TEFL Courses, TEFL Express also offers job placement Programmes that place people in well paid English teaching jobs in many countries including Japan, south Korea, Thailand and Czech Republic. I am in talks with them to move their operations to Monaghan, and I will be co-ordinating their global projects from my Virtual Office. TEFL Express have a very strong sense of Corporate Social Responsibility and will be bringing some really exciting projects to Ireland over the coming months.
This project is about helping people to empower themselves.
So here I am working from a Virtual Business Capsule in my home, in the country side of Monaghan and now with an International contract. Last month I was unemployed and on 48 euros per week and borrowing money to put petrol in my car so that I can get the business started.
In September I will launch my website, stage one of the business completed and hopefully then I will be in a position to help other people take that step to starting their own Virtual Business.
Its very difficult to take this step and you need lots of different motivational factors, my husband and I had been to a talk with Gerry Duffy – 32 marathons in 32 day, brilliant, really got me back on track and motivated, my son started his own business when he was 5 so as to save money to go to Disney land and he showed me how business can be fun, he is 9 now and still has his business running and saving for his next project. So I am hoping to be able to bring elements of all above to help other people and get Ireland back working.
“There is an invisable community in Ireland that are at home, extremely talented with so much to offer this country, but due to costs of childcare, rises in price of petrol, they no longer have the option to go back to work, so why not allow them to work from home and tap into that untouch resource of talent that is in this country. Many parents have left their employment because of the increasing cost of childcare, commuting time to and from their place of employment and the increased costs associated with commuting.
Retired professionals have a wealth of experience and knowledge which is largely redundant after retirement. Research has shown that retired professionals can make a valued contribution to the economy by continuing to offer specialised professional services to international markets in particular.
85 per cent of people of working age in Ireland with a disability (www.nda.ie Report on Disability and Work) have an acquired disability and are unable to return to the workforce due to the lack, of facilities for the disabled in the workplace.
My aim to develop the potential of the Virtual Business sector in Ireland through a structured and professional approach, providing the support required to ensure the viable growth of this emerging sector. This will lead to the creation of sustainable employment opportunities for part-time and full-time Virtual Business Professionals, providing wide-ranging services to domestic and international clients.
If anyone is interested in any of the above, they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, my website will be available as from next Wednesday.