A LIMERICK-based entrepreneur is setting up a new business facility with a difference right in the heart of Limerick city.
Evert Bopp has revealed to Business Leader plans to set up the new 'Greenhouse start-up incubator', which will give operational space to new businesses.
The facility, which is currently being fitted out, will open over the next two to three months, after Mr Bopp acquired the upper levels of a once-derelict building at 59-60 O'Connell Street.
Uniquely, businesses operating from the centre will not pay rent - rather the site's owners will instead take a stake in any company.
Any business can apply, and will undergo a simple application process - with the board of management looking to discover if the start-up has "an average chance of success".
Speaking to Business Leader, Mr Bopp says his development aims to cut out the red tape associated with normal business 'hubs' which exist in Limerick.
"A lot of the existing enterprise incubators were either state-run or owned by Institutes of Technology. These academic or bureaucratic environments are, by their nature, not conducive for creativity, entrepreneurship and decisiveness. A lot of the start-ups (businesses] time and energy is taken up with non-essential tasks not directly related to developing their business or product," he explained.
However, Mr Bopp says his 'hub' will cut this out, with potential tenants given six month stays in the centre, with access to a range of in-house services, for example legal and accounting services.
Mr Bopp, who describes himself as a "serial entrepreneur" added the only way for the economy to recover is through private sector intervention, which is what he provides.
Tenants of the Greenhouse incubator will hold weekly informal meetings where each new firm discusses their business, their experience and other issues - in a similar fashion to the successful Open coffee club meetings , which are held every week at the Absolute Hotel in Limerick.
Earlier this year, telecoms giant Eircom offered to provide the facility with free communications, while Mr Bopp is currently on the look-out for investors.
For more information on the Greenhouse Start-up facility, visit www.greenhouselimerick.com.