Competition to Find Northern Ireland's Most Enterprising Place

Feb 22, 2006

The search is on to find the most enterprising place in Northern Ireland as the regional heat of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) ‘Enterprising Britain 2006’ was launched today.

Part of a nationwide competition to recognise and reward enterprise activity across the United Kingdom, DTI in conjunction with Invest Northern Ireland, is looking for the town, city, place or area that best demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit of the region.

The winner of the regional heat will go forward to compete in the UK finals of Enterprising Britain 2006, where the overall UK winner will be selected. Invest NI will also provide a £5,000 bursary to support the development of the regional winner’s project.   

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alan Johnson said:

“Enterprise and innovation are the key to the UK’s future economic growth and success in today’s global market. It is only by creating a “can do” attitude in society that we can compete with the levels of entrepreneurship that can be seen in the US.

“The Enterprising Britain competition is a great opportunity to celebrate some of the enterprise success stories in Northern Ireland that not only change the lives of those individuals directly involved, but also those of the wider community. Hopefully this will inspire many more people to take the plunge and turn their ideas into successful business ventures.”

Enterprising Britain 2006, which is run by DTI’s Small Business Service in partnership with the Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations, aims to identify enterprise champions: places that have created jobs, brought communities together, and made a real difference to local businesses and local people.  

Graham Davis, Director of Local Economic Development with Invest NI said: “Northern Ireland has long been a centre of enterprise and has a strong history of producing world-class entrepreneurs. By highlighting some of our most enterprising places through this competition we will hopefully encourage more people to take up the business challenge and become entrepreneurial.”

The competition will be judged by a panel of business experts chaired by Invest NI board member Debbie Boyd. The overall national winner will also represent the UK at the European Enterprise Awards in 2006.

Last year’s regional winner was Belfast City Council who went on to compete in the UK finals. Speaking on their success, Cllr Michael Browne, Chair of the Economic Development Sub-Committee said:

“The Enterprising Britain competition provided us with an excellent platform to showcase our work and successes in the field of enterprise over the past number of years. It has also helped to raise our profile at a national level in terms of Belfast’s commitment to enterprise support and development. We were delighted to have been selected as the first ever Northern Ireland winners of the Enterprising Britain Competition.”

Entries for the Northern Ireland competition must be received by May 5.  The judges will be looking for a town, city or place in Northern Ireland that has best improved the economic prospects of the region and encouraged enterprise activities.

For more information about Enterprising Britain 2006 and how to enter, please visit www.investni.com/enterprisingbritain2006 or contact Ciara Lynch via email ciara.lynch@investni.com or Tel: (028) 9069 8169.

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