Further Support for Northwest Business Announced

Oct 14, 2004

Three new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and business growth in the northwest were announced last night at a networking event that took place in Londonderry as part of the Northwest Go For It week

Three new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and business growth in the northwest were announced last night at a networking event that took place in Londonderry as part of the Northwest Go For It week.

Professor Terri Scott, Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship in Invest Northern Ireland announced the launch of the Develop a Business programme. This programme, developed under the Northwest Action Plan, is designed to offer further support to businesses that have already participated in the Start a Business programme. The support will take the form of tailored mentoring for new businesses to help them through the challenging first few years in operation.

The event was also the opportunity for Derry City Council to announce their new Business Awards Scheme, which is scheduled to take place in the city in September.

Mark Lusby, Senior Economic Development Officer Derry City Council, said: “The Council’s Economic Development Plan committed us to work with others to promote entrepreneurship in Derry and the northwest. The Derry City Council Business Awards Scheme shows that Council is delivering on this commitment. The Awards Scheme is being managed on our behalf by the Council’s enterprise partner, North West Marketing and the aim is to celebrate excellence in our small business community while at the same time inspiring others.”

Some 50 people attended the business networking event, many of them past participants of the Start a Business Programme. Kevin Helferty, Manager of Invest NI’s northwest local office comments:

“This event was a great opportunity for local entrepreneurs to network in an informal setting and meet with business advisors from Invest NI and the Enterprise Northern Ireland network. Networking is considered to be a powerful means of communication between businesses. Whether it is building knowledge, expertise, confidence or direct business leads, there are many benefits from networking — and we know that business listens to business.

“Invest NI’s northwest office will soon be launching a Northwest Business Network. We believe that this will be an effective forum through which our local business stakeholders can begin to communicate more clearly, to let existing and potential business clients know what events are being planned in the northwest. Working together we can all help build better business here in the northwest.”

The finale of the Northwest Go For It week will be the Start a Business Show, which takes place on 12 and 13 June in the Millennium Forum, Londonderry.

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