Invest Northern Ireland is this week challenging businesses and entrepreneurs to think differently and reap the rewards of being innovative. The agency’s first ever Innovation Week gets underway tomorrow (21st March) with the first of 12 events that will run across Northern Ireland from 21 to 24 March.
Understanding that small businesses often have pressure on their resources, Invest NI has kicked off the week with a seminar on the funding of innovation. Those attending the free seminar will hear speakers from Invest NI explain how the agency can support innovative projects. They will also receive advice on venture capital and working with business angels, as well as learning about sources of European funding.
Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Leslie Morrison, says: “Innovation Week is an opportunity for us to deliver the message that innovation isn’t something mysterious that belongs in the world of pure research and development, but is a way of thinking that should permeate all business activity. Our aim is to encourage more businesses to view innovation as essential to their day-to-day activities by highlighting the benefits to be gained.”
An interactive seminar providing information and up-to-date tips on the art of sales networking will also run tomorrow (21st March), where delegates will have the opportunity to practise their own networking skills. Key speaker at the event is John Timperley, author of three books on business networking and consultative selling, who will share his insights into what the best professionals do and say to win more and better business.
Says Leslie Morrison: “Today’s business people respond to sellers who put themselves in their shoes and understand their needs. Sales techniques like every other aspect of business can benefit from a fresh, innovative approach.
“Our most successful local companies are the ones in which innovation is inherent and complacency is shunned. Remaining competitive is about continually looking for ways to improve, about differentiating products or services, and commercialising new ideas.”