Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland launch a cross-border business incubation programme

May 10, 2007

Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland today launched a new cross-border business incubation programme: TRANSFORM – Ideas into Businesses. The programme is designed to provide ambitious export-oriented entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland with salary support, and the skills, expertise, contacts and networks to establish successful export-oriented knowledge-intensive businesses.

The intensive year-long business incubation programme which commences in September 2007 offers potential participants the opportunity to be part of an elite group of entrepreneurs.

Forty places are available on the TRANSFORM – Ideas into Businesses programme. The programme is unique in that it offers eligible participants financial support of up to £26,000 or €38,000 towards their first year’s salary as they develop their new business. Furthermore it provides a tailored programme of practical business development modules including business planning, strategy, finance and corporate development.

The programme also offers participants intensive one-to-one mentoring with an experienced business advisor, one-to-one business development expertise to develop a robust and ambitious business plan, incubation space and key networking opportunities as well as an international market visit.

Commenting at the launch Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship said: “A strong economy needs innovative, dynamic businesses that can trade globally. This new programme offers entrepreneurs the support they need to establish knowledge-intensive businesses that have a high potential for growth. By working in partnership with Enterprise Ireland through this new programme, Invest NI will provide strong support to entrepreneurs who have the vision and commitment to create world-class businesses.”

Commenting on the programme, Brendan Flood, Director of Regions and Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to be working in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland on the Transform - Ideas into Businesses Programme. Entrepreneurship is flourishing on the island of Ireland and this intensive business incubation programme will provide ambitious entrepreneurs on both sides of the border with the best possible chance of success.

“Entrepreneurs will be assisted and challenged to develop strong start-up companies, with robust investor ready business plans. Both agencies look forward to working with the high potential growth companies that will emerge from the programme.”

A dedicated website for the programme will be available from Monday 14 May. Interested parties should go to www.transformprogramme.com for an overview of the programme.  This programme is part financed by the European Union through the Special Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed by the Special EU Programmes Body under Peace II Priority and Measure 5.2 Improving Cross Border Public Sector Co-Operation.

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