With only a week left before the consultation process comes to a close for the draft strategy Accelerating Entrepreneurship, drawn up by Invest Northern Ireland, the Agency is urging anyone who has not yet responded to the document to make their views known.
The consultation period runs until the end of March and already there has been a widespread response to the strategy with over 300 people attending the public meetings in Londonderry, Armagh and Belfast. Many more have made written submissions, e-mailed and phoned with their comments and suggestions.
Professor Terri Scott, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in Invest NI explains: “If Northern Ireland is going to create the vision outlined in the strategy ‘to make Northern Ireland an exemplar location for starting and growing a business’ then we need everyone who has an interest in this area to make their voices heard.”
Through the strategy, Invest NI proposes to implement a high profile campaign aimed at accelerating entrepreneurship by promoting, supporting and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit from the cradle to the grave.
Invest NI proposes to customise its business development support resources to promote a substantial increase in company start-ups in three distinct sectors with very different needs: businesses with global market potential; those capable of external sales and those focused on the Northern Ireland market.
Professor Scott has been encouraged by the level of interest in the draft strategy and the ideas suggested in the overall responses to date. The strategy has been broadly welcomed by the business community, economic development organisations and entrepreneurs themselves.
Professor Scott said: “The responses we have had to date to the Accelerating Entrepreneurship draft strategy are invaluable and underline the considerable interest which exists in this crucial area of economic development. It is great that so many people in Northern Ireland share our vision and are also committed to improving the environment for our entrepreneurs.
“Through this strategy we, in partnership with organizations with an interest in this field are taking a new approach to the challenge of changing attitudes to entrepreneurship, and an innovative approach to improving the rate and quality of new business starts.
“The overall aim is to generate wealth in Northern Ireland by creating the conditions that will encourage entrepreneurial behaviour and lead to increased wealth and job creation.”
The new framework will have a wide-ranging impact and those in education, business and the wider community are being urged to contribute to the consultation.
Copies of the draft consultation document have been circulated to entrepreneurs, business organisations, councils and enterprise bodies. The draft document is also included on the Invest NI website at www.investni.com/aes.
The closing date for responding to the draft strategy is 28th March. Anyone wishing to register views can do so as follows:
Fax 028 9049 0490
Telephone 028 9069 8000
Mrs Carol Keery
64 Chichester Street
BELFAST BT1 4JX