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Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of our economy providing up to three quarters of all private sector jobs and turnover. Regardless of size or stage of development, to scale to the next level SMEs need funding to achieve growth.
In the last year, food and drink companies across Northern Ireland have been working hard to achieve success in the face of ever-changing circumstances, including EU Exit, emergence from the pandemic, and the conflict in Ukraine.
Today marks International Women’s Day 2022 and one of its key missions this year is to celebrate digital advancement and to champion the women driving innovation through technology. Northern Ireland has its fair share of highly innovative women in the tech sector and we’ve been pleased to support them to grow and bring their ideas to reality through innovation.
John Hood, Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Food & Drink reflects on another challenging year for businesses and provides a flavour of how the agency will continue to support the sector in 2022.
One of the main drivers of a successful economy is partnership working. Invest Northern Ireland is one of a number of partners committed to supporting economic and business growth in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area. Our support is open to any value added business with an ambition to sell its products or services outside Northern Ireland and in the last five years, over 430 businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area have sought our help.
While the Belfast area attracts a wide array of large, international investors, the vast majority of Invest NI’s role is supporting the growth and development of our local home-grown businesses – SMEs have received 93 per cent of the offers of support across Belfast in the last 5 years.
2020-21 was the final year of our four year Business Strategy. It was also the year of COVID and EU Exit and our final year priorities adapted to significant economic change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the world and transformed our way of life. From the speedy development of vaccines to a more digitalised approach to working, humanity has learned just how agile it can be in a crisis.
The Graduate to Export programme for international marketing students was recently launched. The programme allows Northern Ireland companies to enhance their export capability with a graduate assisting them with a market research project. As part of the programme we will be following the stories of the graduates to get an insight into their experiences.
In early June, the Minister for the Economy launch the ‘Trade and Investment for a 10X economy' in which she reflected on Northern Ireland’s rich history as a trading and exporting region, built on the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of its people and set the ambition to apply that spirit with renewed energy and focus as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saleem Haddad, Regional Manager - Saudi Arabia and Levant Region looks at how Northern Ireland companies have the expertise to play a key role in supporting the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve their Vision 2030 ambitions.
Discover what Northern Ireland will be doing at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Sheethal Rishi, Regional Director- UAE, Bahrain and Oman looks at how the Middle East is a burgeoning technological hub for Northern Irish companies.
Social distancing, travel restrictions, and world-wide lockdowns: In the first of a three-part feature we look at how COVID-19 has impacted traditional face to face selling approaches, and what steps we’ve taken to ensure Northern Ireland companies are still able to promote their products to potential new buyers.
Helping businesses to grow through exporting supports the delivery of a stronger and more sustainable Northern Ireland economy. There is often a chain reaction when a company grows its international reach; with access to new customers comes company expansion, job creation and potentially further innovation to ensure competitiveness.
The COVID-19 Process & Organisational Improvement Grant (POIG) has been developed to provide support to businesses to investigate and implement a range of potential process and operational improvements to help address the impact COVID-19 on the business.
Scott Hanna, Senior Business Development Manager - UAE, Oman, Bahrain, discusses how Northern Ireland, with its international reputation for innovation in food security and pioneering research, is well placed to address the food security gap in the GCC.
From 01 January 2021 NI businesses, large and small, have been adjusting to the new requirements on the movements of goods as a result of exiting the EU. It is vital now, more than ever, that businesses understand and effectively manage their supply chains.
Open to applications from 10am Wednesday 10 March 2020, the COVID-19 Supply Chain Resilience and Development Framework (SCRDF) is designed to help NI businesses improve their supply chains.