Boost for women in business

A new initiative to help local female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and achieve commercial success was launched by Invest Northern Ireland today.

The Booster Programme aims to support women in business as they improve their commercial skills, increase levels of innovation, and enhance the profitability and competitiveness of their companies in export markets.

The Booster Programme will be delivered throughout Northern Ireland by YTKO, an international organisation specialising in female entrepreneurship.

Sharon Polson of Invest NI’s Entrepreneurship Development Team, said: “By encouraging more local female business leaders to improve their performance and overcome the challenges associated with developing a business, we can increase the level of success for Northern Ireland firms owned or managed by women. This will help them to develop their sales capability in markets outside Northern Ireland, ultimately adding value to the local economy.

“With Invest NI support, over 4000 local women have started a business since 2005, and this initiative aims to help those companies to progress and maximise their profits in the longer term.”

The programme will include interactive workshops and seminars focusing on dealing with the main challenges of growing a business. Key topics will include sales and marketing, negotiating, customer segmentation, exporting, cash-flow management and finance. Management and leadership, staff recruitment, strategic alliances and presentation skills will also be an integral part of the initiative.

The Booster Programme will also include networking events and seminars with inspirational role models, one-to-one support, and the benefits of the UK-wide Enterprising Women community which brings access to mentors and a welcoming community of over 5000 female entrepreneurs.

Limited places are available on the programme, with the first group starting in March. Recruitment and information events are taking place in Belfast on 10 February and 3 March.