Enterprise week set to cultivate successful companies

Invest Northern Ireland is organising a series of exciting events involving high profile speakers such as Colin Jackson CBE, as part of Enterprise Week from 12 – 16 November.

The week will aim to stimulate a spirit of entrepreneurship, particularly amongst our young people, and help businesses to grow.

Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship, commented: “Enterprise Week is well established as a platform for encouraging entrepreneurial activity in Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming people of all ages to our events, with a view to either starting their own business or developing an existing company.”

Ulster Bank will sponsor the ‘Celebration of Enterprise’, a gala dinner and awards ceremony recognising Northern Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, exporters and innovators. Addressing the audience at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, David Taylor, former European Business Speaker of the Year and best-selling author of the Naked Leader books, willseek to inspire local business leaders.

A series of growth themed lunchtime lectures, also sponsored by Ulster Bank, will encourage established businesses to further embrace the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Linenhall Library in Belfast. Topics to be discussed include sales and marketing, cost saving and environmental responsibility. These events are open to all businesses in Northern Ireland.

Colin Jackson CBE will speak at regional events, held in Ballymena, Londonderry and Newry in conjunction with Bank of Ireland. The world record holder will show the link between thriving global businesses and top international athletes. Common themes to be discussed include innovation and competitive advantage.

A number of youth oriented events will also take place, helping to develop a culture of enterprise among schoolchildren and young adults. Central to these will be the final of The Future is Yours schools competition, sponsored by Craigavon based Almac. The school that presents the most innovative and enterprising business idea to the panel of judges will be announced as the winner.

In addition, two Youth Zone events will take place during the week, at the University of Ulster, Coleraine and in the City Hotel in Armagh, where a range of organisations will provide interactive learning zones for pupils.

Maggie Philbin, former presenter of BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, will help launch the Pathbreaking initiative in Belfast which aims to develop a culture of innovative enterprise among women through a creative approach to business.

Female entrepreneurship will also be promoted at events in Ballymena and Dungannon, when two successful female entrepreneurs share their experiences with local companies run by women. Local case studies at these rural events will profile outstanding innovative businesses, also run by women.

A number of other events will be run during Enterprise Week throughout Northern Ireland, delivered by Invest NI’s enterprise partners.