Figures show strong interest in starting a business

Thousands of people are seeking information and guidance on starting their own business, according to figures from Invest Northern Ireland.

With Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009, this week encouraging more people to take the step into self employment, Invest NI has revealed that in the last seven months almost 5,700 people have phoned the Go for It helpline and over 4,500 have contacted their local enterprise agency about setting up their own business.

The agency also reports that its uk website has generated 170,000 visits since April 09, with over 30,000 visits in October, the highest visitor traffic since the site’s launch in 2006.

Shauna Fenton, Head of Invest NI’s team, says: “People are increasingly turning to to find the information they need to start or grow a business. I believe that reflects the quality of information on the site and the fact that it is easy to understand and tailored to specific local needs.

“For example, last month business guides on the site relating to starting a business attracted almost 15,000 hits. These guides cover a wide range of topics such as how to start a business in Northern Ireland; preparing a business plan, farm diversification and social enterprises. There is also specific advice for women, those under 30 and the unemployed. There is even a guide on starting a business during a recession,” she adds.

People seeking information on starting a business can access an extensive range of business guides by visiting

By registering on the site users can benefit from receiving tailored e-mail alerts about events, regulations and tax deadlines relevant to them.