Inspiring Launch for Belfast Start a Business Week

The Belfast Start a Business Week, which runs from 22-29 January 2004, got under way last night with a celebration of entrepreneurship event in Belfast City Hall, organised by Invest Northern Ireland and supported by Belfast City Council.

The invited audience of entrepreneurs included those who have participated in the Start a Business Programme and also some individuals who registered an interest in setting up a business following the Start a Business Show held in November.

Attendees at the event were treated to an inspiring presentation from motivational speaker Watt Nicholl, who has worked with stars of sport, screen and business, and who urged them to keep aiming high and pursuing their dreams.

Professor Terri Scott, Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship in Invest NI, congratulated the participants on their enterprising spirit.

Professor Scott said: “The Start a Business week is part of the Go For It campaign which has caught the attention of the public and has already generated some 8000 enquiries. We’re delighted at the level of response and I would like to personally congratulate all those who have already taken, or are planning to take, the next step to set up in business.

Belfast City Council, in association with several other organisations, has organised the week of events to encourage local entrepreneurs to transform their business ideas into a commercial reality. The events organised include entrepreneurship masterclasses, workshops on how to start a business, community business clinics, sessions on developing business ideas and special events for young entrepreneurs across Belfast.

“Belfast City Council’s local economic development plan aims to promote entrepreneurship and competitiveness in the city by supporting business start-ups, promoting innovation and backing winning ideas,” said Councillor Chris McGimpsey, Chairman of the Economic Development Sub Committee.

“The Belfast Start a Business Week aims to ensure that local people who may be planning to establish a business have all the relevant information and advice required. Several organisations involved in economic support are contributing to the content of the programme. It is an excellent example of working in partnership to ensure the most effective delivery of advice and support.”

The launch event also included presentations by Deirdre Kelly of People Management Solutions, and Adrian McAleese, Celtoi Designs, who outlined their individual journeys to success.

The evening ended with an opportunity for the audience to benefit from informal networking. Business advisors were also on hand to answer questions and offer advice.

Anyone interested in starting a business is encouraged to go along to one of their local events or call at Belfast’s First Stop Business Shop.