Start-up initiative launched to propel cutting-edge business success

Invest Northern Ireland today launched a major programme which aims to establish successful new fast growth, knowledge intensive businesses which could generate significant export sales and boost the local economy.

The Propel programme will provide innovative entrepreneurs with salary support and the skills, expertise, and networks to fast track the development of their cutting-edge business ideas into profitable global enterprises.  

Launching the initiative, Invest NI’s Director of Regional Economic Development, Graham Davis, said: “The Propel programme will encourage more ambitious people with potentially lucrative business concepts to become entrepreneurs. It aims to help them develop and export their products and services, and contribute to the growth of an even more dynamic, knowledge-led economy in Northern Ireland.

“There is an abundance of enterprising talent in Northern Ireland, and when this commercial acumen is combined with new cutting-edge ideas, it can lead to business success.”

“Our Propel Programme will help participants to maximise the commercial potential of their ideas and generate the best possible return for the entrepreneurs and the local economy,” added Mr Davis.

The Propel programme will include master classes, specialist advice from local and international experts, access to potential investors, strategic business planning support, a hot desk at an incubation centre and a research visit to an overseas market. Extensive one-to-one mentoring will also be provided to help participants with specific challenges associated with their business.

Thirty potential entrepreneurs will be recruited to participate on phase 1 of the programme, and following presentation of their business ideas to an expert panel at the end of this phase, only 15 candidates will progress to the more intensive phase 2.

The deadline for applications for Propel is 5pm on 18 September 2009 and a dedicated website is available at, providing an overview of the initiative and an online application form. The programme will begin in October 2009.