Over 1,500 people attended 16 events organised by Invest Northern Ireland as part of Enterprise Week.
The successful initiative aimed to generate a greater culture of enterprise particularly amongst young people and stimulate higher levels of innovation in business.
Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients Group and Entrepreneurship, commented on the success of the initiative, saying: “By developing a more enterprising and innovative culture we can help grow the economy here in the long term. Enterprise Week in Northern Ireland provided existing companies with opportunities to discover ways to grow their business, as well as inspiring young people to think about entrepreneurship and consider self employment as a career option.
“Enterprise Week has highlighted the talent that our present and future business leaders possess. By supporting our entrepreneurs in their creative endeavours we can develop an enterprising culture that will support business growth and develop wealth in our economy,” added Mr Murphy.
Central to the week long series of events was the Celebration of Enterprise, at which Northern Ireland’s elite entrepreneurs and innovators were honoured. Orla Corr of the McAvoy Group became the thirteenth business person and first female to be inducted into the Invest NI Hall of Fame. Other award winners at the event, which was sponsored by Ulster Bank, were Ripfactory, Willis Heating and Plumbing, Fusion Antibodies, Singularity and Fintec. All of these companies were recognised for their entrepreneurial vision and contribution to the NI economy.
The principal youth event was the final of the Future is Yours schools competition, sponsored by Craigavon based Almac. The winning school was Bangor Grammar, which presented an innovative business concept based on non-slip logo mats made from recycled material. Other youth events took place in Coleraine and Armagh during the week, seeking to stimulate higher levels of business starts in the future.
A wide range of other events took place throughout Northern Ireland, including seminars that focused on growing established businesses and levels of female entrepreneurship.