Invest Northern Ireland has launched a brochure to ensure that farmers are aware of the wide range of business support services that they can use to set up or grow a business.
The brochure entitled Look at your business from a different angle and grow, was launched at the Balmoral Show where Invest NI had an information stand promoting entrepreneurship in the rural economy and agricultural industry.
Eamon Mulvenna of Invest NI comments: “We’ve been working closely with the Ulster Farmers Union and DARD to develop ways of highlighting our range of support to farmers and helping them access assistance.
“Invest NI has already helped many farmers to set up second businesses to supplement their farm income. But our support is not confined to helping businesses get started. A significant part of the agency’s work is about helping businesses increase capability and profitability, and boosting export opportunities. We also offer technical advice and support to help with issues related to the increasingly complex area of environmental legislation.”
Invest NI can also support tourism related developments and has helped several farmers to set up tourist businesses on their farms. Ballyduggan Cottages, owned by dairy farmer Jim Morrison, is a tourist accommodation project that involves restoring old cottages. The architecturally significant cottages near Downpatrick are being restored by a member of the Ulster Architectural Society with support from Invest NI’s Tourist Development Scheme.
UFU President, Campbell Tweed, says: “The UFU wants to see a one stop shop for rural entrepreneurs so that farmers can easily identify the most appropriate channels through which they can get assistance. I welcome Invest NI’s current focus on this area which includes the launch of this brochure.”
The brochure contains information on where to get information and help, and includes case studies profiling farmers that Invest NI has assisted in setting up and growing businesses.
The brochure is supported by DARD and the Ulster Farmers Union and is available from Invest NI’s local offices, Rural Connect, UFU offices and local enterprise agencies.