Invest Northern Ireland Supports Local Enterprise

Oct 19, 2004

Invest NI’s southern local office has helped to ‘start-up’ an impressive 600 local firms, within the last financial year, through its Start a Business programme.


The Start a Business programme aims to stimulate enterprise by providing potential entrepreneurs with the advice and support they need to establish successful businesses from initial set-up to their first transaction and beyond.

The programme offers an accredited advisory service provided by business advisors who work with business owners on a one-to-one confidential basis. Participants also take part in an entrepreneurship course comprising of ten modules focusing on sales and marketing, financial management, legal and statutory issues, ICT and general business practices. A financial planning service helps participants to decide how much money is needed to start the business and to explore all available sources of funding.

The Start a Business programme is part of a suite of services offered by the southern local office, which covers Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down, Newry & Mourne district council areas, to help local entrepreneurs create successful and sustainable businesses.
Mark Bleakney, Regional Manager for Invest NI’s southern local office, said:

“Helping to create new sustainable businesses is one of the core objectives of Invest NI. To achieve this, the southern local office has been working closely with budding entrepreneurs to allow them to set up companies that will generate wealth and boost employment.

“The 600 new businesses figure proves that the Start a Business programme, alongside our other initiatives, is working and that we are contributing to the creation of a strong and vibrant local economy,” he continued.

The Start a Business programme is free and available right across Northern Ireland. It is delivered by Enterprise Northern Ireland through its member enterprise agencies in each district council area. The programme is funded by Invest NI, the 26 district councils and the European Regional Development Fund.

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