Strong first year marks good progress towards four year business strategy

Jun 18, 2018

Growth in jobs, sales and exports by Invest Northern Ireland’s customers show strong progress towards the outcome goals of the agency’s 2017-2021 Business Strategy.

  Year 1 Progress 2017-2021 Outcome
Additional Jobs 10,970 30,000-40,000
Total Sales £1.7 billion £3.2 to £4.2 billion
External Sales £1.2 billion £2.4 to £3.1 billion
Export Sales £0.8 billion £0.8 to £1.2 billion

An outturn of nearly 11,000 additional jobs within the first year is an exceptional result, and positions us one third of the way towards our four year outcome target.

- Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest NI

Speaking about the figures, Invest NI CEO, Alastair Hamilton said “Following a clear steer given by the draft Programme for Government we have now moved to Outcome Based reporting which focusses on the wider impact of our work.

“Invest NI provides support and advice to businesses regardless of their size, location or stage of development. However, in order to measure impacts effectively we are collecting results from a cohort of over 1,500 businesses that we work most closely with.

“An outturn of nearly 11,000 additional jobs within the first year is an exceptional result, and positions us one third of the way towards our four year outcome target. These are jobs that businesses have already created and two thirds of these are in companies located outside of Belfast.

“The figures also show we are half way towards the four year external sales outcome target. In addition, we have already reached the lower end of the export sales outcome target, with this group of companies reporting growth of export sales of £800m over the year (12%).”

Other progress on the 2017-2021 Business Strategy objectives includes:

  • 10 new international offices added to the Invest NI network
  • International Strategy and Education Strategy launched
  • Launch of a portfolio of Infrastructure investment opportunities
  • Increased number of companies on the Scaling and Pre-scaling programmes

“While moving to outcome based reporting is a shift for the organisation, and for our stakeholders who have become familiar with previous transactional based measures, it allows us to focus on impact not quantity”, continued Alastair.

The agency continues to see strong interest from companies looking to invest in Northern Ireland and in 2017/18 it supported 23 businesses to invest for the first time, one of our highest in the last 5 years.

- Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest NI

“While this is great progress for one year into a four year strategy we are mindful that there remain real challenges ahead in light of Brexit and US policy changes. So while we are very encouraged by this year’s export outturn we will be continuing to review our support offering to ensure it helps businesses meet the new challenges ahead and will monitor export performance closely.

“The agency continues to see strong interest from companies looking to invest in Northern Ireland and in 2017/18 it supported 23 businesses to invest for the first time, one of our highest in the last 5 years.

“Continuing to attract investment is a key priority for us and over the next year we aim to build on our ability to attract international entrepreneurs as well as building on our successes in our key markets of the US and GB. Part of this strategy will include a relaunch of NI Connections, our diaspora programme, which helps provide a vital voice for Northern Ireland around the world.”

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