Entrepeneurs with their certificates

A number of local entrepreneurs are hoping to take their business ideas to the next level after completing a business development programme, organised by Belfast City Council.

The 15 were participants of the High Growth Pre-Enterprise Programme which provided support for the development of business concepts with a particular focus on creativity, innovation and product development.

The programme included tailored workshops, market research, product development support, best practice visits and one-to-one mentoring,

The 15 business men and women from across the city were presented with certificates for completing the programme by Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir at a special Celebration Ceremony in the City Hall on Wednesday (5 December).

Guest speaker was Marie Marin from Employers for Childcare who spoke to the participants about the importance of passion in running your business and taking advantage of every opportunity. Barry Kelly from Ortus Development Agency also gave a motivational talk on the ‘Top Tips for Starting a Business`.

Programme participant Jo English said: “The High Growth Pre-Enterprise Programme was excellent and gave the group the opportunity to access the expertise of experienced practitioners which we might not have had access to, otherwise.

“Hearing from people such as John McMullan (Bryson Charitable Group) and Philip Bain (ShredBank) was so inspiring and really gave the group the impetus to go forward with our enterprises. I would wholeheartedly recommend the programme to anyone who aspires to start a business and I look forward to implementing the knowledge that I have gained in the coming months.”

The programme was delivered for the council by business development agencies` Work West and Ortus.

It is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for NI.

For information on the council`s support for local businesses, you can www.belfastcity.gov.uk/business. You can also click on the council`s designated Facebook Belfast Business page at www.facebook.com/belfastbusinessinfo

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