This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme

NI setting the bar high with 1000 start-ups milestone

DATE: 25/09/18

AUTHOR: Go for it

Setting the Bar High

Northern Ireland, always known to punch above its weight as a region full of entrepreneurial spirit, has sparked 1000 new business start-ups in just a few months, through the Go For It programme.

The Go For It programme provides advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business, by taking them through the process of creating a business plan.  By testing an idea, setting goals and objectives, clarifying their financial position and mapping out markets and customers, many candidates find they can much more clearly see where their business is going and where their opportunities lie.

Over 1000 business plans have been completed through the Go For It programme since the start of its latest round at the end of 2017 and new start-ups are springing up across Northern Ireland, in every local council area.

Speaking on behalf of the 11 Local Councils running the Go For It programme, Glenny Whitley of Lisburn Castlereagh City Council said, “1000 new business plans in such a short space of time is quite remarkable. All great businesses must start somewhere and we are extremely impressed with the calibre of new start-ups coming through the Go For It programme.  Some of those taking this initial step are following a long-held dream of becoming their own boss, others are turning a hobby into a viable business, or seizing the opportunity to simply “do it for themselves”.  Whatever the motivation, this important business start-up programme is here to provide the help, support and encouragement to get the wheels in motion for any business idea, large or small. Congratulations to all our budding entrepreneurs as they get their businesses up and growing.”

Many council areas have seen over 100 businesses getting started in their area since the latest Go For It programme began in September 2017.

The programme is being delivered across Northern Ireland through the 11 local councils and supported by experienced Business Advisors in Enterprise Northern Ireland’s broad network of Enterprise Agencies.

Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland said, “We always find that the turn of a new year gives people the nudge to make a change and start something new.  We’re really proud to support every single individual who has seized the opportunity over the last few months and brought their idea to the Go For It programme for development.  There are lots of great ideas out there and we’re full of admiration for all the individuals who are energetically pursuing the dream of starting their own business.  Many candidates find that having a tried and tested business plan not only gives them confidence to go forward, but is also the final push they need to make things happen.  We wish all of them every success.”

Welcoming the milestone, Mary Gormley, Invest NI’s European and Partner Delivery Manager said: “This is an encouraging result for local councils as they work collaboratively to encourage self-starters across Northern Ireland to fulfil their potential. Entrepreneurs and micro-businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and Go For It is a valuable first step towards thousands of new businesses in Northern Ireland.”

Go For It is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

If you have a business idea, visit to get your business started, or call the local team on 0333 696 1524.