Council Chiefs from across Northern Ireland have come together to launch Northern Ireland’s Business Start-up Programme, Go For It, the free programme which helps turns business ideas into a reality – a vital move in supporting entrepreneurship and boosting the economy.
Start-up businesses are widely recognised to be one of the key elements of growing the economy, by creating new companies and employment from the ground up.
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. It is delivered free of charge through Northern Ireland’s wide network of Enterprise Agencies, by a team of highly experienced business mentors.
The group of Council Chief Executives from across Northern Ireland joined with Invest NI to encourage people to take up the call and Go For It with their local council if they are thinking of starting a business.
The all-important first step in starting out on your own is testing out the idea with an expert advisor and creating a business plan – this is what Go For It delivers. All it takes to start the process is a call to an advisor or a visit to the Go For It website to arrange a meeting.
Dr Teresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of the lead council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, is highlighting the programme to anyone who’s considering going out on their own, starting or growing a business. She said, “Our message is clear: don’t be afraid to bring forward your ideas – by talking them through with a business start-up advisor, you will quickly know if it’s going to fly, and if it is, they’ll work with you to develop a business plan to allow your business to take off. I am very pleased that all 11 local Councils are delivering this valuable programme for the many budding entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland.”
Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise NI, the body which runs the network of Enterprise Agencies delivering Go For It said, “From the many years of running the Business Start Up programme, our business advisors have probably heard every fear, reservation or worry there is about taking the first steps to starting out on your own. The programme is designed to work through these: to clarify goals, explore potential problems, map out the route to success and even to help with access to finance to start up or grow a business. Armed with a business plan, you’ll be on the road to setting up your own enterprise. I would encourage anyone considering a new business idea to get in touch.”
Bill Scott, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Regional Business said: “Northern Ireland has a long history of entrepreneurship. Many of our most successful local businesses were self-started by one person with a simple business idea. Equally, there are thousands of micro-businesses which are the lifeblood of our local economy. The latest national employment statistics show that the number of self-employed is continuing to rise steadily, now accounting for over 15% of the working population in the UK, or 4.86 million people. Go For It is a valuable first step towards thousands of new businesses in Northern Ireland.”
If you’re not sure whether going out on your own is right for you, get in touch with one of the Go For It advisors – it’s free, independent and based on years of local experience: you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Visit www.goforitni.com; call 0333 696 1524; or visit your local enterprise agency.