A former children’s entertainer from Beragh, who reached the semi-finals on Britain’s Got Talent, turned his passion for creating fantastically fun memories for children into a successful indoor soft play area, thanks to help from the Go For It programme in association with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
The Go For It programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) programme.
Ryan Tracey launched Duff Land Ltd, Duff being an acronym for Dream Up Fantastic Fun in Beragh just last year. After years of enjoying the laughter of kids and gaining experience as a children’s entertainer, he always considered owning his own business.
The performer turned businessman took the decision to start his own business at a time when he had to make a choice in his life; to follow his passion and become a business owner or continue his path in employment.
Ryan explains: “The decision to start my own business was based on the fact that I needed to make a choice in my life, whether I was ever going to take a leap of faith to own a business and do something that I knew I would love and that the world needed. That gave me the motivation to do it.
“When I launched Duff Land, I felt immensely proud. I was so grateful that I was able to do it with the support of my wife and family. Since starting this journey, I have become very excited about the future and the potential for what we can do, as we provide entertainment to hundreds of kids every week.
“Owning my own business feels like the shackles are off. It is freedom and autonomy. You have the ability to make your own decisions and implement your own ideas, some of them will work and some of them won’t. But at least you get a chance to try them.”
Ryan’s dream of opening his entertainment centre of excellence became reality after taking part in the Go For It programme through the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
Ryan said: “Whenever I set up Duff Land, I knew I needed support and advice, so I reached out to the Go For It programme and thankfully they were able to help. My business advisor was fundamentally important to me getting the business off the ground. They provide support, advice and assistance in relation to different variables that I hadn’t even considered.
“They have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of starting up businesses, I knew that my undertaking was very big, and I knew that I didn’t have all the answers. They provided a lot of the answers and helped me.
“Mary, my business advisor was fantastic, and she was a great source of support for myself and the team. Simply put, I wouldn’t have been able to open the business without the support of the Go For It programme.”
Councillor Barry McElduff, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said:
“I am delighted to see new business start-ups like Duff Land receiving the support they need from the Go For It programme.
“I know Ryan personally and have visited his place which is a real mecca for children’s parties and entertainment.
“The Council is committed to ensuring that our economy is thriving, expanding and outward looking. Entrepreneurs like Ryan are at the core of helping us to achieve this goal.
“I wish Ryan all the best in growing and developing his business. Already, it is a very successful visitor attraction on its own right.”
Oonagh Gallagher, from Omagh Enterprise Centre added: “The mentorship we provided Ryan focused on market research, financial planning, marketing, and goal setting during the preparation stage of his business plan.
“He had a clear vision, along with bundles of passion and energy for his business idea. With our support and guidance, he was able to develop a business plan that helped him secure an amazing location to launch his business venture and turn his business idea into a reality.
“Duff Land is flourishing, welcoming hundreds of families on a weekly basis, and we wish Ryan every success in the future.”
Duff Land is flourishing, welcoming hundreds of families on a weekly basis
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It programme on: 0800 027 0639 or visit: www.goforitni.com.