Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Go For It programme are celebrating a significant milestone after helping its 200th new local business to compile a business plan.
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.
The scheme provides advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business by taking them through every step of the process of creating a business plan.
200th Business Plan
The Brewery at the Baronscourt Estate are one of the most recent local businesses to complete the programme and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, visited the Newtownstewart venue this week to mark the milestone.
“I would like to congratulate Council’s strand of the Go For It initiative for guiding over 200 local entrepreneurs through the start-up process and helping turn their business vision into a sustainable reality,” he said.
“The programme offers expert mentoring in the business related challenges of start-up such as financial and business planning, accessing funding and best practise to help build the foundations for a sustainable business model.
“Start-ups such as the Baronscourt Brewery play a key role in our local economy both in stimulating growth and creating jobs so I am pleased that so many of them have been able to avail of the support and guidance they need through this programme.
“I would like to wish John Wauchob and the team at Baronscourt the very best in developing and growing their enterprise in the months and years ahead.”
By the end of July, 2,000 business plans are expected to have been completed across Northern Ireland through the Go For It programme since the start of its latest round at the end of 2017.
High Calibre Start-Ups
Speaking on behalf of the 11 Local Councils running the programme, Dr Eugene McGuckin of Lisburn Castlereagh City Council added: “Two thousand 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.”
The programme is supported by experienced Business Advisors in Enterprise Northern Ireland’s broad network of Enterprise Agencies and their Chief Executive Michael McQuillan said he was proud of the role his organisation plays in supporting new entrepreneurs.
Strong Spirit Of Entrepreneurship
“In the short period I have been in the role of CE I have been encouraged by the strong spirit of entrepreneurship that exists in Northern Ireland which gives me great optimism for the future growth of our economy,” he noted. “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. Indigenous businesses make up more than 97% of the businesses in our economy – start-up activity is critically important to the sustainability and competitiveness of our economy and to the stability and enhancing of our local communities.
“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 and through our Local Enterprise Network are here to support them on their entrepreneurial journey.”
Go For It!
If you have a business idea, visit www.goforitni.com to get your business started, or call the local team on 0800 027 0639.