Mid Ulster leads the way in entrepreneurs

Pictured (L-R) are Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland; Councillor Frances Burton, Chair of the Development Committee at Mid Ulster District Council; Alanna Collins, Business Development Officer at Dungannon Enterprise Agency and Martin Walsh, Owner of Surface Restoration & Blasting Technologies.

Pictured (L-R) are Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland; Councillor Frances Burton, Chair of the Development Committee at Mid Ulster District Council; Alanna Collins, Business Development Officer at Dungannon Enterprise Agency and Martin Walsh, Owner of Surface Restoration & Blasting Technologies.

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The next generation of businessmen and women in the Mid Ulster area are being invited to get help turning their business ideas into tangible business plans that could help them to secure funding from banks or other potential investors.

Plans for more than 3,000 new start-up businesses are set to be developed this year as part of The Regional Start Initiative.

The mentoring I received was fantastic and the support they still give me is greatly appreciated. Since I completed the programme another two of my friends have applied and are in the process of finishing their business plans.

Martin Walsh

In its fourth year, The Regional Start Initiative is now under the remit of the new 11 councils and is delivered by Invest NI, Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agency network. Since the programme started, companies have been launched in almost all sectors with an upsurge of businesses in the leisure, food and creative industries.

Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland said: “Business plans are an important first step in the start-up process, helping attract potential investors and secure funding. Northern Ireland has a wealth of entrepreneurs with great business ideas. The aim of this Initiative is to help those entrepreneurs put together a business plan to help kick start their own business.

Surface Restoration & Blasting Technologies based in Dungannon was started after owner Martin Walsh took part in the Regional Start Initiative in 2015. Mr Walsh was able to successfully apply for a Start Up Loan from Enterprise Northern Ireland using the business plan generated through the Regional Start Initiative.

“The mentoring I received was fantastic and the support they still give me is greatly appreciated. Since I completed the programme another two of my friends have applied and are in the process of finishing their business plans.

Chair of the Development Committee, Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Frances Burton, said: “We have a strong entrepreneurial spirit here, Mid Ulster is actually the highest performing area in Northern Ireland in terms of entrepreneurial activity, and Council is keen this position is sustained.

For further information on the Regional Start Initiative programme please visit: https://www.enterpriseni.com