24/10/2001

Northern Ireland is Best for Business in the UK

The Business to Business Bridge Programme, part of the Northern Ireland Business in the Community initiative, has been voted Best for Business in the UK.

The programme picked up the top award at the national final of the One 2 One Best for Business competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition rewards the most innovative and effective initiatives supporting small and growing businesses in the UK and offers the winner a £5,000 prize to promote growth.

Business in the Community was selected over ten other initiatives across the UK, with Business Link York & North Yorkshire’s Food Sector Design Best Practice voted as runner up.

Deirdre Timoney, North East Area Manager with Business in the Community, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award in respect of the Business to Business Bridge programme, particularly as it is the first time organisations from Northern Ireland have been eligible to enter and the quality of the competition was particularly high.

“The Business to Business Bridge programme has been particularly successful, providing practical support for the small business sector in Northern Ireland. This award is an accolade to the many large firms that have supported the initiative and to the programme funders LEDU (the small firms agency) and the International Fund for Ireland.”

A national organisation with a core membership of 700 companies, Business in the Community includes 75 per cent of the FTSE 100. Around 200 of these companies are members in Northern Ireland.

The Business to Business Bridge programme has been in operation for nine years and seeks to engage large, private sector companies in the development of small/medium enterprises by offering advisory services on a range of business practices including marketing, product development and e-commerce.

Drawing on the expertise of many large companies across Northern Ireland, such as DuPont (UK) Ltd, F G Wilson, Mivan Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sx3 and W&G Bairds Ltd, the programme has, to date, assisted over 1000 new and growing businesses and leveraged more than £250,000 of in kind support for the local small to medium enterprise sector.

Best for Business is open to organisations from both the private and public sector. Any initiative – from a simple leaflet on using the web, to a multi-million pound project designed to put the heart back into local business communities – is eligible. (MB)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 July 2012
Northern Hydraulics Engineers Investors In People Success
Coalisland precision engineering company Northern Hydraulics is one of 37 organisations from across Northern Ireland today awarded with the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) accreditation. Dr Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning, congratulated those receiving the business award at a celebration event held in Hillsborough Castle.
26 October 2011
Hamilton Reiterates Support For Small Businesses
Strangford DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has told an audience of business people in Lisburn that the Stormont Assembly must maintain its support for Northern Ireland's small business sector during these difficult times.
03 January 2012
Wilson Congratulates Firm's Success In The Export Market
Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, has visited Smiley Monroe Ltd in Lisburn, a family owned firm employing 90 people. Since its foundation in 1979, Smiley Monroe Ltd has become Europe’s largest producer of conveyor belts for the mobile crushing, screening and recycling sectors.
13 September 2002
Business mentor award winners praised by Minister
The commitment and hard work of volunteers from the business community who work with young people setting up their own businesses were praised last night by Trade Minister Sir Reg Empey, at the Prince’s Trust Mentor of the Year awards.
06 November 2015
Council Hosts 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour'
Belfast City Council hosted the 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour' at City Hall on Thursday, 05 November, which is touring the UK to highlight small business success and encourage people to 'shop local'.