13/02/2014

Council Launches Programme To Support 500 Small Businesses

A new programme has been launched by Belfast City Council to offer support to nearly 500 small businesses in the city.

'Go for Growth' aims to provide small businesses and social enterprises with the practical skills and flexible support needed to expand their individual organisations.

Participants will benefit from a wide range of tailored workshops over 18 months giving them expert advice on best practice in sales, customer service, marketing, finance, people management and strategy.

They will receive one-to-one mentoring from experts on identifying, targeting and winning new customers and contracts as well as a business assessment to find out more about key areas for improvement.

The participating businesses will also get to attend a number of tailored networking events throughout the programme and gain first-hand experience from some of our most successful local companies.

Councillor Deirdre Harley, Chair of the Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, said: "I'm delighted to launch this exciting new business support programme for small businesses and social enterprises in the city to help them grow.

"By next year, the programme aims to have assisted nearly 500 small businesses through one-to-one mentoring; tailored workshops; networking opportunities and vital business assessments. Mentoring will also be delivered by a pool of 30 mentors with a range of skills and expertise across all sectors.

"The programme is further designed to be flexible to meet the individual needs of each business so I would encourage small businesses and social enterprises across the city to sign up for it and expand in the process."

To take part in the programme, businesses or social enterprises must be based in the Belfast City Council area with less than 50 employees. They must also have generated no more than 30 percent of total sales during their last full financial year from markets outside of Northern Ireland.

(CD/MH)

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