08/12/2003

Ballymoney businesses seminar promises information-packed event

Business managers in the Ballymoney Borough are invited to a business seminar and showcase being held in the Joey Dunlop Centre in the town this week.

Based on the theme 'Leading Managers into the Future' the showcase on Thursday 11th Dec 2003 from 6.45pm - 9.30pm will address key business issues raised in a current programme; which has already been booked out by local businesses.

Guest speakers include: Geoff Spence, Invest NI; Kerri McHendry, LearnDirect for Business; Andrew McAlister, North Antrim Leader; David Shaw, Federation of Small Businesses; Bill Manson, Management & Leadership Network, Rodney McMullan, Parity (Premiere2 Programme) and Sean Nelson, University of Ulster’s Office of Innovation & Enterprise.

Visitors can also access information from organisations such as The Prince's Trust, Premiere2 programme, University of Ulster, Invest NI, Business Networks International, Management & Leadership Network, Federation of small businesses, LearnDirect for Business and North Antrim Leader at exhibition stands.

This seminar is being organised as part of the 'Leading Managers Into The Future Programme' under which 40 places are offered on the pilot programme, which is the first of its kind in the Borough. Fully subscribed since early November, participants on the programme range from small sole traders to Limited companies with more than 300 staff from a broad cross section of industry - manufacturing, retail, food production, hospitality/tourism, construction, transportation, community groups and engineering.

Bobby Farren, Manager of Acorn, the Business Centre said: "Demand for places on the ‘Leading Managers into the Future Programme’ has exceeded all of our expectations. This Seminar, which will be one of a series of three held over the next six months, is an extra opportunity for those unable to secure a place on the programme to benefit from guidance and expertise in core areas such as business development, staff management and marketing."

The aim of the programme is to assist the growth and development of local businesses and to in turn, stimulate the local economy.

Ballymoney has the third lowest wage rate in the UK and has a low level of educational attainment. A study also found that owner/managers of businesses in the area lack the skills to take their businesses forward.

The programme seeks to address these issues in part by offering one to one specialist business mentoring from accredited Business Advisors and specialist consultants. It will also offer subsidised training in management and marketing, delivered by the Causeway Institute.

(SP)

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