23/07/2004

Business start up programme helps create 8,000 new jobs

Two Mallusk entrepreneurs have set up the 5000th new business to be started through the Start a Business programme, which has generated an estimated 8,250 new jobs across Northern Ireland.

Oliver McErlane took part on the programme with business partner Tim Swann, before setting up their electronic marketing company, TxtFlow. Both are experienced web application developers and aim to help smaller businesses run marketing campaigns via e-mail or by using mobile phone messaging.

Commenting on his new company, Oliver McErlane said: “TxtFlow will be different from its competitors because we will put the business owner in control. There will be no account managers running marketing campaigns for clients; instead the technology will enable companies to create and send their own messages by accessing a web browser.”

Talking about Invest NI's Business Start Up programme, he added: “We found the Start a Business Programme to be excellent. It gave us a good grounding in all the key areas of running a business and helped us to clarify our ideas and approach to promoting the business. It’s also great to have the ongoing support of a business adviser to help in the early days of running a business, when things don’t always go according to plan!”

Graham Davis, Director of Local Economic Development in Invest NI, said: “We’re delighted to be marking the 5000th new business created through the Start a Business Programme. New business ventures generate wealth and employment for the Northern Ireland economy.

"Our Accelerating Entrepreneurship Strategy and related Go For It campaign is encouraging people to turn their business ideas into reality and as a result we’re seeing a steady increase in numbers interested in starting a business.”

The fundamental aim of the Start a Business Programme is to stimulate enterprise by supporting individuals to become entrepreneurs and provide them with professional advice from the idea generation stage through to when they first start trading and beyond.

The Programme is part of a suite of services offered by Invest NI to assist Northern Ireland entrepreneurs create successful businesses operating in local, export and global markets.

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