17/11/2006

New support brochure for rural enterprises launched

As part of National Enterprise Week 2006, a new support brochure designed specifically for rural businesses called, 'A look at opening your business to new prospects' was launched at Loughry College, Cookstown.

The brochure was jointly produced by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and outlines, in detail, the various different types of support on offer to rural enterprises across Northern Ireland.

Reflecting on the launch, DARD’s Permanent Secretary, Pat Toal explained: “The entrepreneurial spirit of the broad rural community is the key to the achievement of DARD’s vision of a thriving and sustainable rural community.

“We will continue to encourage and support local innovation and enterprise, including very small businesses - both on farm and off farm. We will ensure that our support will meaningfully complement the work of our partners in Invest NI.”

The brochure features in-depth case studies on nine rural enterprises, such as CK international which manufactures and supplies specialist equipment for the recycling industry, and Armagh Cider, which produces apple juice and cider, free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives.

Both companies have received extensive assistance from Invest NI and DARD to help them improve their competitiveness and reach new heights of success.

Commenting on the launch, Ian Murphy, Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship at Invest NI, said: “Rural entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the success of the regional economy and so we are working closely with DARD to ensure that a more joined-up approach is taken in the provision of business support and advice.

“By encouraging more rural entrepreneurs to start or develop their businesses, particularly those businesses with a high degree of exporting potential, we will ensure maximum benefit to the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”

The brochure was launched at a special event for rural entrepreneurs, which took place in Cookstown as part of Enterprise Week, a UK wide series of events focusing on entrepreneurship.

Copies of the brochure can be downloaded directly from Invest NI’s website at www.investni.com under the reports and publications section.

(EF/KMcA)

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