Council joins forces with Prince’s Trust to support young entrepreneurs

Pictured with Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee, are (l-r) Conor Harvey; Ryan Quinn; Lisa Condron, Programme Executive, Enterprise, The Prince's Trust; and Joshua Murray.
Pictured with Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee, are (l-r) Conor Harvey; Ryan Quinn; Lisa Condron, Programme Executive, Enterprise, The Prince's Trust; and Joshua Murray.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has joined forces with The Prince’s Trust to help local young people aged between 18 and 30 develop their entrepreneurial skills through the Exploring Enterprise and Development Awards programmes.

The enterprise support on offer will give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to research their business sector and turn their ideas into reality, while the Development Awards will help to re-engage young people in education, training and employment.

The council recently contributed £10,000 towards the two programmes, which are being delivered by The Prince’s Trust in the local area.

The Explore Enterprise Programme will assist 12 local young people and Development Awards will be offered to 25 local young people.

Speaking after meeting some of the local young people who participated in the Explore Enterprise programme, Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, said: “The innovative ideas by local young people for their own business are varied and each of the three young entrepreneurs I met, Joshua Murray, Conor Harvey and Ryan Quinn, have market tested their idea and are at various stages of set-up.

“The council was very keen to support this programme that offers practical and financial support to help stabilise the lives of young people who experience barriers to move into education, training or employment.

“Joshua has already launched his business BikeworkX and will now, as part of the Explore Enterprise Programme, commence his two-year mentoring support from volunteers within The Prince’s Trust to help develop his business. Ongoing support and guidance for business is important and is offered by the council to new and existing businesses in its area through its Business Solutions Team each year.”

He added: “It is not just the entrepreneurial spirit of young people that the council is keen to support, but also enhancing their employment opportunities. Through the Development Awards programme young people may access a grant of between £200 and £500 to fund courses and professional fees, equipment needed for a qualification or job, as well as interview clothes essential to help young people develop their skills and qualifications.”

Through BikeworkX young entrepreneur Joshua Murray provides bicycle repairs and components as well as selling bicycles, accessories and nutrition products from many reputable brands online via his company website. He has set up a business that builds on his previous experience and his hobby as a cyclist.

Conor Harvey’s business DroneCloud, when launched, will offer drone enabled services to several commercial industries including industrial servicing and maintenance, agricultural surveying and photography, property inspection and surveying for domestic and event photography.

Ryan Quinn joined the Programme to pursue his dream of self-employment as it was suitable for his work/life balance with a young family. His business Lethal Enterprises, when launched, will be an online marketplace selling seasonal and celebratory items through a number of well-known online retailers.

Karyn McNiece, from The Prince’s Trust, speaking about its partnership with the council, commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to help develop young people across the council area. Young people have skills and talent that are vital to the economy and, in the past year alone, The Trust has engaged with over 8,600 young people looking to solve their own unemployment via our Enterprise programme. All too often, young people have difficulties to overcome but given the right support – such as our low interest loans, business mentors and ongoing advice - we can support young people to succeed and thrive in their business.”

For more information about the council’s business support programmes contact Kris Walker on 028 9250 9390 or email kris.walker@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

For details about how to get involved in the Exploring Enterprise and Development Awards programmes call The Prince’s Trust on 028 9089 5025.