Council taking lead on business start-up support programme

Dr Theresa Donaldson (right) with other local council leaders promoting the collaborative working of all 11 councils on the new NI Business Start Up Programme.
Dr Theresa Donaldson (right) with other local council leaders promoting the collaborative working of all 11 councils on the new NI Business Start Up Programme.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is taking the lead on a support programme for new businesses that offers help to fledgling companies across Northern Ireland.

Over recent years the well-known ‘Go for It’ programme was operated by Invest Northern Ireland. But going forward, the NI Business Start Up Programme (NIBSUP) will now be the collective responsibility of all 11 local councils, with the contract being managed by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, said: “This programme that allows individuals from across Northern Ireland to get support for their new business plan is a strong example of collaborative working across the 11 councils. Strategically the 11 Chief Executives will govern the overall direction of NIBSUP and ensure that all set targets are being met.

“Through partnership working all the councils will work to jointly deliver and fund this programme to ensure a quality service is delivered. The NIBSUP will increase the number of entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland providing jobs to the local economy on an annual basis.”

She continued: “It is important that entrepreneurs are supported in today’s society as they generate wealth and opportunity by developing their ideas into commercial ventures.

“Over the last number of years the Go for It programme has made a positive contribution to the business start-up rate across Lisburn Castlereagh and I have no doubt local government will be able to continue this important work. This programme is one of a number of support packages at the local level for businesses and entrepreneurs and represents just one strand of our economic development strategy for the Lisburn Castlereagh area.”

The NI Business Start Up Programme will help individuals develop a business plan and assist with access to finance to start and grow the business.

Support is available for a wide variety of business ideas.

Anyone wanting to start their own business and who would like free assistance with their business plan should telephone 0800 027 0639 or log on to www.goforitni.com to arrange a meeting with a business adviser.