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The start initiative

The Regional Start Initiative


Plans for more than 3,000 new start-up businesses are set to be developed this year as part of The Regional Start Initiative

The next generation of businessmen and women in Northern Ireland are being invited to get help turning their business ideas into tangible business plans that could help them to secure funding from banks or other potential investors.

In its fourth year, The Regional Start Initiative is now under the remit of the new 11 councils and is delivered by Invest NI, Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agency network. Since the programme started, companies have been launched in almost all sectors with an upsurge of businesses in the leisure, food and creative industries.

Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland commented: “To date the Regional Start Initiative has produced circa 3,400 business plans a year across Northern Ireland.

“We are encouraging people with a great business idea to get in touch. We have business advisers who offer bespoke one to one mentoring to help bring people’s business ideas to life, with a variety of workshops open to participants. Business plans are an important first step in the start-up process, helping attract potential investors and secure funding. Northern Ireland has a wealth of entrepreneurs with great business ideas. The aim of this Initiative is to help those entrepreneurs put together a business plan to help kick start their own business.

“We have seen many success stories from this programme since its launch. There is a strong demand for these types of programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and we hope this year it will be even more successful.”

Lacada Brewery based in Portrush was started after Director and Head Brewer Laurie Davies took part in the Regional Start Initiative in 2015.

“The Regional Start Initiative was recommended to us as a way of starting the business. Creating a business plan is a very time consuming and complex process. All the staff were hugely supportive throughout the course of the programme and continue to provide advice when needed.

“I’d highly recommend the programme to anyone with an idea for a business to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Agency and Council.”

Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “This programme has helped create many businesses in the area and I would encourage anyone with an idea for a new business to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Agency.

“We have a strong entrepreneurial spirit within the borough and this programme will help develop the latest generation of businessmen and women.”

For further information on the Regional Start Initiative programme please visit: