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Business growth through knowledge sharing

Friday, 7 March 2008

Local businesses were encouraged to grow through knowledge sharing at a networking event in the Shankill.

Minister Dodds addressed an audience of local companies at a Business Breakfast networking event in the Spectrum Centre, organised by the Greater Shankill Partnership and Townsend Enterprise Park.

The event was part of the Exploring Enterprise Programme, funded by Invest Northern Ireland as an element of the wider Renewing Communities Action Plan.

It is designed to encourage fledgling local businesses to collaborate and grow through knowledge sharing.

Speaking at the event, Minister Dodds said: “I congratulate Greater Shankill Partnership and the Townsend Enterprise Park for their joint initiative to promote local business growth. Today’s event is an important opportunity for local companies to engage and share information to expand their businesses.”

Mr Dodds added: “The Northern Ireland economy stands to benefit from an increase in commercial activity and the establishment of more high quality businesses, particularly those which are export focused, in areas of socio-economic need.

“There is a wealth of entrepreneurial talent here and we must continue to harness this and promote a culture of enterprise in the community to grow our economy.”

The Minister concluded: “Through the Exploring Enterprise Programme, there are a range of support mechanisms to help people start a business. By collaborating with Invest NI, local enterprise agencies and other businesses, small companies can increase productivity and look to exporting their products or services in the long term.”

Companies attending the event had an opportunity to share ideas and best practice in order to progress their business.

Tom Scott, Chairman of the Greater Shankill Partnership, said: “In order to stimulate the economy in Greater Shankill, it is vital that new businesses learn from each other and develop together. It is crucial that we build on the progress that has stemmed from the range of business mentoring and coaching activities that have taken place here over the past number of months through the Exploring Enterprise Programme.”

Stanley Wallace, Chairman of the Townsend Enterprise Park, said: "Townsend Enterprise Park is delighted to continue supporting the development of enterprise in the area through collaboration and working with the Greater Shankill Partnership. The recent programme has been very successful with 23 people from the local area hoping to complete the Exploring Enterprise Programme by end of March."

The Exploring Enterprise Programme is being delivered by a range of local agencies in North, South and East Belfast as well as Greater Shankill and Rathcoole.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The cross-departmental £33million Renewing Communities Action Plan was launched by Minister David Hanson in April 2006 and identified more than 60 actions to address some of the particular challenges faced in disadvantaged communities within the five areas of North, South and East Belfast, Greater Shankill and Rathcoole.
  2. Through the Renewing Communities initiative, Government aims to focus on both physical improvements together with strengthening the capacity of groups and organisations working to tackle disadvantage.
  3. Invest NI has been allocated £1.69million through the Renewing Communities Action Plan to work on specific actions to develop entrepreneurship.
  4. For media enquiries please contact the DETI Press Office, telephone 028 9052 9297 or 07866 847919.
  5. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.