Entrepreneurs urged to ‘Go For it’ with ‘virtual’ business support

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in partnership with Ballymena Business Centre, Carrick Enterprise and LEDCOM is offering local budding entrepreneurs ‘virtual’ access to the Go For It Programme to help them launch their business idea during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has joined forces with council areas across Northern Ireland to deliver virtual support through its wide network of enterprise agencies.

Would-be entrepreneurs will get the chance to speak to a business advisor remotely via telephone or video conferencing about their business idea and find out how the Go For It Programme can help them.

The Go For It Programme can help any budding entrepreneurs do more than dream up a good idea – it can help you turn it into reality.

It has mentored over 6,000 aspiring entrepreneurs across all 11 Council areas of Northern Ireland in the past two years.

It provides expert free advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business, by taking them through the process of creating a business plan. It covers everything from financial forecasting to marketing and long-term business planning.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “We would encourage anyone in Mid and East Antrim who has an idea to start their own business to not be put off seeking the appropriate advice and support of the Go For It Programme during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a team of experienced business advisors, who are working remotely, through our network of enterprise agencies to provide candidates with the expert advice and support they need to start their own business.”

“Our business advisors will help candidates create a business plan tailored to their business idea, focusing on important elements such as financial forecasting and accounts, sales and marketing, and how they can potentially access funding.

“The business plan will provide candidates with a blue-print for building a successful and sustainable business model, and the confidence that they have taken all the necessary steps before launching their own business.”

A local entrepreneur who has completed the programme and didn’t let the coronavirus pandemic stop his pursuit of running his own business is Craig McCullough from CMAL Bookkeeping and Tax in Ballymena.

CMAL Bookkeeping and Tax is an independent financial service provider that offers SMEs and new business start-up with tailored financial support including cloud bookkeeping, VAT, payroll, personal tax returns, accounts preparation and financial reporting.

Craig said: “Although I am an experienced Account technician and have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their financial bookkeeping, I had no real idea of how to start or run a business.

“The Go For it Programme was brilliant and really supported me in launching my very own independent financial service company. My business advisor worked alongside me to develop a business plan that outlined clear and realistic goals for my first year in business. It has been a huge help and really given me the confidence to succeed on my own.”

Ballymena Business Centre, Carrick Enterprise and LEDCOM deliver the Go For It programme in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit www.goforitni.com

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