Young Enterprise helps students kick start their businesses

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Young Enterprise Northern Ireland recently launched its Company programme activities in the North West region, with a little help from local business leaders, who teamed up with Northern Ireland’s leading business and enterprise education charity to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

The beginning of the new academic year traditionally sees around 1,500 young people establishing their own mini enterprise through the charity’s ‘Company Programme’.

The workshop, held at Ballymena Showgrounds, was one of a series for new Company Programme students throughout Northern Ireland, aimed at motivating and inspiring them to create a successful business, as well as providing practical hints and tips for new managers in the areas of Leadership and Communication, HR, Finance, IT and Operations and Creativity and Innovation.

The audience included students from Sperrin Integrated College.

The workshops were facilitated by local entrepreneur and business consultant, Andrew Fulton, of Fulton Networks, Joachim Spiers of Waste End Strategies, James Walsh from Prince’s Trust, StClair Beatty, You Need Training, Anne McCoy of Ulster Bank, Kerry McClintock of Antrim Enterprise Agency, and Young Enterprise Board Members Ruth McCullough and Alan Hunter. Councillor Declan O’Loan also attended the event.

With the support of a volunteer mentor from the local business community, the students will establish and manage their company over the course of the academic year, and build their new sales and marketing skills at trade fairs throughout Northern Ireland in December and March. The winning company will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in Belfast next May, and receive the opportunity to compete in the HSBC Young Enterprise UK Innovation Awards in London in July.

Carol Fitzsimons, CEO of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the students and teachers to today’s event.

“Over the years, Company Programme has produced many enterprising success stories, and our volunteers’ business experience will undoubtedly inspire the students, as well as providing them with the skills they will need to run a successful enterprise. I don’t doubt that his innovative approach will also kick-start our achievers’ entrepreneurial creativity.

“Private sector growth remains a priority in the Local Assembly’s Programme for Government, and it is our hope that Company Programme will inspire these students to become future business leaders and ignite that spark that can lead to enterprise creation.”

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is building an interconnected world of young people, business volunteers and educators, inspiring each other to succeed through enterprise. Programme delivery is supported by fully-trained business volunteers from partnership organisations and supported by a variety of public and private sector organisations.

To find out more about corporate support or volunteering opportunities, please contact Young Enterprise Northern Ireland on 02890 327003.