‘Kickstart’ for local budding businesses

Melanie Christie Boyle, Chief Executive, Ballymena Business Centre; Cllr. Paul Reid, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; David Gillespie, General Manager, Ledcom; Kelli Bagchus, Carrickfergus Enterprise; Gail Kelly, Economic Development Officer, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
Melanie Christie Boyle, Chief Executive, Ballymena Business Centre; Cllr. Paul Reid, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; David Gillespie, General Manager, Ledcom; Kelli Bagchus, Carrickfergus Enterprise; Gail Kelly, Economic Development Officer, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Thirty-six budding local businesses are to be given support in their first six months of trading thanks to a new enterprise strategy in the borough.

As part of Amplify, a new strategy launched by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to grow the economy of the area, council has teamed up with local enterprise centres in the borough to deliver support to 36 local entrepreneurs to ‘kickstart’ their business.

Led by the council, and delivered by Ballymena Business Centre, Carrickfergus Enterprise and LEDCOM, Kickstart is an innovative programme designed to provide practical guidance and advice to individuals about to launch their business, and individuals who are at the early stages of business trading.

Participants will benefit from a business baseline audit, one-to-one specialist mentoring, interactive workshops focusing on marketing, money and management, and an opportunity to network with likeminded entrepreneurs.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr. Paul Reid said: “We are delighted to announce details of this new business initiative.

“Kickstart aims to further inspire and support budding entrepreneurs and innovators, providing them with the skills and knowledge to help make their visions reality. Growing our economy is Council’s top priority in Mid and East Antrim, as set out in our Corporate Plan.

“Kickstart champions our new businesses and aims to draw on their experience and expertise to help educate and lay out pathways for our next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We are blessed with an abundance of talent throughout our Borough and Kickstart will be crucial to harnessing those skills and potential, providing practical advice and guidance for start-ups and established businesses.”

Delivery partner Kelli Bagchus from Carrickfergus Enterprise said: “Support at the early stage of a start-up business is critical to ensure its long term survival. Carrickfergus Enterprise in conjunction with Ballymena Business Centre and LEDCOM are delighted to have secured the Kickstart Programme.

“This initiative will equip local businesses with the ‘know how’ and the ‘know who’ to ensure they have all the specialist skills and knowledge to grow and develop their business.”

Kickstart is part of a suite of business programmes being delivered through Amplify which offer mentoring and support to businesses at all stages of their development from start-up to growth phase.

To find out more about the business programmes offered through Amplify, visit www.amplifymidandeastantrim.com

For more information on joining the Kickstart Programme, contact your local Kickstart Coordinator: Kelli Bagchus, Carrickfergus Enterprise, 8 Meadowbank Road, Carrickfergus, BT38 8YF. Email kelli@ceal.co.uk or phone 028 9336 9528.