400 jobs targeted by new Derry and Strabane council initiative

Derry City and Strabane District Council has announced a new support programme for enterprises in the Council area that employ fewer than 50 people, and have an annual turnover of less than €10m.
The council says “Business Boost” is an innovative project to help create new, sustainable jobs in the area, while also strengthening the local business base.
Louise Breslin is the council’s Business Development Manager…………

Council statement in full – 

A new flagship business support and growth programme entitled Business Boost is being delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council to offer support and assistance to enterprises in the Council area that employ fewer than 50 people and have an annual turnover of less than €10m.

Funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund through the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme (2014-2020), Business Boost is an innovative project aimed at assisting Council to provide support for the creation of new sustainable jobs in the area and work to strengthen the local business base by assisting businesses to become more competitive in indigenous and export markets.

The programme aims to provide a range of services that will provide accessible, needs-driven business support for businesses and work to promote business growth and innovation, which have been identified as a key action within the Council’s Integrated Economic Development Strategy and the Strategic Growth Plan.

Encouraging local businesses in the Council area who are interested in growing their company to sign up to Business Boost, Louise Breslin, Business Development Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the programme is a fantastic way for local enterprises to get additional support to help them become more innovative and competitive.

She said: “Business Boost is an innovative scheme aimed at assisting businesses in the local Council that are keen to strengthen their existing business base by becoming more competitive and learn new skills. By signing up businesses can avail of a bespoke advice and support service with up to five days of free mentoring support by industry professionals. As part of Business Boost a series of workshops and networking events will be held during the programme duration aimed at providing a range of professional support services that is tailored to suit individual business requirements.

“We are working with our partners to help get the message out to the business community to sign up and take advantage of this fantastic growth opportunity that is available. To register businesses are encouraged to contact the Business Boost team at 028 71 253253 or email businessboost@derrystrabane.com.”

Simon Devlin from Full Circle, a leading business advisory services company that has been appointed to deliver mentoring, workshops and sector specific programmes to support Business Boost, says it’s a fantastic way for businesses to not only avail of impartial business advice and mentoring but to network and meet with other local businesses, exchange ideas and find out about a range of other business development opportunities that exist.

He said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Council’s Business Boost programme. It provides companies in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area with an opportunity to avail of a range of business support services that will help them to expand and grow and become more competitive in both the indigenous and export markets.”

Among the key delivery actions of the Business Boost programme is to create 400 jobs, recruit up to 600 businesses to participate in the programme and deliver over 1300 days of mentoring and 20 workshops.

Louise Breslin added that key to the success of the Business Boost programme is the development of a two way supportive relationship between locally based business support organisations and the Council to co-ordinate and support business development in a joint and collaborative manner.

“We are setting up a Business Engagement Panel as part of the project that will make a real difference to successfully delivering Business Boost across the Council area. This partnership approach will allow us to increase engagement, maximise on budget allocations and increase capacity and knowledge to ultimately boost economic growth within the local area,” she added.

The first meeting of the Panel is in the coming weeks when more information will be available

Further details on Business Boost is available on the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/businessboost