Business Growth Programmes

We understand that growing your business can be challenging and sometimes you need a helping hand or advice.  

The Business Solutions Team provides a full range of business development programmes to support business growth in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area. It does not matter what stage your business is at, we can support you along the way.

Sales Accelerator Programme

The core aim of the Sales Accelerator Programme is to provide assistance to small business owner-managers to explore, target and convert new sales opportunities.

Strand A will focus on helping participants to grow new business in Northern Ireland.

Strand B will focus on helping participants to grow new business in EITHER the Republic of Ireland or Great Britain.

Whether you participate on Strand A or Strand B, we will help you to develop the skills, confidence, focus and momentum to move from talking about growing sales to actually doing so.


What is involved in the Programme?

Strand A:

  • Group workshops
  • Mentoring support

Strand B:

  • Group workshops
  • Sales prospecting support

Strand C:

  • Trade missions to ROI and GB (Only those participating in Strand B will have the opportunity to be involved in Strand C)


How much does it cost?

Strands A and B are free of charge
Stand C costs £150 + VAT (To include travel and accommodation as part of the trade visit)


To be eligible your business must:

  • Be based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area or Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.
  • Be trading for more than 6 months
  • Employ fewer than 50 people
  • Have both sales growth and job creation potential


Wave 1 of the Programme will commence early October 2021 and will run for 4 months until January 2022. A further 2 waves of the Programme will run in 2022.

Apply online or email: mairead@fullcircle.eu.com


The Sales Accelerator Programme is part funded by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Invest Northern Ireland; and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.


SunSe

Are you currently running a social enterprise and want to take it to the next level? Do you live in the Lisburn & Castlereagh council area?

Good news - we're now recruiting applicants for SuNSE, an innovative new project designed to support new and existing social economy businesses.

Across three Social Enterprise Networking Hubs, we will provide you with all the training and expert advice you need to bring your product or service to market.

  • Learn the basics of running a social enterprise at one of our business workshops.
  • Receive specialised one-to-one mentoring.
  • Take part in networking events and get listed in the new SuNSE Social Enterprise Business Directory.

To find out more and apply, email: info@dtni.org.uk or visit www.dtni.org.uk


Business Solutions:

Mentor Growth Programme

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Mentor Growth Programme enables local businesses to access essential business knowledge, expertise and impartial advice in areas including: sales & marketing development, strategic planning, digital marketing, branding and financial management through the provision of 1 to 1 mentoring; signposting support; workshops and networking opportunities. Businesses can avail of up to 30 hours mentoring support.

The Mentor Growth programme aims to:

  • Support the creation of new sustainable jobs in the council area
  • Refer businesses to Invest NI that are capable of accessing financial support from Invest NI.
  • Strengthen the local business base by assisting businesses to become more competitive in indigenous and export markets
  • Promote business growth and innovation
  • Provide accessible, need driven business support that is tailored to business requirements
  • Engage with key business support stakeholders to develop a portfolio approach to business support in the council area, ensuring that there is no duplication of effort.

Mentors are available right now to help your business. They are selected based on the business needs to enable them to share appropriate advice, skills and knowledge from a range of specialisms including:

  • Strategic planning
  • Financial management, including accessing funding
  • Marketing & Sales
  • HR
  • IP and Legal issues
  • Research and Development
  • Business Efficiency
  • Ecommerce and SEO 

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


Business Solutions:

Digi-Growth Programme

The Digi-Growth Programme can support businesses at any stage of their digital transformation journey.

This programme enables businesses to improve their digital skills and online capabilities. It assists businesses with the integration of digital technologies such as social media strategies and e-commerce within their business to improve online engagement and increase sales.

Programme participants will receive support including:

  • Review of current digital capacity and production of a detailed easy to follow personalised Digital Action Plan
  • Specialist mentoring suited to individual businesses and projects
  • Research and Development support to develop new products and processes
  • Tap into Innovation workshops & networking opportunities
  • Signposting advice to receive further support and funding.

Specialist Mentors are available right now to help your business.  They are selected based on the business needs to enable them to share appropriate advice, skills and knowledge from a range of specialisms including:

  • Selling Online
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Social Media
  • Video Marketing
  • Wed Design
  • Digital Transformation
  • Cyber Security

Businesses can avail of up to 24 hours of free mentoring. Support will be dependent on the growth potential of the business and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will determine the number of hours that will be awarded. Mentoring is allocated on a per business basis. All mentoring must be completed before the programme end date. Only mentors approved by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will be used in the mentoring process. Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will not accept liability for advice given by independent advisers.

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


Bid 2 Win

The Bid 2 Win Programme supports local companies and social enterprises identify procurement opportunities and build their capacity to construct tender bids more effectively to win new work.

This free programme will provide an insight into public tendering needs and structures. Each participating business can benefit from one-to-one support in preparing and submitting high quality bids, participate in workshops focusing on increasing awareness of the procurement process, attend ‘Meet the Buyer Events’ as well as explore and develop new partnership and clustering opportunities.

Programme Aims and Content:

The FREE programme aims to support the growth of small and micro businesses, providing them with the knowledge and skill to expand in the area of procurement and tender opportunities, increasing competitiveness and helping to create new employment opportunities within the Council areas.
Participating companies can avail of:

  • 1 Introductory workshop - this ½ day session will provide an insight into the public procurement process, private sector supply chains, good tender practice and how to avoid common pitfalls. (Conducted remotely until further notice).
  • ​1-to-1 mentoring - where participants learn practical tendering skills e.g. how to register and navigate tender portals, bid library development, tender road mapping, review of previous submissions, support with a live bid etc. (Conducted remotely until further notice).
  • A series of specialist workshops (various topics and dates available to be conducted remotely until further notice).

Participants will also be invited to attend online Buyer Briefing sessions. These will replace the planned Meet the Buyer events which have had to be postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

180 places are available, but with almost 13,400 VAT-registered businesses registered across the three council regions, places are very limited and interest is already high. For more information and to register for the workshops, please contact Laura Kearney at Envision Management Consultants on 02890 452777 or laurak@envision-ni.co.uk.

Who Can Apply?

Small to medium sized businesses with a registered business address in the Lisburn and Castlereagh City area.

To apply, email: patricia.mallon@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

Terms and Conditions

  • Businesses can avail of up to 30 hours of free mentoring.
  • Support will be dependent on the growth potential of the business and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will determine the number of hours that will be awarded.
  • Mentoring is allocated on a per business basis.
  • All mentoring must be completed before the programme end date.
  • Only mentors approved by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will be used in the mentoring process.
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council will not accept liability for advice given by independent advisers.

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