More than 3,000 Budding Entrepreneurs to Get Help Creating Their Business Plans

The next generation of businessmen and women in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area are being invited to get help turning their business ideas into tangible business plans that could help them to secure funding from banks or other potential investors.

In its fourth year, The Regional Start Initiative is now under the remit of the new 11 councils and is delivered by Invest NI, Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agency network. Since the programme started, companies have been launched in almost all sectors with an upsurge of businesses in the leisure, food and creative industries.

Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland commented: “To date the Regional Start Initiative has produced circa 3,400 business plans a year across Northern Ireland.

“We are encouraging people with a great business idea to get in touch. We have business advisers who offer bespoke one to one mentoring to help bring people’s business ideas to life, with a variety of workshops open to participants. Business plans are an important first step in the start-up process, helping attract potential investors and secure funding. Northern Ireland has a wealth of entrepreneurs with great business ideas. The aim of this Initiative is to help those entrepreneurs put together a business plan to help kick start their own business.

“We have seen many success stories from this programme since its launch.  There is a strong demand for these types of programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and we hope this year it will be even more successful.” 

Lisburn Hot Tub and Bounce based in Lisburn was started after owner Philip Trimble took part in the Regional Start Initiative in 2014. 

“I saw an advertisement for the programme and already had an idea for a business that I wanted to explore. All the staff were brilliant and helped me put together a comprehensive business plan.  I really benefitted from the programme, gaining a better understanding of the practical aspects of business such as hiring staff. The support I’ve received has been fantastic and the staff are always there whenever I need advice.

“I’d highly recommend anyone with an idea for a business plan get in touch with their local council and enterprise agency.”

Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Development Committee at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council said: “There is no doubt that this programme has been the launch pad which has helped to open many businesses across the new Council area, and the Council is delighted to now be the main funder of the initiative, taking a lead role in developing local entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurs of the future.’

“Lisburn & Castlereagh has an impressive local company base, and is an ideal location to start up and grow a company.  It’s no surprise then that an increasing number of businesses are tapping into the support on offer through the Regional Start Initiative and choosing to start up and run their business in Northern Irelands most business friendly City.”

For further information on the Regional Start Initiative programme please visit: