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All Council Collaboration on New NI-wide Business Start Up Programme
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All Council Collaboration on New NI-wide Business Start Up Programme

June 8, 2017

Local Northern Ireland councils have embraced the transfer of economic development powers from central government which included the transfer of responsibility for the NI Business Start Up Programme (NIBSUP), formerly managed by Invest NI.

Over recent years the well-known ‘Go for It’ programme was operated by Invest Northern Ireland and going forward this programme will now be the collective responsibility of all eleven councils with the contract being managed by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, said: “This programme that allows individuals from across Northern Ireland to get support for their new business plan is a strong example of collaborative working across the eleven councils.  Strategically the 11 Chief Executives will govern the overall direction of NIBSUP and ensure that all set targets are being met.  

“Through partnership working all the Councils will work to jointly deliver and fund this programme to ensure a quality service is delivered. The NIBSUP will increase the number of entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland providing jobs to the local economy on an annual basis.  It is important that entrepreneurs are supported in today’s society as they generate wealth and opportunity by developing their ideas into commercial ventures.”

The NI Business Start Up Programme will help individuals develop a business plan and assist with access to finance to start and grow the business.  It is possible to get support to set up a variety of businesses and previous examples that have availed of the Go for It programme include: accountants and book-keepers, engineering consultancy, franchisor and restaurants.

“This new programme will contribute to the delivery of outcomes identified in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Draft Programme for Government Framework and indeed support the achievement of job targets set under the enhanced Economic Development powers transferred to Council from Central Government.

“Over the last number of years the Go for It programme has made a positive contribution to the business start-up rate across Lisburn Castlereagh and I have no doubt local government will be able to continue this important work.  This programme is one of a number of support packages at the local level for businesses and entrepreneurs and represents just one strand of our economic development strategy for the Lisburn Castlereagh area.”

If you want to start your own business and would like free assistance with your business plan please phone 0800 027 0639 or log on to to arrange a meeting with a business adviser.