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22nd Jan 2013

Ministers Launch Free Online Business Tools

NEW online business performance tools will improve management and promote business growth, according to Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

The diagnostic and self-help resources have been developed by Invest Northern Ireland in partnership with the Department for Employment and Learning.

The Business Diagnostic tool helps business owners and managers assess how effective their business practices are, while the Leadership and Management Skills Assessment tool helps individuals assess their strengths in these areas. Using a questionnaire, which generates a report highlighting areas for improvement, the resources signpost companies to a range of support services, including access to specialist advice.

Launching the new diagnostic tools, Mrs Foster said: “These online assessment tools are a practical and accessible means of reviewing individual and business performance. That is valuable at any stage in the lifecycle of a business, but is particularly important in the current challenging economic climate.

“One of the Programme for Government’s priorities is to grow the Northern Ireland economy and to do that we need to increase business productivity. Sound management practices and good leadership are integral to this. These tools will initially help businesses and individuals understand in which areas they need to improve before directing them to the relevant support.”

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “Strong leadership and management skills are crucial to the success of the Northern Ireland economy. The new online Leadership and Management Skills Assessment is an accessible way for individual managers at all levels, not only to analyse their own leadership and management skills, but also find out what help and support is available from government for management development.”

The tools, which are free, can be accessed at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk

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