10th Aug 2012
A step on ladder to entrepreneur success
Northern Ireland’s young entrepreneurs of tomorrow have been celebrating their success.
Over 20 have completed the latest course through the Belfast Enterprise Academy which gave them first-hand experience of the work of businesses, helping them build contacts and providing them with the motivation to take their business ideas forward.
The Academy was developed by Belfast City Council in partnership with Queen’s University, the University of Ulster and Belfast Metropolitan College. It was funded by the council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
The students were presented with certificates at a recent end-of-year celebration event in the City Hall.
Alderman Christopher Stalford chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee said: “This is the third year of the Belfast Enterprise Academy with 130 applications for 20 places on this year’s programme – a demonstration of the demand for student enterprise support and the popularity of this programme.”
Claire Kelly is in her final year of a BSc degree in business studies at the University of Ulster. She joined BEA with a few different ideas and has now a firm plan for a service to help Northern Ireland businesses access global markets.
"Many small companies find that a lack of knowledge about language, culture and red tape prevents them from trading with other countries,” she said. “My business idea is to provide them with a bespoke service to help them overcome the barriers that may be holding them back from lucrative markets.”
Natasha McCartan is another final year student at the University of Ulster, working towards a BA in fine and applied art. She said: “BEA allowed me to get access to places I could never have experienced on my own. Some of the contacts we made will be really useful. I have a business idea but going out on my own is really daunting - this programme has given me a lot more confidence.”
For further information on the BEA, contact Belfast City Council on (028) 9027 0229 or visit the council’s website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/businessprogrammes