Starting a business can be a challenge and never more so than when the person wanting to start up has limited resources. Access to funding for start-ups can be challenging and particularly if the individual is unemployed.
Causeway Enterprise Agency in partnership with Network Personnel is committed to helping the unemployed and removing the barriers they may be experiencing when trying to start up a business. As a result of this support new businesses are starting up in Ballycastle, creating new jobs in the town and resulting in a positive result for the local community.
Through Invest NI’s Regional Start Initiative “Go For It” offered at Causeway Enterprise Agency in Ballycastle, entrepreneurs receive free business training and mentoring to explore their business ideas and develop a business plan. Where further specialist training or specific qualifications are required Network Personnel provide this through their “Source” Programme. As a further incentive to unemployed individuals a NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) Grant from Invest NI is provided when the business is set up.
Business is mounting up for Joni and Ian
Business partners Joni McCord and Ian White set up “In the Mount” framing business in autumn 2014 after completing “Go For It” at Causeway Enterprise Agency and receiving training through “Source” with Network Personnel. Ian attended training in framing and Joni completed a Creative Crafts Level 2 qualification equipping them with the specialist skills required to operate and manage their business. Joni and Ian commented “the support from both Causeway Enterprise Agency and Network Personnel has been so invaluable, we could not have got to where we are today without Anna and Geraldine.”
Dara’s passion for baking is now making him dough.
When Dara OhArtghaile contacted Causeway Enterprise Agency he had a wanted to start a business baking speciality bread, however being unemployed he was being held back because of a lack of funds to pay for a specialist bread making course.
Dara sings the praises of both Go For It and Source and says that “I never could have done this without the support I got from Anna Logan at Causeway Enterprise Agency, that is how it all started, I contacted her to see if I could turn what was essentially a hobby into a business. Anna helped me develop my idea and write my business plan and then put me in touch with Geraldine Anslow at Network Personnel. Through their “Source” Programme I secured a funded place on a speciality Bread making course in Bath with French Bread Maker Richard Bertinet. The course really broadened my experience and helped me understand how I could change things and develop my own new recipes without destroying the essence of the bread. The training and support I received is definitely the reason why I now have a successful business and I am really excited to develop the business further in 2015.”
Upon completion of both courses Dara secured his NEET grant from Invest NI and used it to set up his business. Dara has not looked back and now spends his days making all sorts of dough. His breads are a firm favourite on the menu in cafes and restaurants all over the Causeway Coast including Thyme & Co Ballycastle, Lost & Found in Coleraine and Babushka Kitchen Café in Portrush.