A celebration event was held last week to shine a light on the fantastic results achieved by over 40 young entrepreneurs from the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon during the successful Enterprise Pathway Programme.
Developed by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership (ABC LMP) in collaboration with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the Enterprise Pathway Programme aims to promote the creation of new businesses by providing eligible individuals with tailored start-up advice, mentoring and financial support.
Held at Armagh Business Centre, the recognition event celebrated 44 young local entrepreneurs, who through programme funding totalling £60,000, start-up advice and mentoring were able to take their business ideas to the next level.
Congratulating the young entrepreneurs, Chair of council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Kevin Savage said:
“I am always delighted to see young people with passion and drive get the support, encouragement, and investment they need to begin their journey towards self-employment.
“Initiatives like the Labour Market Partnership’s Enterprise Pathway Programme are vitally important to tackling youth unemployment within the borough and helping support the long-term recovery and growth of the local economy.
“On behalf of council, I would like to thank our enterprise partners, who through their mentoring and advice have given the participants the best possible start to their new careers; and I would like to wish all programme participants nothing but success on the rest of your journey.”
With self-employment journeys into personal training, horse coaching, sports massage, dog grooming, tattooing and a games café, the budding entrepreneurs reflect a diverse range of roles and sectors.
Celebrating the programme’s success, Eileen Stewart, Chief Executive of Armagh Business Centre said:
“We are fully committed to the growth of the local economy and, working with our partners, recognise the importance of supporting and helping young people on their self-employment journey.
“I am delighted that so many young businessmen and women have shared in this scheme. This is the second Enterprise Pathways Programme which has been delivered locally, and once again has been a huge success.
“Youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges facing the borough today. However, the Enterprise Pathway programme has provided support for many young people into self-employment and as they plan a viable and fulfilling career.
“As part of the programme, each participant received mentoring, which included financial planning, marketing and promotion, looking at their business, assessing where the grant would benefit the business, and how to improve the business moving forward.”
Funded by the Department for Communities, Enterprise Pathway Programme was delivered by Armagh Business Centre, Banbridge Enterprise Centre, and Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation (CIDO) on behalf of the ABC LMP.