New Steps to Work Programme
In June 2011, East Belfast Enterprise were part of the consortium of sub contractor in the successful bid put forward to DEL by North City Training for the new Steps to Work Programme. The success of this tender means EBE will be delivering FREE support and advice to the people of East Belfast who are wishing to explore the option of self employment, whilst still receiving benefits via Steps to Work.
Digital Community- ‘clicking with your community’
Spring 2011 saw the launch of a brand new programme to help Community & Voluntary organisations in NI boost their marketing capabilities through new technologies has been launched by East Belfast Enterprise with support from the Building Change Trust.
The Digital Community is an exciting and innovative programme aimed at 3rd sector organisations who want to maximise new digital marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, SMS, on line donations, SEO and ‘App’ development to help achieve their marketing objectives.
The programme consists of 8 weeks of training during the autumn followed by mentor support of up to 3 months to help implement the organisation’s new digital marketing plan.
The programme is FREE but groups need to able commit resource to training and mentoring time.
The following are criteria that will be explored on assessment:
- Community or voluntary group inc Social Enterprises based in NI
- Desire to develop a digital marketing strategy as part of your organisation’s overall marketing plan
- Commitment to attending half day training per week for 8 weeks in Belfast during September/October 2011
- Commitment to working with dedicated mentors for up to 3 months to help implement your new digital marketing plan
Lipstick & Money 2 Kicks off
Lipstick & money 2
Lipstick & Money 2 kicked off in April 2011 with a group from the Falls Women’s Centre. The group will undertake 10 weeks of enterprise training to explore the option of self employment while also gaining a CCEA OCF Level 2 in Understanding Business Enterprise This is a fun and interactive programme of learning and development for women currently outside the labour market.
Having already assisted over 150 women in the pilot period, the programme has established an interest amongst community groups and has dubbed as a ‘model of excellence’ by Invest Northern Ireland.
The programme offers women the opportunity to explore self employment and potential business ideas. It is a fun way of looking at a number of options and helping women to become creative and think of the possibilities.
This is a pathway back in to the labour market and has allowed a number of women to engage with their local community in a very positive way. Women who have participated have formed new friendships and found new confidence. It has been a worthwhile experience for many and has indeed lead some women on to the Go for It Programme.
The programme offers the following:
- A personal development and short business course – key information to help you learn the basics
- Fun Group Sessions – Making a product to sell, e.g. Jewellery
- Training and support to help you think about how to make money!
- An exciting opportunity to meet and hear from local woman who have started a business
- The opportunity to work as a team and run your own business event
- A chance to make friends and share experiences
Feedback from previous participants is a testament to the benefits provided:
“I found the Lipstick & Money Programme a very good source of information about becoming self employed. The tutors where very helpful and made sense of the business side of being a childminder. I would definitely recommend it.’ Ellen Hunter, Childminder, West Belfast
“Lipstick & Money set me on the first steps of having my own business. It boosted my confidence and was a big motivator in moving forward. I will build my business up gradually to suit my family.” Muriel Stewart, Book Keeper, Kircubbin
The programme has secured part-funding from Department of Employment and Learning, through the European Social Fund and is due to run for 3 years.
To find out more information or to join a course contact Marian at East Belfast Enterprise on 028 90455450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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East Belfast Enterprise Secures funding for old and new Programmes
April 2011 brought fantastic news to EBE after successfully winning the tender and being awarded 65% funding from DEL and European Social Fund to deliver 3 new programmes, in Greater Belfast. The success of these new programmes means fantastic opportunities for clients wanting to explore self employment and think about setting up a business.
Ladies Get Their Lipstick on for Ma’s Tea Party!
In March 2011, to celebrate the success of the 3 year ‘Lipstick and Money’ Programme, East Belfast Enterprise asked ‘Ma’ (Olivia Nash) to come along and celebrate at an exclusive tea party at the Wellington Park Hotel. 80 past participants of the programme attended our event, and tested their business knowledge in ‘The Weakest Link’, with the top prize being a Chocolate Hamper to reward those hardworking business brains!
Lipstick and Money was a programme funded by the Department of Employment & Learning, the European Social Fund and Lloyds TSB. The programme worked with women’s groups in local community centres to introduce the idea of self employment, through discussion, training and self development. Over 150 women completed the programme over its 3 year lifespan, with 45 participants achieving a CCEA qualification in Understanding Enterprise.
Following on from the success of the programme, East Belfast Enterprise have just received funding to deliver Lipstick and Money for a further 3 years...roll on ‘Lipstick and Money2’!
EBE to work with new funders in 2011
East Belfast Enterprise have secured funding from 2 new funders this year. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation and Building Change Trust (Big Lottery Fund)
Artist In Residence Exhibition at City East Business Centre
September 2009 seen the launch of an art exhibition entitled ‘On The Edge’ by Bronagh Lawson, current Artist-in-Residence at the City East Business Centre. She selected the artists for the ON THE EDGE exhibition due to admiration for their creative spirit and artistic output often in the face of adversity, in a difficult economic environment. Between them they have an impressive list of experience from exhibitions, commissions, community festivals, public sculpture, photography assignments, artist talks and workshops.
More details about On The Edge and Video highlights from the launch can be viewed here:
EBE secure significant role in delivery of new Go For It Programme
April 2009 brought fantastic news for EBE with the successful tendering as part of the Eastern Region Consortium (comprising the 11 LEAs in Inner and Outer Belfast and the 3 Local Colleges) for the new Invest NI Go For IT & Growth Programmes. This success will mean continued FREE assistance and advice to local East Belfast people for the next 2 years who are wishing to explore the option of self employment, those wishing to get a new business off the ground and existing businesses who are aiming to grow and increase their sustainability in the area. The contract means that over 300 businesses and new start entrepreneurs will be assisted in the area, leading to 100 new start-ups, helping support those who are exploring new options during the increased economic downturn.
For more information visit www.goforitni.com
New Management Team for EBE
March 2009 saw a new management team put in place for the Agency. With the departure of Rosin McDermott as Manager for the Agency, the Board of Directors welcomed Giles Wilson as Property Development Manager and Kenny Rodgers as Programme Development Manager. Giles and Kenny provide a new duel management structure for EBE which will continue to enable its growth as a support organisation, providing workshops, office space and business support programmes for newly established businesses and existing businesses.
Launch of CityEast Development
90 NEW JOBS AS NEW ECONOMIC FUTURE RISES IN THE EAST
The completion of an impressive new five-storey office block in the
shadow of the shipyard will herald the economic rebirth of East Belfast.
The £3m CityEast development is primed to
re-ignite the economy in a part of the city that was once the industrial
heartland of Northern Ireland.
Known as the “Gateway to the East” the new structure stands in the
shadow of iconic Sampson and Goliath and presents a golden opportunity
to transform the Lower Newtownards Road into the economic hub of the
The 25,000 square foot building is being developed by East Belfast
Enterprise and funded with EU Peace and Reconciliation monies provided
through the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment and by the
International Fund for Ireland.
At the building’s “topping out” ceremony today East Belfast Enterprise
Chairman, Mervyn Hempton, said: “The completion of this impressive new
five-storey office block in the shadow of the shipyard will herald the
economic rebirth of East Belfast.
This development will have a substantial impact as it will provide
jobs for local people and office space to local businesses. This part
of the city has seen some difficult years, and for some time there has
been a lack of small affordable units on short term lease in East Belfast.
This development presents an opportunity to transform the Lower Newtownards
Road into the economic hub of the city. We believe that a positive new
future is about to emerge.”
CityEast will be a catalyst for the development
of the Newtownards Road. It forms part of the Newtownards Road 2012 Project
- led by the East Belfast Partnership – which is progressing a number
of initiatives including encouragement for Living over the Shops, and
shop frontage and environmental improvement schemes. Other initiatives
include a significant mixed use development at the site of the East Belfast
Mission to include housing, office units and an FE College and further
housing adjacent to Pitt Park as well as the development of a green space
and civic square at Holywood Arches.
"East Belfast has a proud history of enterprise and industry
and this new building marks a significant dawn for the hard working people
of the area. It is a shining example of the excellent work carried out
by East Belfast Enterprise and its determination to create a bright new
future for this part of the city," East Belfast MP Peter Robinson
Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said:
“We are delighted to be part of today’s ‘topping out’ ceremony and to
see this enterprise building so far advanced. The Fund’s aim is to create
the conditions where businesses can flourish and this project, with the
potential to provide up to 90 new jobs, is a perfect example of this.”
"I’d like to acknowledge the generous support of our international
donors, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and
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Launch of Learn 2 Earn
Nikki Mc Quillan, Co-Founder of the successful Streat Café Franchise www.thestreat.com,
pictured with Louise Heaney, TIME Associates and Kenny Rodgers, East
Belfast Enterprise at the official launch of Learn 2 Earn Programme at
the Streat Café, Wellington Place.
Learn 2 Earn, part funded by the European
Social Fund and The Department for Employment and Learning, is an exciting
programme for individuals who are interested in setting up a business
or following a career in hospitality.
The programme, which starts January
2009, offers practical training and one to one support in food preparation
and service, personal development and professional business skills
as well as the opportunity to see business excellence first hand.
more information on this programme contact Louise Heaney 028 9066 7557.
Assistance from Lloyds TSB Foundation for new Womens Enterprise Project
East Belfast Enterprise was presented with a cheque for £4,000 towards
their work with individuals and local businesses.
The presentation was made by Mrs Paddy Bailie, Trustee of the Lloyds
TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland when she visited the organisation
recently. Mrs Bailie stated “The Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland
is delighted to be able to support the work of East Belfast Enterprise.
The money will be used towards the ‘Women Working for Themselves’ project,
which promotes enterprise amongst unemployed women. We wish the organisation
continuing success with their excellent work in the community.”
Mr Kenny Rodgers, Business Development Manager for East Belfast Enterprise
added “This money is greatly appreciated and will help East Belfast Enterprise
meet the costs of delivering this programme which has also been 65% supported
by European funding through DEL”
Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland awards between £1.5 and £2
million annually in support of the Northern Ireland Community to enable
people, especially disadvantaged or people with special needs, to play
a fuller role in their community.
Women’s-only Mentoring helps ‘apprentice tycoons’ to
Northern Ireland ’s top business women took a leaf out of Sir Alan
Sugar’s book by mentoring up-and-coming female entrepreneurs.
During this unique two-year pilot programme, established business women
shared their skills and experience in order to dramatically boost the
profits of these fledgling businesses.
And it is now hoped that this incredibly successful programme will
be rolled out on a bigger scale in order to help many more businesses
The Women’s 1-2-1 Mentoring Programme was delivered by East Belfast
Enterprise, which paired 34 young businesses from Belfast and beyond
with highly successful business leaders from a range of industries.
The direct results of the programme included increased sales, increased
profitability, a larger client base, boosted confidence and a focus on
growth and several participants won prestigious awards.
On Wednesday the past participants gathered for the closing ceremony
of the programme, which was funded by the European Social Fund, Building
Sustainable Prosperity Programme and Invest Northern Ireland.
At the event, entrepreneurs Dr Maureen Murphy from Aurion Learning
and Cindy Craig from Sandcastles Nursery were joined by Invest NI representatives
and Jacqueline Bar from DEL to inspire more women to build bigger businesses.
Northern Ireland has one of the worst rates of female entrepreneurship
in Europe according to the GEM report. “We want to show women that they
can really grow their businesses and that they don’t need to be content
with micro businesses. For many the idea of taking on staff or opening
new premises was daunting but with that little push they were able to
focus on their goals and go for it in a much bigger way”, explained Elaine
Rodgers, the programme manager from East Belfast Enterprise.
The programme is based on a mentoring initiative in Scandinavia, which
has helped hundreds of women establish their businesses and found that
women preferred to work with other women.
The mentoring programme took each participant through confidence building,
setting goals and targeting objectives. “There is a great deal of support
for people wanting to start a business, but there remains a gap offering
ongoing support and assistance to help them grow. The effect of this
programme was to take them past the start up phase to encourage growth”,
For Belfast business woman, Victoria Sinclair of Octave Music Solutions,
the programme has made a massive difference to her company. “Prior to
commencing the Mentor Programme through East Belfast Enterprise, although
my business was making money and in fact made a profit in its first year,
I felt disorganised, alone and lacking in confidence. My client base
was very small, with a large proportion of it being wedding customers.
I also had two barriers to my success – breaking the mould in becoming
the first recruitment agency in the UK or Ireland to specialise in music
jobs and coping with a shortage of variety of musical talent in Northern
"When I was introduced to my mentor Shauna O’Neill who was from a Recruitment
and Sales background, we clicked from the start. She gave me the impetus
I needed to set up a database. She built up my confidence as she was
always on hand to offer a “listening ear”, motivating me and bringing
me out of my comfort zone. She introduced me to new financial planning
methods, helped me set targets for me and the business and in general
allowed me to adopt a “don’t give up” attitude.”
Sharon Polson from Invest NI’s Entrepreneurship Development Team, said:
“Women can make a significant contribution to the development of a wealthier
economy in Northern Ireland. It is vital that they continue to develop
their commercial acumen through training and mentoring activities in
order to realise their full potential.
"Invest NI aims to help existing female led businesses, as well as
potential female entrepreneurs, to put their ideas into practice and
grow into innovative companies that can sell their products and services
outside Northern Ireland.”