Chance to put the ‘SPARK ‘ into your business idea

Got a business idea? Why not let ‘SPARK’ -Mid and East AntrimCouncil’s innovative support programme - help you bring it to life.

‘SPARK’ provides specialist mentoring support to businesses across the Borough who are in their early stage of development - tailored to their own individual needs.

The programme is celebrating one year in business and has helped over 75 new start-up businesses throughout the area take the next step and has provided over 580 hours of specialist mentoring support.

Andria Davey, founder of The Glute Club, a female only gym in Carrickfergus, took part in SPARK in November 2021. She accessed tailored advice and mentoring when she decided to move her business to a prominent location in the town centre.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams with Andria Davey, founder of The Glute Club

Andria said: “Access to the mentoring programme was straightforward. After an initial meeting with Council my needs were clearly identified and I was matched with a mentor who provided me with valuable guidance on business planning, finances, reaching new clients and excelling in customer experience.”

Through completion of the programme, Andria was able to access further support through MEA’s Business Escalator+ and Digital Boost Programmes.

Andria’s hard work and determination have paid off and in less than one year her company has been shortlisted for not one but two awards - Best Small Studio Gym and Fitness Class of the Year - at the Northern Ireland Health and Fitness Awards.

Supporting the continued success of the programme Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “Mentoring support through SPARK continues to address a gap in ‘early stage’ support between ‘Go For It’ and our suite of Business Growth interventions.

“There is a pressing need to support and assist new businesses and Social Enterprises as they navigate and thrive in the changing business environment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and other economic influences.”

SPARK can offer specialist tailored mentoring support to businesses in a number of areas including – start-up support, establishing social enterprise, financial management, innovation support, sales and marketing and website development.

To find out more about SPARK or to register please visit www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/spark or contact [email protected] or call 028 2563 3363.