Invest NI launches new ambition to Grow Support Programme for SMEs

Invest Northern Ireland hosted an information event on its new ‘Ambition to Grow’ competition at the Burnavon in Cookstown.

Opening on October 24, the new programme is offering 40 of Northern Ireland’s most innovative and ambitious businesses the chance to secure financial support of up to £45,000.

In a bid to reach as many businesses as possible, Invest NI’s Regional Offices have teamed up with local council partners to host information sessions for stakeholders across the 11 council areas.

Designed specifically to help micro, small and medium local enterprises, the programme is targeted at companies yet to avail of Invest NI support and will provide successful applicants with funding to assist in job creation and selling outside Northern Ireland. The businesses will also be able to get expert advice on exporting.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Córa Corry with Invest NI representatives Ethna McNamee, Regional Manager, Alan McKeown, Chief Transformation Officer, and Invest NI Board Members Melanie Dawson and Kieran Kennedy, at the Ambition to Grow Mid Ulster Launch at the Burnavon, Cookstown.

Businesses from across the council area attended the launch event, along with representatives from the Invest NI team including Alan McKeown, Chief Transformation Officer, Ethna McNamee, Regional Manager, and Invest NI Board Members Melanie Dawson and Kieran Kennedy.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Córa Corry welcomed the new opportunity.

She said: “We are all acutely aware of how difficult it has been for our businesses to survive the Covid-19 pandemic and begin their recovery journey, which is now being further impacted by the current cost of living crisis. It is testament to their resilience that they have managed to do so, but it also clearly demonstrates the innovation and ambition that our businesses have to grow.”

Alan McKeown, Chief Transformation Officer, said: “We’re exploring new ways to provide best-fit support to businesses. Ambition to Grow is a £1.8m regionally focussed support programme. It will focus on supporting ambitious, innovative SMEs that are in the earliest stages of their development.

“Each successful business will receive up to £45,000 in support towards the creation of a minimum of three jobs and business development activities.

“Applications are through a competitive process, and I would encourage businesses to visit our dedicated Ambition to Grow webpage for full details and an eligibility checker.”

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