Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in partnership with Down Business Centre Ltd and Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency is offering local budding entrepreneurs’ ‘virtual’ access to the Go For It Programme to help them launch their business idea during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has joined forces with council areas across Northern Ireland to deliver virtual support through its wide network of enterprise agencies.

Would-be entrepreneurs will get the chance to speak to a business advisor remotely via telephone or video conferencing about their business idea and find out how the Go For It Programme can help them.

The Go For It Programme can help any budding entrepreneurs do more than dream up a good idea - it can help you turn it into reality.  It has mentored over 6,000 aspiring entrepreneurs across all 11 Council areas of Northern Ireland in the past two years.

It provides expert free advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business, by taking them through the process of creating a business plan. It covers everything from financial forecasting to marketing and long-term business planning.

Councillor Laura Devlin, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: “ “We would encourage anyone in the Newry, Mourne and Down District who has an idea to start their own business to not be put off seeking the appropriate advice and support of the Go For It Programme during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a team of experienced business advisors, who are working remotely, through our network of enterprise agencies to provide candidates with the expert advice and support they need to start their own business.”

“Our business advisors will help candidates create a business plan tailored to their business idea, focusing on important elements such as financial forecasting and accounts, sales and marketing, and how they can potentially access funding.

“The business plan will provide candidates with a blue-print for building a successful and sustainable business model, and the confidence that they have taken all the necessary steps before launching their own business.”

A Newry based entrepreneur who used his specialised skills and high-level experience in Marketing and Communication to pursue his own business venture and didn’t let the coronavirus pandemic stop him is Tony McKeown of Silverwood Smart Marketing.

Tony is a respected marketing professional with over 20 years’ experience working for leading national and international brands. He launched Silverwood Smart Marketing after spotting an opportunity to provide marketing consultancy for individuals and organisations in Newry.

Silverwood Smart Marketing offers a full-service marketing provisions that includes Strategic Marketing Planning, Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, Advertising and Print Management, Event Management and Public Relations.

The business has also recently launched a collaboration with the Belfast Academy of Marketing to provide Chartered Institute of Marketing accredited professional courses in the Greater Newry region commencing in September 2020.

Tony McKeown, CEO of Silverwood Smart Marketing, said; “I have extensive experience developing and implementing strategic marketing and communication campaigns for leading national and international brands.

“After 13 years’ as a Company Marketing Director in Newry, I felt that now was the time to establish my own full-service marketing agency to support businesses in the Greater Newry region.

“I contacted the Go For It Programme, based on a recommendation, as I needed support and guidance with areas of business planning beyond my own skill-set. My business advisor was a tremendous help. He helped me to develop a business plan, which allowed me to analyse all aspects of the business idea to ensure it was a viable business opportunity. It also provided me with a clear strategic approach on key areas such as service offering, staffing, financial forecasts, and sales targets.

“This business plan has been the key to successfully launching my business in May and I’ve already employed three members of staff to help service client demand for our expert Marketing and Communications support.”

Down Business Centre Ltd and Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency deliver the Go For It programme in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit WWW.GOFORITNI.COM
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