Enterprising Derry

The Mayor, Councillor Colum Eastwood, has welcomed the announcement of a £240,000 project, which will be led by Derry City Council, aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of the City’s economy by promoting business growth and raising awareness of the City as an enterprising and investment ready location.

Welcoming the announcement the Mayor said: “This provides a major boost to promoting business growth in the city as well as highlighting opportunities which may inspire individuals to start a business and promote Derry as an enterprising City.”

The project will incorporate an exciting new early stage social economy programme aimed at encouraging community and voluntary groups to move into social enterprise.

Another major element of the project will be the promotion of green and sustainable enterprises. An awards programme will assist young people in developing sustainable innovations in green technology. The ‘Going Green’ programme for start-ups will provide businesses with greater knowledge and awareness to develop sustainable products, reduce waste and lower carbon emission and showcase other similar initiatives. There will also be training and information sessions on Quality Standards Programmes and Franchising.

Derry City Council’s Project Officer, Aeidin McCarter said: “This funding provides us with a real opportunity to meet the needs of the developing and expanding business base in the City and is a key element of our current economic development plan.”

The project which is scheduled to run until March 2012 will also introduce specialist training for small businesses in franchising and public sector procurement.

Paul Carr from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, which administers the European Regional Development Fund remarked on the launch of the project saying: “Initiatives like the Enterprising Derry project are a fantastic way to promote entrepreneurship, enhance business sustainability and competitiveness and expand the private and social economy sectors.

“I am delighted that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has been able to offer funding support through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme.”

The project is one of three major projects currently being funded by the ERDF and Derry City Council including the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (CTRIC) and Digital Derry.

Businesses interested in participating in any of the programmes or finding out more about the project should contact the Economic Development Unit at Derry City Council on (028) 71365151 or enterprisingderry@derrycity.gov.uk