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Entrepreneurs urged to spark their ideas into life

By Rachel Martin

Entrepreneurs and businesses are being encouraged to apply for a new start-up support centre which is set to open in Belfast.

Entrepreneurial Spark, the world's largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures, aims to develop entrepreneurs through bootcamps, city-centre office space, along with a series of mentoring programmes. The initiative, which has been supported by Ulster Bank, will provide space for up to 80 entrepreneurs and will not take equity in the businesses.

Based in Lombard Street, the growth hub is now open to applications from new and existing businesses with growth potential and will add to seven other Entrepreneurial Spark locations that are already open in Scotland and England.

Richard Donnan, regional managing director, corporate and commercial at Ulster Bank, welcomed the move.

He said: "Ulster Bank was founded by a group of local merchants who saw the chance to build an institution that would serve the banking needs of their local community. Entrepreneurship is in our DNA, and we're excited to see the new and innovative companies that will be developed through this venture.

"Creating a culture that is supportive and welcoming towards entrepreneurs is essential in developing the local private sector."

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