Belfast Telegraph

Councils to Inspire 80 companies

By Clare Weir

Some 80 businesses in the North West will be able to avail of mentoring, development workshops and conferences thanks to a new scheme.

The Inspire Business Programme is a new joint initiative between Strabane and Omagh district councils and is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster launched the programme and said that it will deliver real benefits to businesses by helping them to more effectively target prospective customers and adopt a structured approach to selling.

She said: "Inspire has been developed after taking account of the specific needs of businesses in the Omagh and Strabane areas, and will help to strengthen and grow the private sector, which is a priority for government and specifically for my department.

"This kind of programme encourages businesses to become more market-aware, research-aware, outward-looking, export-oriented and committed to ongoing business development. These are the essential components of business and economic success."

The Inspire Business Programme is one of a number of initiatives funded by Invest NI under the Local Economic Development Measure of the EU Sustainable Competitiveness Programme, which is available to councils to help them address the particular needs of businesses in their area.

Recruitment for the programme is already under way. It is open to small and medium-sized businesses in the Omagh and Strabane council areas.