Are you a young entrepreneur based in the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon? Have you completed the ‘Go For It’ Programme recently? Get the support and funding you need to take your self-employment journey to the next level on the Enterprise Pathway Programme.
Developed by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership in collaboration with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the Enterprise Pathway Programme is designed to promote the creation of new businesses by providing eligible individuals with tailored start-up advice, mentoring and financial support.
The initiative – which will be delivered by Armagh Business Centre, Banbridge Enterprise Centre, and Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation – will provide a limited number of grants of up to £1,500 and bespoke mentoring to young entrepreneurs from the borough.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield commented:
“Equipping local borough residents – particularly our young people – with the funds, tools and support needed to start their own business is fundamentally important to the long-term recovery and growth of the ABC economy. The Enterprise Pathway Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young eligible entrepreneurs to access vital grant funding to help support key business start-up activities but also, and equally important, it offers the chance to benefit from invaluable mentoring around financial planning, marketing, and promotion as well as guidance on how to support the future development of a new business.”
The Enterprise Pathway Programme is open to ABC borough residents aged between 16 and 24 years old, who:
- have started their own business and completed the ‘Go For It’ programme since 1 April 2022
- were unemployed, working less than 16 hours a week, or at risk of redundancy before completing the ‘Go For It’ programme
- have identified a need for additional mentoring and grant support
- have not received any previous grant support.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said:
“Labour Market Partnerships have been designed to harness local knowledge and expertise so tailored action plans can be swiftly developed for each council area’s particular needs. I am delighted that my department has been able to fund this much-needed programme, providing critical support for our young entrepreneurs. Youth unemployment remains a challenge and it is vital we provide support, encouragement and investment for our young citizens wishing to take their first steps towards self-employment.”
Speaking on behalf of the three local enterprise agencies, Eileen Stewart, Chief Executive of Armagh Business Centre said:
“Youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges facing the borough today. More recently, the pandemic created difficulties for any young individual wanting to start and potentially grow their business. However, the Enterprise Pathway programme recognises the need to provide additional support for young people into self-employment and as they plan a viable and fulfilling career.
“This is the second Enterprise Pathway scheme, with 40 grants distributed previously across the borough, and with participants positively using the grant to help and improve their journey to self-employment.”
Funded by the Department for Communities, this initiative was first introduced earlier this year following the establishment of the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership – a joint public/private sector initiative, which aims to address the complex and changing landscape of employability and skills provision both for those looking for work and for employers.
To find out more about the Enterprise Pathway Programme contact:
- Eileen Stewart at Armagh Business Centre on 028 37525 050
- Ciaran Cunningham at Banbridge Enterprise Centre on 028 4066 2260
- Cara Dallat at Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation on 028 3839 6520.