Step ‘N’ Zones to business success

PUPILS from St Killian’s College have taken part in a prestigious enterprise competition organised by Invest NI.

The Step ‘N’ Zones competition, held at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, attracted almost 1,000 young people aged 11-13 from across the Province over the course of two days.

It was designed to challenge the next generation of entrepreneurs to explore the potential of business ideas through a series of workshops and zoned events. Each of the contributing zones was set up to help the competitors to develop the planning, research, finance and branding skills needed to grow successful businesses.

Bill Scott, director of Regional Economic Development within Invest NI, said the competition was one of a number of initiatives supported by Invest NI that aim to inspire young people and encourage them to develop vital business skills such as communication, negotiation, and creative thinking.

He added: “We know that events like this can transform people’s attitude to enterprise and we want to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs. It helps us to connect young people, allow them to share ideas and help them develop the knowledge and confidence they need to pursue their ambition.

“Giving these young people the tools they need to become entrepreneurs is one of the strongest solutions we have for the challenges our economy currently faces. As we focus on helping existing businesses through the current downturn, it is important that we also ensure that we have helped to develop the skills and talent required to support future economic growth.”

The schools that took part have now been entered into a national competition, where they can win up to £1,000 in prizes. The winners will be announced later this month. Invest NI has partnered with Advantage NI, YENI, W5, Sentinus and HBD Design to deliver the event.