Larne firm scoops £5k prize at Dragon’s Den-style event

Congratulating Jason Campbell (2nd left) from Gemat Sign Company on being named the Larne regional winner of the Grow Global Export Programme are (L-R) Trevor Robinson, Invest NI; Cllr Martin Wilson, Mayor of Larne Borough Council and David Gillespie, LEDCOM.  Jason wins up to �5,000 to spend on export activities.  INLT 12-677-CON

Congratulating Jason Campbell (2nd left) from Gemat Sign Company on being named the Larne regional winner of the Grow Global Export Programme are (L-R) Trevor Robinson, Invest NI; Cllr Martin Wilson, Mayor of Larne Borough Council and David Gillespie, LEDCOM. Jason wins up to �5,000 to spend on export activities. INLT 12-677-CON

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The Larne-based Gemat Sign Company has been crowned the regional winner of an innovative export programme which is backed by Invest NI.

The Grow Global Programme saw a total of 30 local companies from the Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus areas developing and pitching their export plans in a Dragons’ Den scenario.

Businesses in each region were competing to win £5,000 to help them achieve their export plans.

Gemat Sign Company design, manufacture and install a range of signage including retail, commercial and industrial signs and specialise in engraved labels and printed mimics for control panels in the industrial sector.

Jason Campbell from the firm said: “We were delighted to be named the regional winners of the Grow Global Programme.

“As a result of the programme we have identified and will be focussing our exporting efforts initially on GB and the Republic of Ireland before investigating the wider European market.

“We are dedicated to expanding our business and our vision is to increase our exporting efforts to enable us to secure additional employees.”

The programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

Moira Loughran, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Manager said: “Taking advantage of international business opportunities will ensure that Northern Ireland businesses enjoy rapid and sustainable growth.

“Invest NI is committed to helping local businesses achieve their full potential in markets beyond Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to support them as they explore new opportunities.”

Larne Mayor Councillors Martin Wilson added: “Gemat Sign Company are following in the footsteps of many of our most successful companies who have identified opportunities in markets beyond Northern Ireland. I wish them every success as they embark on this stage of their exporting journey.”

All participating companies were mentored and prepared for the Dragons’ Den event by Full Circle Management Solutions.

The Grow Global Programme was offered free to companies by the North East Economic Development Forum – comprising the Councils of Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus.

Boiler servicing company and approved trainer in boiler operation, Geoff Castles Boiler Services, won the Carrickfergus regional event and Home Sweet Home Candles, who design and manufacture a range of homemade scented candles, were regional winners in Ballymena.