Local firms aim to be ‘digital champions’

From left: Mayor of Larne Councillor Martin Wilson; Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster; Managing Partner at Oli James Hanna; Chairman of Larne Development Forum, Larne Borough Council Councillor Maureen Morrow. INLT-03-702-con

From left: Mayor of Larne Councillor Martin Wilson; Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster; Managing Partner at Oli James Hanna; Chairman of Larne Development Forum, Larne Borough Council Councillor Maureen Morrow. INLT-03-702-con

0
Have your say

Larne businesses will benefit from a new digital workshop and mentoring programme to help them grow and promote themselves online.

The innovative North East Digital Champion Programme, launched by DETI Minister Arlene Foster MLA, aims to help businesses across the North East to grow and promote their business online.

The programme is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The seven councils in the North East region; Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne, Moyle and Newtownabbey councils, are also part-funding the initiative.

The first workshop took place at LEDCOM’s Willowbank Business Centre on Friday January 16. The series of workshops will focus on helping businesses grow their online presence and sales and increase revenue. Guest speakers from local businesses will present case studies on how to do this effectively. Lessons learned on how to maximise on the potential of the digital platform, including the application of available fast broadband technology, will be shared. The free workshops will be held across the north east region, running on a weekly basis until the end of February 2015.

The next stage in the programme will involve bespoke one-to-one mentoring where businesses will benefit from tailored individual sessions with a digital expert, focusing on their specific needs and growth potential. Workshop participants and businesses who contact the programme directly can apply for mentoring.

DETI Minister Arlene Foster commented: “As Northern Ireland is a small business economy, one of our core priorities is to help small businesses grow and develop through export success and innovation. There is great potential for businesses to better exploit the commercial opportunities of the digital platform. Many businesses do not yet appreciate how they could become more profitable, sustainable and efficient through the use of high-speed broadband which is readily available across much of the north east region. My department, through Invest NI, works with companies to develop their international sales and export potential. “Northern Ireland continues to be an attractive location for global investment across a range of sectors and programmes such as these are helping local business to expand their markets internationally.”

Mayor of Larne Councillor Martin Wilson added: “This is a very exciting programme that will also include the development of a digital opportunities and infrastructure strategy. Together with the workshops and mentoring, this will be of great benefit to businesses across the council areas, and I would encourage businesses to sign up for the free workshops and mentoring.”

To book a free workshop place, or for more information on mentoring visit www.northeastdigitalchampion.com. Alternatively ring 02890 247 368 or email info@northeastdigitalchampion.com.