Innovators ‘inspiring’ next wave of Larne entrepreneurs

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Paul Reid, with Hazel Bell, Ken Nelson, chief executive officer and Liam Kelly, all LEDCOM.  Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Paul Reid, with Hazel Bell, Ken Nelson, chief executive officer and Liam Kelly, all LEDCOM. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �

Innovative start-up businesses have been sharing their inspiring stories in a bid to encourage more entrepreneurs to come forward in Larne.

Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM) Ltd welcomed organisations to a networking lunch to find out more about the support services offered.

Clare Canale, Red Robin Therapy, Sam McFaul, Electramee Industrial Services and Grainne McCormick, Tailored Music. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �

Clare Canale, Red Robin Therapy, Sam McFaul, Electramee Industrial Services and Grainne McCormick, Tailored Music. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �

Backed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the event was organised as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

David Gillespie, from LEDCOM, explained how the development company supports those with a business idea considering self-employment through advice and mentoring, business plan support, managed workspace and signposting to sources of funding such as loan funds and the Rural Development Programme.

Three local entrepreneurs, who have started their business within the last year, explained why they decided to become self- employed, the challenges and opportunities that has brought and the assistance provided through LEDCOM.

The networking lunch was one of a series of events delivered by LEDCOM and supported by MEA Council. These included:

Cecil Caldwell and Noel Mulholland of Michelin Development, David Gillespie, general manager LEDCOM and Trevor Robinson of Invest NI.  Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �

Cecil Caldwell and Noel Mulholland of Michelin Development, David Gillespie, general manager LEDCOM and Trevor Robinson of Invest NI. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �

A workshop attended by 35 people on the importance of business planning including an inspirational talk from Michael Fairfowl, owner of Blazin Digital, an innovative company based at Willowbank Business Park.

A visit from P7 pupils of St. Macnissi’s Primary School to allow them to meet and talk to entrepreneurs from companies based at Willowbank

A drop-in clinic for people interested in RDP funding or in support services offered by LEDCOM

Enterprise talks delivered by Alistair Smith of LEDCOM to pupils at St. Killian’s College and Larne Grammar School.

P7 pupils from St Macnissis, with David Gillespie of LEDCOM, found out more about self- employment and had the opportunity to meet two local businesses.

P7 pupils from St Macnissis, with David Gillespie of LEDCOM, found out more about self- employment and had the opportunity to meet two local businesses.

Participation by Laura McCourt with Young Enterprise at Larne High school as part of an ongoing programme being delivered there.

Speaking after the local events, David Gillespie, general manager LEDCOM< said: “LEDCOM is delighted to have reached so many people during Global Entrepreneurship Week with a clear message that we are here to encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship , support those wishing to start their business and provide a full package of support to those wishing to go self-employed including advice , quality start-up and growth premises , and signposting to sources of financial support.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is held every November, features thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries aimed at inspiring millions of people to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.