Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation is celebrating a milestone after helping its 200th new business start-up to ‘Go For It’.
The Go For It programme provides advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business, by taking them through the process of creating a business plan.
Working in association with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs NI programme.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell, said: “Council’s Go For It Programme is proving to be a tremendous success and CIDO, alongside Armagh Business Centre Ltd and Banbridge District Enterprises Ltd are the major drivers in this success.”
Cara Dallat, Chief Executive of CIDO on behalf of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said: “We’re really proud to have supported over 200 individuals who have seized the opportunity and brought their idea to the Go For It programme.
“We work with each individual to offer expert advice in developing a business plan, covering everything from accounts to marketing and long-term business growth.”
Jonathan Harty of Foraging at Harty Culture is one of the local businesses to have completed the programme.
Foraging at Harty Culture specialises in a range of foraging and nature tours that provide tourists and locals with an introduction to edible plants, fungi and other wild foods in the fields and woodlands across Northern Ireland.
Jonathan Harty launched the business after spotting a gap in the local market for foraging tours that would teach people the ancient skill of identifying and harvesting wild greens, edible leaves, herbs and mushrooms from the woods, meadows and hedgerows of Northern Ireland’s beautiful countryside.
“I really wanted to develop a business that would allow me to take people on immersive experiences of our beautiful, nature-rich landscape and teach them that everything has its place and purpose - be it edible, medicinal, practical or poisonous,” Jonathan said.
After deciding to launch a foraging business, Jonathan contacted the Go For It Programme to seek expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn his passion for nature into a business.
“This support was invaluable and I would urge anyone who has an idea for starting their own business to contact the Go For It Programme,”Jonathan said.
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It Programme on 0800 027 0639 or visit www.goforitni.com