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Stories of local, cross-border and international business success will be shared with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and aspiring entrepreneurs from in the North West tomorrow evening (February 2nd) as part of a major free event being organised by Ulster Bank in association with Small Business Can.

 All local business people are invited to attend Business Live at the Verbal Arts Centre, Londonderry, on February 2nd, which will feature a panel of successful local business people, chaired by a co-founder of the influential business website
Business people who will be discussing and sharing their experiences and successes at the event include: Dermot Hegarty, founder and owner of Total Golf based in Springtown Business Park, which sells golf equipment locally through a chain of shops and globally over the internet; George Fleming, managing director of Fleming Agricultural, based in New Buildings, which sells farm machinery around the world; Grainne Kelly from BubbleBum which sells its inflatable car booster seats globally; and Michael McKinney from Inishowen Engineering in Donegal.
Business Live features 14 dates across the island in total at which all types of business people will hear that trading outside of your home market is probably easier than many think. The advent of the internet and subsequent advances in technology have changed the world of commerce enabling small businesses and entrepreneurs to quickly and efficiently market and sell their products to a global audience. Now, exporting, once the preserve of bigger business, is accessible for business of all sizes.
The events, which are free of charge to attend, will centre around an informal panel discussion chaired by entrepreneur and co-founder of Fionan Murray, and will feature the opportunity for questions, networking and the chance to engage one-to-one with experts from Ulster Bank and other organisations, including InterTradeIreland.
Sharing the panellists’ stories and experiences at the events is intended to provide motivation to other SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs, says Nial Douglas, Head of Ulster Bank’s North West Business Centre.
He continues: “I would encourage all SME owners in the North West to come to the event, including aspiring entrepreneurs, as there will be something for everyone to learn from the discussion, and the potential to meet and network with a wide range of like-minded business people and experts, including business people from across the border”.
“Doing business cross-border and internationally will feature as part of the discussion. When you can communicate with potential customers and suppliers across the island and around the world 24/7 at little cost through the internet, it opens significant opportunities. This is one of the reasons why more and more SMEs are able to widen their customer-base and enhance their business by trading outside of their home market”.
“As an all-island bank, and as part of an international group with people on the ground in 37 countries, we feel that Ulster Bank is very well placed to help SMEs to explore and capitalise on their potential to do business successfully at home and outside of their home market,” Mr Douglas adds.
More information about Business Live is available from Ulster Bank branches or register online here.
The events are supporting the launch of Ulster Bank’s new cross border and international business proposition¹, which offers a range of supports for companies who are doing or could potentially do business outside of Northern Ireland.
The proposition includes free subscription to Ulster Bank’s online Bankline service for international payments, as well as the waiving of non-domestic payment processing fees until the end of 2012 for new customers with a turnover under £25million.
Customers can also benefit from the wide range of products Ulster Bank has available through its parent company RBS, including overseas current accounts, merchant services***, global trade finance and foreign exchange services. The Bank is also highlighting that the reach of its parent company, which has a presence on the ground in 37 countries, can assist Northern Ireland firms trading abroad with market insight and contacts.

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