Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell today launched the second phase of business support programme ‘NI Chamber Connections’ – a Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) initiative in partnership with Ulster Bank.
Launched on board the Tall Ship Buque Escuela Guayas, the private-sector led programme aims to create a network of local businesses who share common interests, goals and challenges.
Following a highly successful pilot phase in June 2013 – June 2014, NI Chamber Connections will assist businesses to develop and grow, whilst providing a vehicle for shared learning and new market development for those companies looking to grow via exporting.
The second phase of the programme will also include a series of regional events and web based support, as well as continuing to link companies for advice locally and through the overseas network of Chambers, which has proved a valuable resource for companies who often don’t know where to access advice and information.
Richard Donnan, Managing Director, Retail Banking and NI SME & CIB at Ulster Bank:
“We’re very pleased to be supporting the next phase of NI Connections – it’s an excellent initiative aimed at fostering international cooperation and providing an important resource for growth
“Strong local exporters can play an important role in the sustainable expansion and development of the private sector, and making it easier for them to break into new markets abroad can have significant positive impacts on jobs and opportunities at home.
“At Ulster Bank, we have £1.5bn available to lend to businesses this year, and we want to support Northern Ireland’s many great businesses.”