Useful Links For Business
The Council is involved in a number of partnerships across Northern Ireland that provide opportunities for local businesses and communities:
Advantage Northern Ireland
Advantage Northern Ireland specialises in economic development and entrepreneurship for young people. They work with clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and apply expertise to promote starting a business as a realistic and viable career option to young people aged 16-30. They engage with over 20,000 young people in Northern Ireland alone each year and can offer each one, individual, bespoke information, advice and guidance on starting, running and growing a business.
ApprenticeshipsNI is a Northern Ireland Government funded, work-based training programme, designed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs)/Standard Setting Bodies (SSBs) to meet the needs of employers. Business representatives from the relevant industry sector work with the SSCs/SSBs to develop the training content within each occupational area. Apprenticeships have proven to be a preferred and most beneficial method for employers to train their workforce. You can now train both new and existing employees who meet the entry criteria and there is no upper age limit.
Business in the Community
Business in the Community are a business-led charity with a growing membership of 850 companies, from large multinational household names to small local businesses and public sector organisations.
They provide advise, support and challenge their members to create a sustainable future for people and the planet and to improve business performance.
Setting up a business in the UK. If you are thinking of starting a business in the UK, or setting up remotely from overseas, this website rovides guidance to build the confidence, skills and knowledge to make it a success. On the site you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about doing business in the UK and how to get the most from UK Welcomes.
COMET is a partnership of the six economic development units of local councils within the Belfast Metropolitan Area. This includes: Belfast City Council, Lisburn City Council, Carrickfergus Borough Council, Castlereagh Borough Council, Newtownabbey Borough Council and North Down Borough Council.
COMET meets on a monthly basis to:
- look at opportunities for collaboration on economic development issues
- identify sub-regional projects that address the region’s needs
- share experience in implementation of local economic development plans
- distribute good practice and relevant conference and training opportunities.
The Department for Employment and Learning
The Department for Employment and Learning has a network of 35 Jobs & Benefits offices and JobCentres offering a range of vacancy services. These include advertising, recruitment events, sifting applications and interview facilities. Vacancies can be advertised online by using www.employersonlineni.com Here, employers can submit and manage vacancies online and receive applications from potential employees which can be managed in one place through a user friendly interface.
The Disablement Advisory Service offers help to employers who want to recruit and retain people with a disability. There is no direct cost to the employer for these services.
The Department for Employment and Learning also provide Employer Contact Managers who are keen to engage with the business community to raise awareness of the Department’s recruitment service.
They can help you by:
- Outlining the services available such as online promotion of vacancies and supply of standard application forms – all at no cost.
- Discussing your recruitment needs.
- Working with you to identify and provide recruitment solutions including the Department’s employment programmes and services.
The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment
The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment’s goal is "to grow a dynamic, innovative economy" The Department plays a crucial role in formulating and delivering economic development policy in terms of Enterprise, Social Economy, Innovation, Energy, Telecoms, and Tourism in Northern Ireland. In addition, the Department has responsibility for ensuring a modern regulatory framework to support business and protect consumers.
The Digital Northern Ireland 2020 (DNI2020) Advisory Board
The Digital Northern Ireland 2020 (DNI2020) Advisory Board was set up in 2010 with Sinclair Stockman as it’s Executive Director. It is supported by Invest Northern Ireland and will co-exist with DETI, Matrix, WHISPLE and the Digital Network as part of INI’s collaborative network programme.
DNI 2010 aims to engage with stakeholders (business, community, citizens and government) and focus the energy of key players and influencers to transform Northern Ireland into an exemplar of the 21st Century global knowledge economy and make it a preferred destination for inward investment that exploit key elements of this initiative.
Equality Commission Web Resource For Smaller Businesses
The Equality Commission has launched a new web-based resource aimed at helping small to medium enterprises in Northern Ireland.
The website includes useful information such as:
- help drafting job descriptions
- preparing recruitment advertisements
- advice on flexible working
- model policies on maternity, absence management and redundancy
GROW South Antrim
GROW South Antrim (Generating Rural Opportunities Within South Antrim) has been appointed by Antrim, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey Borough Councils to implement Axes 3 & 4 of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013 in rural South Antrim. The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Rural Development Programme is an excellent opportunity for rural communities and enterprises across South Antrim to improve, expand or diversify and anyone who has a development idea is encouraged to explore the website for more information or to get in touch with a member of the.
To find out more information about the programmes and the level of grant available, please go to the website or contact Emma Stubbs (Development Manager – Rural Programmes)
Tel: 028 9448 1311
Fax: 028 9448 1324
Health & Safety Works NI
Health & Safety Works NI is a free and confidential government advisory service of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. If you are just starting in business, are new to health and safety or are already set up and looking to improve your health and safety management, you will find practical advice and useful information within their website to help you manage your own health and safety.
InterTradeIreland supports SMEs across the island of Ireland to develop North/South trade and business development opportunities for the mutual benefit of both economies. They encourage better use of collective resources to accelerate trade and business growth across the island and create an environment where it is easier to do business. This is achieved through co-operative business, policy and research programmes, partnerships and networks.
Invest Northern Ireland
Invest Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland's business development agency. Invests aim is to support new and existing business to grow and compete internationally, and to attract new inward investment to Northern Ireland.
NetRegs is a partnership between the UK environmental regulators – the Environment Agency in England and Wales, SEPA in Scotland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland. NetRegs provide free environmental guidance for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK.
North East Partnership
First established in 2004 the North East Partnership (NEP) is one of five local authority led groupings that operate in the eligible area for the INTERREG IVA Programme for Northern Ireland, Border Region of Ireland and West of Scotland 2007-2013. The Partnership acts as a joint collaborative vehicle for eight member local authorities in Northern Ireland namely, Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne, Moyle and Newtownabbey councils. The primary focus of the Partnership is to promote and facilitate a range of cross border initiatives between the North East with project partners in the Border Region and Western Scotland under the INTERREG IVA cross border programme. The results of engagement in cross-border, interregional and transnational cooperation support the achievement of sustainable development, encompassing the social and economic viability of the North East sub-region. However, the NEP also continues to develop networks and relationships with other regions outside the scope of the immediate cross border programme.
Northern Regional College
In addition to the extensive range of Further and Higher Education Courses, the Economic Engagement Team at Northern Regional College aims to encourage local economic development by supporting companies, whether large or small, in the social economy, private or public sector, to help them find solutions to their training and development needs. The focus is to support people and businesses through the provision of four integrated services including:
- Workforce development – up-skilling
- Innovation – technology transfer
- Apprenticeships and student placements
- Business start-up and growth
nibusinessinfo.co.uk is a free online service provided by Invest Northern Ireland. The website contains free online business advice which provides practical advice for businesses ranging from start up to finance and information technology.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme
The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme provides start-up services and finance to help young people to start their own business. The Prince’s Trust can provide help for young people interested in starting a business or self employment to explore and test their ideas, write plans and start their own businesses or achieve alternative outcomes in education, training, volunteering or work.
Shell LiveWIRE provides an online community for young entrepreneurs (aged 16-30) who are starting or running their own business. They offer free online business advice and support, funding and networking opportunities to new start ups.
The University of Ulster
The University of Ulster has a dynamic and innovative research institution combining academic excellence and expertise with a focus on applied research - innovation, and knowledge transfer.
There are a number of funded schemes which match together business needs with University expertise, these can be used to develop new products, services and processes eg innovation vouchers and the Knowledge Transfer programme (KTP) which can help businesses to: improve product design, develop new products, improve manufacturing processes, reduce costs, find new markets and increase sales.
The Valley Business Centre
The Valley Business Centre aims to provide office, studio and warehousing space for small to medium sized businesses in both a secure and friendly environment.
Accommodation is available on short or long term packages, which can be tailored for your individual needs. Free on-site car parking is available for occupiers, their employees and customers.
Young Enterprise aim to ignite the spirit of enterprise in the next generation of entrepreneurs. The organisation works to build a connected world of young people, business volunteers and educators, inspiring each other to succeed through enterprise.
Each year business volunteers inspire over 250,000 young people aged 4 to 25 years. Programmes are designed to empower the next generation with the confidence, ability and ambition to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. Young Enterprise have almost 50 years experience and have worked with more than 3,500 businesses and over 5,000 schools, colleges, universities and local communities.