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The world’s a stage for NI’s most dynamic entrepreneurs

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35 of Northern Ireland’s most ambitious entrepreneurs have embarked on an intensive ten month journey aimed at ‘propelling’ their business onto the global stage,  having successfully progressed onto the second phase of Invest Northern Ireland’s 2014/2015 Propel programme.

Propel is aimed at go-getting start-ups with the passion and energy to succeed on an international stage. This year, the programme received a record number of applications for 2014/15 with 80 applicants making it through to the first phase. Following this initial four week training and development period, 35 were selected to progress to the second phase, an intensive ten month programme of development workshops, one-on-one mentoring and facilitated networking.

The 35 participants from right across Northern Ireland will also have access to shared workspace at The Hub in Belfast’s Commercial Court and £20,000 of valuable financial support.

Niall Casey, Director of Skills and Strategy, Invest Northern Ireland said;

“Propel nurtures creative and dynamic entrepreneurial talent from within Northern Ireland to support and grow our local economy. The 35 entrepreneurs in this year’s group represent a diverse range of sectors and backgrounds – from online retail and sensor technology; to craft beer production and security software. That mix is reflective of the sheer diversity of talent here today.

“Each of these participants share common attributes – innovation, talent and belief in a great business idea. Through the help of Propel, the aim is that their horizons will be broadened, their goals focused and their skills honed, as they turn an idea into an investor ready business.”

Now in its fourth year, the Invest Northern Ireland Propel Programme has helped 84 new companies access over £10.2m of investment, creating more than 260 jobs.

One local entrepreneur now progressing onto Phase 2 of Propel 2014/15 is Darren Nugent of County Tyrone Pokertree Brewing Company said;

“Propel represents a huge opportunity for everyone involved to fine-tune their business strategy and get access to some of the most experienced mentors on the island of Ireland. It will certainly be challenging but I am confident the benefits will be huge.  Personally, I feel the programme marks the start of an exciting chapter for Pokertree, during which time I hope to build a Northern Irish brand with global appeal.”

More information on the Invest Northern Ireland Propel Programme can be found at www.investni.com/propel

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