Enter Your Business In Down District In The Dragon's Den-Styled Competition

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Down District Council has announced a new ‘Dragon’s Den’ style project for local businesses.

beyond_screenThe opportunity received a boost yesterday as local entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs were invited to an information session held at Down Business Centre where members of the Down Enterprise Forum organising the event chatted to interested persons about the one-off funding opportunity arising from the £20,000 legacy fund set aside for the competition by Down District Council.

The Council prepares to merge with Newry and Mourne District Council into the new super-council, Newry Mourne and Down District Council on 1 April this year and the out-going Council is making its final contribution to the local business sector before it finally winds up.

You could apply for assistance for your business for new equipment or support in a wide variety of ways such as a new computer and software, or even covering some key invisible costs.

Through the recently established Enterprise Forum, some small grants will be made available to assist new/small businesses in developing business ideas. In a very broad approach, any business project will be considered.

*  Do you need funding to develop a prototype? *  Are you struggling to pay for suitable business premises? *  No matter what your particular need is, the Enterprise Forum may be able to help.

[caption id="attachment_54737" align="alignleft" width="380"]Members of the Down Enterprise Forum pictured at the information day for the Dragon's Den-styled competition to be held in March. Back row from left, Alex Gordon, Down District Council, Mary Young, Invest NI, Janice Symington, Down Business Centre,  and front row, Deborah Boden, SERC, Margaret Quinn, Down District Council, and Louise Quinn. DEL. Members of the Down Enterprise Forum pictured at the information day for the Dragon’s Den-styled competition to be held in March. Back row from left, Alex Gordon, Down District Council, Mary Young, Invest NI, Janice Symington, Down Business Centre, and front row, Deborah Boden, SERC, Margaret Quinn, Down District Council, and Louise Quinn. DEL.[/caption]

The Dragon’s Den-styled event was launched in January and applications are now open. A panel of experts will consider proposals and award grants to successful projects.

There will be a selection process and finalists will be invited to pitch to the Dragon’s, three local business people, later in March. The decisions of the panel will be settled before the end of March prior to the merger of the two councils.

Down District Council Chairman Councillor Billy Walker has backed the initiative and said: “The Council has set aside £20,000 of a legacy fund for this Dragon’s Den-styled project. Businesses in Down District will benefit greatly from this.

“It will certainly be a fun event and challenging for those taking part in the final stages, and I wish all the participants well in their endeavours in this competition and in their businesses in the future.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we must support them as best we can to create jobs and prosperity in our local area, and I therefore fully support the work of the Down Enterprise Forum in bringing this initiative forward.”

If you would like to informally discuss your proposed project please contact:

Margaret Quinn, Project Development Manager at Down District Council on 028 44 610800.

Connect with this initiative on Twitter using hashtag #DownEnterpriseForum@beyondni

To receive an application form please email: alexander.gordon@downdc.gov.uk

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday 27 February 2015.

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