Twenty-three new female entrepreneurs recently attended the first ever one-day Mid Ulster Imagine It motivational boot camp, delivered in Cookstown Enterprise Centre.
Imagine It is an inspirational boot camp for women at pre-start stage who have a business idea, see an opportunity or want to explore career options.
The boot camp is one of a number of events being delivered by Women in Business over the next three years as part of the new Yes You Can female enterprise programme, which is a collaboration between the 11 Councils, Invest NI and Women in Business.
The first event included a mix of workshops, networking and discussions with successful female entrepreneurs from Mid Ulster: Lorna Robinson (Cloughbane Farm Shop), Sinead Wilcox (Sinead Wilcox Coaching) and Judith Baird (Employmint); who shared their experiences of starting and growing a business and how they dealt with the challenges they faced on their journey.
Speaking at the first Imagine it event, the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney said: “Entrepreneurship in Mid Ulster is very strong. Through the business start programme, 53 percent of those supported in this area are female. That is why the Council are keen to support initiatives like Yes You Can, to ensure that women in Mid Ulster have the opportunity to access the range of support available to help start and grow their new business”.
Lesley O’Hanlon, Yes You Can Programme Manager explains, “The new Yes You Can programme aims to drive the growth of women starting their own business by offering a unique opportunity for female entrepreneurs to tap into a broad and innovative support package. This includes helping them make useful connections, hearing from other successful local business women about how they pursued their goals, access to a vast support network and intensive one-to one support to help them turn their concept into a reality”.
Two further initiatives are available as part of the Yes You Can Programme – in August and again in November 2019 there will be a two day ‘Sell It’ residential in Corick House for female entrepreneurs already trading to encourage growth, ambition and scalability of their business to help them create their own growth strategy.
An additional initiative, Explore It is for women who are pre-start or just started trading and will deliver support through three, one-day workshops and three months’ buddy support from an experienced female entrepreneur, helping participants turn their idea into a reality.
Due to limited spaces on both Sell It and Explore It, participation will be by application only. Applications for Sell It are currently open and will close on Friday 5 July; and Explore It will open on Monday 8 July and close on Tuesday 16 August. To find out more visit https://www.womeninbusinessni.com/Yes-You-Can.aspx.