Posted on Friday 10 May 2013 by Ulster Business

BOI

Mary Keightley, Managing Director, Mind Associates; Alyson Hogg, CEO, Vita Liberata and Ciaran McGivern, Head of Business Banking, Bank of Ireland UK

Bank of Ireland UK has launched Enterprise Week in Northern Ireland with a continued commitment to actively support and provide finance for viable small to medium sized businesses in every sector across Northern Ireland.

'Building Business Momentum' will be the theme of the week which will take place from Friday 17th May – Friday 24th May 2013 with a packed programme of events, business clinics and training courses. The Banks' Show Your Business scheme will also make a welcome return as local businesses are invited to market their products and services within their local bank branch.

The Bank will be running two high profile flagship events:

The first, on May 22nd will focus on 'Building Business Momentum' and will be held at Ravenhill, the home of Ulster Rugby. Speakers will include Alyson Hogg, CEO, Vita Liberata who will talk about product innovation as a key ingredient for growth; Mary Keightley, Managing Director, Mind Associates who will focus on why your employees now need a whole new skill-set for success in business; and Ciaran McGivern, Head of Business Banking, Bank of Ireland UK, who will look at a third critical success factor in business - the need for pro-active cash flow management.

Alyson Hogg, CEO, Vita Liberata said: "Having developed a global brand from scratch in just ten years I am delighted to have the opportunity to share with others in the business community what it has taken to make Vita Liberata the success story it is today. I have always had a passion for my product and a willingness to innovate. I was determined from the outset that what we brought to consumers wasn't more of the same but a truly unique product that answered the many issues facing the self-tanning business then and still does to this day. I'm looking forward to sharing some of what I have learned in my time in business."

Mary Keightley, Managing Director, Mind Associates; "Globalisation and advances in technology have changed how we learn, work and connect with each other and our customers forever! How we communicate has changed and that means your employee's skill-set must have changed too. Whilst it is always easy to get that "connectedness" with the customer when the meet and greet is face to face how do you get that "connectedness" with a customer when you meet for the first time online? Technology has raised the bar and as a business owner you must ask yourself "Am I ahead or behind?" Mary will show how to get "instant influence" with customers (local and global) in the virtual world, how to give a virtual handshake and to the customers you really like, a virtual hug!

On Friday 24th May an event in Derry will focus on Innovation & Growth for Small Businesses. Derry born RTE Dragon Peter Casey, CEO and Founder of Claddagh Resources, the global recruitment and search business, will be the main speaker. Other speakers will include Dr Bernard Toal from NORiBiC, Dr Dan McLaughlin, Bank of Ireland Chief Economist and Eleanor McEvoy, Managing Director of Budget Energy.

Ciaran McGivern Head of Business Banking for Bank of Ireland in Northern Ireland said: "Supporting the needs of businesses in Northern Ireland remains our key priority. The availability of credit for SMEs remains one of the biggest perception barriers. Enterprise Week allows us the opportunity to demonstrate that Bank of Ireland UK has funds to lend, that we are able to support business and we are here to help them build momentum.

"In 2012 Bank of Ireland UK opened over 3,000 new current accounts for small businesses and we approved 90% of the hundreds of credit applications received weekly from small businesses and farmers."

Sean Sheehan Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland UK, NI says: "We can give businesses access to specialist advisors and enable business owners to share knowledge and experience with like-minded people. For example branches across the province will be holding a series of free business clinics with specialist contributors on topics such as technology, marketing, social/online media and staff recruitment.

"Belfast City Branch will also offer two free training courses on Negotiation Skills and Understanding Financial Accounts for both customers and non-customers."

Sean added: "Show Your Business, which has proved particularly popular in previous Enterprise Weeks, will be run across the bank's branch network enabling local business to put their products or services on show. To date 1,200 businesses have taken the opportunity to create 'pop up shops' in our branch network. One recent successful example is Derry City Tours who showcased their operation to customers in our Cork branch in November resulting in an increased visitor footfall from Cork to Derry City. This is the true meaning of Enterprise Week, where networking is facilitated and real business is achieved by Bank of Ireland UK and our customers working together."

Enterprise Week is open to both customers and non-customers and is part of the bank's commitment to actively support private sector growth in Northern Ireland.

For the most up to date information on events taking place across Northern Ireland during Enterprise Week log on to www.bankofireland.co.uk/enterprise or contact your local Bank of Ireland UK branch.

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