Posted on Wednesday 9 May 2012 by Ulster Business

Enterprise week

Chris Watson of Chain Reaction Cycles joins Clare Guinness and Pat Byrne from Bank of Ireland to launch Enterprise Week

Bank of Ireland UK has launched its fifth Enterprise Week in Northern Ireland. 

The initiative will feature seminars and showcasing opportunities for business owners and will take place from Friday 18th May – Friday 25th May 2012. 

The week, which is open to both customers and non-customers, is being held as part of the Bank’s ongoing commitment to actively support business growth by providing them with the necessary financial support and practical advice.

This year’s events include a flagship seminar at Ravenhill, the home of Ulster Rugby, and Show Your Business events across the Bank’s branch network. The bank has also joined up with Microsoft’s ‘Work Wherever Wednesday’ initiative and will be hosting IT Solutions Clinics in many branches in Northern Ireland on Wednesday 23rd May.  Experts will be on hand to provide SMEs with advice and information on technology solutions for their business.

Show Your Business in branches will feature a variety of SMEs including Jim Black Restorations, Lisburn; Cookie Box Belfast, City Branch; Camphill Communities, Omagh; Webtech Packaging, Enniskillen; Rocca coffee shop, Coleraine; and Colin Francis Cars in Magherafelt who will showcase their goods and services. Bank of Ireland is encouraging all SMEs to get involved and to contact their local branch for further information.

Clare Guinness, Regional Business Manager Business Banking in Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to launch our fifth Enterprise Week which is one of a range of initiatives we are undertaking to deliberately reach out to businesses and work with them.

“Our flagship seminar at Ravenhill will focus on using technology to grow your business and will offer companies valuable insights into how rapidly-growing technologies can help them expand their businesses both at home and abroad. Speakers include Colin Cassidy, SME Business and Distribution Lead Microsoft Ireland, and Shane Logan, Chief Executive of Ulster Rugby, which is using technology to boost its commercial success.”

Clare added: “Our commitment to helping businesses to grow is demonstrated not just by Enterprise Week but by other developments such as the launch of a £50m Agri Business Fund and our Export Initiative to help exporters with the financial challenges of selling overseas. We have also introduced a simple, three-step process to make applying for credit easier.  Over the past three months our approval rate for new credit applications has remained consistent at over 90%.”

More than 2,000 businesses have taken part in Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Week since it was launched in May 2010.

Pat Byrne, Regional Manager, Northern Ireland, said: “For many people the heart and soul of Enterprise Week is the Show Your Business element which gives businesses, both customers and non-customers, a platform to promote their products and services in branches and to network with other businesses. There are so many exciting and innovative businesses in Northern Ireland and they each have three things in common - commitment, drive and innovation. The staff in our branches across Northern Ireland will be on hand to offer advice, support and finance to these customers and this year we expect even more businesses to get involved and we are determined to make it the best Show Your Business yet.”

Chain Reaction Cycles, the world’s largest online bike store, is celebrating its 27th year in business. Having experienced continued expansion in recent years, the company now employs over 600 people at its base in Doagh and new Commercial HQ on the outskirts of Belfast. A winner of a Queens Award for International Trade in 2011 and ranked as the UK’s number one cycling website by Experian Hitwise in 2011 and 2012, CRC continues to offer world class service from its Northern Ireland base.

Chris Watson, Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles, speaking at the launch of Enterprise Week, said: “The Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Week is perfect for businesses in Northern Ireland to help develop themselves with the many seminars, workshops and advice on offer. Although we’re a multi-national business now, Chain Reaction Cycles started as a small shop in Ballynure, County Antrim, with only a £1500 bank loan. With enough drive, determination, innovation and financial assistance from the Bank of Ireland, which they’ve flawlessly provided us, we have proved that anyone can succeed in business.”

For the most up to date information on events taking place across Northern Ireland during Enterprise Week log on to or contact your local Bank of Ireland  branch.


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