Budding entrepreneurs see business ideas flourish
Budding entrepreneurs from across Belfast are seeing their business ideas flourish after taking part in an enterprise programme, funded by Belfast City Council.
They have completed the Market Start Up Programme which explored market trading as a business model and gave new start businesses within the food and craft industries in Belfast the chance to test trade products at St George’s Market and two Pop Up Shops in the city.
The 22 received certificates for completing the programme at a special ceremony in City Hall on Friday.
Among them was Aikaterini Paraskaki who traded very successfully at St George’s Market with her traditional Greek food and is hoping to open a food outlet in the city soon. Sivanesan Ramamoorthy, who specialises in serving Sri Lankan style dishes has launched his business as a dining club. Helen Harty is selling her fused glass products at other craft fairs as is Emma Ratcliffe with her illustrations and art products and Leah O’Neill with her handmade felt and jewellery pieces.
All of the participants on the programme took part in workshops introducing them to market trading; had one to one mentoring to help develop their business ideas and guidance with developing a business plan.
They also took part in best-practice visits to food and craft businesses in the city; international food and craft trade events and a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event.
In March, participants on the programme set up their own Pop Up Shop called ‘We Make’ in Queen Street Studios, Bedford Street selling a range of their own products from hand-printed fabrics; bridal jewellery, paper crafts and celebration cakes.
The venture ran for a week and was hailed a ‘great success’ by the participants. A Pop Up Shop was also set up in the Titanic Quarter during the Giro d’Italia Big Start event where some of the participants traded selling a selection of their products.
The Market Start Up Programme was delivered by Full Circle Management Solutions on behalf of the council.