Over the last three years, Ballymena Business Centre’s Enabling Enterprise Project, funded by The Gallaher Trust, has supported a total of 127 business start-ups, which has seen £63,500 reinvested, via seed funding, into the local community.
First launched in October 2018 alongside £183,600 in funding from the Trust, the project aimed to connect people, improve skills and transform enterprise and business within the Ballymena area by hosting roadshows, delivering training workshops, offering seed funding, and providing test trading opportunities to list just the main services.
Alongside assisting business start-ups and reinvesting funds into the local economy, an additional 24 new jobs were also created via the work of the project.
“Ballymena Business Centre has been associated with driving enterprise and entrepreneurship in our local community for over 30 years,” explained Roy Douglas, a member of The Gallaher Trust’s Board of Trustees.
“The Ballymena Business Centre’s Enabling Enterprise Project shares the Trust’s ethos of providing opportunities for job creation and skills development which is why we were keen to get involved.”
“We’re very pleased with the number of start-ups and jobs that have been created over the last three years, never mind the amount of money that has been reinvested into the Ballymena community via seed funding.
“Communities and businesses alike have come through some very tough times in recent years, but the creation of new jobs will stand Ballymena and its people in good stead for future growth.
“Congratulations to Melanie [Christie Boyle] and the team at Ballymena Business Centre for delivering such a worthwhile project, the outcomes of which will no doubt continue to be seen in the months and years to come.”
Meanwhile, Melanie Christie Boyle MBE, Chief Executive (CE) of Ballymena Business Centre added: “Enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of our local economy.
“Despite the challenges we have faced as a social enterprise, we have to be adaptable and responsive so that we can continue to assist entrepreneurs to succeed in their business journey.
“Working on the Enabling Enterprise Project, with funding from The Gallaher Trust, gave us the opportunity to channel resources where it was needed most – improving skills and supporting job creation.
“We are delighted with what we managed to achieve through the project, and we would like to thank The Gallaher Trust for all their help and support.”
To find out more about the projects that The Gallaher Trust supports, visit: https://thegallahertrust.org/our-work/.