Funding and economic outlook will be the themes of Friday’s ‘The Funding Game’ event, taking place as part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Enterprise Week programme.
The Funding Game will be introduced by Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist of Ulster Bank, and will feature guest speakers from the business support, banking, and investment sectors providing more information on sources of grant funding, finance and business support available through local support agencies, investors and banks.
Speakers will give information on current opportunities available to give businesses the much-needed support and cash input that can give them confidence in making informed decisions in ensuring their business has the best possible chance of success.
The seminar will conclude with a question-and-answer session provided by a panel of experts who will answer any specific funding questions attendees have in relation to their idea or business sector.
Richard Ramsey will set the scene at the beginning of the event by providing an economic outlook to ensure you consider all the necessary economic factors when taking the next steps in your business development journey. Before his current role with Ulster Bank, Richard spent a decade working in the public sector which included roles with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and Invest Northern Ireland.
He believes that there are opportunities for entrepreneurs who are looking to make the next step on their business journey.
“There are opportunities out there. Within Ulster Bank we have our own Entrepreneurial Hub which my colleague John Ferris will speak more about at Friday’s seminar. There have been instances in different sectors of business where we have seen companies collapse and hundreds or even thousands of redundancies handed out and at the time it is a real bad news story. But, from there, it often becomes a good thing in allowing people to branch out or go into other areas,” he explained. “It reminds me of the words of the economist Joseph Schumpeter that creative destruction can lead to rebirth. We talk about ‘protecting jobs’ but sometimes it’s the case that we are protecting something that is not viable. In that sense the bad news can lead to good in providing people with new opportunities.”
Richard explained that considering the economic outlook and a range of economic factors is a crucially important step for anyone looking to set up their own business or to grow and develop their current one.
“In the last few years we have been through unprecedented times in terms of the pandemic and as we saw lockdown restrictions eased and we moved into the recovery period it felt like, while there were still challenges to be faced, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Now we look at the situation with Ukraine and Russia and it brings a new uncertainty. It’s an example of how things can move so fast and how on top of things that you need to be.
He continued: “There are factors like the cost of living, energy and food prices, and household budgets that all businesspeople must constantly be aware of – not just for themselves in their own growth, but also to be cognisant of the situation that their potential customers or clients are facing.”
Richard said that he hoped The Funding Game seminar would be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about how they can better set themselves up for success in terms of utilising funding in the best and most efficient way.
“For me personally and something that I really stick to on my own podcast is that it’s better to know the environment that you are in rather than the environment that you want to be in. On Friday I will be speaking with the attendees about the things that they need to hear as they make their next steps and the factors that they need to take into consideration. Being realistic about the challenges involved and being aware of the fast-paced and ever-changing environment is an essential part of any business growing and succeeding.”
The Funding Game event is open to all and is not to be missed for all entrepreneurs, accountants and business consultants. The event will take place at The Whitehorse Hotel on Friday 11th March. Registration will be at 9:30am providing a chance to network before the sharp commencement time of 10am.
To register your interest in attending, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-funding-game-tickets-262485038817
Enterprise Week will take place from Monday 7th – Friday 11th March with a combination of physical and virtual events, marking the tenth anniversary of the annual event.
For more information on the full programme, visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek