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Local businesses shown value of a digital transformation as Derry~Strabane’s Week for Enterprise beg

06 March 2017

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock launched a week of events to assist local businesses today, Monday 6th March as Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Enterprise Week 2017 kicked off at the Guildhall.

The programme is set to continue right through to Friday 10th March with a variety of events centred on female and social entrepreneurship, digital technology, innovation and food tourism to be held throughout the city and district.

Sponsors of the event, Virgin Media Business, led proceedings on day one, when their Director of Digital Stephen Wind-Mozley shared his experiences and insights in digital marketing opportunities for businesses. Virgin Media’s CEO Tony Hanway also attended and opened the event with Mayor McClintock.

An established industry expert, Stephen Wind-Mozley has helped numerous UK businesses realise their full digital potential and has developed a number of business projects which has including the launch of Marks & Spencer’s first eCommerce site and BBC Worldwide’s first transactional video-on-demand service.

He was joined by Ade Bamgbala from Google’s Digital Garage who offered local businesses some key tips on everything from digital search tools to social media, advising how best to use them to help you grow business and careers.

The Mayor, who spoke at the event said, ‘I am very pleased that so many businesses and individuals signed up to the programme and I would like to thank them and our key note speakers for taking the time out of your busy schedules to attend the events over the coming days.

‘This week is a unique opportunity for Derry City and Strabane District Council and our partners to engage with local businesses and assist them in up skilling, networking and engaging with one another and likewise is an opportunity for local businesses to learn, growth network and support each other. I’d like to thank our Enterprise Week programme sponsors, Virgin Media Business for helping Council to make this year’s programme bigger and better than ever before. The sponsorship they have provided is a tremendous boost for Council and a great endorsement of our Enterprise Week.

‘Our aim in running Enterprise Week each year is to offer local businesses and entrepreneur’s practical advice and assistance that will help them produce effective strategies for achieving growth and development. As a Council, we want to see businesses and entrepreneurs prosper in a strong, competitive and innovative economy. We aim to do this by empowering our local business community and help them realise their full economic potential for the benefit of us all, as residents and a region.’

Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland said: “Northern Ireland must take full advantage of the digital opportunities that lie ahead including the use of digital to drive domestic and export led growth.
“We’re supporting this agenda through our £3 billion Project Lightning programme, which will connect an extra 4 million homes and businesses to broadband speeds of 300Mb across our cable network by 2019. When this current investment programme is completed, a total of 17 million premises will be connected to Virgin Media.

“Project Lightning is the single largest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade, creating thousands of new jobs in a multi-billion pound boost to the national economy.  Northern Ireland is part of this massive investment where we look forward to helping businesses in creating many new success stories as we accelerate our network build across Northern Ireland.”

Enterprise Week continues in a number of locations throughout Derry and Strabane, where a variety of industry experts with direct experience in starting and growing a business will be holding bespoke workshops and drop in sessions, many of which are free.

Highlights and key speakers for the remainder of the week include; a talk and workshop by top industry professional, Lara Morgan, entrepreneur, founder and former CEO of Pacific Direct at North West Regional College on Wednesday 8th March; there’s also a chance for entrepreneurs or start-up businesses to enter a £10k Business Challenge on Tuesday 7th March at Walled City Brewery and a chance for local businesses to enter the big talk on Brexit at An Grianán Hotel on Tuesday 7th March.

All the Enterprise Week 2017 events are designed to help small businesses in the North West thrive and build closer relationships with customers and partners. To view the full programme for Enterprise Week 2017 and to register, go to www.derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek.