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Plan your tomorrows with new Orrow digital platform

26 March 2024

If you’ve ever struggled for ideas to pass the weekend or fill the summer holidays, then never fear, help will soon be at hand with the launch of a new digital events and marketing platform.


Orrow is a community-based venture run by a small team from Derry, which hopes to become the go to place for local information on everything from tourist hotspots to community notices. The website and app will feature a comprehensive planner and ‘at a glance’ guide to everything going on in the local area in an easily accessible format.


Orrow have been working closely with Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Support team to deliver the concept, and the company are now busy developing web content ahead of the launch at the end of April.


Orrow Operations Manager Colleen McShane, revealed more about the project and how its strong community ethos will benefit people locally. “I have an app for everything, from banking to gaming and everything in between,” she explains. “I think digital platforms are now the ‘go to’ source for information and we saw the opportunity to create a community forum in app form which we hope will become the first place people check when they are looking to find out what’s on in the local area. We want Orrow to be the perfect tool to help plan ahead, and also for it to become a fun and interactive space for users.”

Colleen has experience in a diverse range of areas, from teaching hairdressing to electrical engineering, and is a big believer in having the self-confidence to pursue personal goals. Her advice to entrepreneurs is to remain confident in their idea.


“I take inspiration from many people from all walks of life. I especially admire entrepreneurs who come up with an idea when they are young and dedicate their lives to developing that idea. To me it shows dedication and determination, which I personally believe are incredibly admirable traits, as it’s not easy to continue chasing one dream without losing faith along the way.”


To help navigate through the initial challenges of getting a new business off the ground, members of the Orrow team got in touch with Council’s Business Support team, where they were able to enrol on the Go Succeed programme.


“We were quickly assigned a business advisor from Enterprise North West, and they were able to signpost us to lots of help and support,” Colleen recalls. “They provided information about the financial options that were available to us and helped develop our business plan and financial projections that were invaluable to us going forward.

“We received regular emails informing of the many webinars, workshops and financial briefings on offer, which were great for meeting other business owners and helped us to establish useful links.


“Through the programme we have submitted applications in for a Techstart POC grant, Jobstart programme and a Go Succeed grant that will be submitted within days. At present Orrow is in a strong position and we are massively grateful for all the help and support that we have received to get us to this point.”

In time Colleen hopes Orrow will grow to become a national platform, but initially its focus will be on promoting community spirit and assisting local businesses. She advises other young enterprises at the start of their business journey to avail of the support that’s available to help them on their way.


“It can be very challenging starting any new business and I would like to see easier access to funding for new and exciting startups that demonstrate the drive and ambition to deliver exceptional services for our community and the tourism industry. There is an ocean of misinformation out there at present that can stall or even kill new business momentum altogether, and more needs to be done to make the process easier and cut through the red tape.


“My advice to anyone thinking about starting their own venture, is to seek out as much support as possible and make use of all resources available to you - you never know where they will lead. We’re now at a very exciting stage in our business journey and we hope to bring our followers along with us as we grow and develop.”


If you have a new business idea or if you would love to take your venture to the next level, there is a range of support now available through Council. Just visit for more information or follow @BusinessSupportDerryStrabane on social media.

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