First Minister launches ‘Lead2Grow’ programme in Coleraine

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First Minister Arlene Foster MLA has launched the’Lead2Grow’ programme which will prioritise the development for micro firms in Northern Ireland.

The conference, organised by the Causeway Enterprise Agency, marks the beginning of the Lead2Grow leadership skills programme funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Speaking at the conference, the First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The Lead2Grow programme is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the leadership needs of Northern Ireland’s micro business and to ensure micro-businesses gain the relevant and practical skills required to develop a legacy of leadership that will drive business growth.

“Small businesses are the bedrock of the Northern Ireland economy. It is crucial that they are ambitious, outward-looking and confident if Northern Ireland is to enjoy a prosperous future.

“I am confident that we can provide a world class skills system which supports and meets the ambitions of employers and young people. Northern Ireland has an enviable skills base capable of driving economic growth through our gold standard system of apprenticeships and traineeships.

“I congratulate everyone involved in this important project. I encourage micro-businesses to access the support available to them and consider how they can benefit from and contribute to the vitality of the wider skills landscape which in turn will lead to economic growth in Northern Ireland.”

The Conference is aimed at engaging specifically with high potential micro firm employers as well as various stakeholder organisations in establishing a new leadership agenda explicitly linked to business growth for the micro firm sector at local and regional levels.

The partnership between the Department for Employment and Learning, Causeway Coast & Glens Council, Enterprise NI and Invest NI underlines the strength of this project funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) (one of eight projects funded across the UK and the only one in Northern Ireland).