Propel is a programme for those entrepreneurs who have the greatest potential to start up and scale an export focused company, that is innovative and has the potential to become a significant exporter and employer.
Propel will 'fast-track' the best business ideas through a tested methodology. This will ensure that when the programme is complete your company will be ready to seek investment and grow. To view Programme Criteria document click here
In the past three years over 30 new local companies on the Propel programme have entered new markets, gained over £3m investment and are already employing 50 people. Now we are looking for more
entrepreneurs to build on this success with three planned programmes to run between now and November 2015, with the first starting in February 2013.
The programme is delivered in two phases. The first, is a one month series of workshops to help the entrepreneur develop their business idea.These are held in the evenings and at weekends. The second phase runs over ten months and requires the full time commitment of the participant. Entrance to this stage is a competitive process.
Participants will receive:
High Quality Workshop Training Programme
A series of workshops with highly relevant content and interaction will take you on a step-by-step skills development plan, delivered by leading practitioners and experts. Along the way you will receive support to develop your business and revenue model, understand new business models and develop your own business plan.
Financial support of up to £20,000 is available to eligible participants who attend programme training and events and who achieve key milestones in Phase 2 of the programme.
The mentors appointed to the Propel programme have all been selected because of their track records in building international businesses from a Northern Ireland or UK base.
Mentors within the programme will provide expert advice both on a one-to-one basis and within a team. Mentors will be sourced specifically for each participant to ensure that the most appropriate match is made between mentor and participant.
The role of the mentor will be to challenge and support participating entrepreneurs to develop sustainable and competitive businesses. The mentor will maintain a detailed working knowledge of the participant's business position and product or service and will support the development of a robust business plan. A key role of the mentor is to provide independent, professional one-to-one business advice on a confidential basis to participants.
Networking is at the core of Propel. Making connections with the right people, partners and companies is a proven way to accelerate your business idea. The Propel network will act as a social hub. We will invite key players across Northern Ireland to meet the Propel participants and will actively seek opportunities for participants to take part in networking opportunities.
We will provide advice and guidance in planning overseas visits to seek new opportunities and customers.
Participants in the second phase will be provided with a hot desk facility and, where possible, share working space with the other entrepreneurs.