Thu 22nd May 2014
Bank of Ireland UK and NI Chamber ‘Enabling Enterprise’ with major cross border networking event for Enterprise Week
Bank of Ireland today (Wednesday 21st May, 2014) joined with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry to host a major cross-border networking event in Belfast as part of the Connecting for Growth programme, the new cross-border trade initiative designed to facilitate increased business between companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The keynote speaker was Jorge Lopes, the newly appointed Country Director Northern Ireland for Diageo, who spoke about creating the ultimate customer experience and the lessons small businesses can learn from a world class operation like Diageo.
The event, the second in a series of three, focused on bringing together more than 250 businesses with procurement teams from large buying organisations and was open to businesses that have an interest in developing cross-border trade opportunities. It provided participants with an opportunity to make a pitch to a wide range of private sector buyers while also encouraging participants to network and develop links with each other through the cross-border speed networking event which is focused on developing useful connections and improving sales techniques.
It was also the flagship event of Bank of Ireland UK’s Enterprise Week. Under the theme of ‘Enabling Enterprise’ the bank is hosting more than 20 networking events, seminars and clinics with business leaders and experts across the region to provide the kind of relevant support local business is looking for, including finance, expertise, advice and practical help and support.
Ian Sheppard, Head of Business & Corporate Banking, Bank of Ireland UK said: “Supporting economic development in Northern Ireland by facilitating and encouraging business growth is a priority for Bank of Ireland UK. With an extensive branch and business banking network in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, we are ideally placed to support and advise businesses who want to invest and develop their operations by entering new markets.
“Among our customers we are seeing an increasing ambition to develop these new trading opportunities and they perceive cross-border trade as a means to achieve that. Our partnership with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce on this programme will help businesses of all sizes to benefit from really practical advice, networking and sales development opportunities. This tangible support for business is mirrored by the work we do throughout Enterprise Week and indeed all year round, to support and encourage businesses to grow.”
Ann McGregor MBE, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce is delighted to partner with Bank of Ireland UK in order to deliver this important business growth initiative. The Connecting for Growth Programme in partnership with Bank of Ireland UK is already having an impact and enhancing the export capability of local businesses and is encouraging trade between companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The programme is about creating sales opportunities, building networks and facilitating growth.”
She added: “I am delighted we could be joined by Jorge Lopes, Country Director Northern Ireland for Diageo, who brought his wealth of experience and insight to today’s audience and provided them with some valuable thoughts on achieving success in new markets.”
Guests also got expert advice from a buyers perspective, on how to sell and tips on how to perfect your pitch from top companies including NACCO Materials Handling, Fujitsu, Montupet, Survitec, Ardmore Advertising and Bank of Ireland UK.