Northern Ireland’s small firms offered support and profiling from campaign’s UK roadshow
A national roadshow to support small businesses will shine a spotlight on Belfast’s entrepreneurs when it pays a visit to Northern Ireland in November, with local firms being encouraged to sign up and get involved.
Arriving in Belfast on 5 November ‘The Tour’ will visit independent businesses, leaders and experts from across the small business community. Interviews with social media management company SocialBee and Be Ten Minutes More, a company matching businesses with creatives, will be streamed via Small Business Saturday’s social media channels.
Business owners across Northern Ireland will also be able to take part in a month-long, jam-packed online programme of free training and skills support that will run alongside, including virtual workshops, webinars and mentoring, on a range of small business topics. A fun-filled ‘Happy Hour’ will also take place with prizes from Beyond Skin Clinic.
Setting off from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, The Tour has a strong focus on sustainability, to highlight the critical role of small businesses in helping the UK achieve its goal of becoming net zero by 2050.
It will feature a fleet of zero emissions vehicles - including an electric van, car and scooter, as well as a ‘delivery style’ push bike – to reflect the sustainable switches many small businesses are making or considering.
“We are so excited to get back on the road and put the spotlight on fantastic small businesses in Belfast and across the UK, as well as opening up skills and networking opportunities to millions of entrepreneurs online,” said Michelle Ovens, CBE, director of Small Business Saturday.
“I would encourage all small businesses across Northern Ireland to get involved, whether it is in person or digitally.”
Once again supported by BT Skills for Tomorrow, The Tour will visit 20 towns and cities across the UK during November, as part of the official count down to Small Business Saturday on 4 December.
Chris Sims, BT’s managing director for its SoHo (Single/Small office, Home office) unit, said: “Despite the hugely tough period small businesses have endured across the UK, we have seen many businesses embrace new ways of working and a shift towards digital. The Tour is a fantastic initiative to reach out and support small businesses with the digital skills they need as they look to scale up in key areas such as digital marketing and sustainability, and we are delighted to be supporting it again this year.”
Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and to support businesses in their communities.
This year the campaign is encouraging the public to use Small Business Saturday as a chance to say thank you to small businesses for supporting communities throughout the pandemic.
Last year Small Business Saturday achieved record-breaking success and saw an estimated £1.1 billion spent with small businesses across the UK on the day, according to research from American Express, the campaign’s founder and principal supporter in the UK.
To get involved in The Tour and book one-to-one mentoring sessions, small businesses should visit the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.