Judith Cochrane MLA said: “In Northern Ireland we have suffered further blows to the economy with recent major job losses at companies such as FG Wilson and Patton construction and if we are to reduce our unemployment figures and grow our economy then we need to encourage and help entrepreneurs develop their businesses. They are crucial for sustainable recovery.
“The Northern Ireland economy is still too reliant on the public sector and there is a real need to dramatically expand the private sector. The recent £200 million investment package announced by the Executive will hopefully go some way to help, but there is more to be done. Business development is not a single stage process and therefore government incentive programs needs to recognise the life cycle of entrepreneurial companies.
“As MLAs we have a role to bring together top entrepreneurs, start-up firm funders, CEOs, university presidents, and other leaders to develop new programs to help entrepreneurial companies start or grow.”