Belfast takes pride in its growing, tight-knit business community. Supportive networks are running throughout the city, all willing to share their expertise and experience, and numerous programmes to help startups grow. On the downside, in October 2018 Ulster Bank’s research study revealed some of these small businesses were struggling to increase their productivity.
The bank’s research also revealed 90% of Northern Ireland’s small businesses had recognised that they need to use more effective marketing strategies to help their businesses’ grow. However, nearly one-third of that 90% were still doing nothing to change this fact. The bank reported that the main hurdles to small business expansion were a competitive marketplace, a shortage of skills within individual companies, and a lack of awareness among new business owners about how or where to access support.
As Northern Ireland’s capital and largest city (estimated population in 2018: 623,000), Belfast is a vibrant, thriving area which celebrates its uniqueness. The city’s innovative business culture receives support from the strong, social infrastructure government support and accessible transport links. Belfast also has a rich, cultural heritage, and it makes a significant contribution to the local economy by providing jobs and helping its people develop valuable skills.