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 start-ups 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.