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Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council supports SMEs with Build Your Own Website Initiative

 A fresh intake of SMEs in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area have just completed Council’s innovative Build Your Own Website programme, which equips business owners with key digital skills.

Now in its third year, 15 SMEs from a range of different sectors, including landscaping, interior design, IT, jewellery, photography and more, took part in the 2018/19 edition.
The programme was delivered by Ardean Marketing & Business Development on behalf of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, and provided all participants with new, bespoke websites. Mentor support and learning through two specific workshops meant that participants left the programme equipped with essential knowledge and skills to help them manage their new websites effectively going forward.

Kerry McWilliams recently launched her social enterprise, Lightwork NI, which runs workshops on emotional resilience for children, teenagers and adults. Kerry said the programme had been instrumental in helping to consolidate her brand identity, as well as building a website from scratch and providing key knowledge on how to manage it. She commented, “The really special part for me was the business support. It allowed my business to really come to life and gave me really useful and practical advice and actions going forward. I’ve already recommended the programme to other businesses!”

Helen Nelson from Roofclad Profiles Ltd also found the programme invaluable in helping her family’s business, which manufactures metal roofing products and accessories. Established for more than 20 years, the business previously had no online presence, but has seen numerous leads generated as a result of the website.
“We had six new calls in the first week after the website went live. By taking part in the programme and seeing the website developed, I’ve learned an awful lot. There’s real potential now for our business to grow. I would definitely recommend the programme to both start-ups and those companies wanting to bring their businesses into the 21st century.”

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael said the Build Your Own Website initiative had once again been a great success, with a high demand for places on the programme. He said: “By taking advantage of Council-subsidised programmes like this, local SMEs can gain a wealth of support which will ultimately help businesses to grow. Some of our participants have already seen significant success. If you’d like to improve your online presence and make your business more digital-savvy, then I’d encourage you to apply for the next intake when the programme launches again later this year.”

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