Entrepreneurship is a focus for the Department for the Economy and is a long standing challenge for the North. The Minister’s economic vision, as set out in the Assembly on 19th February 2024, placed a renewed emphasis on regional balance, including support for SMEs and start-ups.  Our ambition is to become a regionally balanced economy known for our enterprising culture, to drive up the rate of new business start-ups and create an environment that actively fosters and supports entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality.

Other sources of support

My New Business website

The official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland is nibusinessinfo.co.uk which has launched a website to provide help for start-ups called “My New Business”:

Go Succeed

Go Succeed is a new support service from Northern Ireland’s 11 councils that can help you to start, grow or scale a business in partnership with the UK government through the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC):


InterTradeIreland has been helping small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland explore new cross-border markets, develop new products, processes, and services. Their services include support for sales growth and innovation, funding, and business insights for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the island who are looking to grow their business.

Invest NI

Invest NI is the regional business development agency in the north with the role to grow the local economy. To help businesses compete and function effectively, they offer support across a variety of issues that includes advice, mentoring, and finance.

Entrepreneurship research and reports

There is a range of published research and reports relating to entrepreneurship available online.  This includes:

  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK: NI Report 2022/23 - the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is an international project which seeks to provide information on the entrepreneurial landscape of 49 countries in 2022. 
  • Northern Ireland Business Demography Statistics 2022 - Northern Ireland Business demography statistics are taken as changes in registrations over the calendar year. New business registrations are referred to as births and business de-registrations are referred to as deaths. This report covers business births and deaths on a regional and sub regional level.
  • Inter Departmental Business Register - NISRA website - The Inter Departmental Business Register covers regional, sub regional and sectoral business births and deaths, survival rates, high growth and employer demography.
  • OECD – The Missing Entrepreneurs 2023 - The Missing Entrepreneurs 2023 examines how government policies can release untapped entrepreneurial potential from under-represented parts of the population of impactful entrepreneurs, including women, youth, seniors, the unemployed, immigrants and people with disabilities.
  • FSB – Back to the Start-up - The Federation of Small Businesses report examines areas such as the policy landscape, support available, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and explores how a lack of attention to social and cultural influences might be affecting the rate of business start-ups across the north.


Related to Entrepreneurship

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for the Economy including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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