Lending some Clarity to bank's 14th annual Enterprise Week

Launching Enterprise Week (November 11-18) are Blue Clarity's design director Conor Rafferty (left) and projects director Darren Fenton (right) with Gavin Kennedy of Bank of Ireland UK. Photo: William Cherry/Presseye

FOCUSING on the fundamentals of business will allow companies take advantage of new markets and opportunities in the current era of economic uncertainty, a top banker has claimed.

"In recent years companies here have become accustomed to dealing with change in an era of globalisation and rapid technological growth and were well equipped to cope with periods of uncertainty, according to Gavin Kennedy, director of business banking at Bank of Ireland UK.

He was speaking as Bank of Ireland UK launched its 14th annual Enterprise Week, which will run from November 11-18 and which this year is themed ‘Connecting for Growth'.

"The key for all businesses facing competitive pressures remains unchanged - providing leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and above all a focus on customer needs, he said.

"Getting the fundamentals of business right is the best way for Northern Ireland to cope with change and take advantage of new opportunities and new markets."

During Enterprise Week Bank of Ireland will host a series of events providing opportunities for businesses to network, share experiences of managing change and learn of the range of support available from the bank to help them deal with the challenges of growing their businesses.

The bank is a strong advocate of the expanding tech sector in Northern Ireland,and among those it has supported is Newcastle-based multi-disciplinary consultancy Blue Clarity Design Services.

Comprising a team of expert telecommunications, utilities and construction professionals, the business has trebled its turnover in the last seven years, opened offices in London and Dublin and secured a client portfolio that includes some of the world's biggest brands in mobile communications.

Its project director Darren Fenton said: “Bank of Ireland UK was keen to take us on as a new business customer. We knew our potential from the get-go but there was an air of uncertainty from other lenders given that we wanted to expand into new markets. We invested heavily in technology that has revolutionised our ability to deliver client updates in real time via live portals.

"This innovative approach to service delivery means that no matter where our clients are situated, whether that's in the UK, Ireland, the US or Canada, they can be kept fully informed on the specifics of their project.”

He added: “Our local business manager was approachable, understood and supported our business objectives and placed huge trust in our management team to deliver on our targets - it's the way you want a banking relationship to be.

“She also provided access to local experts who provided commercial finance which was the game changer that has allowed us to grow at the rate we have."

Enterprise Week will assist a wide range of business in various sectors across Northern Ireland,and for the first time the bank is offering 20 businesses the opportunity to trade at the award-winning Twilight Market in Belfast city centre with an expected footfall of nearly 20,000.

The bank's popular Show Your Business initiative, which enables small businesses to have a high-street presence and to display their goods and services in Bank branches, will also return.


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