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Starting a Business in Coleraine

If you are in the process of planning your business, have just started trading or have been in business for some time, Causeway Enterprise Agency can provide you with the tailored support you need to manage it more efficiently, productively and profitably.




As part of the Causeway Enterprise Agency’s Lead2Grow programme, Lara Morgan returned to the north coast to deliver two sell out sales masterclasses in the Royal Court Hotel. A popular keynote speaker at the Lead2Grow conference in February, Lara was asked back to cover a subject she feels passionate about – sales, and how companies can do it better! A day packed full of tips and strategies on how to get ahead of the competition, Lara covered everything from qualifying prospects to how to close a sale. Day one covered the fundamentals of selling, with the second day focusing on sales to accelerate growth.

Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of Causeway Enterprise Agency, supported by the First Minister when the Lead2Grow Programme was launched in February said, “Lara has a reputation of delivering exceptional workshops and she definitely delivered in Portrush. With over a hundred delegates attending across the two days, they were all buzzing and ready to put their new ideas into action when Lara had finished. It is important that new entrepreneurs as well as those who have been in business for a number of years, have an opportunity to be motivated, and learn how to motivate others. This is how we continue to drive our economy and attract new staff and customers."

Lara Morgan, is a unique female entrepreneur in business, as she is most widely known for building her own global leading brand before selling a share of the company for £20 million! At 21 she was managing a sales team and at 23 started her own business supplying toiletries to the hotel industry. She said, “The two days focused on the different levels of delegates attending as some are new to the industry. We discussed how to close a sale and why most people fall at the first hurdle! It’s very simple but many fail at it over and over again. Creating a strategic foundation to accelerate growth is another very important part of development. I took the delegates through each stage of making a sale and how to ensure they secured a repeat! The relationship with a client is equally important, as it goes a long way to building your future sales figures.”

Two of the delegates attending were asked how they both enjoyed the masterclass and how they believe it will help them in the future.

I'm so glad I made the effort to take time to attend Lara Morgan's Sales Masterclass”, said Danielle Tagg, “At first, I didn't think it will be relevant to my business, but Lara was brilliant at engaging with all participants and encouraged us all to think differently than our competitors regardless what sector we are in. Her class on sales was of great benefit to me as I came back to my office full of ideas and tips that I will implement to my work.”

Laurie Davies of Lacada Brewry was the second to comment, stating, “3 words, ‘mind altering mentoring’! My colleague and myself left the class with an invigorated and revised outlook as to how we do sales and do business. Lara is one of those rare teachers who challenges and encourages you both by her example but crucially by honing and improving what you already have and this is done in a robust but humorous and life affirming way. We put what we had learnt from the class into practice first thing the next day. You will find yourself wanting to make a sales call by lunchtime of the class.”

Lead2Grow is part funded by the Causeway Enterprise Agency and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Causeway Enterprise Agency Delivers Sales Masterclasses for Local Businesses



Jayne Taggart, CEO of CEA with Paula McIntrye Celebrity Chef and Louise McLean, Willow Artist. View more pictures of this event here

To celebrate Northern Ireland’s year of food, the Causeway Enterprise Agency delivered an arts and cultural heritage project to six local schools entitled a ‘Feast for Heritage’

In association with Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, the project was delivered in two phases. The first relating to understanding heritage through arts and crafts provided by willow artist Louise McLean, and the second was the link with our year of food and drink, supported by celebrity chef Paula McIntyre.

The aim was to engage with schools and facilitate a series of arts and heritage skills workshops which included teaching traditional weaving techniques using many locally grown willows. Over 150 children from Ballysally Primary School, Killowen Primary School, Millburn Primary School, St. John’s Primary School, Coleraine College, and North Coast Integrated College, attended the programme to make their specialised willow baskets.

Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of the CAE stated, “Traditionally, basketry provided an interface between people and domestic, social and economic life. From fishing to farming our hunter gatherer ancestors have always needed baskets for food. This ancient craft skill is becoming very scarce and is at huge risk of dying out completely.

“By bringing the children together and providing them with an opportunity to link their heritage with this year’s celebrations on food, the experience was invaluable to watch how they all worked together to develop their skills.

“Each school was provided with 12 hours of workshop sessions facilitated by Louise, as she helped them to choose willow and learn how to use the techniques available. The children produced a range of baskets to showcase the variety of foods each one related to. For example, each held either potatoes, fish, bread or other types of vegetables.”

One of the themes was to learn where willow comes from and the significance of names locally, such as ‘Ballysally’ Willow names in places, how our ancestors used it and how they may use it in the future. The pupils learned traditional weaving techniques and about their sustainability. They also discovered the heritage of willow and its importance to the local area as the sessions has helped to promote and keep alive traditional heritage skills.

Ms D McHenry, Millburn Primary School was one of the teachers supporting a class attending the programme, stated, “Louise was a terrific facilitator and all the pupils greatly enjoyed the workshops and the sharing of her talents.”

A celebration event was hosted at the Causeway Coast Vineyard Conference Centre where the children got the opportunity to meet our very own local celebrity chef, Paula McIntrye. This celebration event showcased the willow baskets that had been produced by the children as Paula carried out a cookery demonstration, to let the learn all about the heritage foods that would traditionally have been served in the baskets they proudly had on display

Funding for the project was provided by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, and Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership while being delivered by the Causeway Enterprise Agency. 


A Feast of Heritage


Lara Morgan, who sold shares in her business for £20million, will be speaking at the Causeway Enterprise Agency's Lead2Grow Sales Masterclass, with two dates set to support local businesses in the borough on 23rd and 24th May. To Book contact 028 70356318.


As part of the Causeway Enterprise Agency's series of business support events for those interested in developing their skills, a discounted opportunity is available for businesses through the 'Lead2Grow' project. A newly designed masterclass is aimed at supporting sales teams perfect their sales technique with two dates planned at the end of this month.

Serial entrepreneur and business commentator Lara Morgan, will be facilitating the training, focusing on those who either specialise as a 'one-man band' business with no dedicated sales team, and for those businesses employing dedicated sales teams.

Lara, has been asked back to speak in Coleraine by popular demand, following on from the success of the original Lead2Grow conference which took place in February. As a unique female in business, she is most widely known for building her own global leading brand before selling a share of the company for £20million!

Speaking about the masterclasses, Lara explained, "I left school and set about teaching myself sales following my father's bankruptcy. At 21 I was managing a sales team and at 23 started my own business supplying toiletries to the hotel industry. I am a firm believer of the 'elevator pitch' which some of you will have heard of, and by perfecting this along with other ideas, it will help any organisation become more effective."

The first event will be held for single sales traders, on Monday 23rd May. Tuesday 24th will focus on those who employ dedicated sales and marketing staff and are looking for team improvement. To book, go to the website or telephone 7035 6318.

Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of Causeway Enterprise Agency stated, "Lara is exactly the type of inspirational speaker we want our small business to be exposed to. It is important the local businesses and entrepreneurial new starts get access to tailored support that can make a difference in their businesses. Competition for new starts is strong, but so is our local talent pool.

Lara is particularly interested in helping accelerate fast growth by motivating business-owners to set higher leadership goals. We encourage our local businesses to take time out and avail of the opportunity to invest in their sales performance & capacity."

A regular commentator on current affairs and business issues with Sky and BBC News, including BBC2's 'The Apprentice: You're Fired'. Lara has an impressive background as she has also been a finalist in Ernst and Young Entrepreneur 3 times and was a finalist in the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award.

Lead2Grow is part funded by the Causeway Enterprise Agency and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. To book any of these, or other forthcoming workshops, visit our EVENT page


Causeway Enterprise Agency provides subsidised training support for businesses of the borough.




As part of the Causeway Enterprise Agency's support to Women in Business, a networking and inspirational evening was recently held at the Flowerfield Arts Centre Portstewart as local female entrepreneurs welcomed Joyce Ferder Rankin as the speaker for the evening.


View more pictures from this event here

Joyce, seen here with Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive Causeway Enterprise Agency, was at one time, the only female camera person at the infamous American news channel CBS. In her talk entitled 'Don't Take No for an Answer', Joyce shared her experiences throughout her career whereby she was always told how she couldn't do something she was committed to achieving. Joyce spoke candidly about how she overcame other people's prejudices and how she opened doors when others closed them.


Joyce also shared information about her experiences in the first gulf war when women were not supported in going into war zones. Her work has taken her into some of the most dangerous environments, including earthquake-ravaged cities, she not only worked in these volatile areas but was the lead camera/picture editor in a predominantly male profession.


More recently Joyce focuses on her photographic career, as she has travelled the world including Antarctica, becoming a passionate advocate on protecting our environment.


Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive Causeway Enterprise Agency welcomed Joyce and those who attended from the Borough. Jayne stated, 'We are all about supporting our local entrepreneurs and supporting them to look at new ways of developing their ideas.


"'Women in Business' is particularly focused on growing, developing and achieving your ambitions. Joyce is an inspirational speaker, originally from America, but now lives in Portballintrae and continues to travel the world taking truly inspirational photographs of places we couldn't even dream of experiencing.


"I wish to thank those who attended and invite other female business leaders in the borough to come along to our Women in Business events, details will be on the Causeway Enterprise Agency's website."


In Business - Don't Take No for an Answer!



We were delighted to welcome First Minister Arlene Foster MLA to The Causeway Coast Vinetyard Conference Centre as she gave the opening addess at the Lead2Grow Conference.


Story to follow...

First Minister opens Lead2Grow Conference


After a sweet year of success, the stars of the local enterprise sector were celebrated at the annual Enterprise Northern Ireland awards, held at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast on Thursday 26th November. Hosted by broadcaster Claire McCollum, the glittering evening showcased the work done by the Northern Ireland small business community and the efforts of the local enterprise agency network in supporting business development.

The event was opened with an address from Patsy McGlone MLA and the audience also enjoyed an engaging and inspiring presentation from Tom Griffiths, founder of, who is widely regarded as the creator of the modern gap year industry.

There were many worthy winners at the ceremony but the Exploring Enterprise Programme Personal Development Award was of particular local interest. Danielle Tagg, Director/Manager of Articlave Day Care Nursery was singled out as the winner, having impressed the judges with her engagement in the programme and her achievement of the various milestones and outcomes along the way. They also felt that she displayed exceptional commitment and dedication in overcoming adversity. Her journey from having no recognised qualifications or experience in her chosen sector to a business owner and employer is an encouragement to everyone. Thanks to Exploring Enterprise and her own hard work Danielle has now opened a Daycare Nursery in Articlave which employs 5 full time and 3 part time staff.

The Exploring Enterprise Programme develops employment opportunities for the long term unemployed, providing one to one advice and training, leading to an award in Understanding Business Enterprise. In the past twelve months over 500 participants have completed the programme.

Jayne Taggart, CEO of Causeway Enterprise Agency said:”Exploring Enterprise is a key programme of support and we in Causeway are delighted that it has helped Danielle to start up and grow such a promising business.”

Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland, Gordon Gough, said: “Enterprise Northern Ireland is the voice of local entrepreneurship and we’re very pleased to celebrate great examples of local ingenuity and talent. Helping to develop strong companies that create employment and export across the world is an important part of what we do.

“These awards are an excellent chance to recognise the hard work and dedication of businesses and members of the Enterprise Northern Ireland network. Whether it is through offering business support or highlighting access to finance initiatives, our network of enterprise agencies is playing an important role in stimulating Northern Ireland’s economy.”

Keith Liggett from Legacy Wealth, the headline sponsor of the Awards said: “We were proud to support the awards again this year to show our commitment in helping to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial tenacity and determination is alive and well and the 2015 Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards certainly showcased Northern Ireland’s brightest business talent.”

Continued Success for Danielle!



Small businesses in the North West of Northern Ireland will benefit from stronger leadership and entrepreneurship skills to improve their overall productivity, thanks to a government-backed project which received the green light today. The Micro Firm Leader Development Programme led by the Causeway Enterprise Agency is one of 8 projects in the UK selected as part of the UK Futures Programme, run by UKCES.

Under the programme Causeway Enterprise Agency will work with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to pilot new ways to boost the leadership in micro businesses (firms operating with less than 10 employees) in Northern Ireland.

Causeway Enterprise Agency developed their Micro Firm Leadership programme in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning NI, the Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Invest NI and Enterprise Northern Irelandafter research into the provision of training and development initiatives for NI businesses revealed that funded or part funded provision for micro businesses, which account for 90% of the NI economy, was lacking with both public and private leadership training in the region focusing on more general management and team leadership issues, relevant to SMEs. The very nature of micro businesses means they have limited capacity and often lack the necessary financial resources required to develop new leadership capabilities. In addition as they are often family run organisations whose owners do not even view themselves as leaders. Through the programme Causeway Enterprise Agency aims to address this gap and reach out to very small businesses to help them to develop the leadership skills that will enable them to fulfil their professional and personal aspirations.

Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive at Causeway Enterprise Agency commented:

Given the importance of the micro-business sector it is vital that we give them the support they need - to invest in their development is to invest in their growth, the future of the economy and the opportunities that will come with that growth.

The NI economy is experiencing major changes and challenges and during tough times Leadership is more important than ever, because it’s about deciding which direction to go in, knowing how to handle the challenges you'll hit and understanding how to recognise and grasp great opportunities when they present themselves.

Studies show that the qualities a micro business owner needs to lead are similar to those of the leaders of large corporations, just on a different scale. With this in mind we have brought together business leaders from all sizes and types of businesses in NI to deliver this innovative programme. The business leaders have great stories to share - they started small and faced challenges along the way but had one thing in common they had big ideas, big visions – visions that they are now realizing. Vision is a concept that very small businesses struggle with, many micro business owners find it difficult to understand the importance of it and how to create it. Our programme will help them to identify their vision, explain it clearly, so people understand it and get their teams on board in bringing that vision to life.

We are also delighted to welcome 2 champions to the programme; Dr Karise Hutchinson and Professor Philip Bain. Philip is the owner of award winning small business “Shredbank” and NI Chair of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and is our employer role model having grown his business from micro to small. Karise is Head of Business and Enterprise at the Ulster University Business School, leading researcher in SME growth and development and Vice-Chair at CEA.Karise brings a wealth of knowledge having delivered extensive leadership programmes to micro and small firms for over 15 years.

The programme will launch with an inaugural conference in Coleraine on 12th November which will serve to prioritise a new leadership skills agenda for micro firms in NI, demonstrating that investment in the leadership of these firms will reap real business benefits and in turn, grow our local economy.

The conference marks the beginning of the programme which will be offered in 2 phases in January and March 2016. The programme will offer a range of workshops, mentoring, lunch and learn sessions combined with online learning designed to transform micro business owners into excellent leaders, enabling them to achieve their most ambitious professional and personal goals.

Mervyn Langtry, from the Department for Employment and Learning said: “I congratulate the Causeway Enterprise Agency on its success in securing support for the Micro Firm Leader Development Programme. This was achieved in the face of stiff competition from the rest of the United Kingdom.

“This programme has the potential to directly address the need for the development of management and leadership skills in micro businesses in Northern Ireland. Micro businesses make up nearly 90% of firms in Northern Ireland and their success is crucial to the overall well-being of the economy and. We look forward to seeing this programme making a positive impact in the productivity and prosperity of micro businesses in the future.”

The project is one of 8 that have been selected as part of the UK Futures Programme, run by UKCES. Each is trialling innovative ways to improve the productivity of small businesses in their local community by boosting their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. In particular the projects will identify new ways to help small businesses who haven’t previously had any leadership or entrepreneurial training.

Julie Kenny CBE DL, founder of Pyronix Ltd, a leading small business in the security sector, and Commissioner at UKCES commented:

“Small businesses form the backbone of the UK economy. Yet constraints on their time and resources mean they are the least likely to develop the leadership and management skills that will help them grow.

“Owner managers and senior leaders of small companies need to spend their time and money wisely, and see clear benefits from the start. Current training programmes are often too broad or vague to be usefully applied in the real world. Simply gaining access to good programmes can also be difficult - for instance if you operate in a more rural area.

“We need new ways to reach these businesses, and we need solutions that are relevant to each small firm. The anchor institutions we will be working with have demonstrated a strong understanding of the specific issues that small businesses face in their local community. They have also shown that they have the ability to reach out to businesses who often find themselves excluded from national programmes.”

Each project represents a joint investment with UKCES, with organisations investing in cash, in-kind, or both, alongside a maximum government contribution of £200,000 per project. The total government contribution is £1.3 million.

Owners of Micro-Businesses based in the North West are invited to register their interest at

CEA launch Lead2Grow a government backed leadership development programme for the NI Micro-Business Sector


Sponsors at Flowerfield for the Social Media for Business conference are Philip Bain of the Chartered Management Institute and Shredbank, Head of the Business School at UU Karise Hutchinson, guest speaker Social Media Guru Wayne Denner with Jayne Taggart Chief Executive at the Causeway Enterprise Agency.Picture by Clancy Photography


Social Media guru tells businesses about the importance of a good Social Media Plan

Social media guru, Wayne Denner, enthused local businesses on the importance of a social media plan at a recent seminar hosted by Causeway Enterprise Agency, in association with the Chartered Management Institute, Ulster University and Causeway Chamber of Commerce.

Wayne demystified the latest social media trends, explaining how companies can use ‘News Jacking’ to piggyback off the day’s biggest news stories to draw attention to their own brands; how ‘Content Marketing’ is so much more valuable than traditional publicity and, critically, how a well thought out ‘Social Media Plan’ is key to successful social media engagement. Wayne also covered the popular phenomenon of ‘Live Streaming’, as well as how to effectively generate leads through social media; and finished off the seminar with the ultimate ‘Essential Toolbox’ for social media marketing.

Philip Bain, Chair of CMI said “The Chartered Management Institute were delighted to have sponsored such an exceptional event that was hosted and organised by Causeway Enterprise. This digital event truly delivered what it promised, giving us rich insights into what we all need to know and do as business owners in this ever changing social media world.”

Jayne Taggart, CEO of the Causeway Enterprise Agency, said “Marketing techniques are forever changing, so it is critical for our businesses to keep up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and innovations. We try to do this through our regular seminars, whilst ensuring that we secure speakers who are at the forefront of their industry.”



Social Media guru tells businesses about the importance of a good Social Media Plan


Fiona Bradley of Fiona Bradley Training and Consulting welcomed to the Causeway Enterprise Agency by Chief Executive Jayne Taggart for the Women in Business conference on Confidence in Women. Picture by Clancy Photography


'Confidence in Women - An asset not a crime'

The concept of confidence in women was explored at a recent Woman in Business NI event at Causeway Enterprise Agency. Facilitator Fiona Bradley spoke to a range of local business women, from a variety of industry sectors, affirming that women need to learn to embrace confidence as an asset in both their personal and professional lives.

Jayne Taggart, CEO of Causeway Enterprise Agency, and Causeway Regional Ambassador for WIBNI, said,

“I am often struck by the demand by women in business for this type of seminar, therefore highlighting how the whole area of confidence can be something so many women still struggle with. This inspirational seminar reminded us women of the importance of truly valuing our strengths – so that we can have the confidence to take our businesses to where they need to go.”

At the event, which was free for WIBNI members, participants learnt about how to stop negative self-talk and its limiting behaviours, how to dress to feel good, how to drop the energy vampires and how to unapologetically embrace and share their strengths.

One of the delegates, Heather Dempster from Javelin Success said,

“We explored the area of confidence, learnt how to reframe negative self-thoughts, how to manage people who drain us and to focus on our strengths. The round table discussion in groups was hilarious at times, but provided a great opportunity for networking and building relationships.”

'Confidence in Women - An asset not a crime'



Established in 1998 by William and Stephanie Holmes, Moorbrook Lodge Trout Fishery in Castlerock has gone from strength to strength over the last 16 years.


And, with a Venture Causeway investment of £10,000 awarded to the fishery in 2013, they’ve now expanded their offering to include a new coffee shop and increased their fishing stock supply.

When Stephanie pitched to the Venture Causeway champions, she hoped to receive some business mentoring support, as well as important financial investment. She subsequently gained four champions through the initiative, as well as the means to expand the business. Her champions included Dr Mark McKinney of ATG Group Coleraine, Norman Lynas of Lynas Food Service, John Armstrong of Armstrong Medical Ltd and Karen Yates of Zing Design and Print.

“I pitched to Venture Causeway for a coffee shop and to extend the fishery,” she says. With the backing and support of Venture Causeway secured, Moorbrook Lodge Trout Fishery was then able to create a new café, as well as six part-time jobs for the area. As well as boosting employment locally, the investment also added a new dimension to the business and offered something new for customers to enjoy.

“We had a building available on site that used to be a shop but had always dreamt of turning this into a café to attract more visitors and provide added value to those people fishing at Moorbrook. The funding helped us make it a reality and get the café up and running,” says Stephanie. “We now have five girls working part-time in the summer and one at the weekends throughout the year.”

“Mark McKinney in particular was very good,” she adds. “He came out and gave me some great business advice and support, and brought out groups of people to fish.

“We already offered fly-fishing and wanted to invest in stocking a coarse lake, with bigger fish – with the help of Venture Causeway we did just that!”

Fishing for the future!