Retired nurse, Pamela Kirkpatrick, recently completed the Exploring Enterprise programme with Maria McGouran in Mallusk Enterprise Park.
We chat to her about her experience.
Why did you decide to participate on the Exploring Enterprise Programme?
I decided to partake in the programme as I was considering setting up in business but knew that I had absolutely no experience in doing so. I needed professional help and guidance.
Did you have a business idea or did you wish to improve your employment prospects when you enrolled on the programme?
I did have a business idea. I wanted to train “lay people” in first aid. I believed that quite often, only those who needed a recognised qualification for work, did this training and that many were put off going to courses as they didn’t wish to be regarded as ‘official first aiders’
I wanted to tailor make courses to suit the needs of individuals and, although they would get a qualification, it was more to do with helping them deal with emergency situations that might arise in their home or social life.
How did the programme help you move forward?
The programme was exceptionally good. I enjoyed every part of it and certainly it helped me move forward with my plans (though unfortunately due to Covid things have had to be put on hold – especially given the nature of the work I would be doing)
EEP gave me an insight into the world of business, which had been very much out of my comfort zone as I had worked my entire life either in health and education sectors.
I realised that I could step out on my own , as I was met with nothing but positivity from Maria the facilitator of the course. Not only was I shown what business was about and given the necessary information to enable me to make an educated decision on what was the best way forward for my plans , but I was also given a huge amount of encouragement that I knew would go on beyond the end of the course.
Would you recommend the programme to others? If so why?
I would categorically recommend this course. It imparts knowledge, facts and information about setting up a small business in a clear and concise way But more than this; it instills confidence in your abilities and helps to concentrate the mind on what is needed, to give your business a USP that will make your idea work within the market place.
Added to all that it is a chance to meet with other like minded people and also is genuinely really enjoyable.
I would definitely advise people thinking of stepping out of their comfort zones and setting up in business to do this course. You won’t regret it.
In order to participate in Exploring Enterprise you must be either unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week and live in the Antrim & Newtownabbey Council area.
To register your interest in the next Exploring Enterprise programme email firstname.lastname@example.org (Business Adviser and Programme Manager)