Danske Bank is aiming to provide inspiration and practical advice to the thousands of small businesses in Northern Ireland with the launch of a brand new digital hub.
One of a number of new initiatives to support small businesses, Danske Bank today launched www.danskebizhub.co.uk – a locally produced source of information and practical resources designed to help people navigate the challenges of running a small business, whether they are a seed company, a start-up or an established small business.
Small businesses make up more than 99 per cent of all businesses here and are a key economic driver, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of private sector output and employment.
Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Business Banking said: “Northern Ireland has a rich history of invention and innovation. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and we at Danske Bank are keen to support them.
“The rate of growth in the small business sector here, however, is slower than it should be compared to other parts of the United Kingdom. There are many potential reasons for this slower than expected growth, with the Federation of Small Businesses identifying concerns like taxation costs, compliance, regulation, business rates and delayed payments. With our new online hub we are aiming to help businesses consider these issues, to encourage more business start-ups and to help existing businesses identify and create opportunities for growth.”
The hub includes interactive business tools, a business blog and videos featuring ideas and insights from other successful local businesses – all designed to help business owners take forward their ideas, build on their own expertise and provide advice on the challenges they face.
One of the first local entrepreneurs to provide his insights on the new digital hub is Oscar Woolley who, along with Annie Irwin, founded Suki Tea, which has grown from being a part-time stall at St George’s Market in Belfast into an award winning business serving the local and international markets.
He said: “When starting a business it is important to be flexible in terms of your plans. In those early days, you may not have the confidence that you are doing things the right way or making decisions that will help your business grow. When we launched Suki Tea one of the things that helped us the most was the strong culture of support within Northern Ireland’s business community. There are many small business owners who have trodden that path before and are happy to share the benefit of their experience.
“That’s why I think the online hub created by Danske Bank is a great idea. Hearing about the experiences of other business owners and learning from their expertise is invaluable for anyone who owns or is thinking of starting a business.”
Alongside the hub, Danske Bank has also launched a new cashback offer and a new business current account.
Start-up and small business customers switching their business to Danske Bank will be eligible for a unique incentive of £500 cashback. The new account – Danske Small Business Digital – has been launched to meet the needs of those customers who prefer to manage their finances through online banking and the Post Office network.