Castlederg creative writing facilitator and educator Michelle Young has successfully expanded the client base of her Ink Wing Academy in recent months thanks to mentoring she received in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Boost programme. The Ink Wing Academy deliver writing skills projects in local schools and community groups aimed at giving young people the confidence to develop their writing skills.
Led by council, the Business Boost programme is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme (2014-2020), the programme offers specially tailored support for micro and small enterprises right across the council area. Michelle signed up for the scheme as she sought direction on how best to grow her business. The mentoring she received allowed her to consider her market opportunities and become more confident in pitching her service to prospective clients, directly leading to a number of new contracts. “I feel very lucky to have taken part in the Business Boost programme,” she says. “It has given me great confidence towards approaching new business opportunities with my services and clarity and focus towards my next steps. I also found it very reassuring with regards to the potential of my business concept. “I would like to thank everyone involved in the scheme for this wonderful opportunity.”
Michelle is a former school teacher who returned home after 14 years working in England to establish Ink Wing Academy in 2017. Her aim was to develop a sustainable business that would enable her to use her passion and enthusiasm for creative writing to delivering bespoke projects to schools and community groups. While Ink Wing Academy had built a small client base, Michelle wanted direction on how best to grow the business and market and sell its services. The mentoring process allowed her to gain some strategic focus so she could take stock of what had been achieved to date and how to strategically build on that success. She also received specific training on sales, an area she had little experience in, to pitch her service to prospective clients.
Michelle has now set clear goals for 2018 and has a greater understanding of how to approach the various market sectors.
SPONSORED CONTENT BY: DERRY CITY AND STRABANE DISTRICT COUNCIL