Major Business Live tour comes to Cookstown

Free advice and support to help kick-start local economy

Looking forward to the Business Live event in Mid-Ulster are: John Meenan of Cookstown-based FSL Electronics; Brian Taylor of Cookstown’s TES; Girvan Gault, acting head of Ulster Bank’s Cookstown-based business centre; and Noel Loughran, Ulster Bank.

Stories of local, cross-border and international business success will be shared with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and aspiring entrepreneurs from the Mid-Ulster and South Tyrone areas in March as part of a major free event being organised by Ulster Bank in association with Small Business Can.

All local business people are invited to attend Business Live at the Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown on March 5th which will feature a panel of successful local business people, chaired by a co-founder of the influential business website

Business people who will be discussing and sharing their experiences and successes at the event include:

  • John Meenan, Managing Director of Cookstown-based FSL Electronics Ltd which has developed and sold sports scoreboards for use in all kinds of sports grounds in over 100 countries, including for the West Indian Cricket Board, and for the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa
  • Brian Taylor, co-founder of Cookstown-based TES (NI) Ltd which manufactures control panel and switchgear equipment for system applications mainly within the water and quarrying industry internationally
  • Willie McKeown of Yardmaster based in Draperstown which specialises in the manufacture of steel garden sheds and storage units especially for the caravan sector, sold mainly into Europe

Business Live features 14 dates in total across the island – five in Northern Ireland – of which Cookstown is the finale.

All types of business people will hear at the event that trading outside of your home market is probably easier than many think. They will hear that the advent of the internet and subsequent advances in technology have changed the world of commerce enabling small businesses and entrepreneurs to quickly and efficiently market and sell their products to a global audience.  And that, now, exporting, once the preserve of bigger business, is accessible for business of all sizes.

The event, which is free of charge to attend, will centre around an informal panel discussion chaired by entrepreneur and co-founder of Ron Immink, and will feature the opportunity for questions, networking and the chance to engage one-to-one with experts from Ulster Bank and other organisations, including InterTradeIreland.

Sharing the panellists’ stories and experiences at the events is intended to provide motivation to other SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs, says Girvan Gault, acting Head of Ulster Bank’s Mid Ulster & Fermanagh Business Centre.

He continues: “I would encourage all SME owners in Mid-Ulster, South Tyrone and Fermanagh to come to the event, including aspiring entrepreneurs, as there will be something for everyone to learn from the discussion, and the potential to meet and network with a wide range of like-minded business people and experts, including business people from across the border”.

“Doing business cross-border and internationally will feature as part of the discussion. When you can communicate with potential customers and suppliers across the island and around the world 24/7 at little cost through the internet, it opens significant opportunities. This is one of the reasons why more and more SMEs are able to widen their customer-base and enhance their business by trading outside of their home market”.

“As an all-island bank, and as part of an international group with people on the ground in 37 countries, we feel that Ulster Bank is very well placed to help SMEs to explore and capitalise on their potential to do business successfully at home and outside of their home market,” Mr Gault adds.

More information about Business Live is available from Ulster Bank branches or at

The events are supporting the launch of Ulster Bank’s new cross border and international business proposition¹, which offers a range of supports for companies who are doing or could potentially do business outside of Northern Ireland.

The proposition includes free* subscription to Ulster Bank’s online Bankline service for international payments**, as well as the waiving of non-domestic payment processing fees until the end of 2012 for new customers with a turnover under £25million.

Customers can also benefit from the wide range of products Ulster Bank has available through its parent company RBS, including overseas current accounts, merchant services***, global trade finance and foreign exchange services. The Bank is also highlighting that the reach of its parent company, which has a presence on the ground in 37 countries, can assist Northern Ireland firms trading abroad with market insight and contacts.