A county Antrim mum-of-two has fulfilled her life's ambition of setting up her own beauty business thanks to help from a local Go For It programme.
Helen McBurney from Ballymena explained that she always had an interested in beauty and owning her own business was a life goal.
''I used to be a childminder and had two young children and didn’t think it was possible for me to get into the beauty business - but then I went back to college and studied beauty at the Roberta Mechan College,'' she said.
''I have a real interest in health and well-being and wanted to offer these services to others. I opened in April this year and I currently offer specialist skincare, nails, massage and waxing.''
Helen turned her dream into a reality after taking part in the Go For It Programme which is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies.
It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Commenting on the success of the programme, Helen said: ''Often it is hard to know where to start; that was my experience before starting the Go For It Programme. The support and guidance offered through it helped me fine tune my business idea from concept to working reality.
''They helped me with practical things in the early stages like setting out a business plan and doing a detailed analysis. It was great for helping me to budget and forward plan.
“I would urge anyone who has ever had the idea of starting up their own business, or even if you have just started operating your own business to apply for a place on the Go For It Programme. The skills and knowledge imparted is beyond the realms of what you could achieve on your own.''
Melanie Christie Boyle, Chief Executive of Ballymena Business Centre, on behalf of Mid and East Antrim and Borough Council, added: “Helen joined the Go For It Programme driven by a desire to launch her very own beauty business, driven by a passion to help women improve their skin and help them feel good about themselves.
''Helen undertook an intensive beauty course under tutelage of an industry expert with a clear vision and motivation to open her own salon as soon as she completed her examinations.
''We worked with Helen to develop a business plan, focusing on key areas such as defining her service provision, marketing and financial forecasting, as well as helping her secure commercial premises at Ballee and Harryville Community Enterprise Centre.
''It is great to see how Helen has progressed her business in such as short space of time, building a loyal customer base and a excellent reputation for her quality customer service and using only the very best range of products.''
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit www.goforitni.com.