Young Enterprise Good Friday Agreement entrepreneurs welcome President Biden to Belfast
Young Enterprise alumni were honoured to welcome the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to Belfast on Wednesday.
The Good Friday Agreement generation was represented by the charity’s alumni. Young Enterprise nurtures the entrepreneurial talent of young people aged 5-25 from all backgrounds and communities across NI and has established the Connect USA programme where young entrepreneurs forge links across the pond.
Last week, the Connect USA programme participants visited in Boston and New York City, where they met with US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, Joe Kennedy III. They had the opportunity to discuss their ambitions to grow the Northern Ireland economy with support from the United States ahead of this week’s commemorations.
Young Enterprise Northern Ireland board member, Jordan Graham, was born in the week of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He commented:
“The visit of President Biden to Northern Ireland on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement reminds us of the foundation the Agreement represented, from which Northern Ireland could prosper. Working with the charity has opened my eyes to the scale of the young entrepreneurial talent Northern Ireland holds. It is now our job to nurture and lead that talent to a successful future.
“25 years ago, Northern Ireland made a very big decision. 25 years later, we still have an important decision to make. We can choose to present Northern Ireland for what it is — a fantastic opportunity for investment and development. The Good Friday Agreement created a foundation of peace, now it is our job to continue to build on that.”
The President was introduced by Gabrielle Feenan, a participant in the Young Enterprise Connect USA programme, who said:
“It has been an honour to be involved in this historic event. I am grateful to have been able to represent the Good Friday Agreement generation.
“Young Enterprise has supported me over the last year. As a result, I have been fortunate to join a network of like-minded friends in other young entrepreneurs. The charity has opened the door to opportunities that otherwise I would not have been able to access. I’d like to thank Young Enterprise for their continued support and investment in me and my ventures, the experience has been invaluable to me and my journey to date.”
Speaking at the historic event, Young Enterprise chief executive, Carol Fitzsimons MBE said:
“Our mission is to build the skills, belief, and confidence of our young people. Every young person we work with is part of the Good Friday Agreement generation and we are supporting them to take their place in the Northern Ireland economy.
“We support young people so they will be ready to build a business in the future. We surround them with peers that harbour similar ambitions and help them interface with the local and global entrepreneurial ecosystem to support their ambitions of business start-up.
“For Northern Ireland to achieve its 10X Economic policy ambitions, we must embrace innovation not just entrepreneurs. We are working to develop innovative entrepreneurs and employees who will be the sought-after talent for homegrown and FDI businesses. We recognise that this can’t wait until our young people are of working age, which is why our work to bring Northern Ireland from peace to prosperity begins in early education.”
Throughout 2023, Young Enterprise Northern Ireland aims to raise £500,000 to increase the impact and reach of the charity and get further support the Good Friday Agreement generation. To donate or find out more about the charity’s work, contact email@example.com.