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  • October 23, 2021 | Uncategorized

Castlewellan business founder chose as ambassador for UK small businesses Niall Greenan from Castlewellan, founder of The Smart Bunker 22 October, 2019 THE founder of a business in Northern Ireland making an intelligent outdoor storage solution has been chosen to champion UK start-ups by the government-backed Start Up Loans programme.Niall Greenan from Castlewellan, founder of The Smart Bunker, is one of 10 business founders to be honoured at a reception at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful small businesses.He came up with the idea when he realised how difficult it was for his mother, who has arthritis, to fill a coal bucket from her traditional coal bin.The Smart Bunker is an easy-to-use dispensing system which releases coal with a simple pull of a lever to fill the bucket to the required amount that can be carried.He used a £5,000 Start Up Loans to develop the device, which has gone on to win several awards.He has also expanded The Smart Bunker to include safe storage of wood pellets, ice treatment and animal feed.The product has attracted attention for its sustainability credentials, providing a good alternative to the plastic bags usually used for agricultural storage.The delivery team also offers a service to refill the smart bunkers and recycle plastic bags to save them from landfill.The Start Up Loans programme provides pre-loan support to help applicants to develop a business plan; a fixed-interest loan of up to £25,000 to start or develop their business; as well as mentoring to support new loan recipients throughout the early stages of their business journey.Since 2012, the programme has delivered more than 67,000 loans to business owners across the UK amounting to more than £527 million – with £7.5 million going to small businesses in Northern Ireland.Niall Greenan said: “I’m delighted to be chosen as an ambassador for Start-Up Loans. My story shows that if you believe in your idea and have the tenacity and determination to succeed, then anything is possible.”Michael McQuillan, chief executive of Enterprise NI, said: “The Start Up Loans programme is important to Northern Irish businesses, providing start-up ventures access to supportive guidance and funding.“Niall is an exemplar ambassador. With the right guidance and timely support he has applied his innovative approach and enterprising spirit to propel the multi-award winning The Smart Bunker onto the world stage.” @StartUpLoansUK #SULAmbassador @Business All Star @bizAllStars @StartUpLoansUK #SULAmbassador@All_IreSummit @BizAllStars@allirelandbusinessfoundation @all_iresummit

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