Real Life Go For It

Many of us are familiar with the premise of Go For It – a free programme providing professional business start up mentoring and support tailored to you and your business idea. Go For It focuses on helping entrepreneurs develop their business plan and guiding them through the first steps of launching their business. But perhaps you’ve wondered what that really means? Are there people who have gone through the programme and created real success? Real inspiring stories? 

YES! There are all of these and more.

Our PR team work closely with Go For It on all parts of their campaign but one key component involves celebrating the successes and profiling the GFI participants whose businesses and experiences can inspire others. Even through lock down, we’ve seen remarkable success stories and truly motivating examples of why now is the right time to commit to the business that’s been on your mind. 

We’ve rounded a few of our business launch successes:

Nina Cristinace – Morning Glory Granola 

Morning Glory Granola While being treated for breast cancer and keen to be sure she was on a healthy diet, Nina (then a full time chef) began making her own granola. With a focus on nutrition, her cereals were low in sugar, nut free and took advantage of local ingredients. After experimenting with family and friends, Nina was furloughed and realised this was the perfect time to take the next step with her own business.  Morning Glory Granola is now stocked in local delis and cafes, box delivery services, and two bespoke granolas have been developed for Corrie’s Farm Store. 


John McCourt – Big Phat Beard 

Big Phat Beard CompanyAfter being furloughed during the pandemic, John decided that it was the push he needed to launch the business he’d always been passionate about. After making products for his own use, John remembers friends and family telling him that he should be selling his products online. It wasn’t until the pandemic that he felt he could really launch his idea for Big Phat Beards as a full time business. The Newtonabbey beardsman developed and launched his online beard care and grooming brand offering a selection of premium beard oils and beard balm in a variety of scents. Each product is made with natural ingredients and no additives. John also developed branded merchandise including t-shirts, beanie hats and trucker caps.  Benefitting from the support of the Go For It programme, John has seen great success and has even started to expand his brand. 

Melanie Harrison  – The Harrison 

The Harrison BelfastAfter falling in love with a beautiful Victorian townhouse on the Malone Road, Melanie launched a 17 bedroom boutique hotel that celebrates the city’s rich literary heritage all with the help of the Go For It programme. After moving into the apartment next door, Melanie uncovered a wealth of hidden period detail in the building and dreamed of converting the adjacent insurance offices  into something special. A place that tells the story of Belfast and its people. A destination to visit and somewhere to celebrate all that Belfast has to offer. Managing renovations while the pandemic arrived, Melanie used the stop and start time to really hone her offering and make sure The Harrison would be perfect when they opened at Christmas. 


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