Having worked as a PA to CEO’s for more than 7years, there are always two periods in every year which were dedicated to sitting down to plan the year ahead - January and September! This time was spent setting objectives for staff, organising appraisal reviews and to plan SMT/Directors' meetings. Now as a self-employed sole trader my objectives are slightly different and it's myself I have to plan for the year ahead.

I’ve learnt since setting up my own business you can only succeed by surrounding yourself with honest experienced business owners. Fortunately, over this past year, I have had the opportunity to attend some great business events and build really good relationships with people. I know many other small business owners will be researching what business breakfast meetings are in Co.Armagh/Co.Down.Co.Antrim areas so I’m sharing this list (in alphabetical order not to be biased to one or the other). Several of these networks allow guest external speakers including Banbridge Business Network (of which I'm a member) and I've marked these with an asterisk. I know you need to book in advance for most as speaking slots are booked up until the end of this year already so get planning and if you are poor at planning contact me VirtuAli Admin Solutions who can do it for you!

*If you would like to speak as a guest at a business network meeting but the thought of speaking in front of an audience makes you want to run for the hills instead please check out your local Toastmasters group. Mine is Lagan Valley Toastmasters which meets 1st & 3rd Wed of every month and is a safe environment to get over your fears https://www.facebook.com/LaganValleyToastmasters/?fref=mentions&pnref=storytwitter @LIToastmasters. Guests can come x3 for free before deciding to sign up or not.

Business Networking Groups:

Acordia Business Network


Gerry Prior- connect@acordianetwork.com

Bangor -Tuesdays 08:00-09:30

Belfast-Wednesdays 08:00-09:30

Lisburn-Thursdays 08:00-09:30

Newtownabbey- Fridays 08:00-09:30


*Antrim 9:15 Biznet Meetings



Antrim Enterprise Agency-Greystone Road Antrim

First and Third Friday of every month 09:15-10:30


*Banbridge Business Network


Rolf Lawson-admin@thebusinessnetwork.org

Banbridge Enterprise Agency Scarva Road Banbridge

Last Thurs of every month 07:30-09:00


*Dungannon UP For it


Book via eventbrite

Ranfurly Arts & Visitor Centre, Market Square, Dungannon

First Wednesday of every month 08:00 – 10:00


Moira Business Networking


Keith Nickels

Gap Ministries Community Centre Main Street Moira

Last Friday every month 08:45-09:30


*Greater Newry Business Network


Kevin McDonald

Enterprise House WIN Business Park, Newry

Every Tuesday 08:00-09:00