Founder of The Streat coffee chain becomes chief executive of Enterprise NI

The founder of The Streat coffee chain has become chief executive of Enterprise NI.

Michael McQuillan takes up the post next month and will oversee the organisation which represents a total of 28 local enterprise agencies across Northern Ireland.

The entrepreneur co-founded The Streat coffee chain in 1999, expanding it through franchising which led to an acquisition by a major food distribution company.

Prior to this appointment, Mr McQuillan was the director of the Business Institute at the Ulster University Business School.

Nicholas O'Shiel, chair of Enterprise NI said he was thrilled.

"Michael brings with him the experience that comes with the real-life challenges of being an entrepreneur which is essential in understanding the needs of start-ups and growing businesses.

"This is an exciting appointment for us at Enterprise NI. The strength of candidates that came forward was exceptional and Michael with his impressive track record stood out, making him the ideal person to lead the organisation into the future."

Mr McQuillan said he was passionate about the development of skills and the importance of local businesses being the bedrock for economic stability and growth.

"Over the next few weeks and months, my priority is to get out and meet with all the local enterprise agencies that we represent across Northern Ireland to look at how we can further develop the magnificent work and support that is currently being delivered."