Family businesses ‘the backbone and fabric’ of Ireland’s indigenous economy

Family Business Ireland boss says generations that work together are more important to us than we think

The Director of Family Business Ireland says Irish family business companies need to be better acknowledged, as they are the ‘backbone and fabric’ of Ireland’s indigenous economy.

Alan Mulcahy Head of Sales at Energia and JJ O'Connell, Co-Chair and Director of Family Business Ireland

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Alan Mulcahy Head of Sales Energia and JJ O’Connell Co Chair, Director Family Business Ireland
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JJ O’Connell, Co-Chair and Director of Family Business Ireland made the comments ahead of judging duties at Ireland’s first ever Energia Family Business Awards. The one of a kind event takes place on the 24th of May in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin.

Speaking about Irish family run companies, O’Connell says “Although hugely important to Ireland’s economy, the historical failure to transfer from one generation of ownership to the next generation of ownership is a significant issue for the economy. Some 72% of family owned businesses in Ireland cease to trade after 5 years. Only 13% make it to the next generation. The successful companies, the ones we will be celebrating, are the families that have both a plan and a process.”

Ireland’s first all island awards to celebrate generations of Irish family businesses was launched by renowned business commentator and MC for the Family Business Awards Matt Cooper. Applications for the 2019 Energia Family Business Awards, which will recognise Irish family businesses of all sizes with both local and international reach, are now being accepted via the awards website. Energia are calling on family run companies of all shapes and sizes across Ireland to enter.

Commenting on the importance of recognising generations of Irish people who are hard at work every day, O’Connell says “To enable far greater numbers of family businesses to continue to trade over many years there needs to be a greater awareness of the importance family business succession planning. The inclusion of Family Business succession planning within the Action Plan for Jobs was an important step in prioritising the issue of succession planning. Hence the importance of these awards and the formal public recognition of the best of Irish Family businesses.”

Commenting on the Awards, Alan Mulcahy Head of Sales at Energia commented; “At Energia we supply 1 in 3 Irish SME’s and support communities all across Ireland. These awards are an invaluable means by which we can show this support and celebrate family businesses that are a cornerstone of our economy. 2019 marks the first year of the Family Business Awards and we look forward to seeing them become a fixture in the business calendar as a recognition of excellence.”

The Energia Family Business Awards will celebrate and highlight the hard work carried out by family run companies and their efforts to reshape the business landscape. Judges include JJ O’Connell, National Director and Co-Chair of Family Business Ireland, Mark Christal, Manager of the Regions and Entrepreneurship division Enterprise Ireland and Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI among others.

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