Taoiseach opens Family Business Centre at DCU

The DCU Centre for Family Business was officially opened on Thursday October 10th by  Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Family Business Centre will aim to work directly with Irish family firms to address the challenges they face in the current economic climate. The Centre also aims to give families the knowledge needed to grow and expand their business.

Studies show that approximately 75 per cent of all Irish firms are family owned and contribute to more than 50 per cent of Ireland’s GDP and employment rate.

The Centre will offer advice in family management and the best methods in structuring a business, while it also aims to encourage the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in family businesses.

One of the key areas that the Business Centre is researching is planning for the next generation’s involvement in family business. Advice will also be given in areas such as the impact running a business can have on family values.

At the opening ceremony Dr Eric Clinton, Director of the Family Business Centre, said: “While family firms aspire to continuity across generations, longevity and survival present particular difficulties in the family business domain.”

“It is estimated that fewer than 30 per cent of family firms pass into the second generation and, of those, only 10 per cent make it to the third and subsequent generations.  Through collaboration with family business and our network of international business schools, we will seek together to create solutions to these challenges.”

The Taoiseach also visited the Volunteer Expo being held in the Hub that same morning.  He was very happy with the turnout at the exhibition and told The College View he feels that community spirit and volunteering are part of the Irish identity.

“Volunteerism and community effort is something that’s very strong in the Irish personality. I’m surprised at the energy here, to hear a number of the students in different outlets and there’s great participation. It’s an indication that that’s not lost in Ireland and that students want to help others.”

The Taoiseach went on to describe some of the benefits of volunteering. “Volunteering skills add to the CV of anybody – employers will want to know that you’re focused on helping others. There’s a great energy, I like it and I’m very supportive of it.”

Garrett Lavin

Image Credit: Maxwell Photography

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