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Expert calls for more help to make new Northern Ireland firms thrive

By John Mulgrew

Published 28/11/2016

Criticism: Aine Brolly
Criticism: Aine Brolly

Start-ups need more support and better access to finance to expand, a recruitment company boss has insisted.

Aine Brolly, chief executive of Cpl in Northern Ireland, said that despite opportunities in the sector, many local start-ups failed to trade for a significant amount of time, with just 36.7% of businesses in Belfast surviving their first five years to 2014.

The former senior vice-president of Invest NI in San Francisco added: "Despite the challenges of Brexit and the potential impact in the longer term of US policies, there are still opportunities for business growth in Northern Ireland, not least in the knowledge economy, which is growing nearly three times faster than elsewhere in the UK.

"Indeed, more young businesses are reaching £1m in sales locally than anywhere else, including London.

"However, as a region we need to be more strategic and varied in our approach to building our economy, with support for indigenous start-ups required at key times in their development."

Her intervention came as a poll showed that almost three-quarters of young professionals intended on switching jobs within the next two years.

The surprise statistic appeared in a study conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The poll, which included Northern Ireland in its research, showed that 73% of respondents were seeking a promotion.

Clodagh Hegarty, head of the ACCA Ulster Members' Network, said: "There is no doubt that the 'job for life' is less prevalent within the modern world, and employers who don't deliver on people's high expectations risk haemorrhaging their best talent to competitors."

Belfast Telegraph

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