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Ryanair chief flying high on inspiration list

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary tops the list as the most inspirational business leader in a new survey of 400 firms in Ireland.

And second is Fermanagh-based entrepreneur Sean Quinn, founder of the Quinn Group.

A key finding of the survey of firms is that 80% of small business owners love their jobs - but working weekends, missing family commitments and fewer holidays are the cost.

According to the survey from Hewlett-Packard in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland and the Small Firms Association in the Republic of Ireland, 77% of owners indicated they would recommend running their own business to their children.

Half of those surveyed already have at least one family member working in their company.

It found 63% of owners do not take their full entitlement to annual leave and 57% of Northern Ireland business owners have missed important family events due to work commitments.

The study found that 55% of males and 32% of females work more than 50 hours a week on average, with half of all of them regularly working weekends.

Wilfred Mitchell, FSB policy chairman in Northern Ireland said: "This shows just how much pressure and how heavy a workload small business owners are faced with on a day-to-day basis.

"Much of this work perhaps goes unnoticed but the fact that the vast majority of owners, some 80%, say they wouldn't give up their business shows the entrepreneurial spirit that drives small business owners and helps form the backbone of the Northern Ireland economy".

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