Belfast Telegraph

Queen's and BDO join forces to offer family-run firms business expertise

By David Elliot

Family-owned firms will be able to tap into support and research provided by a new partnership between business advisory firm BDO and Queen's University Management School.

Francis Martin from BDO said 75% of businesses here are thought to be family-run and, as such, need targeted help to boost and maintain their productivity.

"Family businesses face quite specific issues and it is important that advisers, academia and government develop an ever greater understanding of what makes family businesses work," he said.

Professor Richard Harrison, Director of the Leadership Institute at Queen's, said the mix of research and practical experience will be invaluable.

"(The partnership) represents a unique opportunity to leverage the synergies between the research and programme development capabilities of the university and the extensive practical experience of Northern Ireland's leading family business advisors to identify and address the major leadership challenges facing family business in Northern Ireland.

"A strong and competitive family business sector is important for the performance of the regional economy and we look forward to making a contribution through this partnership to that challenge."

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster said Invest NI can help family firms through 'Boosting Business'

"They can access a range of support to build workforce skills, use new technology to improve competitiveness, take existing products to new markets, develop new ones, or create and protect jobs in these difficult economic times."