Dublin City University has announced a new agreement which will see AIB and PwC extend their support for DCU’s Centre for Family Business to 2021. The agreement will enable the Centre to expand its work to support Irish family businesses through research, events, publications and a new Connectivity Project, a peer-to-peer mentoring programme that will enable family business leaders to engage and share personal experience and learnings on specific issues of interest to family business.

Family businesses form the economic and social bedrock of Irish society, accounting for more than 75% of all firms, and contributing approximately 50% of Ireland’s GDP and employment. However, PwC’s Irish Family Business Survey has shown that Irish family businesses face a particular set of challenges to their long-term sustainability, with just 14% of Irish family businesses having a fully documented succession plan, only 53% having a strategy fit for the digital age and 36% having family and business strategies that are not aligned.

Since its establishment in 2013, DCU’s Centre for Family Business has established a reputation as a hub of expertise and advice, helping Irish family firms to address issues such as generational succession, integration of family and non-family talent, inheritance and estate planning, growth and exports, and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in family business success. The Centre has engaged with over 1,500 family firms through three national conferences and other events since 2013 and has participated in the worldwide Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurial Practices (STEP) project, enabling Irish family firms to draw on international research and practice insights.

AIB and PwC have supported the DCU Centre for Family Business since 2015 and their extended partnership will enable it to continue to conduct annual surveys of Irish family businesses, to work with the Central Statistics Office to identify the economic contribution of family businesses to regional development, GDP and employment, to publish a quarterly e-zine read by over 2,600 family business practitioners and to host a programme of events that will include an annual national conference and CFB Road Show in Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Speaking on the announcement of the renewed partnership, President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith said:

“The support of AIB and PwC since 2015 has been vital in enabling DCU’s Centre for Family Business to provide a platform to enhance the competitiveness of Irish family firms, to offer insights into international best practice of family firm management and to shape future policy in relation to this thriving sector. We are delighted that both companies, with such a deep understanding and connection to the family business eco-system, have chosen to continue their partnership with DCU and we look forward to working with them to enable Irish family firms to build and grow sustainably in the coming years.”

Dr Eric Clinton, Director of the DCU Centre for Family Business described how the renewed partnership will enable the Centre to expand its activities to support Irish family firms over the next three years:

“In addition to our ongoing research and outreach activities, we are very excited to announce our new Connectivity Project. This peer-to-peer mentoring programme will initially engage 20 business leaders from the Irish, US and European business communities to provide at least ten hours of advice and consultation to 1 – 2 matched family business peers each year and will be a new and very practical layer of support that we can offer to support Irish family firms.”

Catherine Moroney, Head of Business Banking with AIB said:

“AIB is delighted to continue our partnership with the DCU Centre for Family Business to 2021. Family businesses form the backbone of the economy. This collaboration will continue to allow AIB to share research and insights which we hope will equip family business customers with the knowledge to evolve over generations.”

Paul Hennessy, PwC Family Business Leader, said:

“With a rapidly changing business environment, family businesses have unique opportunities and challenges. And with an economy that is showing positive growth, we see Irish family businesses seizing growth opportunities. However, these unique businesses need support and that is what the DCU Centre of Family Business is all about. We are delighted to support the Centre and its great work and we look forward to helping Irish families grow successful businesses in the years ahead.”

The DCU Centre for Family Business annual conference on the topic of “Family Dynamics in Business Succession Planning” will take place on 3rd July 2018 from 7.30 – 10.30am in AIB Bankcentre, Ballsbridge with an exciting speaker line-up that includes clinical psychologist, author and broadcaster, David Coleman and founding chair of NTR plc, Tom Roche.

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