Energia launches inaugural awards to recognise Ireland's family businesses

(From left to right) of Alan Mulcahy Head of Sales at Energia and JJ O'Connell, Co-Chair and Director of Family Business Ireland.

The Director of Family Business Ireland has said that almost three-quarters of family-owned businesses in Ireland go out of business after five years.

JJ O'Connell, Co-Chair and Director of Family Business Ireland made the comments ahead of judging duties at Ireland’s first ever Energia Family Business Awards.

Mr O'Connell said that Irish family businesses are the "backbone and fabric" of the country’s indigenous economy.

Mr O’Connell said: “Although hugely important to Ireland’s economy, the historical failure to transfer from one generation of ownership to the next generation of ownership is a significant issue for the economy. Some 72% of family-owned businesses in Ireland cease to trade after 5 years.

Only 13% make it to the next generation.

"The successful companies, the ones we will be celebrating, are the families that have both a plan and a process.”

Applications for the 2019 Energia Family Business Awards, which will recognise Irish family businesses of all sizes with both local and international reach, are now being accepted via the awards website.

Mr O’Connell said it is important to recognise the generations of Irish people who are hard at work every day.

He said: “To enable far greater numbers of family businesses to continue to trade over many years there needs to be a greater awareness of the importance of family business succession planning.

"The inclusion of Family Business succession planning within the Action Plan for Jobs was an important step in prioritising the issue of succession planning. Hence the importance of these awards and the formal public recognition of the best of Irish Family businesses.”

The Energia Family Business Awards take place on May 24 in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin.

Judges include JJ O'Connell, National Director and Co-Chair of Family Business Ireland, Mark Christal, Manager of the Regions and Entrepreneurship division Enterprise Ireland and Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI among others.

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