The first NI Family Business Forum entitled 'The Generation Game' took place recently at the Ramada Plaza in Belfast.
Representatives from current and future generations, from a variety of local family businesses, game together to listen and participate in sessions dealing with the issue of succession in family businesses.
Attendees heard from William Keeling’s of fresh food producers Keeling’s, and Vincent Carton Managing Director of Manor Farm chicken producers (part of Carton Bros.). Both speakers shared personal experiences of dealing with succession in a multi-generational family business setting. The talking points raised by both speakers were the perfect spark for the break-out sessions that followed.
Ian Smyth from Ulster University, who himself decided not to join his family’s business, facilitated a talk involving the next generation of aspiring owners. Michael McQuillan, also from the Ulster University and founder of the Streat chain of cafes, hosted the current owners break-out. Both sessions were lively and interactive with attendees eager to engage and share experiences with their family business peers.
The event closed with dinner and the opportunity to solidify the new connections made through the forum. The idea behind establishing the forum is to create a hub for family firms to connect with each other, share experiences, exchange ideas and learn in a friendly and sociable setting. This first event certainly seemed to tick all of these boxes and we are excited to start planning the next forum!
If you are a family business and would like to join the NI Family Business Forum please email us with your details. You can all call us on 028 9044 5100.
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