“Small Companies Need Global Mindset From The Start”, Irish Exporters Association

January 2013

Small start-up companies need to develop a global mindset from the very outset, according to John Whelan, chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA).

He was speaking further to an IEA submission to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation which urges a speeding up of the process of changeover from the existing County Enterprise Board structure to the new Local Enterprise Office (LEO) structure.

This is because it believes the current economic conditions mean that small businesses urgently need support to restructure and expand, especially into export markets.

Whelan said that small businesses must be adequately funded if they are to succeed past the first few years and must also have a competitive advantage both locally and internationally for long term success.

“This is best achieved by basing their business on new technology and supported by the latest software support systems for their business. Hence, focusing on research-based new products or services must be nurtured and supported.

“The success of the new LEO structure to support micro and small business and increase their level of export activity and expand their job creation in the process will very much depend on ensuring a clear division of the LEOs into regional centres of excellence, focused on the underlying capabilities already in place.”

LEO success will also depend on strategic issues which require the owner/manager to personally invest time and effort in processing the information and directing the research of markets, products or processes, according to Whelan.

“We believe that dedicated knowledgeable mentors will be critical for support at this strategic phase and we recommend a panel of mentors/non-executive directors be utilised to support these companies,” said Whelan

Article by Sorcha Cororcan featured in Business & Leadership