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Small Business Organisation Brings Power to the People

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), November 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Small Business Organisation Brings Power to the People


Northern Ireland small businesses will not be able to survive current economic pressures if they don't get to grips with training to improve competitiveness, the newly formed People Helping Business (PHB) organisation said yesterday.

PHB, which has helped over 100 small companies in Northern Ireland since it's launch at Parliament Buildings in Belfast in February is a consortium of small businesses that have a proven track record in training in a variety of business subjects which are critical to the survival of a business.

The organisation offers training and mentoring to small businesses across Northern Ireland. SME's are the lynchpin of the Northern Ireland economy with around 77,000 small businesses operating in the Province.

PHB Chairman Bill Jeffrey said yesterday that while there had been an adverse climate for small business growth, small businesses could do much to meet the challenge.

"We have found there is a deficit right across the range of business skills that we are responding to - IT, finance, marketing, staff relations, recruitment, industrial tribunals, meeting health and safety legislation.

"With the economic downturn, unless small businesses are equipped to deal with the pressures and are trained in a variety of disciplines they will never survive the economic pressures. Northern Ireland will be burdened with one of the weakest economies in Europe because we are entirely small business based.

''I believe that the small business sector can make a huge difference in developing the economy and prosperity of Northern Ireland. Raising business standards and quality, developing self confidence, heightening leadership skills and improving overall management awareness are essential in promoting the welfare, growth and survival techniques of small business owners. From this base, workforce development then becomes a natural training path''.

Established by the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland and the Training and Employment Agency, People Helping Business was formed through the IMPACT training programme. Established through pilot schemes, IMPACT focused on the training and learning needs of small business owners throughout Northern Ireland.

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