Ulster University has launched a three-stage programme of activity which aims to create practical solutions and support for businesses in Northern Ireland as they navigate Brexit.
The programme, which is led by Ulster University Business School, begun with the launch of an online Brexit Business Survey to be co-ordinated over the next four weeks in conjunction with FSB. This will aim to identify businesses’ perceptions of Brexit taking into account the significance of business size, sector and geographical location with particular reference to border proximity. It will also seek to identify key risks and perceived opportunities associated with Brexit.
Results of the survey will be analysed at the end of May 2017 leading to a Roundtable Event in June 2017 to discuss the published findings. Collaborative discussion with invited businesses at the event will aim to identify practical outcomes from the survey to form a Business Toolkit for Brexit which will be used externally to shape policy and positively influence practice.
The third stage of the programme will be a spin-off from the Roundtable Event when a series of workshops will be held focusing on key areas involving the Business School and other appropriate parties. In essence, the Business School will create a Toolkit of support to businesses which will provide academic and practical perspectives on issues potentially effected by Brexit. Broadly, these categories will embrace management/leadership issues; entrepreneurship; legalities such as changes to recruitment/employment law, customs procedures, product standards required; and finance matters including access to, cashflow implications, exchange rate risk, changes to VAT, crowdfunding, changes to EU Funding available.
Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean, Ulster University Business School, explains:
“With Article 50 now triggered, the journey into the relative unknown has begun. Much has been speculated about the impact of Brexit on businesses but it is now time to fully explore all the options, prepare for whatever might emerge and indeed to help shape opportunities and create possibility within that uncertain environment. As a Business School focused on entrepreneurial education and impactful research we work with over a thousand businesses each year, over 10% of these overseas. It is incumbent on us to take the lead and seek to provide informed support wherever possible to the business community and for that support to enable appropriate action. The activity initiated this week aims to capture local business owners’ sentiment on Brexit and using that knowledge and the expertise within the Business School seeks to co-create practical assistance to help build a ‘Brexit ready’ business economy.”
To undertake the survey businesses are invited to log on to http://sgiz.mobi/s3/a59dbdcb4a90