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The Northern Ireland Family Business Forum, which was set up three years ago by accountancy firm Harbinson Mulholland in partnership with Ulster University Business school, is calling all locally owned and family businesses to come along and register for their annual conference next month which has a programme packed with relevant topics facing the sector.

Entitled ‘The Future of Family Businesses’ this year’s conference which is being delivered in association with the Ulster University Business School will address key issues of concern that are critical to family and locally owned companies as well as what helps make a successful family firm.

Hosted by Wendy Austin who is one of NI’s best known journalists and broadcasters, speakers at the event will include Adam Flanagan, a 19 year old Generation Zero who started his first business at the age of 15, Vincent Carton who used to run an 8th generation business called Manor Farms with his brother Justin, before they sold it two years ago and Dr James Espey OBE, Founder of The Last Drop Distillers LTD.  He will be there to discuss ‘Against the Grain’ Fathers, Daughters and Whisky with his daughter Beanie who is also a Director of the business and Co-Founder of XECO Wines.

Senior partner at Harbinson Mulholland, Darren McDowell believes conferences like this one will help locally owned and family businesses to be a part of the collaborative and guided discussions on the issues that all family firms are facing today.  He said

“We set up the Northern Ireland Family Business Forum so it could deliver events like this which will enable local businesses here to connect with each other and industry experts in an open environment where they can share real-life problems and real-life solutions.  As an independent accountancy practice, we work across all sectors, many in the family business arena and these businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy here.

Also supporting the conference is Ian Smyth, Lecturer of Human Resources at Ulster University Business School (UUBS).  He said

“At UUBS, we are delighted to partner once again with Harbinson Mulholland in the Family Business Forum.  We are deeply committed to the growth and development of the regional economy and with Harbinson Mulholland as leading advocates for the family business sector here, this partnership is one we are proud of. Our conference on 8th November showcases the best that Family Businesses have to offer, as well as helping firms to plan for the future”.

Throughout the day there will be a panel discussion based on the topic ‘Children of the Revolution; Can the next generation be agents of change?  Vincent Carton, Former MD of Manor Farms will be joined by Gavin Annon from Mount Charles Group, Angela Bennett of Diamond Systems, John McKee from Linkubator and Mairi Mickel from Mairi Mickel Business Families.

Event info

This event has ended

Friday 8 November

9am to 5pm

W5, Belfast, BT3 9QQ

Ian Smyth

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