SFA Launches Business Connect Event at the Aviva

Indigenous Irish suppliers account for 10 per cent of purchases made by multinationals based in Ireland, with every percentage point increase injecting an additional €1 billion into the domestic economy, underlining the scale of the opportunity for small firms, according to the Small Firms Association (SFA).

The association launched the event at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, February 1. It has attracted 350 companies to learn how small firms can win contracts with larger companies.

Addressing the event, Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair, stated: “Ireland is a nation of small businesses. Small firms with less than 50 employees account for 98 per cent of the total number of businesses and employ one in every two private sector workers. They are present in every village, town and city in the country. There are huge opportunities for small businesses once they understand how to navigate working with larger organisations and position themselves correctly to deliver value. Securing a large indigenous or multinational B2B customer has the potential to transform a small business.

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“For larger organisations, working with small firms provides access to a pool of local suppliers and an opportunity to demonstrate their positive impact on the communities in which they are based. Tapping into the expertise and flexibility in small businesses also enables them to innovate rapidly.”

O’Neill added: “Multinationals currently source €4.5 billion of goods and €5.7 billion of services from indigenous businesses. It amounts to 18.1 per cent of their total spend on goods and 7.3 per cent of their total spend on services. Today’s Business Connect event launches a long overdue conversation about how to increase these figures. We are shining a light on some of the successful collaborations between different parts of Ireland’s business community and creating a pipeline of opportunities for all participants, large and small.”

Pictured at the Small Firms Association (SFA) Business Connect conference at the Aviva Stadium were: Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director, SFA; Sean Gallagher, Entrepreneur; and Edel Creely, Group Managing Director, Trilogy Technologies and President of Ibec.