IIBN reveals plans to expand East

Shelley Marsden

THE Irish International Business Network (IIBN) has plans to open a new office in the Middle/Far East, its Executive Director has said.

Fionula Pender told the Irish World that, within the next twelve to eighteen months, the not-for-profit organisation will be opening a new chapter there in response to interest from members keen to connect globally.

Ms Pender said: ““The next step for us is to exploit the diaspora that is really alive and kicking in those places.  We want to keep the focus on the global aspect of IIBN – it’s important for our members, who want to reach out to others that aren’t necessarily in their geographic location.

She added: “If, for instance, they want to explore expanding their business to, for example, Dubai, they could come to IIBN and use us to reach out to contacts there. We get three of four emails a week from interested people in Australia, Dubai, Singapore, asking if we have an IIBN chapter near them. The willingness is definitely there; there’s no doubt that this will happen. “

‘Irish-ness’ important for businesses’ success

Meanwhile, a new survey, the last of three carried out by Irish International Business Network (IIBN) since June, has revealed that companies with a strong Irish identity are most attractive to potential clients.

The IIBN survey of Irish professionals seems to suggest that the more ‘Irish’ a firm is considered to be, the more likely the client will do business with them, with 93 per cent of those surveyed saying that, given the chance, they would choose an Irish product or service over another.

Moreover, 85 per cent of Irish business people believe that their Irish identity is a key factor in making contacts and winning clients. As far as giving their business to someone else, 64 per cent said they preferred to work with fellow Irish professionals if possible “as they know and understand the culture”.

Ms Pender said that though the results were not particularly surprising, it was good get feedback confirming that that the ‘Irish link’ truly makes a difference:

“You hear it all the time, people saying they were given a break because of the Irish link, but to physically get feedback confirming it is great. With Dublin we thought the picture would be a little more negative, but that wasn’t necessarily the case, which we are delighted about.”

Just over half of professionals surveyed said they believe Irish businesses could do more to support each other both at home and internationally. Nine out of ten of those surveyed also said they felt Irish companies needed to tap into that diaspora more to grow.

On November 8, the IIBN holds its annual conference in London, where there will be talks by guest speakers and pitches presented by entrepreneurs.






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