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Irish 'stigma' around failure is hurting entrepreneurship - SFA

The trade group is calling for the introduction of improved supports for struggling and failed businesspeople.
Aug 5th 2014, 5:02 PM 7,525 25

SUPPORTS SHOULD BE made available for small business owners who go to the wall, the Small Firms Association has said.

However, the SFA said that Ireland’s negative attitude towards failure in business in hindering entrepreneurs who want to bounce back after a business is shuttered.

SFA assistant director Avine McNally said that more advice and mentoring services, including restructuring, crisis management, debt settlement and support for re-starting a failed business should be made available.

“In Ireland we currently do not provide any specific early warning support or second chance programmes. A strategy moving forward should be to provide entrepreneurs with warning tools and assistance in identifying situatoins that could lead to insolvency or the closure of the business.”

She said that extra services for struggling businesses would allow owners to come back from the brink of a crisis, or have a better chance of making a fresh start.

The SFA cited research which shows that 45% of Irish entrepreneurs are deterred from starting a business, up from 35% in 2006.

“Even if statistics show that entrepreneurs who have experienced failure learn from their mistakes and are more successful in the future – they can nevertheless face the stigma of failure.”

If we are to encourage a greater number of start ups we must give entrepreneurs who have failed more support and a better chance to make a fresh start.

McNally argued that many other EU countries have developed early warning or second chance programmes that help struggling businesses, which in turn encourages entrepreneurship, prevents insolvency and provides support in bankruptcy.

Read: Substantial decrease in failing businesses during third quarter>

Read: 40% decrease in number of businesses failing last month>

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Jack Horgan-Jones

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