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Feargal Quinn the most admired entrepreneur among Irish SMEs

The Superquinn founder and independent senator tops a survey of Irish small and medium enterprises.

Senator Feargal Quinn
Senator Feargal Quinn
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE BUSINESSMAN AND senator Feargal Quinn is the most admired entrepreneur among Irish SMEs according a survey.

Respondents to the Viking survey also bemoan depressing consumer demand as the primary reason for small businesses failing.

A survey of over 1,000 small and medium sized enterprises in the UK and Ireland by the office supplies firm shows that 33 per cent of respondents admire Quinn who founded the Superquinn supermarket chain.

Aer Arann chairman Padraig O Ceidigh came second with 22 per cent, followed by Dragons’ Den stars Bobby Kerr – 17 per cent – and Norah Casey who was identified as the most admired by 11 per cent of respondents.

Half of the Irish respondents to the survey cited reduced consumer spending as the main cause of SMEs and new enterprises failing with 28 per cent citing a lack of funding.

Almost half of the companies surveyed say there is not sufficient advice on offer for SMEs and nearly all respondents said that those employed in small businesses work longer hours.

Forty per cent of respondents said that running their own business has a negative impact on family life with 32 per cent saying they have personal debt connected to their business and 16 per cent saying they have had to remortgage their home.

Two-thirds of firms said they have found hiring people easier since the beginning of the recession with only five per cent saying they expect to have to cut staff numbers in the future.

The survey identified Virgin founder Richard Branson as the most admired among respondents in the UK who also identified a lack of funding as the main reason for failing businesses followed by reduced consumer spending.

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Hugh O'Connell

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