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Irish prime minister opens family business centre

A new family business centre has opened at Dublin City University in Ireland.
Irish prime ministre Enda Kenny at the opening of DCU's new fambiz centre
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© Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A new family business centre has opened at Dublin City University in Ireland.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny officially opened the centre last week, at an event attended by representatives from several well-known Irish family businesses, including sixth-generation oats company Flahavan's, fifth-generation construction company John Sisk and Son and 75-year-old Butler's Chocolates.

The university said the centre aims to address the problems family businesses face, such as succession and managing relationships within the business, by offering tailored courses and conducting research into family firms.

It added that 75% of all Irish firms are family owned, and account for more than 50% of the country's GDP.

In a speech to attendees at the centre's launch, Kenny said: "For generations the heartbeat of Ireland was driven by family businesses. Small and medium enterprises account for 70% of employment in this country. The story of Ireland's economy will be built on the backs of businesses like yours."

Caroline Keeling, the third-generation head of fruit and vegetable farmers Keelings, also spoke at the event and said it would be a "fantastic support for family businesses who wish to speed up their learning processes".    

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