Just a short note to thank our members for supporting the newly formed IBNS this year. Just over 12 months ago, a few of us sat in the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh discussing this new venture – was it feasible, was it needed, would it add value to people’s business focus? These are questions that 12 months down the line we can safely say YES to all.
The impact the network has made has been huge, far-reaching and strongly recognised throughout the member base, influencing organisations, and also, both Scottish and Irish governments.
A huge thanks has to be offered to a number of key influencers, that without their support, the Network would have struggled to have made such an impact. Firstly, to the Consul General, and Vice-Consul General of Ireland to Scotland, Mark Hanniffy and Anne-Marie Flynn respectively. Enterprise Ireland, who are key partners of the IBNS, with whom we worked very well together on an initiative with the Donegal Trade Mission last month.
A very big thanks to John Webster and his team from within the Scottish Government. John is heading up the Scottish Innovation and Investment Hub in Dublin, and our partnership with him and Scottish Government is vital to the continued reach of the Network, through the promotion and enhancement of the strong trade and business links between Scotland and Ireland. The Irish Government has widely recognised the value of the IBNS as it has grown this year, which has been demonstrated through their financial support in 2016 to allow the Network to form. We had key members of government attend several of our events, including the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and several of his ministers from the Irish Government, as well as cabinet ministers from Scottish Government. Overall, a very large endorsement from our governments in the work we are doing!
Next year, sees a calendar of events very much focusing on industry specifics. We intend to grow the membership base with a key driver in certain sectors of recognised growth both in Scotland and Ireland. We will continue our core function, to support incoming Irish business people and businesses, as well as provide a platform for outgoing Scottish business people and businesses seeking to make a foothold within the Irish economy.
Over the course of 2017, the IBNS would also like to provide a focus on recognising the emerging Irish undergraduate talent within the Scottish universities, bring them into an IBNS platform for mentorship, as well as providing a step up into Scottish business.
Please do continue to spread the word, the network is only as good as its members! If, as a member, you’d like to host and present an event, get in touch with us. We will also be offering an opportunity to our members to support the network through an annual corporate sponsorship package. We are putting together a package that will undoubtably provide an excellent level of exposure and publicity for our corporate sponsor throughout the Network and both national economies.
Have a wonderful break from business, enjoy family life, and we look forward to supporting you in a strong 2017.
Board and Committee of IBNS
22nd December 2016