Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Whilst the hiatus pundits are still speculating about when the executive will next break down, there are still several ministers who are showing a passion for the job of government. Martin McGuinness at Education said at the weekend “I intend to do something before the end of this parliamentary term, which lays out before the people what I believe to be the foundation stones on the future of education in this state for some period to come.”

There are signs that some attitudes are beginning to change fundamentally in NI business. Trevor Blayney, head of entrepreneurial services at Grant Thornton in Belfast, was reported in last night’s Belfast Telegraph to have said:

“Less than half (40%) of the younger firms in the UK now regard themselves as family businesses, compared to nearly two thirds (58%) of older firms. “And just 5% of younger businesses expect to hand on their ventures within the family, against the 22% of older firms who may do. A more fundamental shift in business attitude indicates that the younger firms are more open to allocating business stakes to outside investors and management executives.”

Does this presage a shift in focus from local to more global business concerns? Possibly too early to call.