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Here's this week's Business Bulletin
Issue 340 - 23rd May 2016

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You have decided that in principle, you would like to be a board member. You’ve made that decision because you want to put something back into society but you are also aware that you will benefit through using and developing your skills, learning new skills and getting on top of governance.

You are clear about the type of organisation where you would like to serve but perhaps are not sure about what board membership really entails?

Its important to be clear about the role: you are not managing the organisation, you are holding the management to account for their actions and results.

This is a critically important distinction and if you fall into micro managing the executive the result will be confusion, possibly resentment and loss of effectiveness.

For example, as a board member you should be involved in developing strategy. This should be at the conceptual stage and the consultation stage with other stakeholders.

But it’s the executive’s job to bring forward their draft strategy based in the initial work. Then its your job to review their proposals and to propose changes if you are not happy with their plan.

Once the strategy is agreed, the executive should report regularly to the board on its implementation and that is how the executive is held to account.

The same process applies to other critical aspects of the organisation’s work including budget, management accounts, end of year accounts, risk register, IT and outstanding HR issues.

However you will most likely be appointed because of your specialist expertise. It's common for the organisation to have sub committees where that specialism can be brought to bear.

Typically there will be a Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GP) where more in depth work is done on the finances and other key organisational issues. Here there is the risk that F&GP can become like a ‘superordinate’ board and this is a trap for the unwary.

The F&GP is there to provide greater scrutiny on behalf of the board and to report back to enable the whole board to exercise its role of scrutiny and support. Similarly there may be operational sub committees where specialists can go into things in greater depth and again report back to enable all of the board to have scrutiny of the whole.

Of course, careful reading of all the documents provided is essential and if you think that insufficient information is being provided you should ask for more.

At the board meeting your role is scrutiny, challenge and support. If you are blessed with a strong competent executive you will likely find you are more in a support role. However, if you are unsure about any aspect it is vital that you raise your question.

Boards that sit back and accept everything without question or challenge are ineffective and governance will suffer. You may be the only member with sufficient grasp of an issue to be able to challenge effectively.

Of course it is the Chair’s role to enable all board members to contribute, to facilitate the quiet members and to ensure no one member dominates.

I will look at the role of the Chair in more detail next time.
You can contact Peter here.

Peter’s views are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the organisations with which he is associated.

International Synergies NI Ltd wish to engage a Practitioner to join a small team delivering the Industrial Symbiosis Service and technical consultancy to businesses across Northern Ireland.

The position, which is based at our Portadown office, will be attractive to a motivated individual with industry experience and an enthusiasm for resource efficiency.

An attractive salary package is available.

For more information, contact us here


Think Training is Expensive?  Try having an Accident.....

Would you know what to do if you found someone lying on the ground, unconscious and not breathing? In one day we can show you how to deal with this and many other First Aid situations.

The Health and Safety Executive estimate that ONE MINOR accident can cost an Employer £315.

Our special offer this month is:
CIEH Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work for up to 12 Learners on Your Premises for £350 including VAT - that is under £30 per person!

Certificates are Recognised throughout Northern Ireland and GB and are valid for 3 years.

Contact us today on 02838 39 45 80 or
email us here.


Succession is a process and not an event, the process should be initiated early, take place over time and be revised if necessary.

Financial independence and security for the senior generation is very important. Once long term succession and asset transfer objectives have been agreed, such as, financial independence and security of senior generation for life, continuity of the business, liquidity, and family needs, (including those family members not working in the business), then smart tax planning is essential. It is not a simple task - but this event will help you get your process started and ultimately solved. 

The seminar has been designed for family businesses and those working alongside family businesses and will be led by succession planning specialists Feargal McCormack (PKF-FPM) and Bill Manson (MLN).
The seminar will be held at The Glenavon House Hotel, Cookstown on Thursday 26th May 2016. It will commence with Tea/Coffee and Breakfast Baps at 8am, presentations will begin at 8.30am sharp and the event will close at 10am.

To reserve your free place at this event email or call 028 9076 1030. For more information download the event flyer .

Places are limited so early booking is recommended.

Ulster University Business School Business Institute is delighted to invite you to a one day conference entitled ‘Perspectives on the creation and development of effective entrepreneurship ecosystems in Northern Ireland.’

Date: Thursday 16th June 2016
Venue: W5, SSE Arena
Time: 9:30am- 4:30pm
The Conference aim is to contribute to the development of the entrepreneurial capacity of Northern Ireland. It will seek to achieve this through the bringing together of key entrepreneurship stakeholders to examine ways in which the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northern Ireland can be further developed.

Speakers include: Ulster University Business School, EY, Invest NI, LEDCOM plus International perspectives from Denmark and Sweden.

Workshops will focus on regional development, harnessing the power of the private sector, education and clusters development
Register for this free event here

Business start-ups and fledgling companies have a chance to win just over £80,000 as Inter-TradeIreland's annual Seedcorn competition gets under way.

There is an overall prize fund of (EURO) 280,000 (£224,000) in the competition - the biggest in Ireland and aimed at entrepreneurs north and south.

A total of nine prizes of (EURO)10,000 (£8,000) upwards offer a lifeline to young companies seeking to raise equity to help their business grow and develop.

Businesses can enter in one of the two categories: new start or early stage. And there are four regions: Northern Ireland; Dublin (city and county); Munster, and Connacht and Leinster (including counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan).

The new start category encompasses companies under five years old which are seeking to raise new equity of between (EURO)50,000 and (EURO)299,999.

The early stage category encompasses companies under five years old which are seeking to raise in excess of (EURO)300,000.

Connor Sweeney from InterTradeIreland said: "Seedcorn is much more than money - entrants can gain invaluable guidance, tips and advice from our experts, as well as investors and other entrepreneurs."

This year's competition is now open for registration here. Businesses should submit their entry by May 27.
Social Media Training for

Food, Drink and Hospitality Businesses
Intec Centre, Enniskillen - Wednesday 15th June 2016 – 2 pm-6 pm
Used well, social media can build awareness, drives sales, even help your business get found online. But it has to be the right social media for your business… and you need to know how to know that it’s working as hard for you as it possibly can.
Designed for food, drink and hospitality businesses and organisations in the Fermanagh & Omagh District Council area, this training session will help you get the most out of it!
With an emphasis on Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor and YouTube, this fun and informative session will include tips, advice and best practice guidance on:
  • Social media set-up and optimisation
  • How to build your social media community
  • How to drive engagement
  • Understanding social media analytics
  • And the big one – creating, finding and sharing content
Whether you’re a social media novice who would like to build your skills, or you’re already on the social media ladder and would like to take things to the next level, you’ll leave with loads of ideas and ‘tricks of the trade’ you can put into practice right away within your own business.
We’re keeping it to 50 places, so first come first served. Tickets are £20 each, including tea, coffee and sticky buns. Time and money well spent!
The session is delivered by Damian Donnelly of Ad_Man Creative Marketing. Damian has provided 1000s of hours of social media training and mentoring to 100s of businesses across the island of Ireland, both face-to-face and through seminars, workshops and clinics. His work with food, drink and hospitality businesses has taken him in front of household brands, hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, self-catering accommodation, restaurants, cafés, pubs, fast food restaurants and take-aways, ethnic food restaurants, mobile caterers, artisan food producers, farm-shops, delis, and health food shops.
Book your place at
Or to find out more, email Damian at


New international partnership opportunities

Brought to you by the Enterprise Europe Network, we can put you in touch with these businesses and help you promote your own partnering requirements in Europe too.

Producer of typical wine-based aperitif drinks from the West of France is looking for trades intermediaries


This French enterprise is an established agrofood actor of the West of France. It offers its 90 years-old typical gourmet wine-based aperitif drinks under three types (red, white and cherry) that correspond to three protected unique recipes owned by the company. The enterprise wants to cooperate through commercial agency and distribution services agreements worldwide.

Polish company from Lower Silesia seeks supplier of organic quinoa convenient products under private label


A company from Lower Silesia, Poland selling organic food products is interested in expanding their product portfolio with quinoa convenient products. The company is looking for a supplier of organic food products from France, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden to cooperate within a manufacturing agreement.

Spanish (catalan) manufacturer of rice ready-meals products looking for distributors in Europe


Spanish (catalan) company based in Barcelona is looking for a commercialization of its new range of rice ready-meals based in the development of a new way to maintain flavour and smell. They are interested mainly in importers or distributors from Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom.

UK producer of globally inspired organic spice blends seeks suppliers and producers of horseradish, wasabi and rice paper for distribution or manufacturing agreements


The UK South West company produce an extensive range of 100 % organic spice blends, curry pastes, sauces, marinades and dips. To satisfy increased demand the company are seeking producers and suppliers of organic horseradish, wasabi and rice paper for distribution or manufacturing agreements.

Croatian company is looking for a manufacturer of cardboard sheets and decorations


A Croatian manufacturer of decorative boxes is looking for a supplier of various cardboard sheets and other materials such as glue for cardboard, decorations, PVC foil, cellophane bags, etc. for the production of their decorative boxes. The company is looking for long term cooperation through manufacturing agreements.

Catalan (Spain) producer of high quality olive oil looking for distribution


Family-run company focused on the production and commercialization of high quality extra virgin olive oil of a very exclusive and unique variety: Empeltre. Most of their trees are over 500 year old so they only use traditional methods for both farming & harvesting them.They control each step involved in the production process. The image of the product is modern and up to the latest market trends. They are looking for distribution for gourmet/delicatessen shops and restaurants/hotels channels.

Natural mineral water producer from Lithuania is looking for trade intermediary (agents, distributors) and offering Private Label activities


A company from Lithuania, specialized in natural mineral water production, is looking for trade intermediary (agents, distributors) and offering Private Label activities. The company offer high quality bottled natural mineral water and soft drinks.

Italian producer of high quality canned food is looking for trade intermediaries.


Italian producer of high quality canned fish such as marinated anchovies, artichokes, mushrooms, eggplant, pickles, Cetara pesto, black olives, crushed olives, roe, is looking for trade intermediaries (distributors and retailers).

UK marketing and sales agent seeks agreements with speciality food manufacturers


A Northern Ireland (UK) based marketing and sales company is looking for long-term partnerships with manufactures of high quality speciality foods aimed at the delicatessen/food service industries; who are interested in generating export sales in Ireland and/or the UK through agency agreements. As well as sales activity, the company can provide market research & marketing support services.

A Turkish company specialized in candied dried fruits is looking for distrubitors in all Europe.


A Turkish SME is in food sector offering candied dried fruits to its customers.The products can be used in cake and bakery, ice cream and chocolate basicly.The company is looking for new partners to give distributorship all around the Europe.

Company of dehydrated bananas is looking for commercial agents or distributors for the European market.


The company produces high quality dried bananas through the dehydration of selected chunky bananas, or burro bananas. Located in Ibirapitanga, in the cocoa region of Bahia in Brazil, where it generates jobs and income in one of the poorest areas of the State of Bahia. The company is looking for agents and/or distributors.

Distributors and agents sought by Turkish company for fermented food products, olives, pickles and sauces


A Turkish company specialised in manufacture of fermented food is looking for distributors and agents which have good relations with large supermarket chains and wholesalers through all European markets.The company produces widely consumed food products such as pickles, olive and sauces with high quality standards and delivers to the local and national supply chains. The products provide all Turkish and European food and health standards.

Cypriot exporter of frozen beef, pork, chicken and turkey seeks suppliers


The Cypriot company whose main activity is the export of food products (frozen meat, fish) and other commodities is seeking producers / suppliers / slaughterhouses of beef, pork, chicken and turkey in Europe for whom it can provide agency or distributor services in other markets.

A French chocolate factory is looking for distributors/commercial agents in Europe, China, Middle East and South Asia.


A French company is looking for trade intermediaries in order to sell its wide range of confectionery and chocolate products through importers such as distributors, wholesalers and retailers in Europe, China, Middle East and South Asia.

Serbia company seeks manufacturers and/or wholesalers of organic/non-organic individually quick frozen fruits


A Serbian company specialized in the production of dried fruit and thermo-stable fruit fillings seeks manufacturers and/or wholesalers of organic and non organic individually quick frozen fruits (sour cherry, apricot, plum, berries fruits) intended for production fruit fillings. A manufacturing agreement is requested.

French producer of chicory based products looking for distributors for its finished products or industrial partners interested in chicory in bulk.


A French company, leading producer of chicory based products mainly for the hot beverages market is looking for distributors for its finished products or industrial partners interested in chicory in bulk for their production needs. It offers to work under a distribution services or a manufacturing agreement.

A Belgian company offering organic porridge mixes is looking for distributors in the organic food sector and in the sport sector across Europe


The Belgian company is active in the food sector. They sell 100% organic porridge, naturally sweetened and consisted of dried fruits. This is the best option for a healthy breakfast. They are looking for distributors and resellers in the organic food sector and in the "sport" sector to sell their products outside of Belgium. Their targeted countries are mostly Germany, France, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

German sales agency offers representation for packaging products


The German SME is a sales agency with broad experience in sales of packaging products and deep knowledge of the markets in Germany, Austria and Benelux. The company is looking for industrial partners in Europe interested in commercial agency agreements. Beside sales promotion the agency can provide marketing activities.

Innovative Plastic Packaging Manufacturer for the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Pharma industries offers its services.


The Company manufacture Plastic Packaging and provides services to the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Pharma industries.The company has more than 40 machines that blow, inject and print bottles and Jars. The manufacturer provides high - end finished packaging solutions and R&D services. The company is looking for: Commercial Agency Agreement /Manufacturing Agreement or Subcontracting .

Bulgarian producer of different kinds of white, yellow and special cheeses offers its products


The company is a producer of quality dairy products, manufactured under their own well-known brands. Thanks to the diligent work of the staff, the delicious recipes of the experienced technologists and the latest techniques, the exquisite milk is processed into valuable end products. Its current and potential clients are wholesalers and distributors of foodstuffs, hypermarkets, chains of food shops and stores.

Tasty and nutritious organic cereals for small children


Lithuanian company, specialised in the production of high quality organic porridges for children, is looking for a trade intermediary. The product was created in partnership with doctors pediatricians and contains all the natural minerals, vitamins and other valuable nutrients, necessary for children.


Each week Nick O' Shiel, Chief Executive, Omagh Enterprise Company, blogs on issues related to enterprise, technology and the economy. This week Nick asks if you can survive in the new economy.

The world economy was growing at a steady rate until the recent recession hit. Emerging countries were narrowing the wealth gap and catching up with the West. But since the financial collapse and subsequent recession economies have been struggling.

A slowing world economy
There are heightened fears about a slowdown in the Chinese economy and the ripple effect it may have on the rest of the world.

Energy and other prices have fallen and yet consumers everywhere are anxious about what will happen next.

More recently growth has slowed or stopped as markets wobble and experts try to understand what is happening and why.

The financial crisis and recession were difficult to come to terms with but the behaviour of the economy during the recovery has baffled commentators even more.

The traditional expectation was that the recession (no matter how deep) would be followed by a quick recovery as growth in employment and economic activity returned to normal.

This has not, however, been the case as the reality of the recovery has strayed from traditional expectations and the patterns of previous downturns.

Few people expected interest rates to fall so far so fast or stay so low for so long with so little effect while also experiencing low or no inflation.

Even more surprising is that low interest rates and low inflation are expected to persist as governments and central banks figure out what to do.

The most surprising and extraordinary element, however, is that all this is happening at a time when the recovery is almost seven years old.

More saving, less investment
Given the scale of the financial crisis and depth of the recession there is an understandable tendency for people and businesses to save rather than invest.

As a result demand in the economy falls, which limits growth and lessens inflation as higher savings and lower investment lead to falling interest rates.

High savings levels are also influenced by a rise in inequality, the need to finance extended periods of retirement, concerns about income stability and anxiety about the affordability of housing.

Lower business investment is driven by a desire to borrow less and accrue cash coupled with an increase in lending criteria and a contraction in lending.

In a parallel development companies are leveraging technology to reduce costs and reinvent business models and practices to pivot and survive.

The wider effect of technology is transforming whole industries, reducing employment and triggering concerns about long-term economic growth.

Technology too is, ironically, causing businesses to delay investing in technology, as it increases uncertainty and a fear of buying what may soon be redundant.

SO, we survived the financial crash and one of the worst recessions in decades but the question now is whether or not we can survive the recovery.

Why not join the conversation and leave a comment
Nick O'Shiel,
Omagh Enterprise
Great Northern Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 5LU
Tel: +44 (0) 28 8224 9494  Fax: +44 (0) 28 8224 9451

Every business-owner wants – needs – their business to be found easily online when potential customers are searching for the products or services they offer. If they can’t be found, then the sale is sure to go elsewhere.
This masterclass will arm delegates with practical, difference-making ‘do-ables’ and ‘tricks of the trade’ that they can implement straight away in their own businesses to improve their online visibility and give them the competitive edge.

What will we cover? 
  •  The main factors involved in local SEO.
  • Website SEO (including, content optimisation, meta optimisation, the importance of links).
  • The importance of social media in SEO (including, optimising social channels and the value of ‘social signals’).
Who is it for? 
  • Anyone keen to keep their business ahead of the competition.
  • Anyone frustrated at not ranking as highly as they could.
  • Anyone keen to brush up on their digital marketing skills.
When is it?
Friday 17th June 9.30am-4.30pm
Where is it?
Radisson Blu @ The Gasworks, 3 Cromac Place, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JB
What is the cost?
£195 per delegate inc. lunch, refreshments and discounted on-site parking
Delivery by Damian Donnelly (
Booking essential and places limited.

Please book via Danielle on
or 07719 764777 - no later than 6th June 2016



For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments.

You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.

Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

Publication date:  20-05-2016
Response deadline:  20-06-2016 12:30   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Buyer: The Rotunda Hospital

105520 - - Provision of Agriculture Related Education and Training
Publication date:  20-05-2016
Response deadline:  08-06-2016 16:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: This public procurement exercise relates to an invitation from Teagasc to tender for inclusion in a multi-party Framework for the Provision of Agriculture Related Education and Training
Buyer: Teagasc
105264 - Monaghan Town Car Parking - Monaghan Town Car Parking Strategy
Publication date:  18-05-2016
Response deadline:  27-05-2016 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: Monaghan Municipal District wishes to engage a consultant to: • Undertake an assessment and evaluation of the existing traffic management and car parking provision in Monaghan Town both on and off street, including the private provision of parking. • Provide details of turnover of short stay, long stay and on-street car parking spaces, identifying peak periods of demand and taking cognisance of events/festivals that take place in the town throughout the year and the resultant impact these events have on car parking provision. • The assessment of current and future parking demand to be for both private cars and other vehicles (touring buses and heavy goods vehicles) • Assess the demand for additional car parking and to identify suitable locations for additional car parking having regard to parking demand and how the redevelopment of the particular identified locations may impact positively on the regeneration of the town. • Forecasts for parking demand to be for the next 5 and 10 years.
Buyer: Monaghan County Council

105320 - - Establishment of two single party framework for the provision of Market Research Services to safefood
Publication date:  18-05-2016
Response deadline:  16-06-2016 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: Restricted Procedure (OJEU)
Description: safefood proposes to engage in a competitive process for the establishment of two (2) single-operator framework agreements for the provision of: Lot 1: Quantitative Market Research Services for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI) AND Lot 2: Qualitative Market Research Services for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI) Interested parties may apply for one or both lots.
Buyer: Food Safety Promotion Board

Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

First Edition Publications
Townsend Business Centre, Townsend St., BELFAST BT13 2ES 

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