Award winning entrepreneur David Hall was the keynote speaker at an event to promote entrepreneurship organised by the Institute of Business Advisers (IBA) and Invest Northern Ireland in Belfast.

Mr Hall, the Ernst and Young North Region Entrepreneur of the Year 2000, was the speaker at the first in a series of breakfasts for business advisers, mentors and trainers specialising in helping entrepreneurs.

Around 75 people attended the breakfast in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast to hear Mr Hall, from Bawtry in Yorkshire, talk about ‘Recognising, Supporting and Understanding Entrepreneurs’. He is an acknowledged expert on strategic management, culture change, customer services and management development.

A Fellow of Durham University Business School, Mr Hall said: “I help organisations with the three R’s to competitive advantage – revitalisation, reinvention and renewal. Core to this whole process is the need to link the performance and development of individuals with the performance of the organisation. Ten per cent of managers have entrepreneurial talent, the question is who are they?”

His clients include major international corporations such as LaFarge, Hanson Brick, Standard Life and 3M, as well as Ipswich Town Football Club and the Curtin Business School, Australia.

Among those attending the breakfast were entrepreneurs, business consultants and representatives from Enterprise NI, the association of Local Enterprise Agencies in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hall’s advice to enterprise support agencies and business advisors was to tailor their service based on an understanding from the entrepreneur’s perspective.

Eamonn Mulvenna, Head of Entrepreneurship and Start Up, Invest NI, said “Business advisers have an important role to play in helping Invest NI raise overall awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship and in providing professional advisory services that will help entrepreneurs to exploit their full potential.

“Accelerating Entrepreneurship, our recently published draft strategy for public consultation, outlines how Invest NI in partnership with the public,private and voluntary sectors aims to make Northern Ireland an exemplar
location for starting and growing a successful business.

“To achieve our objectives, Invest NI is working with enterprise support organisations such as the IBA to provide world class advisory services to entrepreneurs which will include an externally benchmarked continuous professional development programme. “ he added.