Recently I was asked what is the strength of doing business in Northern Ireland, and I said being small gives us advantages and disadvantages. One of the key strengths of being small is the ability to build strong relationships quickly, and you can easily get access to pretty much anyone you want. The down side of being small is obviously competing with places that are much bigger in size, scale and economies. However, the real value comes when people collaborate across industries, business, and different spectrums of the economical, social and political landscape. According to Forbes “the average return on collaboration is four times the initial investment.” I was reminded of the importance of collaboration and how powerful the result can be attending two business events today. This morning Women in Business and Cancer Focus NI hosted a breakfast meeting with Dragons Den Jenny Campbell. Learning great business lessons and examples from Jenny of grit, determination, drive and huge ambition whilst remaining authentic and giving very humble anecdotes. This afternoon Belfast Chamber of Commerce and Dublin Chamber of Commerce jointly hosted a business lunch with minister Simon Coveney updating us on the latest Brexit progress. One of the key takeaways from Simon saying, “we need to remember business isn’t just about money, you have to remember the importance of relationships and doing the right thing in the bigger picture.” A really enjoyable day, with two great examples of the importance of collaboration and strength in numbers to drive forward the Northern Ireland Economy and business environment.

I’d love to hear what collaborations you have recently developed and how these have helped your business improve.