Dr Ian Smyth

Current / Previous Job
Course Director / Lecturer
Date Joined Board
Other Boards / Positions
NI Family Business Forum committee
Vice Chair, HR Sub-Committee

Why did you decide to become a Board Member of Antrim Enterprise & what does your role as a Trustee entail?

I decided to become a board member as I am passionate about local enterprise and business development and the work of Enterprise Agencies such as Antrim Enterprise.  I wanted the opportunity to be able to give back in terms of expertise around the area of people development in particular.  I see my role as a trustee to help uphold the values of Antrim Enterprise, to deliver good governance and help Antrim Enterprise grow and remain sustainable as an organisation going forward.

For anyone considering starting up what advice would you have for them?

Passion and planning.  Find something you love doing and don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.  Couple that with a plan for growth that relies on smart choices and invest in development along the way

What are the main issues and barriers facing developing businesses today?

The main challenges as I see it are as follows:

  • Economic and political uncertainty (The B-Word) leading to a lack of decision making and leadership at a devolved level;
  • Lack of available skills in the labour market;
  • Suitable broadband access in rural areas;
  • Lack of funding and support for businesses that don’t export;

Supply chain vulnerability for small firms.

Life outside current job/position on AEA board

I enjoy reading, running and playing guitar in my spare time along with spending time with my family.

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