SFA announces details of flagship event Business Connect 2021

  • Impressive line-up of Speakers
  • Meet the SFA National Business Finalists 2021

The Small Firms Association flagship event Business Connect is taking place this year as an online event from a live studio on February 11th. This is the fourth consecutive Business Connect event which last year attracted over 400 delegates to Aviva Stadium.

Hosted by renowned business broadcaster and journalist Richard Curran, this event will shine a light on Ireland’s unique ecosystem where small and large firms often compete for contracts, talent, government and media attention. Equally, they also thrive from each other. Delegates will hear from large organisations on what they look for in partners; small companies will get insights on how to win big contracts, and from organisations and agencies that can provide support for collaboration.

A mix of delegates representing small and large organisations will attend Business Connect, including 50 of Ireland’s best in small business who are finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2021. These companies will showcase in a virtual exhibition space along with awards supporters: Bord Bia; Cisco; Enterprise Ireland; PermanentTSB; Microsoft; NSAI, .IE, One4All, DeCare, SBCI and Skillnet Ireland.

Sven Spollen Behrens, Director of SFA said: “Due to Covid restrictions, Business Connect 2021 will be a virtual event. However, tour event will include every element from previous years. We have a wonderful list of speakers and panellists and plenty of opportunity to network and visit many exhibiting companies at their virtual stands. Business Connect is free of charge to attend for the first time. Delegates wishing to attend should register at www.sfa.ie.”

Business Connect will start at 8.00am with networking and the Conference will start at 9.00am sharp until 1.30pm. As well as learning lots of ideas from the excellent panel of speakers, there will be ample time for networking throughout the event.

Business Connect – Agenda – February 11th

08.00   Networking Session – Exhibition open

09.00   Welcome – Richard Curran

09.05    Opening Remarks– Graham Byrne, SFA Chairman and CEO Flender Ireland

Sharon Higgins, Director of Member Services, Ibec

09.20   Re-setting the Dial for 2021

Dr Colman Noctor, Consultant Psychotherapist, Reboarding post Covid-19 and developing digital resilience in an era of technology and anxiety.

10.00   Networking Session & Exhibition open

 10.15   Adapting for Business in a virtual world

Alan Wyley, Chief Commercial Officer, Luzern Solutions

Joanne Charles, Head of Commercial & Small Business, Cisco Systems

Cathy McGovern, Director, Inspiration Marketing

11.15   Networking Session & Exhibition open

11.40    Winning with Big Business

            Noel Keeley, CEO, Musgrave Group


Chris Mitchell, Co-founder, Green Angel Skincare

Dom McGroddy, MD, Lily’s Tea

Brian Fitzpatrick, MD, Oriel Sea Salt

Michael Ferncombe, Business Development Manager, Borrisoleigh Bottling

12.20   Looking for Money?

            Eoin McGee, Broadcaster, How to be Good with Money

Dos and don’ts when applying for finance


John Madigan, Head of Marketing and Research, SBCI

Eoghan Hanrahan, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland

Garrett Stokes, CEO, Microfinance Ireland

Mags Brennan, Head of Business Banking, PermanentTSB

1.00     Closing Remarks – Networking session and Exhibition open

1.30     Networking Closes