South and west refer most business in Europe
Business Network International (BNI) has named the Ireland "south and west region" as Europe's most active region for business referrals and networking.
BNI found that members in the region that includes Munster and Connacht and south Leinster, are the most active networkers in Europe.
BNI is active across Europe, with 80 chapters in Ireland. The group's Irish members are typically owners of businesses with fewer than five employees and tend to have been in business for three years or more before joining the network.
The organisation charges a membership fee and each chapter can only have one person representing any profession or trade. Chapters hold weekly meetings. The network aims to boost members' business indirectly, by helping spread positive word of mouth, and by encouraging members to refer business to fellow members.
The Ireland 'south and west' BNI chapters passed an average of 30pc more business, per member, than the rest of Europe.
It added up to 1.37 business referrals being passed between members every week.
BNI's executive director in the region Sandra Hart said their members were increasingly going the extra mile to drive business expansion during the recession.
"Small business people have to be more imaginative to reach customers; one of our groups in Spanish Point in Co Clare held a trade fair to get their message across, bringing in 1,000 customers to the event."