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As Local Enterprise Week draws to a close, NSAI is advising businesses of a new handbook, published to help SMEs proactively prepare for risks.

ISO 31000 – Risk management – A practical guide for SMEs gives hands-on guidance on how Irish organizations can make the most of ISO 31000:2009, the International Standard on risk management, and integrate good practices in both their strategic decisions and their day-to-day operations.

CEO of the National Standards Authority of Ireland Maurice Buckley said running a successful business requires effective risk management.

“Research shows that only half of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) survive beyond their fifth year. Risks affecting organizations can have consequences in terms of economic performance and professional reputation, as well as environmental, safety and societal outcomes.  Therefore, managing risk effectively helps organizations to perform well in an environment full of uncertainty.”

ISO 31000 – Risk management – A practical guide for SMEs is designed to help Ireland’s 200,000 SMEs understand and manage risks and ultimately strengthen their small businesses.

According to the CSO’s 2012 Business in Ireland study, SMEs account for 99.7 % of all active business enterprises in the country and generate over 50% of the State’s annual turnover.  The research also revealed that SMEs employ 68% of the workforce in Ireland.

Author of the handbook, John Lark, said the guide is structured as a checklist with a series of questions and related actions that guide users through the creation of a successful risk management system.

“The guide is a clear, simply worded explanation of how to implement risk management effectively.  The question-and-answer format, as well as a comprehensive table of contents, allows readers to jump immediately to a subject or aspect of risk management that is of interest to them, or which is proving to be difficult.”

As Ireland’s economy improves and more SMEs are established, the NSAI hopes this guide will serve as a beneficial resource to Irish business owners and managers, in their efforts to improve their competitiveness and increase their participation in international trade through better recognizing and managing risk.

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