InBUSINESS Autumn 2019

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Partner GROUND

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Building the present, creating the future

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Editor: Sorcha Corcoran Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Assistant: James Kiernan (Chambers Ireland) Editorial Contributors: Sinead Moore Designers: James Moore Front Cover Photography: Paul McCarthy


Cover Art Director: Jane Matthews Photography: Paul McCarthy Photography iStock Photo Infographics: Production Executive: Claire Kiernan


Partner on the ground

Sales Director: Diarmaid Lennon Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Unit 55 Park West Road, Park West Industrial Park, D12 X9F9 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: Web: On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 11 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 FY84 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: Web: All articles Š Ashville Media Group 2019. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934

InBUSINESS speaks to Patrick Farrell, Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB on offering a real alternative to small and micro businesses



Chairman and CEO of Ding Mark Roden on taking top-up technology worldwide




A fund to be reckoned with

Minister John Halligan discusses the progress of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, which is one of the first of its kind in the world Words: Sorcha Corcoran


How Ireland can tap into the global esports phenomenon Words: Sinead Moore



Sharon Cunningham, Co-founder, Shorla Pharma


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Go to for the online edition [A NICE ALTERNATIVE]


Elaine Coughlan

Having gone from running and scaling technology companies to investing in them, Elaine Coughlan, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Atlantic Bridge, is keen to support highimpact entrepreneurs in Ireland through the Endeavor programme. Words: Sorcha Corcoran



SCALING NEW HEIGHTS With over 25 years of experience in running, scaling and then investing in technology companies, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Atlantic Bridge Elaine Coughlan is now a member of the founding board of directors of Endeavor Ireland, which aims to support and accelerate high-impact entrepreneurs in this country in a unique way.


The autumn shoot with Permanent TSB’s Patrick Farrell took place at Bow Lane on Aungier Street, an increasingly vibrant area in Dublin’s City Centre. Tastefully designed to create a space for typical Dublin socialising, it is divided into two areas, a sophisticated bar and a restaurant





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n 2007, GloNav, a US technology company with an Irish R&D base founded and backed by Atlantic Bridge, was sold to NXP Semiconductors for US$110m. It was only three years after Elaine Coughlan co-founded Atlantic Bridge as a small technology fund of under e10m. “GloNav had leading technology in the area of GPS and an incredible, talented team of Irish engineers. Semiconductors is a capital intensive business where you have to raise significant capital to build the chip before revenues can ramp up. Just as we were winning key sockets of capital we received an inbound M&A offer. GloNav technology went on to be scaled into hundreds of millions of mobile phones including the Samsung Galaxy,” she explains. “While it was a very successful company and we sold just as the financial crisis of 2008 was gathering pace, it would have also have been very satisfying to see the global scaling results of the team’s hard work.” GloNav is just one of the many impressive company success stories during Coughlan’s career. Before establishing Atlantic Bridge in 2004, she had built up more than 15 years’ experience of running technology companies and taking them public on Nasdaq. She served as Chief Financial Officer or Vice President of Finance for three Irish technology Nasdaq initial public offerings – Parthus, Iona and Smartforce. “It was a natural move to use all of that experience to start a new business, Atlantic Bridge, with my two partners and co-founders. This meant moving into and learning a new industry – asset management within financial services. Having both operational and investment expertise is invaluable and helps our companies to scale,” she notes.

90 TRAVEL A guide to the cultural hotspot that is the city of Berlin 94 BOOKS Irish Americans in the US political system and how technology affects our lives


Skills & Talent

The need to foster innovative thinking in the workforce through upskilling Words: Sinead Moore


Book Extract

An extract from Atomic Habits by James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation [REGULARS] 9 Opportunity Ireland 10 Movers & Shakers


Real-time resolution

Blink is one of the many innovative Irish companies focused on disruptive ideas and technologies Words: Sorcha Corcoran

Our Local Government InBUSINESS supplement continues to look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page




Jacobs to create 200 new jobs for Ireland over two years. Plans to invest €4.5m in Cork office.

Sligo has been selected as this year’s Digital Town, lauded for its achievements in cultivating a truly digital environment.


In Association with




€150,000 in grant aid from Wexford Local Community Development Committee for local community groups.


5 Business News


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96 PODCASTS Niall Breslin’s sixpart podcast series deals with stress and experiencing chaos collectively

ABOVE: Elaine Coughlan BELOW: Pictured after the inaugural meeting of the Endeavor Ireland founding board of directors were The Edge, Board Chair, and fellow board members Mark Roden, Ding; Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge and Anne Heraty, CPL Resources


Eileen Carroll, Managing Director of Púca, on making the most of mobile marketing and engagement

86 INNOVATION Gadgets that are disrupting the market

ENDEAVOR PROGRAMME A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a qualified Chartered Director, Coughlan has been named as one of Europe’s Top 50 Inspiring Women in Technology and one of Europe’s Top 100 Women in Technology and was appointed by the Irish Government to the board of Enterprise Ireland. In September, she attended the inaugural meeting of the founding board of Endeavor Ireland. Chaired by The Edge from U2, the board line-up also includes Alan Foy, Group CEO, Blueface, Anne Heraty, CEO, CPL Resources, property developer Paddy McKillen Snr, Denis O’Brien, Interim Group CEO, Digicel and Mark Roden, Chairman and CEO of Ding. Three more directors will join by the end of this year by which time Endeavor will have opened an office in Dublin covering the whole island.

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Media & Marketing


Today, Atlantic Bridge has almost e1bn under management with a global platform, headquarters in Ireland and offices and staff in the US and China. “We have invested in over 70 companies which employ over 3,500 people – that’s a metric I am proud of in terms of bringing innovative technology to customers and people,” says Coughlan.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council celebrates its 500th business and compiles a Go For It Programme business plan





It is now almost two years since we launched the Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund.

The SED Fund was launched as a €1.6m fund which was to be delivered over two years; 2018 and 2019. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development. John Evoy, SEDF Manager, Social Innovation Fund Ireland reports.

12 Start-Up Central 45 Chambers Catch Up 96 The IB Index

Social enterprise on the rise



In Association with

THE SED FUND 2018–2021

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2020 •

Chambers Ireland would like to thank all the companies who took part in the CSR Awards 2019 Applications for the CSR Awards 2020 will open in March 2020. For more information, please contact

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EY’s Managing Partner Frank O’Keeffe with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

MERGER TO FORM ONLINE GAMBLING GIANT Owner of Paddy Power, Flutter Entertainment, and owner of Power Stars, Canadian company Star Group, have agreed to merge. On a proforma basis, the combined group’s annual revenue would have been £3.8bn in 2018, making it the largest online betting and gaming operator globally. Ireland will remain the global headquarters of the new group, which has been estimated to have market capitalisation of more than €12bn. Commenting on the announcement, Gary McGann, Chair of Flutter said: “This is an exciting and transformational combination that will bring together two strong, complementary businesses to create a global leader in the fast-growing online sports betting and gaming industry.” Meanwhile, 14 Paddy Power shops in eight towns in Ireland were put on the market in September for €6.3m.


rofessional services firm EY plans to hire 237 experienced people and 363 graduates across its ten offices on the island of Ireland over the coming months. The roles will be in technology, corporate finance, business advisory, tax and accountancy, among other areas. Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY Ireland, said: “Our plans to create these new roles reflects our continuing strong growth across the island of Ireland. While there are many headwinds for Irish businesses, not least of which is Brexit, our clients are turning to us to support them on all of their strategic priorities including climate change, talent, digital disruption, global tax planning and heightened levels of assurance.”

e110M IN BUSINESS SUPPORTS FOR ‘NO-DEAL’ BREXIT The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will have immediate access to an emergency support package of 110m in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, as announced in Budget 2020. The funding will be available on day one of a crash-out to activate four specific schemes and other measures supporting those businesses most affected. The schemes will be available to “vulnerable but viable firms with verifiable Brexitexposure”. This is an initial tranche of emergency funding, which can be built upon as the situation evolves in consultation with the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform.


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COMPANIES ACCOUNT FOR 32% OF TOTAL JOBS Companies supported by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta reported full and part-time employment of over 454,569 jobs in 2018, their highest ever level, accounting for around one third of total business employment in Ireland. There was a 5.2% increase in total employment in agency client companies since 2017. There were 241,088 employed in the foreign-owned and 213,481 in Irish-owned agency assisted companies in 2018. Employment in foreign-owned firms went up by 6.3% since 2017 while in Irish-owned firms, employment increased by 3.9%.




Gort Community School in Co Galway was the overall winner at Junior Achievement Ireland’s first-ever The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) hosted by Microsoft.



EUROZONE STRATEGY Enterprise Ireland has kick-started a new ‘Enter the Eurozone’ programme designed to help Irish companies diversify and take the first step into Eurozone markets.



The construction of new data centres will generate more than €4.5bn in inward investment for Ireland by 2025, according to the latest industry update report from Host in Ireland in association with Bitpower. The report predicts that 34 new data centres are now likely to be operational in the next six years, in addition to the 53 which are currently active. There are eight new data centres under construction and 26 with planning approval in place.

The European Tech Alliance presented its tech vision for Europe five years from now in the European Parliament on 8 October. “Until now in Europe the digital industry has been often interpreted as an ICT services industry without the need for European technology vendors,” said Gianpiero Lotito, President of the European Tech Alliance. “A strong European digital industry cutting across other industries will allow the whole European industrial and service ecosystem to be more competitive. A first step, however, to having a solid and competitive European digital industry is to support the birth of a first generation of ‘Tech Champions’ as it was for Silicon Valley in the 1980s and the Far East in the 2000s.”


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WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS A number of announcements were made at the Enterprise Ireland Med in Ireland event on 10 October, where 100 Irish medtech companies met with 300 international bluechip company buyers from 40 countries. Among these were Complete Laboratory Solutions, which is to create 100 new jobs in Galway over the next two years. Partners Swiftqueue Technologies and Mobia Technology Innovations have won an open competition to deliver a digital health transformation for hospitals in in Canada. And engineering company Key Plastics has produced and launched the Umbifunnel a unique, purpose-designed, cord blood collection device which removes the need for needles and syringes.

Pictured: Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, Anne O’Donnell, Director of Microbiology, CLS, Minister Pat Breen TD, and Evelyn O’Toole, CEO, CLS.




Home Builder Lioncor has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with Irish Green Building Council to help drive demand for greener new homes.

Minister Pat Breen has launched an extensive new HR and employment guide for SMEs, ‘Human Resources and Employment: Policies and Procedures’, published by Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Ireland’s tourist attractions are experiencing a 10% slowdown in 2019, the Association of Visitor Attractions and Experiences National Conference was told.

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EXPAND IN THE WEST Connolly Motor Group has acquired Hyundai Galway in a move that sees the group broaden its offering to customers as it continues to expand across the West of Ireland. The acquisition of the Hyundai dealership in Ballybrit and the service centre in Oranmore will increase the number of full-time employees at Connolly Motor Group to 280 as the 31 staff currently working for Hyundai Galway will join the group. The company expects to grow staff numbers in Galway as it builds on its investment. The motor group, which is one of the biggest in the country, is run by brothers Kevin and Neil Connolly. Connolly Motor Group operates multiple state-of-the-art car dealerships across Galway, Mayo and Sligo, selling more than 5,000 retail cars every year. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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“We are making sure to develop the products and services smaller businesses need, but more importantly, the relationships they need that they don’t get elsewhere.” Patrick Farrell, Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB




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THE LAST WORD Reaction from business leaders to Budget 2020 PAUL PRENDERGAST CEO and Co-Founder, Blink “Two stand-outs for me from Budget 2020 were the R&D credit being raised to 30%, and the fact that 10m of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s 1bn is earmarked for disruptive technologies. This way of thinking is exactly where we need to be – promoting the type of businesses in Ireland that can grow and scale up quickly.”


Following an investment of over €2.5m by its parent company Continental AG, car maintenance firm Advance Pitstop is rolling out its new brand identity BestDrive by Continental. A key part of this is the upgrading of customer facilities available at each of its 29 branches across Ireland. Service enhancements include operating a fully digitalised branch to ensure efficient tracking of the work on each vehicle and the recent introduction of free car sanitisation with all full car services across the network. Paddy Murphy, Managing Director of the BestDrive by Continental business in Ireland said its mission was to open “a considerable number” of new outlets across the country in the next five years.

JOEY SHEAHAN Head of Credit at mortgage brokers, “Finally, we get the certainty that the market and that developers need, and more importantly, that thousands of first-time buyers (FTBs) through the country have so desperately been waiting for. Given that this scheme has helped 15,000 FTBs since its introduction, there can be no doubting its importance to and influence on the Irish property market.”

JONATHAN HEHIR Managing Director of the CFM Group “The Minister’s move away from petrol and diesel cars and towards electric and hybrid vehicles was loud and clear. While there’s widespread agreement that it is a good idea for people to go electric for a variety of reasons, this needs to be facilitated and it needs to be workable for households all over the country.”

JOANNA MURPHY CEO of “ While the increase of the earned income tax credit for the self-employed to 1,500 falls short of parity with PAYE workers, it is certainly a step in the right direction for the thousands of job-creating business owners in Ireland.”


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The Irish economy continues to grow strongly, supported by strong growth in employment and real incomes, but the path ahead in the coming years is linked to the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, according to the Central Bank of Ireland’s latest Quarterly Bulletin. If a disorderly, no-deal Brexit can be avoided, it is projected that underlying economic activity will grow at a relatively solid pace in coming years. In a no-deal scenario, however, significant disruption and the negative shock to economic activity would adversely affect output and employment.


WITH ONLINE BANKING Half of SMEs in the UK and Ireland (51%) visit a bank branch at least once every week, but online business banking is still used more, according to Close Brothers Business Barometer research. In total, 12% of businesses say that they use a physical bank daily and 39% use one every week. A further 31% visit a branch monthly. In comparison, 76% use online banking for their firm at least once a week, with 41% saying they use it every day. Interestingly, these results suggest that there is a significant overlap and while companies may opt to go online for some transactions, the two banking mediums are not used exclusively. In fact, just 11% of SMEs say they visit a bank branch less than twice a year. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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JOB CREATION COMPANY: Emerald Contact Centre SECTOR: Customer care and sales support LOCATION: Waterford




ANNOUNCEMENT: A global specialist in document productivity solutions, Nitro has opened a new EMEA headquarters in Dublin. Nitro plans to double its Dublin workforce to 140 over the next two years. Nitro established its first office in Dublin in 2013 with three employees.

ANNOUNCEMENT: At the opening of its new offices in Waterford Business Park, Emerald Contact Centre announced 200 additional jobs, which will bring its workforce there up to 340 by 2021. The additional jobs will include customer support roles for agents with a range of international languages.

InBUSINESS highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities across the country.

COMPANY: AB Agri SECTOR: Agri-business LOCATION: Kilkenny ANNOUNCEMENT: AB Agri, a division of Associated British Foods, is to establish a technology centre in Kilkenny, creating up to 50 new roles over five years. The UK company employs over 3,500 people globally, producing and marketing animal feed, technologybased products and services.


SECTOR: Engineering


ANNOUNCEMENT: Jacobs announced 200 new jobs for Ireland over the coming two years, as it unveiled a ď Ľ4.5m investment in its Cork office. The company, which provides end-to-end solutions for a range of sectors, plans to fill the professional services positions in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Jacobs currently employs 1,100 people on the island of Ireland.

A new report by Savills Ireland has revealed that 1,000 public sector jobs have been created as a direct result of Brexit and that public administration has been by far the fastest growing sector of employment in Dublin over the past year. The 1,000 roles have been created in Revenue, customs controls, passport services, regulation and accreditation, and have not just been restricted to Dublin. Public sector bodies accounted for 27% of all the office space leased in Dublin over the first half of this year – the highest proportion in a decade, the report notes. On average, over the past decade, the public sector has accounted for just 10.7% of take-up.

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SECTOR: Customer experience automation LOCATION: Dublin ANNOUNCEMENT: ActiveCampaign has opened its first European office in Dublin to support its growing customer base on the continent. The company expects its Dublin presence to expand to more than 200 employees. Initial hires will focus on support, sales, customer success and marketing.

COMPANY: Fort Wayne Metals SECTOR: Manufacturing LOCATION: Castlebar, Co Mayo

1,000 Brexit-related public sector jobs created


COMPANY: ActiveCampaign

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fort Wayne Metals opened a new 45,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Castlebar, which will lead to the creation of up to 80 jobs over five years. Headquartered in the US, Fort Wayne Metals Ireland started operations in Castlebar in 2002 and now employs 95 staff there.

Government Departments and State agencies with Brexit-related posts that have been taking office space in Dublin include IDA Ireland, the HSE, and the Revenue Commissioners (who also took space in Rosslare, Co Wexford).


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M vers







NEW TITLE: Head of Global Data EMPLOYER: Diaceutics PREVIOUS ROLE: General Manager for Cloud and Data, Openet

NEW TITLE: Managing Director

NEW TITLE: Chairman of the Board EMPLOYER: Arkphire PREVIOUS ROLE: CEO, Cloud Infrastructure Services, Capgemini

NEW TITLE: Global Chief Diversity Officer EMPLOYER: Sodexo PREVIOUS ROLE: Country President, Ireland, Sodexo

EMPLOYER: Accenture Security PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of the Irish Cyber Security and IT Forensic practice at Deloitte

Derek Hosty has been appointed as Head of Global Data with Diaceutics, a data analytics services provider to the pharmaceutical sector. He will lead Diaceutics’ data team as it helps more patients across the world access precision medicine drugs by driving better diagnostic testing. Bringing almost 20 years of experience in software, analytics and product development to the role, Hosty will be responsible for spearheading the company’s data strategy and the software tools to support it.

Jacky Fox has been appointed managing director of Accenture Security in Ireland. She will lead the firm’s security business in Ireland, helping clients to build resilience. Fox joins Accenture with 20 years’ experience, having advised leading Irish and international organisations on managing their cyber risk. She was recently appointed as vice-chair for Cyber Ireland and in 2018 was awarded ‘Security Champion of the Year’ in Ireland for her contribution to the Irish security industry and her mentorship and encouragement of women in security.


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Irish-owned IT solutions and managed services company Arkphire has appointed Paul Nannetti as Chairman of the company’s board. Paul has a wealth of international experience in the technology industry, having served until 2017 as a member of the Group Executive Committee of global consulting and IT services organisation Capgemini. Most recently he was Group Director of Sales and Portfolio,and was then CEO of the Cloud Infrastructure Services Division. Nannetti has also worked with IBM and EY.

On 1 September, Margot Slattery stepped down as Country President for Sodexo in Ireland to take on the role of Global Chief Diversity Officer at the company. Slattery has won numerous awards and accolades for her work in promoting diversity and inclusion in Ireland and abroad. She will continue to be based in Ireland and will have responsibility for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of Sodexo’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Paul Carty is Managing Director at Diageo Irish Brand Homes, including the Guinness Storehouse, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Roe & Co Distillery and Smithwick’s Experience, Kilkenny. Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s No 1 visitor attraction, welcoming over 1.7 million visitors annually. Now 20 years into his role, Carty is also the founder and Chair of the Association of Visitor Experience and Attractions in Ireland.


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NEW TITLE: Partner EMPLOYER: Matheson’s Cork office PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Employment Law Team and founder, Crowley’s Solicitors

NEW TITLE: Chairman EMPLOYER: Irish Venture Capital Association EXISTING ROLE: Director of MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland

TITLE: Director of Education & Training EMPLOYER: CPA Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Director, Irish Boarding Schools

NEW TITLE: Vice President and General Manager EMPLOYER: Unilever Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Strategy and Revenue Management Director, Unilever Ireland

Matheson has announced that data privacy and employment law specialist Deirdre Crowley has joined the firm’s Cork office as Partner. As part of the appointment, Deirdre’s existing team has also joined Matheson, bringing the total number of Matheson Cork-based employees to 13. This appointment will further enhance Matheson’s practice in data privacy and employment law, specifically across the technology, energy, retail, construction, healthcare, manufacturing and recruitment sectors.

Neil McGowan, director of MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, has been elected Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association. He replaces Alex Hobbs, Fund Manager of Dublin Business Innovation Centre. Prior to joining MML Ireland, McGowan spent five years as an investment director with FL Partners. He started his career with PwC in Dublin, later spending over six years working in investment banking at HSBC and Bank of America in London before relocating to Dublin with Goodbody Corporate Finance.

CPA Ireland, one of the country’s leading accountancy bodies, has announced the appointment of Deirdre McDonnell as its new Director of Education & Training. McDonnell has had an extensive career, primarily as a management consultant specialising in continuity management, strategic planning and risk management. She qualified as a CPA in 1990 and is also a qualified professional risk practitioner. In her new role she will be prioritising the rollout of a new education syllabus for trainee CPAs.

Emily Pittman has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager at Unilever Ireland, taking responsibility for growing Unilever’s business in Ireland. She will lead the Irish sales and marketing team. Prior to joining the executive leadership team at Unilever in 2017, Pittman held senior strategy and revenue growth roles at Coca-Cola UK and Ireland and has several years’ experience working for FMCG consultancies.


Surround yourself with great talent. I have always spent a great deal of time and energy selecting my leadership team. The old adage ‘you are only as good as your team’ is so true.


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You don’t need to know everything. I never criticise failures as sometimes they can provide huge learnings and disruptive thinking. I would rather embrace change and encourage innovation.


Surround yourself with knowledgeable people and celebrate this rather than fearing it as a leader. There is nothing worse than an overbearing “I know best” leader.


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Start-Up Central


Ireland’s ranking among European countries for rates of early-stage entrepreneurship (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2018 survey).

SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN VC FUNDING Venture capital funding into Irish tech firms fell by 5% to 430m for the first half of the year to June, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey. However, there were signs of a recovery in the second quarter with funding up over 90% to 233m. The number of companies raising funds increased from 93 in the first half of 2018 to 139 to June this year, while seed funding to early-stage companies rebounded strongly, more than doubling to 38m in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year.



Founder and CEO of patientMpower How did you fund your business initially? I funded the business out of personal savings in the early stages. What’s the best advice you were given? Don’t develop a solution in search of a problem; find a problem worth solving and develop a solution for it.

Eamonn Costello

What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? It’s tough starting any business, but starting a product business where you need to provide evidence around the benefits of your solution (digital therapeutics) in healthcare is especially hard. You need dedication and perseverance to keep going at times. Your biggest make or break moment? Winning an international medtech competition called the IPF Catalyst Challenge. The ambitious healthcare competition invited innovators from around the world to develop real, executable solutions to help change the many quality-of-life issues affecting patients living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We won US$333,333 to further develop our solution and have forged links with researchers and hospitals due to this. Would you change anything in hindsight? There are always things you would change. It’s important not to dwell on this, but instead change direction or change your decision if you realise you were wrong and don’t procrastinate. The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t try anything. Company: patientMpower Location: The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 Product: Mobile platform that enables lung and kidney disease patients to track their disease using integrated monitors allowing them to better manage their treatment and reduce the need for appointments in hospitals. Staff: six

TCD GRADUATES STAND OUT FOR FOUNDING VENTURE-BACKED COMPANIES Graduates from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) founded more venture-backed companies than graduates from any other European university for the fifth successive year, according to PitchBook’s Universities Report. Like last year, TCD sits at number 46 in the global rankings for producing venturebacked entrepreneurs from its undergraduate programmes and is the only European university in the top 50. Between the years of 2006 and 2019 – the period over which PitchBook conducted its latest independent analyses – TCD alumni produced 251 entrepreneurs, formed 228 venture-backed companies, and raised capital of around US$4.1bn.



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Left to right: Martin O’Reilly of Output Sports, Sharon Cunningham of Shorla Pharma and Sean McGarry of Showergem


KEEPAPPY COMPETES AT ENACTUS WORLD CUP Irish personal wellbeing app KeepAppy represented Ireland at the Enactus World Cup in Silicon Valley in September. The Enactus World Cup is three days of competition and collaboration, involving 3,500 socially conscious leaders from 37 countries. Founded by Aimée-Louise Carton and Will Ben Sims, KeepAppy was designed to empower users to take control of their mental and physical wellbeing. It enables people to track all of the vitals that most impact an individual’s state of mind, through increasing selfawareness and engaging in positive behaviour practices. The app has ten features, providing each user with the ability to learn and choose what wellbeing technique suits them best. KeepAppy recently raised 30,000 through Kickstarter and secured over 1,000 active users in the first two weeks KeepAppy co-founders of launching its public beta.

Aimée-Louise Carton and Will Ben Sims

Ollwyn Moran, founder, Cognikids


Sharon Cunningham, co-founder of Shorla Pharma, was the overall winner at the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition on 15 September. Winning the Best Start-Up Business category, she secured a total investment fund of 40,000 (see more on Shorla Pharma on page 35). Martin O’Reilly of Output Sports won the Best Business Idea category and Sean McGarry of Showergem won the Best Established Business category. Output Sports is developing a sensor system that streamlines off-field performance optimisation, offering unrivalled accuracy in exercise analysis. Showergem is a shower caddy that attaches to shower walls to hold bottles and razors, using a durable glue that ensures no suction or drilling issues. Run by Local Enterprise Offices, IBYE attracted over 1,600 applicants in 2019 with an investment fund of 2m. Already through the programme, 186 entrants have secured investments of between 3,000 and 15,000 each.

Founded by Ollwyn Moran, a neurological development therapist and mum of two, Cognikids has created a range of baby products using the latest technology that encourage babies to develop their own brains through movement and activity. The Sip, Dip and Grip range, which is favoured among parents including Vogue Williams, is launching into 16 Mamas & Papas stores across the UK and Ireland with a view to rolling it out across more stores over the coming months. Having grown exponentially since its inception in 2013, the brand is also available online and in selected SuperValu, Boots, Dunnes Stores, Mothercare and independent pharmacies nationwide in Ireland. While studying for her master’s in education, Moran won a student entrepreneur competition with an idea she had for a crawl suit to help babies’ development in modern home environments. From this, Cognikids was born and now has four additional functional products for babies and young children. Moran has appeared on TV as an expert in this field in Ireland and the UK, including a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain and can be seen regularly on Virgin Media TV’s Ireland AM as its child development expert.



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Serial entrepreneur Mark Roden is the man behind the highly successful company Ding, which enables people who are working abroad to support loved ones back home by facilitating the instant transfer of credit topup to any mobile phone, anywhere, anytime.

Q: How is life and how is business at present? MR: Life is really good! Ding is growing

tremendously well. We are experiencing double-digit growth and expanding with new partners we had never engaged with previously. Ding tops up prepaid mobile phones and, given that 80% of the world’s phones are prepaid, there is huge everincreasing demand for mobile top-up. We have just passed 400 million top-ups sent on Ding since we started in 2006. New offices in 2019 include London and Moscow, which brings us to eight international locations. We are also continuing to add more mobile operators and have recently surpassed 500 operators across 140+ countries. Q: Would you say you always had a business head on your shoulders? MR: I have always had a very strong

interest in business, even during school. The business head came from all my various jobs over the years, both part-time and permanent. They all add up and at the end of it you have a set of experiences that give you perspective when making decisions.


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Q: What would you say has been the secret to the success and impressive global growth of Ding? MR: People need to keep their prepaid phones

connected which means they need top-up regularly and our service helps them to do that quickly and easily. Over the past ten years the importance of staying connected has grown exponentially as everyone needs data. Access to data is both a basic need and life-changing and people are very reliant on their mobile phones. This has been highlighted to us on a number of occasions. One which sticks in my mind was in 2010. I was in the office looking at our top-up transaction screen which shows live transactions being sent from senders to receivers. A few minutes later, the screen just lit up with thousands of top-ups flying endlessly from New York and Florida to Haiti. At first, I thought it was a software blip, but in fact it was the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti as relatives in the US could not get through to their families back home. With they could send top-up through to mobile phones to be able to speak to them and see if they were OK. Overnight our volumes exploded and I realised the power of top-up for staying connected. We had built the largest mobile phone top-up network without realising it! InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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“Overnight our volumes exploded and I realised the power of top-up for staying connected. We had built the largest mobile phone top-up network without realising it!”

Mark Roden, Chairman and Chief Executive, Ding


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Q: What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship and the types of start-ups emerging here in recent years? MR: Entrepreneurship is something which


In 2005, Mark Roden sold his previous business easycash, which had introduced in-store ATMs into Ireland. After the sale, he took his family for a holiday in Dubai and one morning went for a coffee and got chatting to an Indian waiter. He told Roden that he was working in Dubai to support his family back home in India by sending money remittances every month – but he said that if he wanted to speak to his wife in Bangalore really quickly he would text her a PIN from Indian mobile operator BSNL, which he had bought from a local shop in Dubai. It was a cumbersome, expensive process. Roden began to think of ways to automate it and to make it easier, more cost effective and global for all users in emerging markets.

Mark Roden

Q: You recently appointed Paul Duffy as head of finance. How important has the team around you been in the success of Ding? MR: Paul is a fantastic addition to our

finance team. The fact that we need such an experienced Head of Finance in addition to our Chief Financial Officer highlights the increasing growth and complexity of our business. We now have 250 employees across eight international cities and they are all core to our success. In the past few months we have also appointed a number of fantastic people to our senior team – including a new Chief Commercial Officer, Rupert Shaw, a new Chief Marketing Officer, Christelle Chan, and a new Chief Technology Officer, Barbara McCarthy. They all bring a wealth of experience with them and I am enjoying working with them immensely. Q: What are your mantras in business and how have they kept you going and your business growing? MR: ‘Speed wins every time’, and ‘If it’s worth

doing, it’s worth measuring’. I can’t claim either of them as my own originally, they were coined by Steve Kaufer. 16

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has played a big part in my life. I have always been attracted to people who say, “I can change this!”. As a founding board member of the Endeavor programme in Ireland, I believe that jobs, innovation and prosperity all come when there is real support for entrepreneurs. Ireland has a vibrant start-up scene, and I’m looking forward to playing a role in mentoring and advising some of the incredibly talented entrepreneurs we have here. Q: Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to get a business off the ground (and also be selected for the Endeavor programme)? MR: Make sure your service is addressing

a real need and get big fast! Endeavor is looking for high impact entrepreneurs those with the biggest ideas; the greatest potential to achieve meaningful scale; and the ability to inspire, mentor, and reinvest in the next generation. We want entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a real impact and bring about real transformation in their home markets and beyond. Q: Would you like to highlight some recent key achievements/ news at Ding? MR: In short, we are in the middle of

an aggressive growth strategy. We are expanding to the UK and Russia. We’re continuing to make a real push online and that business is seeing tremendous growth. We’re also growing our partnership network around the world, including increasing our mobile operator network. The opportunity for Ding is really significant. Q: Where would you like to be in five years’ time with Ding? MR: Much bigger! I would like to see Ding

being the word that people say every time when they want to top-up their phone. That means being connected to every mobile phone operator in every country and to every prepaid phone in the world. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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Patrick Farrell, Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB


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Paul McCarthy

With plans to grow its mobile workforce from 100 to 150 over the next four years, Permanent TSB is focused on bringing cutting-edge technologies, combined with much-needed faceto-face support and advice to small businesses and solo entrepreneurs – something which Patrick Farrell, recently appointed Retail Banking Director, believes represents a significant alternative in the market. n September a new guilt-free snacking brand, Cali Cali, was officially launched with a two-day pop-up experience at Permanent TSB Grafton Street in Dublin. Tom Gannon and Niall McGrath, who introduced the successful Fulfil brand, have co-founded Cali Cali with celebrity chef Donal Skehan. At the immersive event at Permanent TSB Grafton Street, the public had the chance to sample the products and enjoy Skehan’s cooking demos with some of Ireland’s leading influencers and personal trainers. Around 150 people were queuing outside waiting for the pop-up to open, driven by social media. The innovative marketing event epitomises Permanent TSB’s new SME strategy, which is focused on partnering with small businesses, not just in terms of their banking needs, but also as advisers to help them to launch and grow. It is paying particular attention to micro businesses and solo entrepreneurs, having identified that this end of the market is underserved. “We see ourselves as having a bigger role to play than just providing finance to small businesses. It is really important ten years on from the financial crash that banks get back to being advisers. We are making sure to develop the products and services smaller businesses need, but more importantly, the relationships they need that they don’t get elsewhere,” says Patrick Farrell, Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB. “Common feedback about banks is that people feel they can’t talk to anyone anymore. We want to change that perception.” Currently with 30,000 SME customers on its books, Permanent TSB doubled lending to this sector this year to reach €65m. “Our ambition is to take 10% of this market over the next four years by building out a service and advice model which offers a significant alternative to these customers. We believe banks need to step up by giving support and advice to people starting and running businesses,” says Farrell.


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Patrick Farrell, Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB

we are trying to do now on top of this with our mobile workforce is to invest in building competency in the core sectors of the economy such as agriculture, retail and manufacturing. Larger small businesses need bankers who really understand their sector. We intend to train people internally and will be looking to bring in specialist talent as well.”

ONE OF OUR MAIN OBJECTIVES IS TO MAKE CUSTOMER DIGITAL JOURNEYS FAST AND EFFICIENT IN ORDER TO FREE OUR PEOPLE UP TO SPEND MORE TIME ADVISING CUSTOMERS In Farrell’s view, Permanent TSB is ideally placed to partner with micro businesses and solo entrepreneurs in this way. For starters, it is a community-based organisation in existence for 203 years all around the country. In addition to its 78 branches based at the heart of communities, it has put 100 mobile staff on the ground who will visit and advise personal and business customers whenever and wherever suits them. 20

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At present 20 of these field staff are dedicated to the SME market and this is to increase to 70 in the coming months. “Our field staff go to meet small business owners, listen to what they are trying to achieve and advise them on how they can go about that as well as helping to arrange credit or other services. Their job is to be out there full time supporting the SME network,” explains Farrell. “Based on customer feedback, what

When it comes to serving the small and micro business community, technology is an important aspect of Permanent TSB’s new SME strategy. Last April, it committed to investing €100m over three years to bring world-class technology to its customers. So far, it has launched personal loans and credit cards with instant decisions on mobile phones. The next iteration of consumer products and services adaptable to tablets will be introduced in Q1 next year with new digital solutions specifically designed for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs following in the second half of 2020. “We are doing a lot of research with potential small business customers to understand what causes them hassle, such as having to process invoices or Vat returns after doing their core work. To address these challenges, we are looking at technologies that will make life easier for our customers and add value to them,” says Farrell. “The new services will be provided using a subscription-type model, similar to Netflix. This puts the customer in control in terms of what features they want to pay for and what is valuable to them. We are collaborating with fintech companies to bring features to the market that don’t exist today.” As the business model evolves, Permanent TSB is very mindful of getting the balance right between human relationships and technology. For example, its research has shown that at the lower end of the small business

Paul McCarthy

Digital investment


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market there is more of a demand for technologies to enable customers to get quick decisions and make things easier, while the higher end is more interested in accessing sectoral expertise on the ground. “One of our main objectives is to make customer digital journeys fast and efficient in order to free our people up to spend more time advising customers,” says Farrell. Achieving the ideal blend between people and technology has been a key aspect of the upgrading of Permanent TSB’s branch network. It has been investing in modernising its branches on a continuous basis in recent years to make them nicer places to visit and create a bright environment combining technology with well trained staff. Most recently, the Grafton Street branch was reopened and renovations have been carried out on branches in Tallaght in Dublin, Castlebar, Co Mayo and Patrick Street in Cork City. The concept of digital advisers has also been tested in some branches. Digital video booths have been installed where customers can access specialist advisers via video link. “This will allow us to bring all specialist advisers to every location,” says Farrell. “Bank branches are very different today to when I started out in

the financial services sector 20 years ago,” adds Farrell, who took on the role of Retail Banking Director at Permanent TSB last December. “Within the branches, we have been spending a lot of time training people to be more front-of-house, while also ensuring our mobile staff can deal with an external environment. Our brand is our people and the experience customers have. There is a big opportunity in the industry to rebuild that faith and trust in banking and show the human side of the business.” Farrell’s retail mission at Permanent TSB is to change the impression people have that you can’t meet anyone in a bank branch any more. “When I think of other types of retail outlets, the ones I remember most are those where staff members are visible, engage with you and make eye contact. It can be simply about asking is everything OK or can they help with anything. I want to try to create the same experience in bank branches,” he explains. “Our branches are great retail spaces in high footfall areas and we feel they should be utilised to the fullest for small and start-up companies. We hope to do more with Cali Cali and are reaching out to other businesses to offer up our branches in a partnership way.”

The launch of Cali Cali at Permanent TSB Grafton Street in September


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COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Denis O’Sullivan, Branch Manager of the Permanent TSB branch in Midleton, Co Cork, represents Permanent TSB’s brand in a nutshell, according to the bank’s Retail Banking Director, Patrick Farrell. “Denis is living, working and contributing to life in the local community. He has been involved in helping to get seven houses built for elderly people in the town, does training with the local GAA club and is on the board of the local school,” says Farrell. “We have many great local heroes like Denis around the country who are really invested in their local community.” On a national level, the bank engages with the community by building strong community partnerships such as its relationship with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, providing financial support to local charities through the work of the Staff Charities Fund (€218k to Barretstown and the Alzheimer Society this October) and by engaging employees in volunteering initiatives that enable it to have a positive and meaningful impact on communities across Ireland. In the coming weeks, Permanent TSB will be launching a Community Fund to enable it to increase its impact.


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What started as hobby has now become a billion-dollar industry and the esports phenomenon has well and truly reached Irish shores, writes Sinéad Moore.

sports, or electronic sports, is organised, competitive video gaming with multiple players battling against each other, usually in teams. Titles such as ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Fortnite’ are among the most popular. Thousands of fans pack arenas around the world to watch tournaments with millions more watching online via streaming platforms such as Twitch. The League of Legends World Championship drew a whopping 205 million viewers in 2018 – that’s more than the Super Bowl. This surge in popularity has made millionaires of the top players. Total global prize money in 2018 exceeded 22

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US$160m, according to the esports earnings website. The growing earnings potential of esports was further highlighted by July’s Fortnite World Cup in New York where US teenager Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf (16) won US$3m. Dublin teenager Joshua Juliano (17) took home US$50,000 from the same event after finishing in 58th position. Winners of the International Dota 2 Championships in August earned around US$34.3m with the winner taking home over US$15m. The PwC Sports Survey 2019 identified esports as the sport with the highest potential to grow revenues and, according to analytics company Newzoo, revenues of global esports will grow to US$1.1bn in 2019, representing a year-on-year growth of 26.7%. On its current trajectory, Newzoo estimates the global esports market could generate US$1.8bn in 2022. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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PUTTING IRELAND ON THE MAP While Irish players like Juliano and ‘Call of Duty’ pro Jordan Crowley have made international headlines, the Irish esports industry is still very much in its infancy, according to Bryan McNamara, co-founder of Dublin-based esports operator RAID Studios. “There is scope for Ireland to become a major international hub for esports in the next decade through education, training, live events and regular esport broadcasts,” he says. Founded in 2017, RAID Studios is a thirdparty expert service provider to brands and game developers. “We work closely with brands such as Red Bull that wish to develop a close and authentic relationship with competitive gamers in Ireland through their international competition Red Bull Player One,” McNamara explains. “We advise the team in Ireland on how to reach and engage the maximum number of players, while designing an exciting tournament format complete with regular broadcasts from Ireland’s only esport production studio. This all culminates with tens of thousands of hours watched on and hundreds of fans showing up for the live event finals. This is how smart brands like Red Bull are capitalising on the ever-growing gamer demographic.” And it’s not just Red Bull capitalising on the trend. A number of traditional sporting clubs – including Paris Saint-Germain, which now has its own ‘League of Legends’ team – have also recognised the opportunities available. Trevor Keane, esports strategist and consultant and founder of Kilkenny-based start-up Sportego, works with clubs, players and brands, helping

LEFT: Christian Fuchs’ virtual jersey for FIFA 2020 designed with Sportego BELOW LEFT: Bryan McNamara, co-founder, RAID Studios BELOW RIGHT: Trevor Keane, founder, Sportego


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them to understand and navigate the world of esports and offer esports as an extension of their brand. One of his biggest collaborations is with Leicester City defender Christian Fuchs. Keane helped Fuchs set up his own esports team and fill it with top-class, competitive players. He now helps manage these players on a day-to-day basis and identify commercial opportunities for the team. What started as a concept has now turned into a huge commercial success for Keane and Fuchs who are celebrating the release of FIFA 20 which will feature a virtual jersey – complete with sponsorship – designed by Keane and his team on behalf of Fuchs. “That’s an example of where you can go on this journey,” notes Keane. For Keane, changing people’s preconceived perceptions of what esports is all about and getting more brands to recognise the global opportunity will really take Ireland to the next level in this industry. “It’s going to take a bit of a shift in thinking to see it all come into place and that’s going to take time; it takes education, but it also takes somebody breaking through the blocks,” he says. “We have to build success stories like Joshua Juliano and find reasons for brands to get behind esports.” Keane sees Ireland’s rich ecosystem of software and tech companies as a huge opportunity to tap into the esports industry. “There are definitely 1,000 to 2,000 job opportunities in Ireland around content creation, performance data and team management and ownership,” he says. 24

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TOP LEFT: Intel and partners announce technology collaborations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in areas including artificial intelligence and immersive experiences TOP CENTRE: Pictured at the Lero esports science research lab are, from left, software lead Prof Conor Ryan, postgraduate researcher Yueying Gong, and lab director Dr Mark Campbell

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE Another huge opportunity for esports in Ireland is within universities. Irish Collegiate Esports, the official representative body for esports competition for third-level students in Ireland, is paving the way in this space. McNamara has been working closely with Irish Collegiate Esports to create third-level based national competitions through clubs and societies for the past three years. “The interest and growth here has been fantastic, both from students, colleges and brands such as Red Bull and Marvin. ie,” he notes. “The growing third-level base of competitive players is how we are building our ‘path to pro’, so that aspiring esport athletes will have a strong background in local, national and international competition if they are aiming to pursue an esport career,” he adds. However, Ireland is still lagging behind the likes of the US in terms of esport scholarships and third-level courses. According to McNamara, “a mind shift is needed by groups like the Sports Council, FAI, IRFU and GAA to understand the benefits of engaging this young audience”. “RAID Studios, along with Irish Collegiate Esports, will be working to create an understanding of the benefits of supporting Irish InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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esport athletes in a formalised and recognised manner. Since we already have teams representing all of Ireland in multiple esport genres, why shouldn’t we give them the support of the nation?” he asks.

LEADING THE WAY Ireland’s first esports research lab opened this year with the aim of helping to grow global visibility of Ireland in this rapidly expanding industry. The lab is located on the University of Limerick campus, at the headquarters of Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Dr Mark Campbell, director of the Lero esports research lab, highlights the significant gap in the market and the opportunity the Lero research lab hopes to harness: “This is a massive growth sector. Top professional players can earn millions of dollars per annum. However, unlike other professional sports, there has been very little application of sports science to the participants to date.” Campbell says esports is “still the Wild West in terms of scientific principles”, adding that these principles don’t necessarily transfer directly over from traditional sport. The key goal of the lab is to try to establish scientific principles behind esports expertise, Campbell explains. “Our research lab will combine health science and computing to identify what makes a great player. For example, we will work on psychometric software incorporating eye tracking and brain imaging to measure the InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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ABOVE: International Olympic Committee Esports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2018

neural, cognitive and physical attributes of the most effective players.” Researchers will work with both professional and amateur players monitoring numerous functions from mouse grip to players’ peripheral vision and aural range. The studies are designed to boost performance of international amateur and professional esports players. Lero has already conducted initial research at international events, analysing players of the most popular esports games including ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ and ‘League of Legends’. “We’re very early in the whole area of esports science so it’s nice to get in at the ground level and put Ireland on the map,” says Campbell. Campbell also highlights the potential for collaboration with sports analytics companies. “The great thing about esports is that it’s a lovely natural lab because everything is recorded,” he says. Keane also sees this as huge growth area in Ireland. “You have this world that has embraced digital but has yet to really embrace data and things such as tracking player performance within games. That’s something you will see coming to the fore in the next 18 months,” he says.

SKY'S THE LIMIT As research continues and popularity grows, esports, both in Ireland and globally, is only going to get bigger in the coming years. Intel and the International Olympic Committee, the governing body of the Olympic Games, recently announced the Intel World Open esports tournament, which will be held in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Summer Games 2020. The tournament will kick off with online qualifiers in early 2020 where any player at any level can compete for a chance to join their national team. A live qualifier event in Katowice, Poland, in June will determine which teams will advance to the championship esports tournament in Tokyo from July 22-24, 2020. Closer to home, the Insomnia Gaming Festival is due to take place in the RDS on November 9-10.



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SCALING NEW HEIGHTS With over 25 years of experience in running, scaling and then investing in technology companies, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Atlantic Bridge Elaine Coughlan is now a member of the founding board of directors of Endeavor Ireland, which aims to support and accelerate high-impact entrepreneurs in this country in a unique way.


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n 2007, GloNav, a US technology company with an Irish R&D base founded and backed by Atlantic Bridge, was sold to NXP Semiconductors for US$110m. It was only three years after Elaine Coughlan co-founded Atlantic Bridge as a small technology fund of under e10m. “GloNav had leading technology in the area of GPS and an incredible, talented team of Irish engineers. Semiconductors is a capital intensive business where you have to raise significant capital to build the chip before revenues can ramp up. Just as we were winning key sockets of capital we received an inbound M&A offer. GloNav technology went on to be scaled into hundreds of millions of mobile phones including the Samsung Galaxy,” she explains. “While it was a very successful company and we sold just as the financial crisis of 2008 was gathering pace, it would have also have been very satisfying to see the global scaling results of the team’s hard work.” GloNav is just one of the many impressive company success stories during Coughlan’s career. Before establishing Atlantic Bridge in 2004, she had built up more than 15 years’ experience of running technology companies and taking them public on Nasdaq. She served as Chief Financial Officer or Vice President of Finance for three Irish technology Nasdaq initial public offerings – Parthus, Iona and Smartforce. “It was a natural move to use all of that experience to start a new business, Atlantic Bridge, with my two partners and co-founders. This meant moving into and learning a new industry – asset management within financial services. Having both operational and investment expertise is invaluable and helps our companies to scale,” she notes.


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Today, Atlantic Bridge has almost e1bn under management with a global platform, headquarters in Ireland and offices and staff in the US and China. “We have invested in over 70 companies which employ over 3,500 people – that’s a metric I am proud of in terms of bringing innovative technology to customers and people,” says Coughlan. ENDEAVOR PROGRAMME A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a qualified Chartered Director, Coughlan has been named as one of Europe’s Top 50 Inspiring Women in Technology and one of Europe’s Top 100 Women in Technology and was appointed by the Irish Government to the board of Enterprise Ireland. In September, she attended the inaugural meeting of the founding board of Endeavor Ireland. Chaired by The Edge from U2, the board line-up also includes Alan Foy, Group CEO, Blueface, Anne Heraty, CEO, CPL Resources, property developer Paddy McKillen Snr, Denis O’Brien, Interim Group CEO, Digicel and Mark Roden, Chairman and CEO of Ding. Three more directors will join by the end of this year by which time Endeavor will have opened an office in Dublin covering the whole island.

ABOVE: Elaine Coughlan BELOW: Pictured after the inaugural meeting of the Endeavor Ireland founding board of directors were The Edge, Board Chair, and fellow board members Mark Roden, Ding; Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge and Anne Heraty, CPL Resources


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ELAINE COUGHLAN ON… WHY IRISH ENTREPRENEURS STAND OUT “Irish entrepreneurs have great focus on customers and being innovative in solving customers’ problems, which is what business is all about. They tend to be domain experts in their field, which again customers value highly, and they bring that value-add to their products which we [at Atlantic Bridge] find are world class and compare favourably with the best of the best.” CRITERIA FOR INVESTMENT “When assessing companies to invest in, Atlantic Bridge looks for differentiated leading technology that can be defended with a really strong entrepreneur and management team. Although we are in the capital business, ultimately we are really in the people business. It is all about the people and the team we back as it is the people that make most businesses successful.” CULTURAL INFLUENCE “I was involved in the early days of my career while very young with great Irish companies such as the Smurfit Group which drove a culture of excellence in its business. There were no limits in the belief as to the global potential of the company, which is one of the most successful Irish-grown companies as a result. I think I took that view and culture regarding global scale being critical and essential with me into Irish technology companies.”

A global not-for-profit organisation, Endeavor connects entrepreneurs with talent, capital and a worldwide peer and mentor network. The Irish arm will work with enterprise agencies and the wider entrepreneur ecosystem in Ireland and Northern Ireland to enhance the existing support services provided to entrepreneurs on the island. Coughlan sees the arrival of Endeavor in Ireland as significant for a number of reasons: “Endeavor only opens in countries where it feels the entrepreneurial ecosystem is at a tipping point and vibrant enough for the platform and network to have an impact globally on those companies. So, it’s a great reflection on the maturity, depth and strength of Irish entrepreneurs that Endeavor has opened in Ireland,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s about creating a lasting societal benefit for Ireland, supporting home-grown entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to their fullest potential and in turn creating and keeping jobs in Ireland.” Acknowledging that Ireland already has a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, Coughlan says what Endeavor offers is unique and the founding board members see it very much as an opportunity to complement the current supports provided. “There are already many good existing supports for entrepreneurs here, including those offered by Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI. Endeavor has a number of attributes which differentiate it: it is global in over 37 locations worldwide; it is a pre-qualified network of founders who have gone through the rigorous Endeavor qualification process; and it consists 100% of founders of which there are over 2,000 who are part of the Endeavor network.”


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SELECTION PROCESS Between four and six entrepreneurs or businesses will be selected in Ireland each year to participate in the now world-renowned Endeavor programme, following a rigorous selection process which culminates in an international selection panel. The initial qualifying criteria include candidates being able to demonstrate that their business has the potential to scale at least 10 times beyond its current size. “Ambition to scale is critical and with that ambition come lots of rewards but also lots of hardships. We need to see that ambition for their business from candidates. If you want to scale your business globally, there is no better platform that will help you to do that than Endeavor. I have met Endeavor entrepreneurs from around the world and have seen lots of compelling and effective case studies that prove the positive difference and value the programme has brought to their businesses,” advises Coughlan. “Ireland is a small home market with 5 million people so, in order to scale, Irish businesses need to export and grow internationally. Key to that are the large markets of the US and Europe, but also emerging markets globally, in Asia [particularly China and India], Africa and Latin America. “These markets are becoming increasingly important to Irish businesses – 50% of the world’s GDP will be generated in Asia by 2040 and 40% of all consumption will be by Asian consumers, so any business that wants to be international will need a strategy for these markets. They can be challenging markets to enter, so Irish entrepreneurs need relationships and knowhow to be successful. Endeavor can provide that access and knowledge.” InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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Founded by Paul Prendergast and Peter Bermingham in 2016 and acquired by CPP Group the following year, Cork-based Blink is disrupting the travel insurance market with its innovative, automated, real-time solutions.

Q: Why did you decide to set up Blink and how did you come up with the idea? Paul Prendergast: Insurance as a sector was one of the last industries to be disrupted by technology and we felt there was a huge opportunity to work with insurance providers to improve the customer’s experience by leveraging technology. Peter Bermingham (CTO and Co-founder) and I launched Blink in 2016, representing the world’s first realtime flight disruption resolution solution. Our solutions leverage data and technology to provide

an automated insurance experience. This allows us to resolve travellers’ flight disruption with no claims process, no paperwork and no queues in the airport. Q: How have you grown and developed the business? PP: Early on we decided to partner with large incumbent insurance companies as opposed to going directly to consumers. We are lucky to work with global insurance companies that want to innovate, and we enable that by providing all the technology and services needed to launch the Blink flight disruption solution. Large organisations struggle with innovating and partnering with a start-up efficiently is a great way


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of making things happen quickly. We are currently ‘live’ in North America, Singapore, Australia, Turkey and the UK with some of the world’s largest insurance companies. We have 12 people on the team primarily focused on technology and we plan to grow this number over the next 12- 24 months. Q: How significant was the acquisition of Blink by CPP Group in 2017? PP: This was one of the first insurtech acquisitions globally and has given us a great foundation upon which we are building our business globally. The team at CPP have kept Blink separate to ensure we can

still move at speed, but our clients see us as the safe end of the start-up world as we are now part of a publicly quoted company. Q: Can you explain the business model and what’s different about what Blink does? PP: We are a B2B2C business. Our clients are typically global insurance companies. Our expertise is within our parametric insurance platform which is unique in itself. Parametric insurance simply offers a predefined amount of cover based on the probability of a predefined, triggering event occurring during a given period. To date, Blink parametricbased solutions span the travel, climate and energy sectors. Clients can selfserve, assessment is data-led and claims pay-outs are immediate – all of which would not be the norm with traditional insurance solutions. To give an example of what we do, once a traveller


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application program interface.

registers their flight details, Blink monitors that flight in real-time. Any flight disruption that occurs to the registered flight automatically results in a traveller being notified instantly. Real-time event notification allows for realtime problem resolution. Once a disruption occurs, the traveller is immediately offered service choices that can instantly remove the stress and consequences of the disruption. These may range from offering an airport lounge, to offering cash which is immediately deposited into the traveller’s bank account, through to booking and paying for a hotel whilst also booking a new flight. The objective of this game-changing, realtime flight disruption insurance solution was to enable the traveller to take direct control of how to manage the disruption. This is insurtech at its best – uniquely delighting customers with real value, saving time and stress, and providing assistance through a simple, seamless solution with the speed and convenience they demand. This is a multiuser, multi-lingual platform and 100% automated. It can fully integrate with our clients’

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the partnerships you have formed to date? PP: This year has been really exciting for us. We launched partnerships with Blue Cross Canassurance Group in February and in August with both Pluto in the UK and Manulife in Canada (known as John Hancock in the US). We are also really proud of our longstanding relationships with Generali, Hong Kong, Munich Re and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in London. Our business development and integration teams have been stellar. We are really fortunate that our reputation has helped to open doors for us along the way with insurance companies that are ready to introduce a step-change to their business and customer relationships. Our commercial strategy has been to enable our insurance partners to innovate and to collaborate with them to build new experiences for their customers. The industry feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are on track to achieve 3 million travel users alone by the end of 2020. Q: Why was being part of the (FCA) Sandbox in the UK important to Blink’s journey? PP: In 2016, insurtech was still in its early stages and the overall segment needed


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Paul Prendergast

industry validation. The FCA involvement certainly assisted in providing credibility very early in the company’s formation. The regulatory sandbox allows businesses to test innovative propositions in the market with real consumers. Blink was the only insurtech as part of the first cohort of the FCA’s Sandbox ‘Safe Place to Innovate’ programme in 2016. Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as a small business? PP: The biggest challenges are scaling for growth, keeping focused on our strategy and ensuring our entrepreneurial culture stays in place.

Paul Prendergast

Q: How do you deal with competition? PP: We are always happy to see competition – it is the very start of the market growth and there is huge opportunity for a number of successful players. Our job is to overdeliver for our partners and to innovate quickly.

Q: Any other news or expansion plans you can share with us? PP: We will be announcing a number of major partnerships by the end of 2019, as well as announcing details around new industry verticals, Internet of Things, energy and climate, in 2020.



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Continuous innovation is essential for long-term success both for organisations and the economy as a whole. Sinéad Moore discusses the importance of teaching staff to think and behave differently in this context.



E V I INNOVAT s the threat of a hard Brexit continues to loom, and the pace of digitisation and automation quickens, the importance of learning to generate new

ideas is paramount. But what can be done to ensure that workers are equipped with the skills and capabilities for innovation and perhaps, more importantly, can innovativeness actually be taught? While innovative thinking comes easily to the tech-savvy Generation Z – a generation entirely comfortable with digital technologies and transformation – employers need to think of the workforce as a whole in order to help both older and younger generations adapt to change and learn to be more


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disruptive with ideas. The first step in teaching staff to think and behave differently is training and upskilling. Upskilling staff encourages workers to increase knowledge, competence and performance levels. Encouragingly, the number of people participating in training and upskilling programmes through Skillnet Ireland increased to 56,182 in 2018 - almost 7,000 more than in 2017 – with a total of 16,462 companies benefitting from Skillnet Ireland supported upskilling programmes, an increase of 1,450 compared to 2017. “The single greatest decision an organisation can make to enhance and future-proof their business is to invest in the upskilling of their teams,” says Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland. However, despite increased numbers of InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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companies seeking support in upskilling their staff, a study conducted by Trainers’ Learning Skillnet and the Irish Institute of Training & Development found that the majority of Irish organisations (69%) don’t provide specific innovation training for their employees, while 8% said they didn’t know if their organisation provides innovation training. Skillnet Ireland Executive Director Tracey Donnery stresses the importance of investing in innovation skills and capacity: “If we want Irish businesses to compete in a global marketplace, we need to ensure that organisations increase the capacity of their people to innovate effectively.” “Innovation is a game-changer that pushes individuals and organisations beyond existing boundaries or limits,” adds Sinéad Heneghan, CEO of the Irish Institute of Training & Development and Promoter of the Trainers’ Learning Skillnet. LEADING BY EXAMPLE With a lack of innovation training an obvious concern, workers across the country have begun taking matters into their own hands in order to stay ahead of the curve. The Hays Ireland ‘What Workers Want Report 2019’, which surveyed 2,100 employers and employees across Ireland, found that six in 10 Irish employees are covering the cost of their own upskilling and training. The report stresses the importance of supporting employees’ development so they don’t feel forced to upskill themselves in isolation and without proper guidance. “Training and upskilling is vital, not least for employee retention but to attract new employees and future-proof the workplace,” says Maureen Lynch, Director at Hays Ireland. “Employers should avail of the resources at their disposal, such as training programmes, to assist with upskilling staff. It is essential that employees feel prepared, confident and equipped to deal with changing workplace demands and requirements from employers.”

POSTGRADUATE INITIATIVE Trinity College Dublin has launched a regional postgraduate certificate aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs or those who wish to bring innovative solutions to their organisations. It will be offered through four new regional centres in Waterford, Tipperary, Cavan and Longford from September 2020. The new Level 9 (NFQ) Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise Development is being offered by Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, in partnership with Springboard+ and aims to act as a launch pad for those wishing to start, re-start or pivot their careers. “Participants will learn to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their approach to problem solving and acquire a range of problem solving and lateral thinking skills, which will assist in new enterprise creation, along with providing better and more productive employees for enterprises across the country,” says Head of Education at Tangent Dan Rogers. The programme takes place over 20 weeks and offers participants flexibility with 70% delivery online and 30% delivery in class. The course is free for homemakers or those in receipt of jobseekers benefit. A fee of 300 applies to those in employment. Those taking part in the course will have the opportunity to work from Tangent’s new workspace, co-located with the new Trinity Business School on Pearse Street. The new facility, which is open to all students, alumni, entrepreneurs and innovators, has been specifically designed to foster the creation of ideas, with flexible workspaces and event space providing for co-working and innovation for all. Chief Executive Officer at Tangent Ken Finnegan commented: “In Ireland, two-thirds of all new employment is being generated by new enterprises less than five years old. Innovative thinking is going to be paramount for all enterprises to effectively compete in an ever-changing landscape.” The workspace, which opened in September 2019, is set to invest 36m in aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs by 2020. Minister of State Pat Breen gave his full support to the initiative. He said: “Educating and mentoring future innovators and entrepreneurs is crucial if we are to stay ahead in an ever-changing global market. Ireland is ranked 12th out of 126 countries in the Global Innovation Index. With educational support and investment in place through Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, we can expect to move up the rankings in the near future.”





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CULTURE IS KEY Research by Kaleido Insights revealed that the number one innovation challenge large corporations face is the ability to foster an internal culture of experimentation and innovation. However, according to the Hays Ireland ‘What Workers Want Report 2019’, employees actually increasingly want a workplace that embraces change and facilitates innovation. The Workfront State of Work 2019 report found that while 64% of workers in the US and the UK say their workplace regularly asks employees to think of how they can do things in a completely new way, 58% say they’re so swamped with getting day-to-day work done that they don’t have time to think beyond their daily to-do list. Mike McDonagh, Managing Director, Hays Ireland, recommends fostering an open culture of innovation and lifelong learning

where workers are supported in learning and upskilling and encouraged to generate and develop ideas. “Building this culture will enable your workforce to feel confident in their ability to use new technology and be open to change, enabling them to continuously adapt in line with changing technology and making technology adoption in the workplace a success,” he says. The report by Trainers’ Learning Skillnet and the Irish Institute of Training & Development suggests that innovation training should involve both ‘soft’ skills linked to creativity, ideation etc and ‘hard’ skills linked to concept development, project management and implementation. The report

also calls for clear, structured guidelines and processes to be put in place to evaluate and measure the success of innovation training. Over time, innovation training can produce cultural shifts yielding benefits for employees and organisations in the form of improved understanding and communication and an environment that encourages new ideas and innovation. Leadership support at an organisational level and a clear and well communicated innovation strategy coupled with specific innovation training are the keys to success.


CASE STUDY: PHOTOVOICE AT DELOITTE DELOITTE RECOGNISES THE BENEFIT OF TEACHING WORKFORCES TO THINK DIFFERENTLY WHILE ALSO ACKNOWLEDGING THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING THEIR EMPLOYEES BETTER. Working with Dr Maria Quinlan of the Pink Flower Company, Deloitte undertook an innovative exploration of the challenges faced by parents in the workplace balancing the demands of family life with career progression. Using a participatory photography research method called Photovoice, Dr Quinlan worked with 11 parents at Deloitte, providing them with cameras for three weeks to capture photos that symbolised their everyday struggles. The employees were encouraged to think outside the box and use their creativity to describe their unique situations. Deloitte put trust in its employees and showed a genuine interest in understanding the challenges they face. “Many companies measure issues such as employee satisfaction using surveys and focus groups. While these can take the temperature of an issue within an organisation, they don’t get under the skin of the issue in any real depth and can also be quite a turn-off for staff,” says Quinlan. “Qualitative methods such as Photovoice allow for a more in-depth, nuanced exploration of what are actually multi-layered, complex phenomena. At the same time, the use of photography empowers staff to tell their stories creatively.” Quinlan adds: “It takes an emotionally mature organisation that is very open to learning to use this kind of method to give employees a voice. Employees who feel heard and seen by their organisations are happier and more engaged.”


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CHAT Sharon Cunningham, co-founder, Shorla Pharma

“We are currently fundraising and beginning recruitment of our

Our first product for breast and ovarian cancer will launch on the US market in 2021.”

key personnel.

Named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 in September, Sharon Cunningham started Shorla Pharma with Orlaith Ryan in January 2018. The company has developed a pipeline of innovative pharmaceutical products focused on women’s and children’s cancers. The patient’s needs are at the heart of our innovation guided by our vision of delivering more effective, less toxic products. Our products will provide a major contribution to patient care and ultimately enhance patient outcomes around the world by delivering affordable and accessible products. We have raised e2m and have recruited a strong globally positioned team with a proven track record and the industry network to ensure the products are funded, developed and commercialised. We have already progressed two of our products to initial Public Health Authority review with the Food and Drug Administration in the US. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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At Shorla Pharma, we work with clinicians and key opinion leaders to create commercially viable solutions to problems faced in the current clinical setting. We collaborate with hospital cancer groups to ensure our products are solving these problems and will be prescribed by oncologists. One example of our products is a treatment for children with cancer. There is a very effective drug already on the market, but it is only available in a large capsule form which young to children cannot swallow. Parents are ensure our products are opening the capsule and mixing it solving these problems with things like juice, but the drug is and will be prescribed by dangerous to the carer and there is oncologists.” a danger the child isn’t receiving the appropriate dose. We have developed an oral solution which the child can drink safely in the home setting.

“We collaborate with hospital cancer groups


14/10/2019 11:55


Eileen Carroll, Managing Director, Púca

MESSAGE RECEIVED Mobile communications is the fastest and most efficient way for organisations and brands to interact with their customers. Dublin-based Púca has been at the forefront of the mobile revolution, helping businesses to use emerging technologies to create new, useful and rewarding ways of engaging with their customers and staff.


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Founded in 2000, Púca is a mobile marketing solutions agency, helping brands build and deliver successful mobile and digital engagement strategies. With a team of 14 staff operating out of the organisation’s Dublin office, Púca’s offering spans mobile messaging (SMS, app push and email services); app development (for iOS, Android and Windows); responsive web design; and integrated digital campaigns and promotions across web, mobile and social media. Eileen Carroll, Managing Director at Púca, describes the company as “a facilitator of mobile communication”, providing the InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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technology and services for customer engagement with a particular focus on interactive messaging services. Carroll joined Púca in late 2001 and has been with the company ever since, helping steer its development into one of Ireland’s leading mobile solutions specialists for business and brands. Having recently been appointed Púca’s Managing Director, the last 12 months have been an exciting time for both Carroll and the organisation as a whole. “We’ve had great success across all of the sectors we operate in, both on the apps and the messaging side of our business, especially with financial services, insurance and utilities companies where the consumer trends are all towards mobile-based and messaging-based communication,” Carroll says. MOBILE SOLUTIONS With over two decades of experience, Púca has helped organisations from every sector make mobile apps and messaging an integral part of their business processes. Púca’s clients are as varied as their needs with customers using Púca’s messaging services for a range of business functions from marketing to customer care, credit control and operations. Púca has helped develop well-known, award-winning mobile apps including the MyCornmarket app (a customer policy information app), My3 (the mobile operator’s dedicated customer app) as well as the Arnotts Wonder app (the mobile app for the Arnotts Department Store Wonder Card loyalty programme). The Púca developed TravelWise app (delivered by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) has been a particularly useful tool for Irish citizens during natural disasters and emergencies abroad. The app provides Irish citizens with important information about travelling abroad including key emergency location and contact details. The goal of the app is to enhance Irish safety and support while abroad. MULTICHANNEL ENGAGEMENT The mobile marketing and communications industry has seen a lot of changes since 2000, with competition in the sector increasing. “Back in 2001 when I started we were one of a very small handful of companies doing InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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MOBILITY Customers can be anywhere when they decide to contact you and convenience and accessibility is vital. They want to be able to find you easily, and they want information in handy bite-sized chunks whether on your app or your website.


USER EXPERIENCE Always remember that mobile customers are not passive consumers – if your service isn’t convenient or relevant they will simply opt out. Ask yourself whether you offer a better user experience than your competitors.


PUSH COMMUNICATIONS Push is a great way to reach out to customers, but are you availing of all the options and even more importantly, is your database correctly opted in and GDPR-compliant? Make use of email and app push as well as SMS to see what works best for you.


PROFILING Content should be relevant, timely and personal. Create buyer personas to ensure your message is relevant, and get personal by using first names where you can (while adhering to GDPR legislation).


INTEGRATION Companies want their customer care and payment communications processes to be completely frictionless for their customers. Apps which link customers with key customer care features and account information are becoming increasingly popular.


NAVIGATION Navigation is a key feature of smartphones. Remember that if your company can help a consumer in a practical way in their daily lives, you’re well on the way to winning their trust and loyalty.


GIVING Referral schemes (using unique codes) are a great way of using mobile technology to issue rewards to new and existing customers that can be redeemed in real time.

interactive mobile marketing for a limited number of consumer brands. Now you’d be hard pressed to find a sector that’s not using messaging across most departments,” Carroll says. The mobile engagement specialist’s customer-centric approach helps it to stand out from competition, according to Carroll: “We focus our software roadmap on what our existing customers want. Customers value that we are improving the product to meet their expectations.” One of the biggest challenges for Púca is “staying focused on our core business and not getting sidetracked into tempting but non-strategic projects,” Carroll explains. “We haven’t always succeeded, but now we’re much better at saying no.” As the mobile industry continues to adapt to new technologies and innovations, Carroll says things have gone full circle in recent years with customers and brands alike now seeking a more well-rounded, multichannel experience. “I think we’re witnessing a convergence between apps and messaging. In a way we’ve gone full circle from SMS messaging to apps and back again to a more multimedia experience with web chat, iMessage and RCS [rich communication services].” “Another big driver of developments in the messaging space right now is the area of identity and fraud prevention,” Carroll adds. Púca’s multichannel approach helps businesses achieve compelling and effective customer engagement, integrated across mobile, desktop and social media. Looking ahead to the future, Púca hopes to take its mobile messaging platform, Impower, international. “We’ve recently launched a major new upgrade of Impower, which we’ve been rolling out with selected clients over the past few months. It’s been getting great feedback so far and we’ll be launching lots more innovative new features on Impower over the coming months to help our clients communicate and transact with their customers through various messaging channels,” Carroll explains. “It’s a product that has huge potential internationally and that’s something that’s in the planning stages at the moment - watch this space!” she adds. 37

14/10/2019 11:58



Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan talks to InBusiness about the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund introduced in 2018 and its progress to date.

Launch of DTIF call 1 on 10 December 2018


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Q: Why is the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) significant from a global perspective? JH: One of the first funds of its kind in the world,

the DTIF falls under Pillar 1 of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland framework, which looks at embracing innovation and technological change. In 2018, the Government included the €500m DTIF as one of the National Development Plan funds under Project Ireland 2040 as a means of creating the right conditions to facilitate collaboration to invent and develop the technologies required to embrace the opportunities and challenges we face. One of the main ambitions of the fund is to assist Ireland in becoming a global leader in technological change. Ireland’s current strategy for research and development, science and technology, Innovation 2020, was launched by our Department in 2015. Its central vision is for Ireland to become a global innovation leader. The DTIF has huge potential to assist Ireland in acquiring a global status in the field of innovation in line with this vision.


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Q: What are the DTIF’s achievements so far would you say? JH: The DTIF has delivered on the key objectives

set out for the fund. It has provided a mechanism for fostering deeper and wider RD&I collaborations between the public and private sectors in key technology areas in Ireland and especially between large firms and SMEs. It has stimulated industry and the research community to build on research undertaken in Ireland and is supporting them in leveraging that research. The level of interest in DTIF Call 1 (over 1,000 organisations involved in 300 projects submitting an expression of interest) illustrates the demand that exists for such a fund. We look forward to seeing the fund achieve its objectives when the commercialisation of new technologybased solutions from that research is rolled out. Q: Can you make some general observations about the SME and start-up led projects in phase 1 of the DTIF? JH: SME participation in the collaborations was

a mandatory requirement, which reflected the Enterprise 2025 renewed ambition to enable the indigenous enterprise sector to grow to scale and increase international visibility. We were pleased to receive applications from SMEs representing each of the six research priority areas in Call 1: health and wellbeing, ICT, manufacturing, food, services and business processes and energy, climate action and sustainability. The health and wellbeing

area was the most heavily represented sector, which illustrates Ireland’s strength in this sector. There are 17 SMEs that are leading successful projects, with project values of up to €6m – a clear signal that company size should not restrict the ambition and capacity of Irish companies to compete and innovate at a global level.

Minister Heather Humphreys at the announcement of €100m under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund on 7 July 2019


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CASE STUDY: ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR COASTAL AREAS TechWorks Marine and the DCU Water Institute are collaborating on this threeyear project following the joint award of 1.1m from the DTIF. It will involve the commercialisation of the DCU Water Institute’s optical sensor technology and its integration with the advanced data analytics capabilities of TechWorks Marine. The decision support system will be based on information from a network of remote sensor nodes present in coastal waters capable of providing real-time monitoring of water quality parameters that are robust, reliable and cheap, integrated with multiple sources of largescale data. The information can be used by organisations such as regulatory agencies, commercial companies or Government Departments. “Our joint ambition is to transform the way we monitor the coastal zone at a global level. We are bringing together leading international experts in TechWorks Marine and Dublin City University,” says Charlotte O’Kelly, Managing Director of TechWorks Marine, which has almost 20 years’ experience in the provision of oceanographic equipment and world-class solutions to monitor the marine environment both in Ireland and overseas.

Minister Heather Humphreys at the announcement of €100m under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund on 7 July 2019

Q: Can you tell us about the DTIF’s second call? Will it be any different than the first call? JH: The second call of the

DTIF launched on 5 July 2019 at an event in the University of Limerick, which was attended by over 300 participants. Details on Call 2 were advertised on the Department’s website and social media platforms, and through our enterprise and development agencies and key stakeholders. The closing date for applications was 18 September. An international panel of experts will be busy over the coming months reviewing and evaluating the submitted projects under Call 2. We hope to announce the successful projects from this call later in the year. Call 2 is similar to Call 1 with some minor changes to the criteria to enhance industry participation and collaboration, but with ultimately the same goals – genuine collaborations, SME and industry participation, and exceptional disruptive technologies.


15/10/2019 09:56



James Clear


No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving -- every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

The secret to maximising your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition. Learning to play a game where the odds are in your favour is critical for maintaining motivation and feeling successful. People who are talented in a particular area tend to be more competent at that task and are then praised for doing a good job. They stay energised because they are making progress where others have failed, and because they get rewarded with better pay and bigger opportunities, which not only makes them happier but also propels them to produce even higher-quality work. It’s a virtuous cycle. Pick the right habit and progress is easy. Pick the wrong habit and life is a struggle. HOW DO YOU PICK THE RIGHT HABIT? The most common approach is trial and error. Of course, there’s a problem with this strategy: life is short. Thankfully, there is an effective way to manage this conundrum, and it is known as the explore/exploit trade-off.


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In the beginning of a new activity, there should be a period of exploration. In business, it’s called split testing. The goal is to try out many possibilities, research a broad range of ideas, and cast a wide net. After this initial period of exploration, shift your focus to the best solution you’ve found — but keep experimenting occasionally. The proper balance depends on whether you’re winning or losing. If you are currently winning, you exploit, exploit, exploit. If you are currently losing, you continue to explore, explore, explore. Google famously asks employees to spend 80% of the workweek on their official job and 20% on projects of their choice, which has led to the creation of blockbuster products like AdWords and Gmail. IF YOU CAN’T FIND A GAME WHERE THE ODDS ARE STACKED IN YOUR FAVOUR, CREATE ONE. Scott Adams, the cartoonist behind Dilbert, says: “Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average stand-up comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it.” InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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WHEN YOU CAN’T WIN BY BEING BETTER, YOU CAN WIN BY BEING DIFFERENT. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that favours their strengths and avoids their weaknesses.

This is an extract from ATOMIC HABITS An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones By James Clear. Published by Random House Business Books.

SPECIALISATION IS A POWERFUL WAY TO OVERCOME THE “ACCIDENT” OF BAD GENETICS. The more you master a specific skill, the harder it becomes for others to compete with you. Even if you’re not the most naturally gifted, you can often win by being the best in a very narrow category. Our genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on. Once we realise our strengths, we know where to spend our time and energy. We know which types of opportunities to look for and which types of challenges to avoid. The better we understand our nature, the better our strategy can be.

James Clear, an American author, entrepreneur, and photographer, writes about habits and human potential and tackles the age old question of “How can we live better?” James’ advice: “I believe the best way to change the world is in concentric circles: start with yourself and work your way out from there. If you get yourself sorted out, then that is one less person for the world to worry about. You’ll be in a position to contribute rather than consume. You will add order rather than disorder.”


14/10/2019 12:05


Purpose & Profit Catherine Walsh, Head of CSR at The Reputations Agency discusses the importance of CSR on reputation.


e have entered a New Dawn of CSR. Larry Fink, the Chairman and CEO at Blackrock, is responsible for more than 6 trillion dollars in assets for one of the world’s largest global asset management firms. In his open letter to CEOs, he advocates for practices that he believes will drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability. He insists on the importance of companies serving a social as well as a financial purpose – to prosper over time, companies must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how they make positive contributions to society. Traditionally business has focused on the financials. But business is now sitting up and listening and CSR is finally being talked about in the boardroom. Fink also writes about the fact that Millennials – who today represent 35% of the workforce have a focus on purpose and have new expectations of the companies they work for, buy from, and invest in. In the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, millennial workers were asked what the primary purpose of businesses should be – 63 % more of them said “improving society” than said “generating profit”.

We often find that our clients are doing many things that would improve CSR perceptions, but not getting credit for them because they are not talking about them. 42

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We have seen an evolution of the concept of CSR. The initial CSR concept focused on the environment and included carbon footprint, and recycling. We are now in a new era of CSR with a more systematic definition informed by EU and Irish policy. This new era definition says CSR is the responsibility of enterprises for their impact on society across four pillars. The public now demand that companies recognise their business activities and operations have social impacts and there is increasing pressure to demonstrate that your business serves a social purpose as well as a commercial one. Yet we observe many organisations focus only on philanthropy or environmental impact, ignoring workplace, community and marketplace. Ireland is ahead of the average in the importance the general public places on CSR, based on our comparison of Ireland RepTrak® results against our global partner Reputation Institute’s results in other markets. In Ireland, the three CSR dimensions (Citizenship, Governance and Workplace) drive 46.3% of an organisation’s reputation with the general public. CSR is more important to an organisation’s reputation in Ireland than what you sell or the service you provide (30.2%) or how you bring your product/service to market at the operational level (23.6%). What are the benefits of an organisation having a strong CSR score?

There is a strong link between an organisation’s CSR score and the general public’s belief that the organisation is genuine about its corporate purpose. While everyone is now talking about CSR, only the organisations who manage to convey their CSR strategy in a way that the public feel is authentic reap the rewards. Between 40% and 79% are either neutral or not sure about what the top 100 companies are doing in CSR. This presents a great business opportunity for organisations to tell their story. There is no question that getting cut through for CSR stories is difficult in our oversaturated media environment, but communication is key. Communicating your CSR activities opens the opportunity to convert people who aren’t convinced about whether you are or aren’t doing the right thing in Citizenship, Governance, and Workplace to positive perceptions. These fence-sitters may swing either positive or negative, depending on whether they hear good or bad things about you (or your sector) in the future. We often find that our clients are doing many things that would improve CSR perceptions, but not getting credit for them because they are not talking about them. The majority of informed public cannot mention anything specific that the top 100 organisations are doing to be a good corporate citizen. This proportion typically ranges from a low of 56% to a high of 91% for InBUSINESS | Q3 2019

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The Environment

Reducing, reusing or recycling resources to minimise negative environmental impacts.

The Community

The Workplace

Your interaction with your local community partners and organisations.

Supporting and engaging with your employees.

individual companies. When we ask what each organisation should do to improve its reputation, they spontaneously respond with a considerable appetite for information about corporate citizenship achievements of companies. For some great examples of organisations that are getting recognised for their CSR efforts check out this article by our Partners Reputation Institute at Today, organisations are more widely scrutinised based on their alignment with social causes, their behaviour, their organisational values and the internal culture they create. The public are more attuned to the reputation of an organisation than ever before and, for the public, actions speak louder than words. We have seen

this considerable appetite for news about what the business world is doing to contribute to the well-being of society, the planet, and their workforce sharpening each year. We set up our CSR Division to deliver specialist expertise to help our clients exploit this opportunity, appreciating all the nuances of potential for the public’s scepticism. We know our work has helped our clients improve their business results, as well as their reputations.

The Marketplace

The responsible commercial decisions your company makes in dealing with suppliers and customers

Catherine Walsh, Head of CSR, The Reputations Agency

About the Author Catherine Walsh is Head of CSR at The Reputations Agency where she collaborates with business to build CSR Strategies that bring societal and business performance benefits.

InBUSINESS | Q3 2019

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15/10/2019 10:04

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Kildare Chamber brings companies to Boston County Kildare Chamber led a trade mission to Boston from 30 September to 4 October. The five-day visit involved 15 companies joining the Chamber on their second trade visit of the year, having previously visited Scotland in April. Kildare County Council, LEO Kildare and Maynooth University were also on the trade mission, which is the first of a five-year commitment to visiting Boston annually to help companies to explore opportunities in the US. The companies that attended included Bank of Ireland, CarveOn, General Paints Group, Madigan Cashmere and Queally Group.


CHAMBER COMMENT “Perhaps it may become necessary to have an interim budget should the threat of Brexit recede. Ultimately, it’s the big things, like affordable housing and childcare that businesses will need to see much more progress on in the months and years ahead.” Chambers Ireland President Siobhan Kinsella on the Budget 2020 statement on 8 October

Left to right: Bernie Everard, CEO Laois Chamber, Minister Charlie Flanagan, Martin Crowley, President Laois Chamber and Louise Phelan

New Chamber for Laois


aois Chamber was launched on 24 September with the aim of being inclusive and welcoming to all business, large and small. Outlining the vision for the Chamber, CEO Bernie Everard said: “Laois is an untapped county that is a hidden gem and a vibrant Chamber is crucial to help and encourage growth.”


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She added: “Laois has three unique selling points that I can see: it offers great ease of movement from town to town with a superb road infrastructure that connects urban and rural locations quickly and conveniently; there are tourist possibilities in the county that are under the radar and we have a very vibrant agri-food sector.”


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Major push to ‘Get Galway Moving’ Galway Chamber raised the urgency of Galway city’s traffic problem with TDs in Leinster House on 25 September, calling on all members to get behind the Chamber’s campaign to ‘Get Galway Moving’. Dave Hickey, Chamber President outlined: “Traffic is the number one issue facing our members and every community, business and public amenity in our city every day. We are making it the number one priority of Galway Chamber to highlight this issue at every turn, to raise awareness, to press for progress, to encourage dialogue, resolution and compromise – whatever is required to get the Galway Transport Strategy and the Galway City Ring Road projects to completion.”


Team Tullamore, which consists of Tullamore Tidy Towns, Tullamore & District Chamber and Offaly County Council, launched an anti-litter campaign called ‘Dashboard Dining’ in August, calling on all businesses in Tullamore to encourage their patrons to take responsibility for their takeaway cups and packaging items.

Aviation report calls for regional balance


ntensified competition between Irish airports over passengers and airlines will have severe consequences for economic activity and jobs outside the Greater Dublin Area, a report by Copenhagen Economics has warned. Commissioned by Limerick Chamber and supported by Launch of the aviation report Shannon, Ennis and Galway commissioned by Limerick Chamber Chambers, the report found that significant capacity expansion planned for Dublin Airport will make it very difficult for other airports to maintain current routes and passenger levels. It also means that other airports will not be able to act as a catalyst for regional growth as foreseen in Project Ireland 2040 and the Regional Enterprise Plan. The report calls for a roadmap for more balanced growth in the regions that builds on a closer integration of aviation policy with enterprise policy as well as initiatives to improve Shannon Airport’s global connectivity.

CHAMBER COMMENT “Chambers across Ireland are uniquely positioned to advocate for local development and sustainable communities. Our network values the necessity of driving sustainable development and advocating for economic, social, and environmental equality for all.”


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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, on chamber commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals


16/10/2019 14:35


Cork Events Centre project progresses

Toys4Engineers – Event of the Year


he Chambers Ireland Event of the Year, Toys4Engineers, took place on 10 October at WIT Arena in Waterford. Organised by Waterford Chamber in association with Waterford Institute of Technology, the aim of this event is to showcase the talent and innovation that exists within the engineering, tech and pharma industry on a national level. Now in its third year, it’s the ideal event for anyone from start-ups to multinationals looking to showcase their product, share ideas, learn the latest innovations in technology, generate sales leads and expand contact bases.

CHAMBER COMMENT “Increased investment in our grid infrastructure will be critical if we are to improve our energy security into the future. Not only will the Interconnector improve the resilience of our energy supply, it is also a strategically important investment, enabling more efficient access to the EU’s Internal Energy Market post-Brexit.”

Cork Chamber has welcomed the recent announcement by Government on the Cork Event Centre. Paula Cogan, Cork Chamber President, said: “While we have maintained confidence in the government support for the project, the announcement confirming funding and a contracts process is a major step forward in the future delivery of the essential Cork Event Centre. We urge all parties to move forward with haste to complete that contracts process to ensure an early contract start date.” The delivery of the 6,000 capacity venue at the site of the former Beamish & Crawford brewery holds significant potential for the future development of business and tourism in the region.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot on the announcement of a n530m investment from the EU for the Celtic Interconnector

Welcome to the network

Gerry McInerney, CEO, Athlone Chamber

Gerry McInerney has joined Athlone Chamber as CEO following a long career in Bank of Ireland. He brings a wealth of experience to the chamber in business management and finance. With an in-depth knowledge of the Midlands, having been Head of the Bank of Ireland in counties Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, McInerney is a keen sports fan and dedicated supporter of Connaught Rugby Team. The newly formed Laois Chamber has appointed Kildare native Bernie Everard to the role of Chief Executive Officer. With a BSc in Food Business from University College Cork and a Post Grad Dip in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership from University College Dublin, Everard is an experienced businessperson. She was a member of the County Kildare Chamber for the past seven years.


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Bernie Everard, Chief Executive Officer, Laois Chamber


16/10/2019 14:36


Prudence welcome but more measures needed Emma Kerins, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Chambers Ireland provides its reaction to Budget 2020, which is sensible in terms of preparing for a no-deal Brexit but didn’t go far enough in the areas of affordable housing, green investment and childcare.

With the return of the Dáil and the Seanad in the middle of September, so comes the final few weeks of lobbying and advocacy ahead of the Budget announcements in October. This autumn was no different to previous years, where Chambers Ireland briefed the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight, met with officials from the Department of Finance and from various political parties and hosted the second annual Chamber Budget Dialogue event in the Merrion Hotel. The message of our member Chambers at these engagements was that Government needed to plan for the long-term challenges for the economy, as well as taking steps to ensure they could prepare business for the severe consequences of a No-Deal Brexit. Ahead of Budget Day on 8 October, we called on Government to take steps to improve delivery of affordable housing and ensure that strategies and investment were in place to support the decarbonisation of the economy.


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Cautious approach As expected, the budget delivered by Minister Donohoe for the year to come was prudent and focused largely on a range of measures to support Irish business in adapting to a no-deal Brexit. These measures, which include additional funding for impacted sectors, will be widely welcomed by the business community should a no-deal occur. Under normal circumstances, with the economy performing as well as it has been, it would be fair to expect a more expansionary financial plan, with reliefs and supports for business, consumers and entrepreneurs. However, as set out by the Minister, this is an uncertain and unprecedented time and a more cautious approach was taken. While the prudence must be welcomed, it was felt strongly by our members that Government could have made efforts to pair this with additional actions on housing, decarbonisation and childcare. The approach by the Government to increase the Carbon Tax and ring-fence


the revenue is extremely welcome in principle, but it is our view that these measures do not go far enough. We had called on Government to ring-fence all revenue from carbon tax, which is likely to exceed e500m in 2020, not just the revenue from the increases. So, we would like additional clarity on what the Government’s medium-term intention is on this.

Missed opportunity Further, while the types of green investment that the Government has announced are welcome, including the initiatives to support the Midlands, it’s difficult to see the approach as anything more than a missed opportunity. We could have used this Budget to do much more to support investment in grid infrastructure, a nationwide roll-out of electric vehicle charging points and the retrofitting of homes. Linking the carbon tax to tangible actions that help to decarbonise the economy will be essential if these taxes are to gain public acceptance. If carbon taxes are to change behaviour, then low-carbon alternatives will need to be available in both urban InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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Members of the Chamber Network at the Chamber Budget Dialogue Day at the Merrion Hotel

and regional areas. While public transport will play a large role in urban areas, the regional areas will need the widespread take-up of electric vehicles, and this will need considerable investment in our electricity grid. To add to this, our members need to see an advance multiyear schedule of committed increases, rather than an unspecific commitment, so that they can plan and invest accordingly. This schedule needs to come in tandem with an ongoing impact assessment to understand how these tax increases are supporting green investment and whether they are contributing to a reduction in the use of carbon fuels and a switch to more environmentally friendly behaviour.

Housing issue The supply of affordable and appropriate housing remains a critical issue for the business community, affecting productivity, recruitment and inflating wage growth demands. With so many economic threats on the horizon, policy uncertainty would discourage investment, therefore the maintenance of InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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existing housing policies, such as Rent Pressure Zones and Help to Buy, is useful. But while this certainty is welcome, an independent review of all our housing policies is essential so that any wasteful policies can be culled, and those resources made available for the most effective measures that will support supply and affordability. There needs to be a more ambitious vision for housing policies and this vision must integrate the requirements of the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan. For example, while we welcome the continuation of the Living City Initiative, for it to be effective it needs to be amended so that it benefits a broader range of urban areas, and the Government has an opportunity to amend this in the Finance Bill. Last but not least, the reforms to the KEEP scheme and the increase to Earned Income Tax Credit, which are long over due, will be well received by the selfemployed and entrepreneurs. While the Minister has been adamant that there will not


be another budget if a nodeal Brexit emerges, perhaps it may become necessary to have an interim budget should the threat of Brexit recede. Ultimately, it’s the big things, like affordable housing, green investment and childcare that businesses will need to see much more progress on in the months and years ahead..

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot and President of Chambers Ireland Siobhan Kinsella, pictured with Shannon Chamber, Minister Pat Breen, Timmy Dooley TD, Helen Downes, Chief Executive of Shannon Chamber and Minister Patrick O’Donovan and Caroline Kelleher, Shannon Group


15/10/2019 14:16


Brexit update Gabriel Doran, Communications and Media Executive in Chambers Ireland, provides an overview of latest developments and advice to businesses on Brexit preparations as the deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU becomes ever closer.

With the final deadline for a deal to be reached with the EU for the UK fast approaching, preparation and reviewing the potential impact of a ‘no-deal’ scenario on business models remains the most viable approach fthe best way for businesses to prepare against all the uncertainty. UK political developments around Brexit continue to be fast-moving, with the Johnson Government losing a crucial vote in the UK Parliament on a bill to block a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario in August as well as losing a vote on holding an early general election, meaning that unless a deal can be reached by 31 October 2019 or sooner, the UK must request a further extension to the Brexit deadline from the EU. The Johnson Government’s suspension

of Parliament, which would have lasted until 14 October, was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court in London, with MPs returning to sit in Parliament at the end of September. At the time of writing, the EU had demanded that written proposals detailing alternative solutions to the backstop be provided prior to the EU Summit on 17-18 October.

Guidance documents Against turbulent political developments and a swiftly approaching deadline, the EU Commission and Irish Government have published further guidance documents for businesses to prepare for the likelihood of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, which Chambers Ireland urges all businesses across Ireland who trade directly or indirectly with the UK to take


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account of and review with urgency. As recommended in the Irish Government’s latest guidance document, Irish businesses can take ‘practical steps’ to prepare for a potential ‘no-deal’. Key steps include the review of supply chains for any contact with goods or materials to the UK market, as well as how Brexit will cause market conditions to fluctuate in the areas of currency risk and the UK market customer base. For the import and export of goods, new customs and regulatory requirements will apply with the UK being designated with ‘third-country’ status. Businesses should consult with Revenue for further detail and consider whether an EORI number from Revenue is required also. For Rules of Origin on customs duties around the import/export of goods, businesses should contact their local Chamber for details and with the Department of Agriculture for agri-food trade. A further practical step is to avail of the


various Government supports for the detrimental impacts of Brexit. These include a Future Growth Loan Scheme for businesses from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation suitable for agrifood businesses, a Brexit Loan Scheme from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and a Brexit Advisory Service from InterTradeIreland. There are many advice and guidance documents available for businesses, provided by Government departments, State agencies and the EU Commission, which Chambers Ireland strongly urges all businesses to engage with in the remaining period before the 31 October deadline and in its initial aftermath, all of which can be found in the Brexit section of our website


14/10/2019 12:45


Chambers to lead the way on SDGs Chambers Ireland highlights the progress that has been made in the Chamber network in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

This September, on the fourth anniversary in of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all affiliated Chambers across Ireland announced that they have pledged their commitment to the SDGs. This involved all our Chambers, including Chambers Ireland, making a commitment to uphold, promote and implement the SDGs throughout the work that they carry out. Chambers will integrate the framework of the SDGs into their daily operations, advocate for the goals locally and create or support policies that reflect the SDGs. Our network values the necessity of sustainable development and believes in the need to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the communities around them. Each Chamber plays an integral part in creating a sustainable environment to work and live, and they collectively work together on achieving a prosperous future for Ireland.

While this is the first collective effort by our Network to embrace the UN goals, Chambers are no strangers to the pursuit of sustainable development. Catering for their wide business membership, they host events and seminars, create partnerships with other local organisations and advocate for policies that will make their communities a good place to do business. This can be seen through various initiatives such as establishing women’s networks linked to gender equality (SDG 5) to calling for public transport reflective of sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). Through the work of our member chambers championing the SDGs, Ireland will be in a better position to lead on the SDGs globally and achieve some of the key national targets such as around climate action and gender equality linked to the goals. We hope that Chamber activities, in addition to the global effort, would see all of the 17 goals achieved and implemented by 2030.


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United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the 17 SDGs, was adopted by the 193 Members States of the United Nations (UN) in September 2015. The SDGs cover a range of commitments that seeks to end poverty, protect the environment, develop a sustainable economy and many more. The 2019 SDGs Progress Report found that progress has been made on a number of goals and targets over the past four years. They have become a pivotal benchmark for sustainable development in Ireland and abroad. Chambers are also well represented internationally through our membership of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The ICC is the only business representative organisation with UN Observer status, and as a result has been very proactive in the implementation of the


SDGs within the business community, including the production of a Business Charter for Sustainable Development. For more information on our work and the work of our sister organisation the ICC, visit our website at


14/10/2019 12:21


Long-term view InBusiness caught up with Peter Byrne, CEO of South Dublin Chamber, to hear his insights into the chamber network in Ireland and internationally and how things are going in his own county. Peter Byrne, CEO of South Dublin Chamber

Q: You have been CEO of South Dublin Chamber since 2001. What does it mean to you to be the longest-serving CEO in the Chamber network? A: It’s a nice position

to be in as you can see the patterns and challenges that chambers have coped with over that period. The high turnover of CEOs in chambers, particularly with the smaller ones, concerns me. I feel without consistency in our CEOs around the country we are at a disadvantage in trying to further grow and develop our network. Q: What are the burning issues currently facing businesses in South Dublin? A: Talent shortages,

infrastructure (mainly roads), public transport and Brexit. In addressing these, in the short term we work with recruitment companies and our international partners to highlight employment opportunities and also look at where education


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and training may help resolve the shortages. In the longer term we work with our partners South Dublin County Council, TU Dublin and other agencies to see how we can provide a framework going forward to ensure problems such as congestion may be alleviated. Q: For any business thinking of locating in South Dublin, what would you say the region has to offer? A: South Dublin

County is only 25 years old, so you have a real sense of youth and vibrancy in the area. Our connectivity is second to none with Dublin Airport, Dublin Port and all major roadways such as the M50, N4 and N7 easily accessible. Our population is 278,749 and, as part of the Greater Dublin Area, our businesses have easy connectivity to 40% of the people living in Ireland. All the major multinationals are located here in business parks such as

Citywest and Grange Castle and many of the most successful Irish businesses are also here, including the headquarters of CRH. Q: Can you highlight some important recent developments in South Dublin? A: The large number

of foreign direct investments coming into the county has greatly added to the mix of businesses here and has brought welcome opportunities for those who wish to work locally. The evolution of our Institute of Technology into a Technological University offers greater opportunities in education. We have seen strong growth particularly in the ICT, pharma and logistical support sectors. A key vote of confidence is the number of local businesses which are expanding. There is also major work being undertaken to futureproof our water and power supply.


Q: Can you tell us about your experience of working with Chambers around the world? A: I have worked with

over 1,000 chambers from every continent in the world – some are private law chambers like we have here in Ireland, some are public law which is part of the state system like in Germany and some are a cross between the two like in India. When you see the ingenuity and innovativeness of chambers, particularly those with very limited resources, it creates great energy to bring back to Ireland. Having visited chambers in many countries, you do see some core principles emerging that are true to all chambers. These include active engagement with members, responding to real needs with affordable interventions and having strong, independent income streams.


14/10/2019 12:22


Personal employee support Chambers Ireland has partnered with Health Assured, the UK and Ireland’s largest employee assistance programme (EAP) provider, to offer employers a solution to improve the wellbeing of their workforce.


elivery of health services is changing at a rapid rate. Whether you’re new to the unique benefits of an employee assistance programme (EAP), or have worked in the healthcare industry for years, it can’t have escaped your notice that health and wellbeing — especially in the workplace — is now a primary concern for most businesses. There’s a rapidly growing marketplace for strong, compassionate health and wellbeing care — after all, improving employee wellbeing reduces staff sick leave, boosts morale and makes productivity soar. The comprehensive EAP being offered in partnership with Health Assured is a complete resource of wellbeing services, including: • A 24/7, 365 day a year helpline This offers counselling and advice, accessible at any time. It smooths out personal and work-related problems — 85% of adults feel stress often, and a third feel under


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stress for a full day per week. With these helplines in place stress is reduced, wellbeing is boosted, and the workplace is healthier and happier. • Structured counselling Staff can access up to six sessions of counselling per issue, per year. This is invaluable as often simply talking about a problem means finding a solution to that problem. And these sessions are available via phone, online or face-to-face, with a network of counsellors around Ireland ready to help. • Online services These include a smartphone app and web portal, providing advice and guidance whenever needed. • Wellbeing workshops These help staff to learn to manage stress, deal with trauma, and cope with life’s changes. The workshops can be delivered at a time and place to suit the client.


•O nsite trauma support Sometimes, things happen at the workplace that are outside the scope of normal events. When these traumatic events happen, you need immediate support. Health Assured’s expert team can be on-site within 48 hours to deliver effective counselling, advice and debriefs. •W histleblowing People need to know that they’re safe in the workplace, and that mechanisms are in place to report wrongdoing or danger. A dedicated whistleblowing helpline, providing confidentiality and expert guidance, is invaluable in fostering that trust. If this sounds good — and remember, all this is designed to make the lives of your people easier, so morale and productivity skyrocket — talk to Health Assured today on 01 886 0324 to find out more about how your organisation will benefit.


14/10/2019 12:26


Promoting urban living Shane Conneely, Senior Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland, explains why urbanisation policies focused on housing more people within the towns and cities of Ireland are so important in the current climate.


ur towns and cities are facing a crisis. Successive decades of bad planning have hollowed out our town centres and the density of our housing is among the lowest of the countries in the OECD. The hearts of our towns feel it. We’ve all travelled to European cities where life continues into the night; where living above each shop and restaurant there are three and four floors of families. These households shop, play, and work locally – living at a density that promotes prosperity. And these are cities of every era. Much of Paris dates from the nineteenth century but with less space than Dublin it is home to four times the population. Two million people live within a 30-minute cycle of each other. Some of the costs associated with our sprawling population are obvious; the individual costs of fuel, insurance, parking, and depreciation are large, but less obvious costs can be just as significant. Productivity declines in line with commuting and innovation reduces as people don’t have the time for skills development


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and developing personal projects. Most importantly, social contacts become frayed by spending hours each day in transit missing out on the opportunities and inspiration that come during the time spent talking and engaging with others.

GEOGRAPHY AND INNOVATION A recent paper by economist Enrico Moretti emphasises the importance of geography to innovation. Looking at the US, he was able to show that communities of innovators make the individuals in them more productive (in terms of patents). Moving to an innovation centre makes people more productive, while innovators moving away from an area makes those who remain less productive. Geography matters, proximity matters. When we have Irish workers regularly spending hours commuting it hurts the wider economy. We know that our domestic economy lags behind our peers in terms of productivity. Housing and commuting are major causes of stress and anxiety for people throughout the country,

and we are among the worst polluters per head of population in Europe. Thankfully there is a policy which benefits everyone: returning life to our town centres. Densification will make real reductions to our carbon budget. We are now trapped in our cars, and by our cars. Our roads require so much investment that there is little left for mass transit, while the lack of reliable, consistent, frequent services discourages people from relying on public transport, trapping us in a negative, inefficient equilibrium. Bringing people back to town cuts intra-urban travel needs, while the scaling population makes investment in mass transit options feasible.

REGULATORY BARRIERS The regulatory framework is the cause of much of the market failure that we are experiencing. We need not aim for Parisian levels of density, but cities like Paris and Vienna show how old building stock can be used. Much of our building regulatory framework in Ireland is unsuited for updating old accommodation. The application of modern standards to existing housing stock prevents architects signing off on improvements to buildings which do not perfectly align with how modern buildings are built; stairs that have served a building for 100 years shouldn’t need to be ripped out because the banisters don’t meet a 2008 requirement. Refurbishing flats above shops is essential to quickly expanding the supply of housing and is a simple and inexpensive way of doing so. A e40k two-bedroom flat will house people as well as a e400k new build that’s 15km from a town centre. And the flat above the shop will fulfill this need where social services, parks, schools, and health services already exist. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

14/10/2019 12:28


BUILDING UPON THE LIVING CITY INITIATIVE When we created the Living City Initiative (LCI) in 2013 its primary aim was to support the upkeep of our cities’ old Georgian cores. In the Chambers Ireland 2020 Pre-Budget Submission we called on Government to continue this programme, to create a similar scheme that is appropriate for the urban regeneration of the old market towns. The cities would benefit from such a programme too as all five NDP growth cities have areas which can’t benefit from the LCI and are just as much in need of regeneration as our regional towns.


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There are some who will say that they don’t want to live in urban areas, and that’s fine, they shouldn’t have to. But there are those who do want to live urban lives and the current regulations prevent them from having the choice to do so. Stalling policies which will help these towns to grow actively hurts the people who are underserved by our current housing options.

We have a lot of problems to solve as a nation in the coming years. Our planning and regulatory framework shouldn’t be making them worse. Instead, we should be encouraging and incentivising these urbanisation policies as even those who will never live in a town or city will reap the benefits of a cleaner environment, lower cost public services, and less congestion on our roads.


14/10/2019 12:28


Trade challenges but arbitration opportunities Recent activities by the International Chamber of Commerce Ireland were focused on the most pressing challenges faced by businesses, including Brexit and climate action, as well as the opportunities they present, particularly in the area of arbitration.

The Paris event organised by ICC Ireland and Arbitration Ireland in partnership with NetworkIrlande

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Ireland, with an extended delegation, embarked on a two-day visit to Paris in September. The first event, which was organised by ICC Ireland and Arbitration Ireland in partnership with NetworkIrlande, took place on 26 September and focused on the challenges and opportunities for Ireland in light of Brexit. Hosted at the Irish Embassy in Paris and attended by Ambassador Patricia O’Brien, the event had a capacity attendance. Both the Hon. Mr. Justice David Barniville and Tony Connelly, RTE Europe Editor and Brexit authority, spoke to the delegation about the history of Brexit, the future for arbitration in Ireland, and in particular the


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opportunities for Ireland as an arbitration centre once the UK has left the EU. The second day involved a visit to the ICC Court of Arbitration where the President of the Court Alexis Mourre gave a welcoming address to the delegation. Subsequently Hélène van Lith, Secretary to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), gave a presentation on the latest reports of the different task forces of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR. Finally, a roundtable discussion with members of the ICC Court Secretariat and the ICC International Centre for ADR followed. The delegation then finished off with a visit to the ICC Hearing Center.

PREPARING BUSINESSES FOR GLOBAL CHALLENGES This year, the ICC published the new Incoterms® 2020. The Incoterms® rules are the world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods. The newest edition is set to prepare businesses for the next decade of global trade in the new digital economy. Aside from preparing businesses for the new global challenges of trade, the ICC has been advocating for the increased role of business in protecting our environment, stating: “Climate action is everyone’s business”. In May 2019, the ICC issued a Centenary Declaration that recognises the escalating climate emergency. It wholly endorses the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of above 1.5°C preindustrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. To amplify this, the Chambers Climate Coalition signed by 2,100 members was launched at the 11th World Chambers Congress in June. The aim of this collection, through the power of their grassroots efforts, is to ensure that climate solutions are deployed at scale to enable us all to create sustainable, more resilient economies.

Left to right: Hon. Mr. Justice David Barniville; Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, RTÉ News; Patricia O’Brien, Irish Ambassador to France, Ian Talbot, Secretary General, ICC Ireland


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SMEs –

the workplace of choice Irish workers see numerous advantages to being employed by an SME compared to a larger company, according to new research released by One4all Rewards.

Good news for small businesses in Ireland, as new research commissioned by One4all Rewards has found that start-ups and SMEs are the workplace of choice for a large majority of Irish workers. Smaller companies in Ireland are perceived to be more attractive in a number of key areas, notably in providing better opportunities for career development, making friends and having the best company culture. The research has shown that twothirds (67%) of Irish people would prefer to work for an SME (10-250 employees) or start-up (less than 10 employees). Irish workers also feel that SMEs and start-ups have the InBUSINESS | Q3 2019

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best office culture, with a massive 71% of respondents in agreement. The ever-growing millennial workforce is also following this trend, with close to half (46%) of those aged 18 – 24 preferring to work in an SME and a further 19% saying they would prefer to work in a start-up. These new findings will come as a major boost to SMEs as they look to compete with bigger companies for the best talent in the highly competitive jobs market. Exactly half of Irish workers feel working for a smaller company allows more opportunities to broaden their skillset, with 46% saying that they feel smaller companies care more about


their career development compared to larger companies. The survey results also show that Irish workers are willing to put in the hours for start-ups and growing companies, with 44% of people surveyed agreeing that they would be more motivated to give up their free time and work longer hours for a smaller company, compared to a large company such as a multinational. Looking at the benefits of working for a smaller company compared to a larger company, 63% feel that if they do good work at a smaller company it is more likely to get noticed than in a large company, which has much more employees with more competition for recognition. Over half (57%) of Irish workers believe that they make better work relationships working for a smaller company, likely due to being part of a smaller team, when compared to larger companies where some staff might feel they get lost in the crowd. This is good news for SMEs, 62% of which still intend to recruit new staff in the next 12 months, despite a slump in confidence spurred by the looming impact of Brexit. One4all Rewards provide tax-free rewards and benefits solutions to help inspire, motivate and engage staff and customers. Find out more at


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Comprehensive experience ESB’s award winning Graduate Programme not only gives recent graduates an opportunity to kick-start their careers in a vibrant and rapidly changing sector, it also provides an important pipeline of talent to support ESB’s strategic ambition to lead the transition to a low carbon future powered by clean electricity.


his year 75 graduates from a range of disciplines, including engineering, finance, IT, HR, commercial and marketing, were selected to join ESB’s two-and-a-half year Graduate Programme. Over this time, participants have the opportunity to develop their careers through a series of structured rotations, enabling them to gain experience on a wide variety of innovative and collaborative projects. The opportunity to gain diverse experience across ESB was what initially attracted Dublin City University (DCU) business graduate Philip D’Arcy to the programme. “My business degree in DCU was quite broad, which for me was a positive, as I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do after I graduated. The fact that the ESB Graduate Programme would allow the opportunity to work in three completely different areas across the business was very positive.”


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D’Arcy spent the first year of his rotation in Group Procurement, working on large-scale project tenders, a role he felt gave him a unique insight across the business. “Working in procurement really gave me the opportunity to see all the business units in action, including ESB Networks, ESB International and Electric Ireland. I quickly discovered that there

BELOW AND OPPOSITE: ESB graduate trainee Philip D’Arcy volunteering in schools and at events

are so many different cogs in the wheel that is ESB. It was great to see such varying commercial ideas and thoughts all working towards one goal, leading the transition to a low carbon future.” D’Arcy, who had spent a college internship working in an engineering company and had loved the experience, was keen to work in a similar industry after college. But as a young GenZer his knowledge of ESB as a company was very much based on its history and role in delivering rural electrification, and less as a diverse and innovative company focused on solutions to deliver a low carbon economy. “I have such a different view of the company now after my first 12 months as an employee. I genuinely had no idea when I first joined about how much innovation was going on across the company, or the level of collaboration with start-ups and other industry partners,” he says. “It’s a very exciting time to be part of ESB and I feel privileged to get the opportunity to see various projects unfold that are ultimately so important in the transition to a low carbon future. Whether it’s the Oweninny wind farm or the ongoing work in the electrification of heat and transport, it’s very inspiring to be a part of such an ambitious organisation.”

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY Graduates are encouraged to embrace all opportunities when on the programme and to live ESB’s values and purpose. Being empowered to get involved in volunteering in schools and communities was something that D’arcy felt was a key factor. “The workplace culture is not what I expected, there are so many opportunities available to staff, be that CSR opportunities or InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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sports and social opportunities. I have taken part in lots of CSR programmes during my time in ESB, including the Generation Tomorrow STEAM workshops and the Time to Count Programme. It is really important to me that I get the opportunity to balance giving back to the community alongside my career development.” Joining a company of 7,000 plus employees can be daunting. Participating in a graduate support network and mentor programme are just some of the options open to graduates to help ease that transition from college to a busy workplace. “Joining a company like ESB with so many staff can certainly be intimidating at first, but I would encourage any new grad in any company to just ask questions, connect up with your fellow grads, learn from grads who are on a second rotation, and just embrace and welcome every opportunity, or challenge, that comes your way,” D’Arcy advises. Now well into his second rotation, D’Arcy has moved to the high pressure trading floor, a challenge he is relishing. “The benefit of rotating into a completely new area is that it gives me the opportunity to learn new skills while also furthering the skills that I learned during my first 12 months with ESB. I’m excited to be part of a company that is playing such a key role in delivering the low carbon energy system of the future. I’m eager to contribute in any way possible, whether that’s through my day-to-day responsibilities or as a volunteer empowering Ireland’s young people to reach their potential and power their own brighter future.” InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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PHILIP D’ARCY’S ADVICE TO NEW GRADUATES Engage and get involved in as much as you can. It is a great way to meet people within the business and you will also learn so much from it. At the end of the day, a graduate programme is more than just a job, it’s a unique learning experience, so make the most of it. If there is an opportunity in your grad programme to volunteer, do it! One of the best things I did this year was to volunteer for ESB’s Generation Tomorrow STEAM education programme which works with partners who empower young people to develop key 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. As part of the STEAM workshops, I was given the opportunity to travel to schools and teach Primary School children how to create an electrical circuit. We did this by building a scribbling robot, which is just as much fun as it sounds. A final piece of advice that I would give to incoming grads, in terms of the role itself, would be to really throw yourself in to it. There is no point in sitting back and just ticking away. If you find yourself with little work to do at the beginning of your rotation, make sure that you let your line manager or mentor know this. The sooner you do the better because if you are working hard, you will get the most of your rotation. Applications for the 2020 Graduate Programme close on 12pm Friday, 25 October 2019. Visit for more details.


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EU-MERCOSUR Agreement – shaken by environmental concerns? The ratification of the EU-MERCOSUR Agreement has been threatened by misleading coverage of the Amazonian rainforest fires and other allegations. Irish businesses need to be aware of the real facts and benefits of this important free trade deal writes the Embassy of Brazil.

The EU and MERCOSUR together represent approximately 25% of the world’s economy, with GDP of roughly USD$20tr and a population of 780 million. The Association Agreement between the two regions was extensively negotiated over 20

years and came to a successful conclusion last June with the support of all EU member countries, including Ireland. According to European Commissioner Phil Hogan, the Agreement “is a fair and balanced deal with opportunities


and benefits to both sides, including for Europe’s farmers”. A European Commission release highlighted that with the Agreement in place the majority of tariffs on EU exports to MERCOSUR will be removed, positioning EU companies ahead of competitors by saving them 4bn in duties annually (four times the deal the EU signed with Japan). Furthermore, the Agreement upholds the highest standards of food safety and consumer protection, and contains commitments on labour rights and environmental protection, including the implementation of the

DEMYSTIFYING MISCONCEPTIONS THE EU-MERCOSUR AGREEMENT WILL INCREASE DEFORESTATION IN BRAZIL. Brazil remains an active participant in the UN Climate Change Convention and fully committed to the Paris Agreement. In February 2019, Brazil became the first country to receive payments (US$96m) from the Green Climate Fund for its environmental achievements in decreased deforestation. According to the UN Environmental Program (UNEP), Brazil is one of the three G-20 countries which are on track to comply with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). In 2015, the country had already achieved 58% of emissions reduction in relation to the 2020 projection. According to the ‘Protected Planet Report 2016’ issued by UNEP and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Brazil keeps one of the largest systems of protected areas, which account for 12% of all continental protected land worldwide. Brazil stands out in its ability to balance agricultural production and environmental preservation. Over 66% of Brazil’s landmass is covered by native vegetation, with farming limited to around 30% of the territory (8% - cropland; 22% -


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livestock), a much lower percentage than in European countries. Historically, Brazil’s agricultural production grew based on the increase of productivity and not as a result of deforestation. Over the past 40 years, Brazilian agricultural research developed cutting-edge technology geared towards the sustainability of tropical agriculture, which led to greater capacity for emission reduction and soil conservation. This effort resulted in a fivefold increase in grain production between 2000 and 2017 while the farmland area remained practically stable. Livestock production increased by 139% from 1990 to 2018, whilst there was a reduction of 15% in the total area used for pasture.


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Paris Climate Agreement and related enforcement rules. The European Commission estimates that EU exports to MERCOSUR currently involve over 60,000 European companies and support 855,000 jobs in the EU. Ireland, specifically, accounts for 269 companies of all sizes exporting a wide range of services and products to MERCOSUR linked to 2,300 jobs, primarily in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and electrical machinery sectors. Additionally, MERCOSUR companies employ over 30,000 people in the EU. The Agreement will increase exports to the MERCOSUR bloc, thus raising the number of jobs and companies in the EU involved in trade with MERCOSUR. Despite the evidence of these positive features of the EUMERCOSUR Agreement, unfounded data on fires in the Brazilian Amazon, spread worldwide recently, and unwarranted attempts to connect them to the bi-regional trade Agreement eclipsed its real nature and advantages. This reinforced some preexisting misconceptions, misleading public opinion and

decision makers, and putting at risk the very ratification of the mutually beneficial deal.

BRAZILIAN AMAZON FIRES: THE REAL FACTS Fires in the Amazon are seasonal and occur every year. They are more intense in hot and dry years such as this one and are equally faced by Brazil and all Amazonian countries — not to mention the fires observed elsewhere in the world during the dry season. The increase in the number of fires in Brazil this year, in comparison to 2018, does not imply a new trend but rather represents a fluctuation within the historical series of measurement (1999 to 2019). In this broader timescale, the fundamental trend that emerges from the data points to a significant reduction in the deforestation rate, now 72% lower than 15 years ago. The Brazilian government took immediate action to map and fight the fires by launching a major operation

EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE WILL SUFFER ECONOMIC LOSS WITH THE AGREEMENT. The agreement will provide countless benefits for the exports of EU processed food and agricultural products to MERCOSUR. The European Commission itself recognises that when it describes the advantages in terms of access to markets, protection of geographical indications and trade facilitation. In agricultural trade MERCOSUR will liberalise more than the EU: 96% of the trade volume and 94% of tariff lines, in contrast with 82% and 77% respectively by the EU. As part of its offer of comprehensive liberalisation, MERCOSUR has included agrifood products of interest to Ireland (beverages, whiskey, cheese, milk powder and infant formula). According to the European Commission, beef and poultry quotas due to be opened to MERCOSUR, represent only 1.2% of the annual EU consumption, while the sugar quota is equivalent to 1%. Furthermore, the agreement includes a number of important safeguards which protect the interests of EU farmers and consumers.


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(OperaçãoVerdeBrasil), unprecedented in its combination of law and order and environmental objectives. This allowed the deployment of the national Armed Forces and an interagency coordinated effort. In addition, all legal fires for land-clearing purposes were temporarily banned. These actions proved effective in the fight against illegal activities in the region and in the reduction of the fires.

IN CONCLUSION In this scenario the decision regarding the ratification of the Agreement should not be distorted by misconceptions or misinformation. In times when the world economy faces the risk of a global recession and the EU is confronted with the challenges of a post-Brexit scenario, business leaders have an important role to play in backing the ratification of the EU-MERCOSUR Agreement, which will create opportunities for sustainable growth, new jobs and prosperity in the two regions.

THE AGREEMENT WILL LOWER HEALTH, PHYTOSANITARY AND FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS IN THE EU MERCOSUR food products comply with the highest sanitary, phytosanitary and food safety standards, in accordance with the parameters set by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius. Brazil is currently the second largest non-EU supplier of agricultural products to the European market to a great extent due to the fact that its products meet the high standards recognised internationally and comply with all EU regulations.


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Crystal inspiration A luxury collection of the finest crystal continues to be made by skilled craftsmen at the House of Waterford Crystal factory situated in the heart of Waterford City, in Ireland’s Ancient East. A significant tourist attraction, the House of Waterford Crystal welcomes 200,000 visitors annually from across the world. GUIDED FACTORY TOUR The guided factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The tour – which takes approximately one hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production.They witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. Every year the House of Waterford Crystal melts more than 750 tonnes of crystal, using traditional and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. The product range includes Waterford Crystal, House of Waterford Crystal, Jeff Leatham, Marquis, Elegance, Lighting and the beautiful Waterford Crystal Jewellery Collection.


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Waterford Crystal continues to provide some of the most prestigious trophies to the world’s great sporting events made at the facility. The list of famous trophies produced by Waterford Crystal for the sports industry alone is simply staggering; the Irish Open Trophy, the Honda Classic and the Masters Snooker trophy to name just a few. Waterford Crystal also designed the spectacular Times Square Ball – a crystal ball which forms a prominent part of a New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York, colloquially known as the ball drop. There is huge pride in Waterford Crystal throughout Ireland and its little wonder that it is one of the most popular items used to mark such special occasions. A lot of thought goes into our products, which are inspired by Irish heritage, by our landscape, our music and the arts. It is not just about the amazing shapes or the designs of the products but the stories behind those designs. In many cases these designs reflect Irish culture in terms of castles, music and art.

CORPORATE AND SPORTS Our corporate and gift awards programme caters for rewarding employees or clients. We can customise a piece from our core range that can allow us to create a unique message or logo on the item. Our worldwide shipping service allows you the flexibility to deliver 24/48 hours to Ireland, the UK or the US. Our dedicated Sales Manager Tom Walsh can be contacted at tom.walsh@fiskars. com Contact houseofwaterfordcrystal Tel: + 353 (0)51 317000


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R A ·P













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Boots Ireland took home the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2019.


y demonstrating commitment to CSR in its company values and consistently meeting key judging criteria across all aspects of CSR, Boots Ireland received the Outstanding Achievement Award. Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said: “Congratulations to Boots Ireland and the winners of the 14 excellence in CSR award categories, whom we recognise for their achievements. “The programmes and activities developed by businesses of all sizes continues to evolve every year and have become ever more proactive at addressing current sustainability challenges. The winning projects have also demonstrated engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which have been recognised through a new set of criteria in this year’s judging process.” This sixteenth annual awards ceremony was run in association with the Department of Rural and Community Development, partnered with Business in the Community Ireland and kindly sponsored by BAM Ireland. The Environmental Protection Agency sponsored the Excellence in Environment Award and One4all sponsored the Excellence in Workplace Award. Each winner was presented with a specially commissioned trophy designed by Waterford Crystal.


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CSR ■ Boots Ireland EXCELLENCE IN CSR COMMUNICATION ■ European Recycling Platform Ireland – Batteries for Barretstown EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – LIC ■ Gala Retail – Gala Retail’s Platinum Sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – MNC ■ Boots Ireland – Boots Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – LIC ■ SSE Ireland – Galway Wind Park Community Fund EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – MNC ■ Tesco Ireland – Tesco Community Fund in 2018

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland; Louise O’Brien, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Boots Ireland; Siobhan Kinsella, President, Chambers Ireland; Bernadette Lavery, Managing Director, Boots Ireland; Tadgh Lucey, COO, BAM Civil; Martha Ryan, Head of HR, Boots Ireland; Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development


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EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY – VOLUNTEERING – MNC ■ Intel Ireland – Intel Involved Volunteers Making a Difference EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – LIC ■ Hotel Doolin – Green Team Work EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – MNC ■ Astellas Ireland – Astellas’ Leading light for life – Striving for Sustainability EXCELLENCE IN MARKETPLACE ■ A&L Goodbody – ALG’s collaborative project with the Irish Refugee Council’s Independent Law Centre EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE – LIC ■ Arthur Cox – The Arthur Cox Work Experience for All Programme EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE – MNC ■ VMware International – The Cork Giving Network’s Mental Health Month EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY & INCLUSION ■ Dublin Bus – Workplace Gender Transition Policy and Guidelines EXCELLENCE IN CSR BY AN SME ■ Easytrip – Easytrip support Blood Bikes

*LIC: Large Indigenous Company | *MNC: Multinational Company


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Caring in communities Boots Ireland awarded for ‘Outstanding Achievement in CSR’ and ‘Excellence in the Community’ at Chambers Ireland CSR Awards.


oots Ireland was recently awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award at Chambers Ireland’s CSR Awards 2019, as well as being recognised in the Excellence in Community category, for partnership with a charity, for its work with the Irish Cancer Society. The overall award was based on Boots Ireland’s demonstration of commitment to CSR in its company values and consistently meeting key judging criteria, with special emphasis on engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. CSR within Boots Ireland spans across four pillars incorporating Community, Environment, Marketplace and Workplace. Boots Ireland MD Bernadette Lavery explains the international influence which has led to its best-practice approach: “Boots Ireland is a member of Walgreens Boots Alliance which has a presence in over 25 countries. With this brings the benefit of collaboration and the CSR agenda has evolved over time, where we work to key objectives under each of the pillars.” As a link to advice and expertise about health matters, Boots Ireland plays a key role in helping people lead healthier and happier lives in communities across Ireland, with 87 stores, 84 of which are pharmacies. Boots Ireland was also awarded in the Excellence in the Community category for its partnership with the Irish Cancer Society.The project aim is to support people living with cancer in Ireland and to promote cancer prevention through the role of Boots Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacist, while raising funds for the Night Nursing service. “What started out initially as a fundraising programme has grown and evolved to now include providing support for those living with cancer, early detection and raising awareness of cancer,” says Lavery. “We have raised over €1.7m to date for the Irish Cancer Society’s Night Nursing service, equating to over 5,000 nights of care. The Night Nursing service provides free end of life care to patients who wish to pass away at home.” Another area which Boots Ireland supports through its initiatives is enabling young people to achieve their potential. “Through the Skills @ work programme run by Business in the Community, Boots supports eight secondary schools across the country with a series of

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Bernadette Lavery

THE IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING SOCIETY WILL ONLY BE SOLVED THROUGH COLLABORATION. WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DRIVE BUSINESS RESULTS WHILE BENEFITING SOCIETY.” workshops throughout the academic year impacting on around 150 students in helping them prepare for their next step upon leaving school,” Lavery reveals. “The important issues facing society will only be solved through collaboration,” states Lavery. “We believe that we can drive business results while benefiting society, and for that reason we focus on initiatives that contribute to our profit, generate enthusiasm among employees and customers, and positively contribute to society.”

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Opening doors


t Peter McVerry Trust we don’t just help people to secure a home, we support them to keep their homes, integrate into their community and to secure education, training and employment. As a national homeless and housing charity, we are committed to driving solutions to homelessness, and tackling the harm caused by drug misuse and social disadvantage. The support of Ireland’s business community is critical in ensuring that we can continue to put in place solutions for those in need. Companies can support Peter McVerry Trust by engaging employees around the issue of homelessness, utilising the weight of the corporate voice on Ireland’s housing crisis and by providing key supports to help people back to education, training or employment. For us, corporate partnerships are about understanding the difference your team can make to those on the margins of our communities and society. Your support can ensure we can secure new homes, kit-out those homes, provide support for those who are most vulnerable, and provide a comprehensive package

of support to ensure that people can leave homelessness behind and establish themselves in the community. Corporate partnership packages at Peter McVerry Trust are developed to ensure that teams can see first-hand the impact of your company’s support. Activities can include a team volunteer day at one of our services, participation in one of our challenge events, and fundraising initiatives in line with your company’s CSR objectives and aims. Learn how your company can be a key player in providing homes, in funding education and training initiatives, and in supporting us in our housing projects.

Contact us to find out how your company can get involved: Email us on or phone us +353 (01) 823 0776. Read more about corporate partnership with Peter McVerry Trust get-involved/corporate-partnerships/

Organ Donation Works






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RCN: 20015282 CHY No: 7256 CLG No: 98934.

Partner with Peter McVerry Trust and drive solutions to help end homelessness.

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DONOR TO 50050


IRISH KIDNEY ASSOCIATION CLG Donor House, Block 43A, Parkwest, Dublin, D12 P5V6 Tel: 01-6205306 • Charity Reg No. 20011260

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40 years serving the community Building confidence and leadership through sport


pecial Olympics Ireland is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability. For the past 40 years we have provided year-round sports training, development and competition opportunities for children and adults at local, national and international levels. We know that sport provides significant physical, mental, emotional and social benefits for people with an intellectual disability. Through our network of 313 community based clubs we are providing nearly 8,000 children and adults with sporting opportunities which create confidence, lifelong friendships and joy. In more recent years we’ve expanded our remit to provide health and personal development opportunities. Through our Health Promotion Programme our athletes are learning about nutrition and mental health and are given access to health screenings in seven different areas including podiatry, optometry and orthodontics. Through our Athlete Leadership Programme our athletes are teamed up with a mentor to become socially and personally more confident, have a voice, contribute and participate as leaders and ambassadors both within Special Olympics Ireland and in their own community. We could not have done this without the help of our

corporate partners like eir which have backed us for over 30 years now and Gala Retail Services which recently won the Chambers Ireland CSR Award for Excellence in the Community for its work with us. There are just over 28,000 people living with an intellectual disability living in the Republic of Ireland today. From our research we know that people with an intellectual disability are more prone to suffer from depression, anxiety, to experience stigma, isolation, extreme loneliness and obesity. There are still so many people in Ireland who do not have access to these opportunities in their communities and we want to change that. If your organisation would like to be part of a movement changing not only the lives of our athletes but their families and communities too, then please come and talk to us. We would love to hear from you!

Matt English CEO Special Olympics Ireland E:

Young Athletes participant Alan Ryan being presented his award by Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland

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Batteries for Barretstown The European Recycling Platform Ireland’s award-winning communications strategy for their Batteries for Barretstown project.


RP Ireland was recently awarded in the Excellence in CSR Communication category at the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards, for its creation of a communications strategy aimed at increasing the number of batteries recycled through its collection points. The campaign it devised to promote ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ increased battery collections by 45%, surpassing the collection rate required for European member states (45%) and reaching a collection rate of 68%.

What is ‘Batteries for Barretstown’? ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ is a three-year programme which is helping to ‘Power Positivity’ by funding the energy costs at Barretstown, a notfor-profit camp for children with cancer and other serious illnesses, located at Barretstown Castle, Co Kildare. ERP hoped to raise awareness of the ease with which batteries can be recycled, free of charge in any retail stores selling batteries, at a local recycling centre or at one of ERP’s free recycling events held across the country. The European Recycling Platform (ERP) is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of WEEE and waste battery

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland; Yvonne Holmes, Head of Corporate Communications, European Recycling Platform Ireland; Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development; Catherine Walsh, Head of CSR, The Reputations Agency

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recycling across the country. The collection of primary and rechargeable batteries in Europe is mandated by the Batteries Directive and requires Member States to achieve a collection rate of 45% each year to 2020. Almost 50% of batteries sold in Ireland end up in landfill because they’ve been thrown out in domestic waste, so the valuable materials inside are lost forever. When batteries are disposed of incorrectly their corrosive materials can be harmful to the environment. Most types of batteries contain toxic heavy metals such as nickel and mercury, but these materials can actually be reused if disposed of properly. With these business challenges in mind, ERP decided to launch a creative and innovative campaign to drive behavioural change nationally while also raising awareness of ERP’s sustainability activity. Research has also shown that people like to recycle for a charity. In September 2017, ERP launched the ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ campaign, an initiative to educate Ireland on the importance of battery recycling, increase the number of batteries recycled and raise vital funds for charity.

Communicating the Campaign The key objective of the campaign was to promote ERP’s sustainability campaign with a PR strategy to gain sustained media coverage that would drive battery recycling with Local Authorities, schools, libraries, and retailers, and drive widespread awareness of ERP’s sustainability activity, nationally and regionally, making a positive impact in communities across Ireland. The target for the campaign was to generate a 1-million-strong audience across social, online, print and broadcast media and increase battery collections by 20%. Highlights for the campaign include Bloom and the National Ploughing Championships. Then in September to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Battery Directive in Ireland and the one-year anniversary of ‘Batteries for Barretstown’, the Kinahan family, fresh from a Barretstown camp, attended a birthday party with the former Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten, TD. Images were later distributed to national and regional media outlets and used online. With 30% of all batteries purchased in the run up to Christmas, equating to 30 million AA batteries, the

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campaign carried on with a Green Christmas Social Media Campaign, starring a Barretstown family in a video series broadcast across all platforms, with a focus on Facebook. Broadcast interviews were organised for Martin Tobin, CEO of ERP and Yvonne Homes, Head of Corporate Communications at ERP. Martin and Yvonne spoke to representatives from RTÉ Radio 1 Drivetime, Radio Kerry, Limerick’s Live 95 FM, Clare FM and more about the massive strides made in the area of battery recycling in ERP’s counties and the organisation’s close, ongoing partnership with Barretstown.

Campaign Impact The campaign delivered on the key objectives and surpassed expectations with a 45% increase in both driver collections and collection requests. The Batteries Directive requires Member States to achieve a collection rate of 45% each year to 2020. In 2018, ERP reported a collection rate of 68%. On the ground, collection points that would have previously taken one or two boxes are now requesting five to ten boxes. ERP’s phone line activity has increased with local businesses wanting to set up their own battery recycling programmes in their office. To date, the campaign has reached over 2.5 million people through social media interactions, partnerships, attendance at Bloom in the Park and through print and radio interviews. This expanded audience is helping to increase awareness of the importance of battery recycling and helping to ‘power positivity’ at Barretstown. The campaign has captured the hearts and minds of local communities. The Batteries for Barretstown campaign will raise €120,000 for Barretstown, providing life changing programmes and services for children living with a serious illness and their families.

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16/10/2019 14:38


Opportunity Hack 2019 participants

T PayPal in the community… PayPal talks about the role of Corporate Social Responsibility within its company ethos and how it enables teammates to give back to the communities in which they work and live.

oday’s workforce looks for more from employers. Team members don’t just want fulfilment from what they do at work, but also outside it. The worlds of company and community have become intertwined. PayPal is an organisation that embraces and encourages this approach, making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) an integral part of the company’s ethos. From charitable initiatives that are now staples in PayPal’s CSR calendar, to supporting future generations in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the company supports its teammates in making a difference in Ireland and across the globe. GIVES & GRANTS The PayPal Gives programme demonstrates PayPal’s passion and commitment to supporting employees in making a positive and lasting contribution to the causes they care about. Earlier this year, PayPal donated a total of €57,000 to nine Irish charities as part of its PayPal Gives and Ireland’s Financial Inclusion Charity Grant programmes.


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Teammates were asked to nominate six charities to receive donations for PayPal Gives. The chosen organisations were Dogs Trust, Women’s Aid, Inner City Helping Homeless, Sickle Cell Society, Ruhama and Educate Together. Three more charities received funding as part of Ireland’s Financial Inclusion Charity Grant programme. This year, The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Junior Achievement Ireland and Cuidiú were selected for their innovative ideas. The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities received a donation to help fund a programme aimed at equipping students with education and training for future employment opportunities. In a bid to teach young people life and career skills, Junior Achievement Ireland will use its contribution to roll out its Junior Achievement programme, focusing on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, employability and the value of STEM education. Cuidiú also received a donation which will be put towards support services and events for expectant parents, enabling them to make informed choices about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Global Merchant Services, PayPal, said: “We understand that our

teammates want to make a difference in the communities in which they work and live. PayPal Gives makes this happen by allowing us to support worthy charities and causes in any way we can. “It’s not just about donations; we actively encourage our people to volunteer and get involved in the chosen charities’ day-to-day work. It helps to build a sense of community and allows us to appreciate the selfless work so many people in our society carry out every day.” HACKING & HELPING To help charities adapt to an increasingly digital world, PayPal hosts an annual charity hackathon in Ireland. Opportunity Hack brings together teammates from PayPal offices from across the globe to solve the digital challenges of six Irish charities over a 24-hour period. During this time, the teams create and develop solutions and systems to address the organisations’ most pressing digital needs and challenges. A judging panel then chooses the best projects based on innovation, collaboration, impact, completion and presentation. This year, the charities involved were Ruhama, Zest 4 Kids, Educate Together, Sickle Cell Society, Suicide or Survive (SOS) and Home Education Network. The projects included the development of new website platforms, donation

Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Global Merchant Services, PayPal


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and membership webpages, templates to help manage online sponsorship campaigns and health and wellness apps. “The hackathon is a fun, collaborative event that helps charities use technology for worthwhile causes and overcome digital challenges,” Dorman explains. “It’s also a fantastic event for teammates because it instils a great sense of achievement and provides a unique opportunity to put their skills to the test.”

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT DONATIONS; WE ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE OUR PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER AND GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOSEN CHARITIES’ DAY-TO-DAY WORK. IT HELPS TO BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.” YOUNG & OLD PayPal also works closely with local communities, colleges and schools to encourage participation for all - from transition year students to senior citizens. In association with Age Action Ireland, which advocates for the needs of older people across the country, PayPal regularly hosts senior citizens at its Dundalk office to help the group learn more about computers and use them effectively. Meanwhile, the company’s Dublin and Dundalk offices welcome transition year students each year for a week of work experience. As well as gaining insights into life at PayPal, the students participate in workshops covering CV preparation, interview skills, project management, marketing and budgeting. Dorman adds: “For us, success isn’t just about what we do for customers in transforming the world of money. It’s also about including everyone, giving back and helping others. Empowering and enabling teammates to do the right thing is at the heart of what we do.”


14/10/2019 13:37


DHL Express and Corporate Social Responsibility As the world’s leading logistics company, it is DHL’s mission to connect people, improving their lives. And because of its size and importance for global trade, the company has a special responsibility to its employees, society and the environment.


s the world’s leading logistics company, it’s DHL’s mission to connect people, improving their lives. And because of our size and our importance for global trade, we have a special responsibility to our employees, society and the environment. Therefore, corporate responsibility plays a key role in our overall business strategy – we call this Living Responsibility and it’s our approach to creating economic, social and environmental value for our stakeholders and the planet. It also drives us towards our goal of becoming a benchmark for responsible business practices. Our commitment to this vision is reflected in three key pillars – GoGreen, GoHelp and GoTeach. We’re committed to our corporate citizenship activities and that’s why we have introduced our environmental protection programme, GoGreen. However, our efforts don’t stop there! Thanks to our global reach and presence in almost every country in the world, we’re in a unique position to help with societal needs. As part of our GoTeach programme we cooperate with leading international organisations to improve the education of children. With GoHelp we support the UN’s disaster management efforts and offer quick and efficient logistics support in the event of a disaster.

The cast of the Snapper at the DHL OsKaRs


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More recently DHL introduced the global DHL’s Got Heart competition. Since it was introduced in 2017, DHL’s Got Heart has been recognising DHL Express employees who support charitable causes close to their hearts, providing much needed funds to ensure that these causes continue to thrive. Over the past two years, over 700 employees from around the world have told their incredible stories of charitable work, and DHL Express has made sure to support them wherever it could. From volunteering at a local animal shelter, to raising funds for a hospital, or helping disadvantaged children attend school, the charitable work they’ve supported varies widely. And it’s back again this year where 30 lucky winners will receive the opportunity to have funds donated to their cause! On a local level, DHL Express Ireland strives to ensure we bring the message of Go Help and the other corporate citizenship promotions to life on a day-to-day basis. We remain charity partners with Pieta House after an overwhelming number of our employees voted to stick with this amazing charity through to the end of 2020. At the end of September DHL turned 50 years old and in Ireland we used this opportunity to celebrate but also ensure we were continuing to highlight our partnership with Pieta House. On 21 September 400 DHL employees attended a glamourous night at the OsKaRs with all funds raised going directly to our chosen charity. Between Strictly Come Dancing in April 2018 and the OsKaRs this year, our employees have fundraised over €50,000 for Pieta House in 18 months. Not only are our employees committed to ensuring that they provide the highest level of service to our customers as part of their day job but they are willing to give freely of their time and effort to support the company and play their role in ensuring caring is firmly embedded in the corporate agenda.


14/10/2019 13:36

GALWAY 2020 BEYOND InBusiness magazine talks to Kenneth Deery, CEO of Galway Chamber about driving development and implementing strategies for the future; James Lyons, VP of Operations of Boston Scientific; Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020; Patricia Staunton, Regional Director and Sean Coyne, Divisional Director, Cushman & Wakefield.


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16/10/2019 14:40







Kenneth Deery, CEO, Galway Chamber


alway Chamber CEO Kenneth Deery paints a very attractive picture of work-life balance in the City of the Tribes. Although it’s a growing city, Galway still has a small town vibe and community atmosphere. The 82 IDA Ireland foreign direct investment (FDI) companies operating in the area have no problem attracting talent with the lifestyle proposition it offers. Employees have little or no commute, and after work can enjoy walks on the prom, a dip in the water at Blackrock, perhaps volunteer with Macnas to unleash some creativity, or drop into Portershed where an evening event might see a baby grand piano rolled out and Finghin Collins giving a recital. The Mayo-man has only been living in the city for the last couple of years, and is new to the role of CEO of Galway Chamber, coming from a retail banking background, but has hit the ground running with plenty of zeal and energy for the jam-packed schedule the job entails.


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INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM Galway’s reputation as a medtech hub and FDI magnet is well-founded, and has given the city a strong grounding to build from. Deery says, “Galway’s success lies in its people and its business community.” He pinpoints the greatest growth area he sees in the city as being the innovation ecosystem, attributing much of the capacity for development to investment in incubation spaces and both universities creating a capacity for entrepreneurship. He continues, “It has been a huge area of growth for Galway and a lot of great people have managed to get investment in; I’m lucky to work with a fantastic volunteer council. It’s not just about creating a space, it’s being able to put the firepower behind the companies so they can actually scale and accelerate.” While tax reform and Brexit preparations are topmost in mind for businesses at the moment, the Chamber hopes in the new year to focus on a suite of programming to assist business to look at new markets and scale internationally.


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“We recently did a strategic workshop to evaluate what is important and one thing is international business development, helping existing businesses find new customers. In the coming 12 months we’re focusing on east Coast USA, as many are, but with a particular strategic link between Chicago and Galway.”

A GROWING CITY Part of Deery’s remit is to lobby and to be a changemaker. He is not afraid of shining a light on the issues that need to be tackled for the future growth of the city. One piece in this was coming out with a letter of support of the Alliance for Insurance Reform. Under his steering, the Chamber has also recently launched a campaign called ‘Get Galway Moving’, to deal with the challenge of traffic in a growing city. “It’s a growing pain of the city—every large scale developing city in the world has traffic issues, so we’re no different in that, but it’s the action that we can take now to begin to ease that,” he states. “There’s a cultural education piece; we’ve been used to doing things a certain way in the city but we need to reeducate people. Parallel to that is



Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland and Kenneth Deery, CEO, Galway Chamber. public transport and the implementation of dedicated bus corridors, and following on from that is cycle corridors and all the other ancillary infrastructure.” Housing is another area the Chamber is pushing for change to happen sooner rather than later, in order to build a better future city. “Our argument is Galway is predicted to grow by another 20,000 in population over the next decade, and the only way we are going to be able to accommodate those people, particularly the people who want to live downtown around the Quays and the harbour, is with high rise. We need to build 10 and 12 storey blocks,” he argues. With builders not seeing enough returns on building accommodation, the Chamber is lobbying for tax treatment which would encourage high rise housing development.


Pictured L-R: Anthony Shaughnessy, Assistant Innovation Community Manager, PorterShed; Bob Rosenberg, Entrepreneur in Residence at PorterShed, Kenneth Deery, CEO, Galway Chamber and Adriaan Palm, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Ireland.


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Building on Galway’s reputation in the medtech space is a key part of the future vision. “The bigger you get, the better you get, the more expertise you bring around the table,” he states. “As medtech is getting stronger in Galway, you’re having more and more global leadership positions being based out of Galway, managing teams around the world. “Because there are so many global leaders within the companies, it enables them to grow and to lean more into investing in the sites here in Galway.” He concludes, “Certainly what has been proven is the ability to attract talent to Galway. As a destination it has a quality of life that you don’t get in other cities.”


16/10/2019 09:08


A cultural legacy Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020 tells In Business about the legacy the city can expect from its year as European Capital of Culture.


alway’s upcoming year as European Capital of Culture will leave an impact on the city, not just in terms of culture, but also benefits to tourism and the local economy. With investment to the tune of €25m already, from Government, Galway City Council and Galway County Council, Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020, says that during its year in 2015, Mons in Belgium saw that every €1 invested generated between €5.50 and €6 for the local economy. These projections are well-founded in evidence, as Philbin explains: “Each European Capital of Culture carries out its own monitoring and evaluation framework, so there is empirical evidence to show it has a significant impact not just in the year itself, but also in the subsequent years.” “In terms of our cultural partners, a lot of these organisations are increasing their turnover, and employing staff at the moment as well,” she notes. “The increase in visitor numbers will be between 10% and 30%.” With current visitor numbers for Galway at 2.1 million (1.5 million of those international visitors), there will be a significant increase. “We’re working very closely with Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland around promoting Galway and the region at


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all the international trade shows and engaging with our surrounding local authorities,” says Philbin. “Failte Ireland has just announced a €6.64m investment into Galway City Museum; that’s the biggest single investment in a visitor attraction that it has ever made,” states Philbin. “We do believe that the year will be a catalyst for the development of a legacy and more specifically in relation to the infrastructure that Galway needs, like a visual arts space, but also in terms of the recognition of culture and the amount it can contribute to the local economy.” With a strong base of local artists and cultural and community groups—projects presented in the original bid make up 70% of the programme— Galway 2020 is also engaging with international artists from 33 different countries around its themes of language, landscape and migration. With 24% of the population of Galway city born in a country other than Ireland, and it being a bilingual city in a Gaeltacht area, Galway’s diversity is something Philbin believes was instrumental in being chosen as European Capital of Culture. With a huge interest in volunteering from across the city, this coming year represents a wonderful opportunity for those different cultures and communities to integrate.

Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020


15/10/2019 10:37

Support us Galway 2020 Business Club

Tacaigh linn Club Ballraíochta Ghaillimh 2020

Galway’s year of culture is a business opportunity that is too good to miss. To be part of Galway 2020 is to invest in the future of the region.

Is deis ghnó gur fiú a thapú í bliain chultúir na Gaillimhe. Trí pháirt a ghlacadh i nGaillimh 2020, tá tú ag infheistiú i dtodhchaí an réigiúin.

The Galway 2020 Business Club is a tiered membership programme which enables small to medium sized businesses to support next year’s European Capital of Culture.

Is clár céimnithe é Club Ballraíochta Ghaillimh 2020 a chuireann ar chumas gnólachtaí beaga agus meánmhéide tacú le Príomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa sa mbliain amach romhainn.

In return for your support, businesses will enjoy attractive rights and benefits across the year of culture, including increased brand profile and visibility, invites to key events, Business to Business networking opportunities and yearround support from the Galway 2020 team.

Gheobhaidh gnólachtaí a thacaíonn leis an tionscnamh cearta agus buntáistí tarraingteacha le linn na bliana cultúir, lena n-áirítear, méadú ar phróifíl agus infheictheacht an bhranda, cuirí chuig príomhimeachtaí, deiseanna líonraithe Gnólacht le Gnólacht agus tacaíocht ar feadh na bliana ó fhoireann Ghaillimh 2020.

The Business Club will run throughout 2020, and offers three levels of support: Business Club member, Gold member, and Platinum member.

Leanfaidh an Club Gnó ar aghaidh ar feadh 2020, agus beidh trí leibhéal tacaíochta á thairiscint: Ball an Chlub Gnó, Ball Órga, Ball Platanaim

To find out more about the Galway 2020 Business Club programme, please contact: Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi chlár Chlub Gnó Ghaillimh 2020, déan teagmháil le do thoil le: Ian Burke, Development Executive / Feidhmeannach Forbartha Call / Glaoigh ar +35391412495 email / r-phost Sarah Coop, Development Director / Stiúrthóir Forbartha email / r-phost Galway Cultural Development and Activity CLG is a registered charity in the Republic of Ireland. Registered Charity Number (RCN) 20204768

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15/10/2019 11:06


Boston Scientific celebrates 25 years in Galway With Boston Scientific celebrating 25 years in Galway this year, James Lyons, VP Operations, tells In Business how the wider community is integral to its success and talks about its efforts to give back.


global leader in medical device development, Boston Scientific celebrates 25 years in Galway this year, as well as its 40th year since the company was founded. Since the company began operating in Ireland in 1994, with fewer than 30 employees, it has grown to three sites, in Galway, Cork and Clonmel. Now the Irish workforce numbers 5,700, out of the 32,000 employed by the company worldwide. Galway is a major site for investment, and accommodates 3,700 of the Irish-based workforce, covering all aspects of product design and manufacturing; Boston Scientific Galway exports more than four million life saving medical devices each year.

INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION James Lyons, Vice Pesident Operations at Boston Scientific Galway, suggests the key to the growth of the business in Galway is down to three factors: “The capability and commitment of our organisation to deliver great value for the company, the demonstrated agility of our organisation in taking on new challenges and developing new skills, our ability to attract talent and the excellent quality of life that is available in the Galway region.” Indeed, Mike Mahoney, Chairman and CEO of Boston Scientific spoke of the talent here and the major role the Irish operations have played in continuous innovation, when he visited the Galway site in May of this year to


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officially launch a new facility at Ballybrit. He noted: “Our highly skilled workforce has made a significant contribution to the development of many innovative medical solutions, with our Galway site playing a key role in products in areas such as Interventional Cardiology, Endoscopy and Peripheral Interventions”. The company is investing €60m in developing the Ballybrit facility, with over 250 staff expected to be based there by the end of this year. The expansion facilitates increased capacity to support global product demand and also includes an industry-leading Equipment Technology Centre.

PART OF A COMMUNITY The presence and influence of the Galway operations is felt both within the wider organisation, and externally, as part of Galway’s medtech hub. Externally the fact that a major facility is based in the area contributes to Galway’s reputation internationally as a medtech hub and pool of experienced talent. Speaking about Boston Scientific’s commitment to continued investment in Galway, Lyons adds: “This investment should give added confidence to any other company considering the west of Ireland for their medical technology business.” He is cognisant of the fact that Galway and its people are integral to the success of the company in the area, and the importance of the company’s commitment to giving back to the community through CSR initiatives and fundraising. “Given the scale of our campus and workforce here, the support of the wider community has been especially important. I would like to acknowledge the contribution in


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turn that our employees have made to the local community, including raising over €2.6m for local charities and organisations since 1994.”

GIVING BACK “Giving back to our local community is hugely important to Boston Scientific. We have a very strong community engagement programme in place, focusing on three main areas: Health and Wellbeing; Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM); and Charity,” Lyons states. Health and wellbeing initiatives are focused on both employees and the local community, with outreaches including the Schools STEPS Challenge, free blood pressure checks and the Schools Happy Heart Poster Competition. Highlights of its STEM initiatives—concerned with promoting science, technology, engineering and maths to local schools and students—include an annual bursary programme, partnering with SciFest (a national science competition for secondary level students) and the annual Science & Technology Fair at NUI Galway. The company also supports local charities and community groups: “During our partnership with Western Alzheimers 2015-2017, we raised €230k. Our current partner is Enable Ireland Galway,” says Lyons. “As well as the Community Outreach Programme, whereby we support requests from employees for donations to local clubs and charities, there is also a payroll donation programme with Galway Hospice and Cancer Care West, whereby employees make weekly/ monthly donations to these charities from their salary.”

James Lyons, VP Operations, Boston Scientific Galway

LOOKING FORWARD The key moment of this year, according to Lyons, was the opening of the new facility. He says: “Expanding our campus into Building 2 was a highlight for Boston Scientific Galway in 2019. The addition of this new building will enable us to expand our capabilities well into the future and continue to provide great value for the company.” Looking forward, with Galway 2020 just


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around the corner, Lyons is enthusiastic about the opportunity to show all that Galway has to offer to the wider world. He says: “Galway 2020 provides a great opportunity to highlight Galway on the international stage as a great place to live and work. The recent launch of the Galway 2020 programme has given a glimpse of what’s in store for the year.”


15/10/2019 10:44


Commercial space for future growth International real estate providers Cushman & Wakefield are expert in serving commercial growth and expansion needs.

An aerial view of Bonham Quay


alway is entering an exciting development phase, with key office developments set to transform the city into a vibrant place to live and do business. International real estate providers Cushman & Wakefield are uniquely positioned to provide market intelligence and key advisory services to new entrants to the market, as well as existing occupiers wishing to expand their presence. We provide a multidisciplinary agency service from our Galway office, having built up extensive experience in providing Leasing and Development Consultancy advice to a range of institutional and private clients across all facets of commercial property. With Galway’s strong multinational presence, the Galway team also have extensive expertise and experience on tenant acquisition and strategic property advice, having been involved in some of the largest transactions and schemes in Galway City, including the city’s largest

ever office scheme at Bonham Quay, Eastgate Development and the sale of the city’s largest development site at Ceannt Quarter. Our capabilities span valuation and advisory services relating to acquisition, disposition, financing, litigation, and financial reporting, as well as rent reviews, rating and compulsory purchase orders, across sectors including retail, office and industrial. Cushman & Wakefield’s Regional Asset Services Team is dedicated to providing comprehensive property management services throughout the asset life cycle of properties. Focused on enhancing asset value, our experienced property managers are empowered to minimise operating costs, improve efficiencies and enhance customer service in order to protect the value of each investment. Across the West of Ireland, Cushman & Wakefield manages all types of real estate on behalf of corporate, institutional and private clients. We leverage our knowledge and relationships, integrated service platform, and internal research resources to uniquely tailor each account to our client’s operational priorities and financial goals.

Patricia Staunton Regional Director Cushman & Wakefield Ireland

Sean Coyne Divisional Director Cushman & Wakefield Galway

WEST IS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS. HERE’S WHY… The largest city on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, Galway has earned a reputation for its educated and talented workforce, ranking second highest in Ireland for both the proportion of graduates and PhDs in its population. Some of the biggest names in the world are among over 70 multinationals operating in Galway. The competitive salaries and good standard of living in the area attract talent from every corner of the world, resulting in the highest ratio of multi-cultural populations in Ireland. There are 196 ICT organisations in Galway including four leading global ICT companies – IBM, SAP, Oracle and Cisco. In addition Galway is home to one-third of Ireland’s 25,000 medical device employees.


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16/10/2019 09:09


WHAT’S NEXT Cushman & Wakefield are the no. 1 Commercial Real Estate Advisor representing 1.5 million sq ft of offices in the regional market. Talk to us about your potential office requirements - with regional offices in Cork, Galway and Limerick our people use the power of our global knowledge and combine it with their local expertise so that we can position our clients for what’s next. Horgan’s Quay, Cork

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Sean Coyne John Buckley Divisional Director, Head of Cushman Cushman & Wakefield Galway & Wakefield Limerick

Dermot Hughes Associate Director, Cushman & Wakefield Limerick

14/10/2019 30/09/2019 13:56 15:02


Brexit, Cashflow and Access to Credit The Credit Review Office was set up to ensure viable SMEs have access to credit to grow and develop. The challenges from Brexit in whatever form it arrives, may require businesses to seek credit for working capital/cash flow reasons. Make sure your business is prepared!


rexit will impact on businesses in Ireland that import from or export to or through the UK in a number of ways – via currency movements, customs and excise duties, regulation and licencing costs and increased administration costs – all adding direct costs to doing business. But there will be indirect or hidden costs too. Most importantly, Brexit will impact on cashflow cycles. Delays getting goods to customers, getting payments or tax/VAT refunds, or getting paid by customers having their own cash issues will all increase the need for working capital for many Irish SMEs. While some businesses may have cash reserves to cover these costs, others will need to ensure they can access credit quickly if they need it. This may require

setting up or strengthening credit lines with banks or other finance providers. For example, did you know that for certain customs procedures and facilities and for transit through the UK, you must have security in place in the form of a Customs guarantee, provided to Revenue by an approved provider – most commonly your bank. So if you are importing, exporting or transiting goods through the UK, make sure you are prepared and if you need a guarantee, open discussions now with your bank. A guarantee provided by a bank is a credit facility and must go through a credit approval process so it will take time. And remember, if you are refused credit or a guarantee facility by your bank*, you can appeal the decision to Credit Review. Visit to find out more and request a call-back, or call the helpline on 1850 211 789. *Participating banks are AIB, BOI, PTSB and Ulster Bank

Ask The Credit Review Ask The Credit Review Ask The Credit Review look at the decision. look at the decision. If your business has had credit facilities refused, reduced look athasbank*, the decision. your business had we’re credithere facilities orIfwithdrawn by your to help.refused,If reduced you’re a

or withdrawn by your bank*, we’re here to help. If you’re a If your business has had credit facilities refused, reduced getting credit or loan facilities of up to €3,000,000, or has had an or withdrawn by your bank*, we’re here to help. If you’re a getting creditchange or loantofacilities of up to €3,000,000, or conditions, has had an unfavourable your existing credit terms and unfavourable change to your existing credit terms Our and process conditions, get in touch with us for an independent review. is getting credit or loan facilities of up to €3,000,000, or has had an get in toucheasy withtouscomplete for an independent review. Our process is independent, and covers all applications for new unfavourable change to your existing credit terms and conditions, independent, easy to complete and covers all applications for new loans or restructured credit facilities. get in touch with us for an independent review. Our process is loans or restructured credit facilities. independent, easy complete *banks covered are AIB, BOI,to PTSB and Ulsterand covers all applications for new *banksor covered are AIB, BOI, PTSB and Ulster loans restructured credit facilities. *banks covered are AIB, BOI, PTSB and Ulster

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07/08/2019 13:02

15/10/2019 10:47

what’s on your

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15/10/2019 11:52


Will you file in time? The deadline is fast approaching for companies to file details with the RBO


he Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial & Provident Societies (RBO) was established by Statutory Instrument 110/2019 and opened on 29 July 2019. The deadline for filing details is 22 November 2019. This applies to all companies registered under the Companies Act 2014 and societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893-2018. The only exceptions to this are corporate entities listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements consistent with EU law or subject to equivalent international standards which ensure adequate transparency of ownership information. Companies and societies which have only incorporated since 22 June 2019 have five months from their date of incorporation to file. If a relevant entity fails to complete the required filing by 22 November 2019, the entity may be guilty of an offence under the Regulations which may result in the entity being prosecuted and fined. Relevant entities are reminded of their obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018. Filing is free and online only at More information, FAQ’s, and videos on how to file with the RBO are available at and enquiries can be made by e-mail to enquiries@rbo.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO FILE WITH THE RBO? First Name and Last Name (middle names are not required) Date of Birth


Residential address Nationality Details of nature and extent of interest held / control exercised by each beneficial owner Date on which the beneficial owner was first entered into the entity’s internal register

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ERRORS MADE IN FILING RBO DATA ? Make sure your filing is validated by checking your data matches up. The most common reasons for a submission to fail is that one or more of the following details do not match the details held by DEASP: First Name

Last Name

PPSN and/or

Date of Birth

The most common name mis-matches are: maiden name used instead of married name and vice versa,


In order to make sure your filing passes all the validation checks, before filing details for a beneficial owner, you should check that you are using the same First Name, Last Name, PPSN and Date of Birth that are registered with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) for that person.


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middle name used which is not registered with DEASP (middle names are not required in the RBO), shortened version or variation of a name, when DEASP has the full/formal version, Irish version of a name, when English version is registered with DEASP and vice versa.


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Are you aware that your company/society needs to register its beneficial owners? THE DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING. As part of an EU initiative to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, companies and industrial & provident societies are legally required to file details of their beneficial owners with the central register of beneficial ownership (the RBO) by 22 November 2019.

You can register your beneficial owners on-line at Failure to complete the required filing by 22 NOVEMBER 2019 may result in your company/society being prosecuted and fined. Information on how to file with the RBO, what data to file and the definition of a beneficial owner can be found at


Clár Lárnach um Úinéireacht Thairbhiúil Cuideachtaí agus Cumann Tionscail agus Soláthair Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies

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09/10/2019 15:42

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LIFESTYLE: innovation


WAVERLY LABS AMBASSADOR INTERPRETER Ambassador is an over-the-ear interpreter designed for high quality translation across 20 languages and 42 dialects. The Pilot Smart Earbuds allow the user to have smooth conversations free from the constraints of language barriers. Ambassador actively listens for speech and translates speech into your language through a cloud-based neural network engine to recognise and translate speech across three modes of senarios: listen, lecture and converse.

InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue: DISRUPTING THE MARKET MARKET.

SKYROAM SOLIS X WIFI SMARTSPOT The first personal-WiFi smartphone companion for an untethered life. With superfast 4G LTE hotspot with embedded power bank, 720p HD camera and smart assistant with the Solis X, you can not only stay connected to safe and reliable WiFi in 130+ countries and charge your portable devices on the go, but also capture and share pictures and videos and use its smart assistant to control thousands of apps and services, all with a single tap on the Solis app.


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14/10/2019 13:26

LIFESTYLE: innovation nreal MIXED REALITY (MR) GLASSES nreal has broken ground with nreal light, radical consumer-focused mixed reality glasses which offer highly accurate and realistic interactions between digital avatars and the real world. Designed with groundbreaking efficiency, nreal light uses just two cameras and sensors, which combined with SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) algorithms track the environment to make virtual objects interact seamlessly with the real world. For a fully immersive experience, visuals are augmented by 360° spatial sound through dual speakers, while dual microphones offer control of your virtual environment through voice inputs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which advises 134 countries, has proposed overhauling the way MULTINATIONALS, particularly tech giants, are taxed to make sure they pay their fair share in countries where they do significant business.

GOOGLE is introducing Stream Transfer, a way for users of its smart speakers and streaming adapters to move media between those devices.

As part of Budget 2020, the Government has announced plans to increase funding to SKILLNET IRELAND, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning. The increase of 28%, combined with industry contributions, will see funding exceed €60m in 2020.

WINSTON PRIVACY FILTER Plug in your Winston between your router and modem, and within 60 seconds it scrambles, encrypts, and anonymises the activity on every internetconnected device in your home — from computers, laptops, phones, and tablets to smart TVs, refrigerators, and light bulbs. Winston has designed the the filter as a zero-knowledge platform meaning your personal data cannot be accessed.


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GALAXY S10 The Galaxy S10 features the latest in smartphone charging technology with the Wireless PowerShare which lets you charge compatible Qi-certified smartphones or wearable devices.


15/10/2019 10:50


WINNERS ANNOUNCED Winners have been revealed for the Lincoln Irish Early Career Awards in association with KBC Bank Ireland, showcasing the best of Ireland’s young professionals. Winners were announced at the annual awards ceremony on the 24th of October in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin See the full list of winners at


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€150,000 in grant aid from Wexford Local Community Development Committee for local community groups.


Sligo has been selected as this year’s Digital Town, lauded for its achievements in cultivating a truly digital environment.





Jacobs to create 200 new jobs for Ireland over two years. Plans to invest €4.5m in Cork office.


Fermanagh and Omagh District Council celebrates its 500th business and compiles a Go For It Programme business plan





It is now almost two years since we launched the Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund. The SED Fund was launched as a €1.6m fund which was to be delivered over two years; 2018 and 2019. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development. John Evoy, SEDF Manager, Social Innovation Fund Ireland reports.

Social enterprise on the rise



In Association with

THE SED FUND 2018–2021


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14/10/2019 13:23


In Association with



DMS Governance creates 50 new roles in Cashel

DMS Governance (DMS), a global governance, risk and compliance company is to substantially increase its Ireland-based workforce by creating an additional 50 roles in Cashel, Co Tipperary. Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, joined DMS at the official opening of its new location on 16 September. The company had previously announced the creation of an additional 50 new positions in the town following the acquisition of Aviation Corporate Services in June 2018. The project is supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland. The 50 newly-created roles are for highly-skilled financial service professionals and qualified accountants. DMS’s recent Dublin expansion and the creation of new roles in Cashel brings its commitment to jobs in Ireland to over 200. Speaking at the opening event Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to be here with the DMS Governance team to celebrate the opening of its new office and to announce that another 50 highly-skilled financial service positions will be coming to Cashel. This once again highlights the Government’s success in ensuring we have the conditions necessary to encourage ongoing job creation in the regions.” Minister of State with responsibility for Insurance and Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy TD, added: “I welcome this announcement by DMS and wish them continued success in the future. The IFS2020 strategy is committed to delivering 30% of international financial services jobs outside Dublin and this investment highlights the talent available throughout Ireland.”


The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has confirmed that her Department will provide an additional e350,000 to support the reinstatement of the Briery Gap Theatre and Library in Macroom, Co Cork. The theatre and library, which is owned and managed by Cork County Council, was damaged by a fire in 2016 and has been closed ever since.


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Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, officially launched the +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) EU project in Limerick in September. Limerick has been formally unveiled as one of two EU ‘lighthouse’ cities that have been selected for a major climate-change pilot programme that will give a lead to the rest of Europe on how to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of urban areas. Also pictured is Prof. Stephen Kinsella, UL, Clare Duffy, ESB Networks, and Dr. Pat Daly, CE Limerick City and County Council.


14/10/2019 13:23

In Association with



Minister Opens e4.5m Jacobs Cork Office IAAT TO HOST CONFERENCE IN CORK Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) has announced it will host its 2019 Conference on 20-21 November in Charleville, Co Cork. Following the success of last year’s inaugural conference, this year’s conference will continue to focus on presenting an industry-led programme for 2019, with an emphasis on industry insights, networking and the sharing of ideas. Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan, Mayor of County Cork, added: “Cork County Council is proud to be the official event partner and main sponsor of the conference. Adventure Tourism is estimated to be valued at e1.2bn and is one of the fastest growing and most exciting sectors within the Irish tourism industry. North Cork has a strong outdoor activity offering right in the heart of Munster Vales – a tourism destination linking the counties of Cork, Waterford, Tipperary and Limerick. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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acobs has announced 200 new jobs for Ireland over the coming two years, as it unveiled a e4.5m investment in its office in Cork. The company, which provides end-to-end solutions for infrastructure, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, semi-conductor, data centres and manufacturing clients, plans to fill the positions in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. The new roles will be professional services positions across a range of specialities, project and construction management, design, commissioning, qualification and validation. The announcement reflects the success and continued growth of the company in Ireland. Today, Jacobs employs more than 1,100 people on the island of Ireland, and it is one of the largest firms in the country.

Pictured at the official opening of the Cork office were l-r, Micheál O’Connor, Vice President and General Manager, Jacobs Ireland; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD and Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO, Jacobs

R6.5 M

Kerry County Council has welcomed the major investment of e6.5 m by Minister Brendan Griffin in the North Kerry Greenway, covering the sections from Tralee to Fenit and Listowel to County Bounds. 3

16/10/2019 09:12

In Association with



Approval of funding for Ballina Innovation Quarter welcomed

Andrew Downes, Xposure

Mayo County Council has welcomed the news that it has has received formal approval of Urban Regeneration and Development Fund funding for the Ballina Innovation Quarter project. A sum of e3.2m government funding was approved for the transformation of Ballina’s military Barracks. Built in 1742, the redevelopment of Ballina’s military barracks promises to culminate in the creation of 210 jobs within three years, with the digital hub and innovation centre acting as ‘a catalyst for urban regeneration of the town and its surroundings’. Specifically, the digital hub will provide 20 spaces for technology, digital media and internet companies to scale and grow alongside local enterprises. A new distillery will also be established by a private investor. Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, said: “It is good news that I have received with a formal approval from the Department of Housing for the Ballina innovation Quarter. The decision to support this project shows a serious commitment by government to revitalising the fortunes of Ballina and its hinterland of north and east Mayo. When delivered, the Ballina Innovation Quarter will significantly increase the attractiveness of Ballina and North Mayo from an economic perspective and will unlock significant enterprise and entrepreneurial activity.”

Pictured (l-r) is Steven Flynn, Skytango, Professor Derek O’Keeffe, NUI Galway, Wayne Floyd, Survey Drone Ireland, Santiago Montenegro UAV Specialist, Wingcopter and Marc Daly, Vodafone Ireland with the world’s first diabetes drone. The drone completed the first autonomous, beyond visible line of sight drone delivery of insulin, connected by Vodafone IoT, from Connemara Airport to Inis Mór on the Aran Islands.


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The Average Annual Occupancy (Year to Sept 2018) for Galway hotels last year, according to Failte Ireland’s Analysis of Visitor Accommodation report, with Average Room Rate at e10 InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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In Association with





Galway businesses rebuke rates kike

Sligo has been selected as this year’s Digital Town – an initiative seeking to highlight the economic, social and cultural benefits of the internet to towns across the country, and to ensure SMEs and local economies are realising the full potential of digital technology, particularly e-commerce. Sligo County Council revealed that it had been chosen for its achievements in ‘cultivating a truly digital environment in the town, and for its ongoing success in fully embracing digital for its residents and local businesses’. The initiative is led by IE Domain Registry. The County Council believes that in showcasing Sligo’s efforts, it can inspire other Irish towns to begin their journey to becoming fully digital. Gorey, Co Wexford, was chosen as Ireland’s Digital Town 2018. Findings from IE Domain Registry show that Irish SMEs are not maximising their full e-commerce potential. Ireland’s e-commerce economy is worth €12.3bn, but just 3 in 10 SMEs (30%) can take sales orders, and even fewer can actually process payments for transactions through their website (26%). Almost two-thirds (61%) of SMEs do not promote their services online and just 1 in 10 SMEs have taken part in a digital skills training or business funding programme. Domain registrations are seen as a forward indicator of economic activity. IE Domain Registry data shows 18.6% growth in new .ie domain registrations in Sligo in 2018. Sligo commands a 1.07% share of the total .ie domain database.


he organisation representing over 400 business in Galway, employing more than 20,000 staff, has come out strongly against the suggestion of an increase in commercial rates. The City Council’s draft budget has recommended an increase of 1.75% which would bring in an additional 780,000 over the course of a year. Dave Hickey, Galway Chamber President, outlined that “Galway Chamber had supported the 3% increase in commercial rates supporting Galway 2020 which is due to expire next year”. He added that “the Chamber supports the proposed continuance of this 3% but that the monies be ringfenced to stimulate economic development and enterprise activities. An additional increase of 1.75% cannot be sustained by business and will translate to job losses and increased pressure on already stretched businesses”. Specifically, in relation to Galway City, the Chamber believes that an increased focus on job creation and enterprise is urgently required along with immediate action on Galway’s ever-worsening traffic congestion – which is having a severe adverse impact on the city’s ability to attract investment. Key to the future success of Galway City and Galway County and growth of income from commercial rates is the support and attraction of enterprises. Local authorities must seek to increase revenue from new enterprise and not further taxation of incumbent enterprises. Galway Chamber will continue to work with all stakeholders in attracting and supporting new enterprise establishing in the city and county.

Sligo scoops Digital Town 2019 Award


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In Association with



39 Kildare has the sixth highest rate of outbound commuters in Ireland with 39% of the population commuting outside of the county for work. The improved economic circumstances over the last number of years have brought with it an increase in the number of people commuting into the greater Dublin region.


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Fingal County Council launched its Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2024 in Dublin in September. The final Plan contains 133 actions that are ongoing or planned within the Council, covering five key action areas: energy and buildings, transport, flood resilience, nature-based solutions and resource management. Pictured is AnnMarie Farrelly, Interim Chief Executive Fingal County Council with Cllr. Eoghan O’Brien, Mayor of Fingal.


Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street In early September, Dublin City Council approved the ‘Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street and Environs 2019’. This revises and updates the earlier 2013 Scheme, and shall remain in operation for six years. It sets out development objectives for this Area of Special Planning Control relating to both the preservation and enhancement of the area. The Scheme includes objectives/provisions relating to: • control of the use or uses of structures/land in the area • control of advertisements • co-ordination, upgrading or changing of specified shopfronts • control of the design, colour and materials of structures, and promotion of the maintenance, repair, or cleaning of structures. The geographical extent of the Area of Special Planning Control is identical to that of the Grafton Street and Environs Architectural Conservation Area, and the Scheme should be read in conjunction with the Architectural Conservation Area document. The area covers the whole of Grafton Street, from its junction with College Green to St. Stephen’s Green, including parts of St. Stephen’s Green North and South King Street.


14/10/2019 13:23

In Association with



Wicklow Rates Revaluation Confirmed The Valuation Office has now completed the revaluation of all commercial properties in County Wicklow and will begin issuing Final Valuation Certificates to all ratepayers from 10 September, 2019. The new valuations will take effect for rates purposes from 1 January, 2020. Please be aware that the Valuation (NAV) on the Final Valuation Certificate is NOT your rates liability but is a statement of the proposed valuation on which rates will be calculated from 1 January 2020.


Local Community Groups Receive 150,000 Grant


ne hundred and one local community groups in Wexford have received 150,000 in grant aid from Wexford Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) to improve their local areas and facilities. LCDC, on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development, celebrated the allocation of funding of 150,000 to 101 community groups under the Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) 2019 at a

presentation event in County Hall in late August. The Community Enhancement Programme provides vital support to community groups in order to help them improve their local facilities. It supports smallscale funding of communitybased projects, ranging from purchasing defibrillators and IT equipment to minor renovations to community facilities. Ultimately the programme responds to local needs and also provides funding towards larger projects.

IMPORTANT DATES: Valuation List Published 17 September 2019 Valuation Office Clinics in County Wicklow 24 & 25 September 2019 Final Date for Appeals to the Valuation Tribunal 14 October 2019 Date on which new valuations take effect for rates purposes 1 January 2020 Any ratepayer who is dissatisfied with any material aspect of their Valuation Certificate can appeal the valuation to the independent tribunal in 28 days of the publication of the new Valuation List. Please note there is a fee charged for submitting an appeal to the tribunal. Full details on how to make an appeal can be found on the website Further information on the Revaluation Process is available from the Valuation Office. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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[ COUNTY MEATH ] THE MEATH BUSINESS AND TOURISM AWARDS will this year celebrate its 10th year of honouring and recognising excellence in the Royal County. Director of Services Kevin Stewart will MC the special ‘Pitch Night’ on 30 October, where shortlisted businesses and organisations meet the judges and each other, to ‘pitch’ their businesses and hopefully impress enough to scoop a precious category award on the big night. The awards are to be held on 15 November in Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa.


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In Association with



Hamilton pledges to create a new ‘Vision for Belfast’ Former Northern Ireland Economy Minister and Minister for Finance, Simon Hamilton, has taken up the reigns as Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber, the leading voice for the business community in Belfast. His role will be to develop, grow and diversify the 107-year-old organisation’s membership and to deliver on its remit to support and promote businesses across Belfast. Hamilton states: “I am thrilled to be starting my new role as Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber at what is such an exciting and crucial time for our capital city. We have rapidly growing technology, tourism and professional services sectors, which is helping to make Belfast stand out globally as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in. There is also an increasing focus on the need to revitalise central Belfast. A vibrant city centre is essential to the future success of our city, and my priority will be to work closely with business, Belfast City Council and Government to help deliver the investment we need to help our city to fulfil the huge potential we know it has.” He added that the Belfast Chamber is the leading voice for business in Belfast, which means representing the city’s business community and influencing decision makers on all issues affecting the city including infrastructure, skills and transportation. “Belfast is the beating heart of the economy of Northern Ireland and we are committed to strengthening that in any way we can. First and foremost, I will be developing and delivering a ‘Vision for Belfast’.”


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Simon Hamilton (left), Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber, with Rajesh Rana, President of Belfast Chamber.


The historic Linen Quarter is rapidly becoming one of the most vibrant, must visit areas in Belfast, with 40 cafés, bars and restaurants, a dozen hotels, and three major music venues.


Fermanagh and Omagh District Council celebrated a significant milestone after helping its 500th new business start-up to compile a Go For It Programme business plan. Pictured celebrating the success is (L-R): Mark Edwards at Enniskillen Taste Experience; Alison McCullagh, Director of Regeneration and Planning at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council; Rodney Malone, Project Officer at Fermanagh Enterprise Company; Cllr Siobhán Currie, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Nicholas O’Shiel, Chief Executive of Omagh Enterprise Company Ltd.


16/10/2019 12:03

In Association with



Creative strategy for Donegal taking shape


Businesses who took part in the Generate programme with Creative Coast Donegal and the Local Enterprise Office, pictured with Chief Executive of Donegal Councty Council, Seamus Neeley, Head of Enterprise, Michael Tunney, Creative industries expert David Parrish and Liam Porter who helped devise the programme.

‘GO FOR IT’ PROGRAMME HITS 500 Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is celebrating a significant milestone after helping its 500th new business start-up to compile a Go For It Programme business plan. This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme. The Go For It programme provides advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business, by taking them through the process of creating a business plan. Mark Edwards at Enniskillen Taste Experience is one local business to have completed the Programme with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council after spotting a gap in the market for a unique food tour of Enniskillen. Celebrating the success of the Go For It Programme in the district, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Siobhán Currie, said: “The Go For It Programme, which is one of a suite of Business Support programmes offered by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, has and continues to be a tremendous success in the area. The Council is committed to working in partnership with other key stakeholders to promote the district as a quality place to live, visit and work and our collaborative approach with the Go For It programme has certainly proved very successful.” She added that the the Council has guided 500 local entrepreneurs such as Edwards through the business start-up process, helping them to turn their ideas into a reality. “The programme enables budding entrepreneurs to avail of expert advice to develop a comprehensive business plan, covering everything from accounts to marketing and long-term business growth.”


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he vision for the new ‘creative strategy’ for Co Donegal is hoping to build a strong, creative and digital economy with robust, confident, financially viable and collaboration-friendly businesses, according to the Head of Local Enterprise at Donegal County Council, Michael Tunney. He explained some of the key elements of the plan to invited guests recently, stating the vision was that these creative businesses would impact positively on the local economy in terms of job creation, as well as being proactive and competitive on an international stage. The launch in the Regional Cultural Centre was also a celebration of the ‘Generate’ programme for creative industries in Donegal and Mayor of the Letterkenny Municipal District, Cllr. John O’Donnell, said he was delighted to see such a thriving interest in the creative industries in the county. The Generate programme was a pilot initiative from the Local Enterprise Office that saw Creative Industries specialist David Parrish engage on a one-to-one basis with businesses in the county over the past two and a half years. “It was different from anything we had done before and from the outset a key element of the programme was to have 15 jobs at the end,” Tunney explained.


16/10/2019 09:16

In Association with



It is now almost two years since we launched the Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund. The SED Fund was launched as a e1.6m fund which was to be delivered over two years; 2018 and 2019. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development. John Evoy, SEDF Manager, Social Innovation Fund Ireland reports.


hen the opportunity to work with SIFI arose, I jumped at the chance. This was for a number of reasons but I was mainly driven by my experience in my previous role as founder of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA). In the early days of IMSA, I was supported by several organisations and individuals who went out of their way to help Men’s Sheds develop in Ireland. In the same way this role now gave me the chance to support others who are developing important social innovations, many of which have a massive impact on some of Ireland’s biggest social issues. Over the past two years, the SED fund has supported 33 social enterprises to increase their capacity and scale their impact across Ireland. It has been a privilege to have been involved with these super organisations and we have gained important insights and learned some invaluable lessons in that time. Here are some of those insights. Social enterprises are usually motivated by local issues. People see a problem in their local area and set out to solve that problem in a sustainable manner. Once successful, these social enterprises realise that they have the potential to solve the issue, not only in their own locality but all across Ireland. The partnership with the Local Authorities is key to the success of the Fund. It is their networks and local knowledge that links the local social enterprises with the SED Fund. The social enterprise sector is on the rise in Ireland. Earlier this year the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) launched Ireland’s first-ever social enterprise policy which set out a roadmap that can, in time, give Ireland one of the best social enterprise sectors in the world. Ireland has an abundance of leaders who are determined to make a difference by tackling serious social issues. In the past two years, we have received over 300 applications from social enterprises, many of whom are tackling very specific social issues that you may never have heard of if you were not personally affected by the issue. Others are taking the lead and tackling issues that affect all of us, such as climate action. Many of the social enterprises that the SED Fund has supported are not household names, yet. This year we have supported a number of social enterprises, which in time, will create transformational change in the areas that they work. Here are three examples.


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WE MAKE GOOD A large number of Ireland’s social enterprises are what is now termed as Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE). They create employment and pathways to employment for vulnerable groups who otherwise may find it difficult to find work. They are very often in the manufacturing space. One of their biggest challenges is finding sustainable markets for their products, thus the jobs that they create are insecure. We Make Good has addressed this problem by matching the social enterprises with some of Ireland’s best designers and by getting these products to market in a very innovative manner. These products are all produced by vulnerable groups and the story behind them can be seen at


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In Association with


BOUNCE BACK RECYCLING Bounce Back Recycling (BBR) has established itself as a leader in the field of mattress recycling in the West of Ireland. It reclaims and recycles steel from mattresses and is currently exploring innovative ways of dealing with textiles and foams. All of this is done while creating jobs for members of the Travelling Community. BBR has developed a sustainable business and is looking to expand across Connacht and Ulster. Full information about this valuable service to homes and businesses can be seen on the website:

REFILL IRELAND Ireland uses two and half-million singleuse plastic water bottles every day. Refill Ireland strives to reduce this by working to make Irish towns and cities tap water refill friendly for everyone while on the go (like the old days!). It locates and encourages the creation of locations where filling your reusable water bottle for free becomes an easy everyday habit, ultimately protecting our environment from bottle waste. You can find out more about Refill Ireland and download the tap map at

These are just three of the 33 amazing social enterprises that SED Fund has worked with so far and the great news is that IPB Insurance has committed to supporting the fund of another two years. Its investment, when matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development. through the Dormant Accounts Fund will mean that the SED Fund will be a â‚Ź3.2m fund over four years up to 2021. In this time it will have supported up to 100 social enterprises across every county in Ireland. The SED fund will open for applications again in November 2019. Anyone who is interested in applying should check out


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16/10/2019 14:43

Informing you about the work of local authorities in supporting the business needs of their community... To tell us what your local council is doing for business email

In Association with

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his classic Georgian building on St Stephen’s Green with its soaring sash windows overlooking the green, stucco ceilings, parquet floors, and fine dimensions makes an impressive spot for a business lunch. Head chef Sean Smith, a Donegal man, shows a lightness of hand in cooking and seasoning, and a sophisticated palate. His menus are fresh and simple, elevating classics and focusing on sustainable fish. Try a few sparklingly fresh oysters at the Oyster Bar with a creamy pint, or share a seafood platter with all the trimmings and a bottle of bubbly. The superb black sole on the bone with nut brown butter or a tender piece of poached cod, simply dressed, will soften up even the toughest negotiator in that all-important business lunch. Lunch is served Wednesday to Saturday, from 12 noon to 14:30pm. Set menus are €32 for 2 courses, €37 for three. If you need an early start try the breakfast option with a pot of aromatic coffee. Start the day on a fragrant note.

ADDRESS: Cliff Townhouse, 22 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2 T: +353 1 638 3939


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GETTING THERE: LUAS (tram) runs along St Stephen’s Green and Dawson Street, offering connections across the city centre. Aircoach stop on St Stephen’s Green.


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BERLIN e c a l p e h t ust be m



e all love a good ranking. Whether it is Top 10s, Top 50s or Top 100s, they often tend to garner both interest and debate in equal measure. One puzzling oddity in the annual ranking of ‘Europe’s Top Most Visited Cities’ is that the German capital Berlin can never squeeze into the top ten, while in Euromonitor International’s ‘Top 100 City Destinations 2018’ report, it only ranked the 36th most visited city globally. It is head-scratching stuff for anybody who has spent any time in Germany’s largest and most diverse city.


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Berlin, at some point, became synonymous with the word “cool”. A special kind of cool. Something very, well. Berlin. It’s hard to put your finger on it but Berlin just has its very own style and flair, not surprising given the city’s long tradition of being a creative and capital hub. The locals in Berlin do like to remind the world that the city was once a cultural hotspot and a liberal, free city in the 1920s, before history took over. Berlin today is the type of Bohemian capital that once made many artists, philosophers and writers famous. Regular visitors for either business or pleasure will undoubtedly struggle with words when trying


BY AIR: Ryanair and Aer Lingus both direct from Dublin to Schönefeld. From there it is a quick cab ride or S-Bahn to the city centre.


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Hotel am Steinplatz

In the heart of Tiergarten Park, the Siegessäule with its golden statue is one of the city’s must-see sights – complete with panoramic views!

It’s in the chic Charlottenburg district, so it’s very easy to get around to meetings in the city centre and it’s just a couple of kms from the ICC Exhibition Grounds. Its meeting/conference facilities are superb, with two large event rooms and a number of smaller meeting rooms.

EAT... Facil

Located at Potsdamer Straße 3, this fine-dining eatery has just the right ingredients for an important business dinner or lunch. It has two Michelin stars and is set within the most amazing oasis right in the heart of the city.


The Ritz-Carlton

to explain why they love this city of 3.5 million people so much. The most refreshing thing about Berlin for the business traveller, beside its great hotels and outstanding meeting/ conference facilities dotted throughout, is that when it’s pens down that very cool, creative undercurrent can make a work trip seem just that little more like play. Though the city is alluring throughout the year, there’s something particularly sublime about an autumn visit, all the cosy bar banquettes, the golden light and the locals’ penchant for oversized outerwear, while in winter during those long dark nights there’s one thing that just about everyone looks forward to in Berlin: Christmas markets. So with such a long list of things to see and do, where do you start? InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

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If you’re organising large events, this five-star hotel is exemplary – with the opulent Grand Ballroom sure to impress delegates. But even for regular business travellers, the luxurious surrounds and superb amenities make it a popular choice.


Brandenburg Gate The most iconic landmark of the city. While you’re ogling the magnificent architecture of the gate, however, don’t forget to take in the elegant Pariser Platz as well. brandenburg-gate


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KNOW before you go

BIKING Berlin is famous for its broad and safe cycle lanes. There are dozens of great cycling tours that you can take advantage of and take a spin. A great way to see the city.

TRANSPORT Berlin's public transportation system is world-renowned and is the best way to travel this sprawling German city. Ride the UBahn, SBahn, trams, buses or even catch a ferry.

FESTIVALS Berlin is famous for its hosting of international music, art, culture, food festivals all year round. Check local listings before you go or when you arrive. Karneval der Kulturen (2-5 June) is one the bigger street festivals.

CHRISTMAS MARKET Gendarmenmarkt For a bit of the traditional in a beautiful setting, especially at night as the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and nearby churches and buildings are lit up. Gift stands tend to be handicraft-oriented or luxury-focused.


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Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe

PARKS Berlin is one of the greenest (and most cyclefriendly) cities in Europe, thanks in part to the serious square footage of Tempelhof Feld. Set on the site of a former Nazi airport, this park is lined with pathways ideal for an afternoon stroll or a more ambitious bike ride. If it’s late autumn foliage you’re after, Tiergarten is one of the city’s most elegant options. On the weekends you can hunt for vintage finds at Berliner Trödelmarkt, the oldest flea market in Berlin, or head to one of Berlin’s buzzing farmer’s markets. Winterfeldt Markt in Schöneberg is one of the best, with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and lots of snacks. Use a cloudy day to dig into Berlin’s art scene. Berlin’s art scene isn’t just about cutting edge art – it’s also about unexpected gallery spaces.

CULTURE Berlin is a world leader when it comes to culture. It has an annual cultural budget of almost €1 bn per year. Some of Europe’s finest museums are clustered on the Unesco-listed Museum Island in central Berlin, all within easy walking distance so you don’t even need to use the excellent public transport system. The interesting thing about Berlin is how the past keeps sticking out of its eclectic mix of architectural styles. The soaring Fernsehturm – the television tower – in Alexanderplatz recalls East Berlin’s modernist aspirations. Berlin is a city where nothing stands still for long, and, over the last few years, the city has become a magnet for a new breed of young, contemporary artists, whose influence has been felt nationwide. The Hamburger train

Hackesche Höfe

station, a monument to industry, has been converted into the Museum für Gegenwart, a temple of modern art. At the same time, Berlin’s Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg have become home to a modern gallery scene which often provokes international interest. The numbers are mightily impressive: Berlin has three opera houses, over 1,500 theatres and stages, more than 175 museums and collections, roughly 300 galleries, in excess of 250 public libraries, 130 cinemas and a multitude of other cultural possibilities. Meanwhile, Berlin’s nightlife scene is legendary, and for good reason: never-ending nightclubs and anything-goes attitude. There’s a very good spread of establishments, from old-school corner pubs (kneipen) and smart wine bars to grungy indie bars and live gig venues. Although difficult to choose, the best areas for nightlife are still Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, not to mention sprawling Kreuzberg. Friedrichshain is popular too. All of these districts are in the eastern part of the city. There you will find countless small and hip nightclubs. InBUSINESS | AUTUMN 2019

14/10/2019 13:09



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InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals.



aitríona Perry spent four years as RTÉ’s Washington correspondent and, in this insider account, she explores the role of Irish Americans in the US political system. Once considered to be kingmakers in local and national elections, generations of assimilation and rising numbers of newer immigrants have diluted this power and influence. Leading Republicans and Democrats – including congresspeople, mayors, governors and a former president – explain that they no longer target a notional ‘Irish voting bloc’; that the concept, instead, has long faded. In this definitive, clear-eyed look at Irish Americans in the US political system, Perry also meets many of President Trump’s Green Army – who are ‘Red and Green and Proud’ – and speaks with members of past and present administrations, who give insider accounts of what really goes on in the White House on St Patrick’s Day.


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold AUTHOR: John le Carré PUBLISHER: Penguin RRP: 7.95 AVAILABLE:

From the master of spy thrillers, John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a gripping story of love and betrayal Cold War Berlin. Carré’s breakthrough work of 1963 sees the spy story reborn, a gritty tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.


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AUTHOR: Caitríona Perry PUBLISHER: Gill Books RRP: 19.99 AVAILABLE: and bookstores nationwide

Shaping the future Today’s unprecedented pace of change leaves many people AUTHORS: wondering what John Browne new technologies PUBLISHER: Gill Books are doing to RRP: our lives. Are 20.33 the decisions about our health, AVAILABLE: security and finances made by computer programs inexplicable and biased? Will these algorithms become so complex that we can no longer control them? And has our demand for energy driven the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe? John Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advances. Drawing on history, his own experiences and conversations with many of today’s great innovators, he argues compellingly that the same spark that triggers each innovation can be used to counter its negative consequences. Make, Think, Imagine provides an eloquent blueprint for how we can keep moving towards a brighter future.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men Invisible Women shows us how we are systematically ignoring half the population. Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew. Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019.

AUTHOR: Caroline Criado Perez RRP: 23.79 AVAILABLE:


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LIFESTYLE: podcasts




Could you tell us a little about your Where is the Mind? podcast and what kind of listeners it is aimed at? I took my learning, experience and knowledge of sociology, which is what my background is in and combined it into a podcast which gives people a programme over six weeks where they can start exploring their own mind, discover what is overwhelming them and more importantly learn what they can do about it. We can take responsibility for our own minds and this it what I wanted to teach people with the podcast. The podcast is about embracing chaos, navigating through the stress we have to deal with everyday. Why do you think this topic is so important to be talking about? We often blame the individual for not having resilience and not being strong or getting overly stressed. This really isn’t the individual’s issue, it is a product of our culture, society and environment. We’re all feeling this, collectively, no matter what you do, no matter how lovely your life is or how great your kids are or your job is. We all are experiencing this and there is a lovely warm collective humanity in that and that is what I wanted to talk about. How did you find working in podcasting compared to your other mediums such as writing and performing? The thing about podcasting is it’s your opinion, it’s your kind of interests and the hope is that people will listen and find it interesting as well. I wanted the listeners to understand that I’m going through this stuff too with you. What do you feel are good ingredients to making a good podcast? A good producer is absolutely crucial. I have an incredible producer, Ciara O’Connor Walsh. You need someone to tell you you’re talking rubbish. You need someone who is putting you back in line. You need someone to be your north star because a lot of podcasts out there don’t have producers and you can hear it. It gets very aimless and that to me isn’t sustainable in terms of a podcast.

Where is my Mind? podcast is an Acast production and is available to dowload online.


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What have you learnt about how the podcast industry works? In Ireland, we’re one of the biggest consumers of podcasting per capita in the world. The big podcasts in Ireland have massive numbers, really big numbers yet none of them get sponsorship. Agencies haven’t copped on that this is a really strong way of reaching and targeting audiences. I think Ireland is going to very quickly realise the capacity podcasting has to reach large numbers of people in a very real way.




REBOOT REPUBLIC Reboot Republic is the innovative podcast that delves beyond the headlines and soundbites and pulls up the roots of our social crises to unearth progressive solutions. Reboot Republic talks to world leading experts, politicians, activists and everyday change-makers and aims to be the podcast for an optimistic and inclusive future and not the polarised present.


PANTISOCRACY Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss invites a diverse gathering of intriguing, high profile and articulate guests into her parlour to chat about their life’s journey and share stories. . A cabaret for the times we live in. Pantisocracy is a society of equals.


MARKETING DISRUPTED Marketing Disrupted is your up to-theminute podcast about what’s happening in marketing today, hosted by Brent Chaters, Managing Director, Accenture Digital, and Amber Mac, technology and marketing reporter. It’s what you need to know right now about reaching customers in this ever-evolving technological landscape.


14/10/2019 10:46


e8,000,000 allocated to maintain grants for those buying electric cars




Commercial stamp duty increases by 1.5 % to 7 %

will go towards the Disruptive Technologies Innovation fund.

A Brexit package of


€1.2bn has been announced


€1bn allocated to


Department of Business

€14 m

for the fishing industry



for agriculture, enterprise and tourism sectors to assist the regions and populations most affected.

for the food and drinks processing industry.

to assist people to transition to new work.

will be transferred to the Government’s rainy day fund


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14/10/2019 12:48

enter now

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