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COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT ANTOINETTE DALE HENDERSON MENTORS SERIES LEADERSHIP ON UNLOCKING WOMEN’S POWER

InBUSINESS InB USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SPRING

2020

Leading by example

THE SKY’S

THE LIMIT

INVESTING IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

OPENSKY STILL ON GROWTH PATH

Research

Excellence IRELAND’S STRONG TRACK RECORD WITH HORIZON 2020

Support through BANK OF IRELAND’S

Covid-19 ON SUPPORTS AND RECOVERY

04

9

OFC InBUSINESS Spring 2020_Cover_V2.indd 1

772009 393018

2.70

GAVIN KELLY

12/05/2020 13:06


Covid-19

Stabilise

First stabilise. Then recover. With funding supports from Enterprise Ireland.

Stabilise

Reset

Recover

For Irish companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis, the first step to recovery is to establish financial stability. Enterprise Ireland’s Business Recovery Roadmap provides a range of targeted supports to help affected companies maintain liquidity and business continuity, including: Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant Worth up to €5,000, this support enables a company to prepare a financial plan to understand its immediate financial position, manage costs and identify the finance it requires.

The Sustaining Enterprise Fund This €180m fund will provide funding of up to €800,000 to eligible manufacturing and internationally traded services companies to maintain liquidity and sustain their businesses in the short to medium term. Funding will be in the form of a repayable advance.

Innovative HPSU Fund Equity investment of up to €800,000 on a co-funded basis, is available for innovation-led high potential start-ups (HPSUs), to maintain liquidity and sustain their businesses in the short to medium term.

Sustaining Enterprise Fund – Small Enterprise Smaller companies in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors (employing 10 or more with a turnover of under €5m) can access a repayable advance up to €50,000 to maintain liquidity and sustain their businesses in the short to medium term.

Start your business on the road to recovery. For a full range of supports, contact your development advisor or the Business Response Unit at 01-727 2088 or www.enterprise-ireland.com

EI_Recovery_Roadmap_Press_InBusiness for Chambers 249755_1C_Enterprise Ireland_JM_InBus 13.01.indd 1 Ireland_A4_FA.indd 1

12/05/2020 11:36 09:54 12/05/2020


Editor: Sorcha Corcoran Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Assistant: Kiah Townsend (Chambers Ireland) Editorial Contributors: Eithne Dunne Derek Nagle Grainne Rothery Bernadette Sampson

COVER STORY

Support Covid-19

through

Front Cover Photography: Conor McCabe

Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland outlines the bank’s vital role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond while sector experts provide key advice to businesses in the food and drink, manufacturing, retail and hospitality sectors.

Photography: iStock Photo

T

he impact of Covid-19 has been felt right across the country, in every home and in every business sector. For most of us, be it in our lives or our careers, there has never been anything like the Covid-19 crisis. In a relatively short period of time it has upended our personal and professional lives, impacted loved ones, shaken the economy to its core, and challenged us all to do things very differently. As highlighted by the Government, dealing with Covid-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Banking exists to support the aspirations of individuals and businesses, and we will certainly play our part in helping customers to navigate the challenges ahead. For almost 240 years we have been a business that exists to serve our customers. That focus remains unchanged and I firmly believe that by working together we can get through this crisis. The Government acted decisively to implement various restrictive measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in order to save lives across the country. These measures, while absolutely necessary for our country, inevitably had a severe impact on trade. The last few weeks have seen businesses all over Ireland forced to take decisions they hoped they would never have to take. Many businesses have been hit hard, while others have had to significantly readjust their operations to fit the ‘new normal’. Cost reductions were found, business models re-thought, forecasts revised and cash flows protected – it has been a very difficult time for all sectors. We are seeing first-hand the impact on small and

Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production Executive: Nicole Ennis 16

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

All articles © Ashville Media Group 2020. 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

Support through Covid-19

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

Entrepreneur

Michael Cronin, Managing Director, OpenSky on pursuing a growth strategy

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Industry

D

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Cutting-edge innovation in the burgeoning and vital agritech sector Words: Eithne Dunne

Our Local Government InBUSINESS supplement continues to look at the 64 important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page

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An additional e3.3 million is being provided to the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, designed to assist small businesses

ULSTER

Cork County Council Library and Arts Service, with support from the Arts Council, is providing a free online writing workshop

CONNAUGHT

LEINSTER

MUNSTER

Fingal County Council donated more than 30,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Beaumont Hospital

Donegal County Archives launched an oral history project as part of its Peace IV funded “Echoes of the Decade” project

3D PRINTED PPE IN FINGAL

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La Trattoria Restaurant in Midleton prepares and distributes over 300 meals a day around East Cork

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

Brian Lougheed

TALES FROM ROSCOMMON

Cork County Council staff members and local businesses are supporting local communities where people are socially isolated or cocooned.

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Cork Covid-19 Response

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

COUNCILS ANSWER THE COMMUNITY CALL IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

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BELFAST TAKES 5

In Association with

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0 HEX: 40B3DF

SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

Y EL

Q: Why did you decide to set up Mechanical Modular Solutions(MMS) in 2016? MMcG: I served my time as a fitter and over many years of working on various building sites both nationally and internationally, I recognised the significant opportunity that existed in the marketplace for off-site modular construction solutions. I pursued this opportunity with the support of fellow company shareholders, Alan Filan and John Comerford, and

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InBUSINESS speaks to Gavin Kelly, CEO, Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland about supports and recovery

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

Gavin Kelly, CEO, Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

COVER STORY:

Established by Michael McGuire to fill a gap in the market for off-site fabrication, Kilkenny-based Mechanical Modular Solutions was the 2019 winner of the Exporter of the Year award at the Kilkenny Business Awards and Best Export Business Award at the National Enterprise Awards.

IN AT I O N

On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 11 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 FY84 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: info@chambers.ie Web: www.chambers.ie

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

STE

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Unit 55 Park West Road, Park West Industrial Park, D12 X9F9 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: info@ashville.com Web: www.ashville.com

JUST AS WE HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO BUSINESS GROWTH DURING A PERIOD OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND EXPANSION, BANK OF IRELAND IS HERE TO HELP BUSINESSES MANAGE THE SEVERE IMPACT OF THIS CRISIS ACROSS ALL SECTORS.

Conor McCabe

Designer: James Moore

E T E RM together we set up MMS in 2016.

Q: What is different and compelling about what MMS does? MMcG: MMS provides off-site modular fabrication as an alternative to traditional on-site fabrication for plantrooms and electrical switch rooms. We also offer off-site fabrication of pipework and steel work. Off-site modular fabrication involves the process of planning, designing, fabricating, transporting

and assembling building elements for rapid site assembly to a greater degree of finish than in traditional piecemeal on-site construction. Irish mechanical engineering firms have not proactively embraced the concept of modular solutions and rather have generally continued to operate in the traditional manner of employing onsite solutions. Our dedicated in-house research and development team allows us to keep at the forefront of cutting-edge technology

in the mechanical and electrical area. Q: How have you grown and developed the business? MMcG: Currently in this specialised field, the products and services of UK companies are being imported into Ireland by businesses such as MEP Solutions. This leaves MMS in an excellent position to further develop and pioneer the concept of modular solutions in the Irish marketplace as well as in other markets, notably InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is interesting to note that it is cheaper to carry out a modular build in Ireland and ship it to Switzerland than carry out the build in Switzerland itself. MMS can deliver exceptional quality modular solutions, far more cost effectively and up to 25-30% faster than traditional methods. We increased our workforce from seven in 2017 to 16 in 2018. Further to a recent recruitment drive, there are now 25 full-time staff in the business, and it is envisaged that this will increase to 40 by the end of this year. Over the next 12 months, we will be recruiting for several positions including project managers, quantity surveyors, designers, steel fabricators, welders, general operatives and apprentices in order to meet upcoming business demands. Our goal is to have 70 staff employed directly by 2022. Q: What is your exporting strategy and the key to winning business abroad? MMcG: In terms of capabilities, size and scope, MMS will scale up significantly over the coming three years with more and more expansive projects coming on stream. We recently finished a job in Germany. By the end of 2019, upwards of 20% of MMS’s business was linked to projects destined for locations outside Ireland and in three years’ time, it is envisaged that this figure will have increased to 85%. Our immediate core objective is to generate and build additional revenue streams through profitable sales contracts across Ireland,

the UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. With this in mind, a 40,000 sq ft purposebuilt workshop for heavy steel works will be added to the facility at Castlecomer later this year. We recognise that this is a challenging time for a business within Ireland and globally, however, we feel that we possess the skills to respond to client needs across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region and as a result become an Irish exporter of choice. Key to our success in winning business is that we acknowledge that our customers value consistency in the services we deliver. We understand that their expectations are based on previous positive experiences. Therefore, it is crucial that we continually strive to exceed their expectations. At the heart of this is a robust, accredited quality management system where we have standardised work practices, policies and procedures. We follow the principles of Lean to examine and continually improve our performance. Q: How as a business are you responding to the challenge of Covid-19? MMcG: The Covid-19 outbreak has required us to devise a plan regarding how to still operate to the best of our ability through this uncertain time while protecting our lives and the lives of those we come into contact with every day. As we are deemed an essential service, it is important that we monitor Covid-19 and the evolving challenges it brings as we maintain operations.

Michael McGuire, CEO, Mechanical Modular Solutions

We have introduced remote working for employees who could work from home and created designated working zones within our premises for others to ensure social distancing and limited contact. We introduced a “no visitor entry without appointment” policy and created a compulsory visitor travel questionnaire to be completed upon entry to our workplace. We created additional sanitising areas and increased our personal protective equipment supply. In addition, we staggered lunch break times to limit contact between employees. The scale of the disruption is still unknown, and we must do what we can to protect our employees, supply chain, clients and all stakeholders during these unprecedented times.

Scenario planning and risk assessments will be key in safeguarding our business as these are the factors within our control that we can focus on to minimise risk to our operations both currently and for future practice. Q: How do you deal with competition? MMcG: In order to assess and manage the risks associated with running a successful business, we hold weekly meetings to stay on top of what’s happening within the company and look at any external competitors. The main elements of our business are placed under one roof which helps us to manage our supply chain efficiently and rectify any potential issues immediately. We ensure we are competitive in the market on price and in all the services we provide.

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

28 Steely Determination SMALL BUSINESS

Mechanical Modular Solutions is filling a gap in the market for off-site fabrication Words: Sorcha Corcoran

In Association with

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12/05/2020 09:19


Skills To Advance Make skills work for your business If you’re looking for ways to grow your business, talk to your local Education and Training Board about subsidised training solutions for your workforce. For more, contact your local Education and Training Board or visit skillstoadvance.ie

“Developing my workforce has helped grow my business”

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03/03/2020 14:47 29/04/2020 18/03/2020 15:43 10:49


Contents

COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT ANTOINETTE DALE HENDERSON MENTORS SERIES ONLEADERSHIP UNLOCKING WOMEN’S POWER

InBUSINESS InB USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SPRING

2020

Leading by example

THE SKY’S

THE LIMIT

INVESTING IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

OPENSKY STILL ON GROWTH PATH

Research

Excellence IRELAND’S STRONG TRACK RECORD WITH HORIZON 2020

Support through BANK OF IRELAND’S

Covid-19 ON SUPPORTS AND RECOVERY

04

9

772009 393018

12

24

a2.70

GAVIN KELLY

Go to chambers.ie for the online edition

MENTORS:

Antoinette Dale Henderson

Leadership communications expert Antoinette Dale Henderson’s book Power Up focuses on unlocking female leaders’ full potential Words: Eithne Dunne

30

[LIFESTYLE]

(Source: Financial Times Corporate Learning Pulse Survey 2017).

38

30

An extract from Align: A Leadership Blueprint for Aligning Enterprise Purpose, Strategy and Organisation by Jonathan Trevor

in largerises enterp nd in in Irela re 2019 wen wome

o

and food servthe sector had entage highest perc of female utives Senior Exec

est publicly list

ed co

mpa

LEADERSHIP

Sources: 2019 McKinsey & Company and Leanin.org Women in the Workplace study / 2019 CSO Gender Balance in Business Survey / Catalyst, Quick Take: Women in Management (August 7, 2019)

Oin niNneECEOs

4The6Accommo%datiicoen

WOMEN IN

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

Steven Tubbritt, General Manager, Home Instead Senior Care Waterford

Home Instead Senior Care provides care to mostly elderly people in their homes, enabling them to live healthy, happy and independent lives. The company also provides services for children and adults with special needs, and works on behalf of the HSE as well as privately. It has 24 offices nationwide and more than 1,000 franchises globally. Steven Tubbritt was Operations Manager at Home Instead in Waterford when he was offered a Skillnet Ireland leadership training course by his employers. They felt this would benefit him greatly as at that stage of his career he had just three years’ experience in a managerial role. The programme was explained at an introductory meeting at a local hotel during which participants received a list of all available mentors in their region. Tubbritt chose three mentors with similar backgrounds to his (production and manufacturing) and spent over two hours with each, where he explained what his job entailed and in what areas he wished to improve. He explains the rationale behind his choices: “The reason I did this was that factories are built to be efficient and this was something I wanted to learn about. Their vast experience was also a factor – two of my mentors had over 30 years’ experience in management roles.’’ Networking gave participants the opportunity to discuss issues and differences across a wide variety of industries, with practical

suggestions on how these issues could be best addressed. The programme included talks by a particularly varied range of guest speakers (including a female astronaut) where tips and advice were offered. Mentors also made themselves available by phone and e-mail. Tubbritt found this approach invaluable: “When I first came into management I tried to model myself on previous managers I worked for thinking, ‘That’s the way you have to do it’. From speaking to mentors and guest speakers I realised there is no set way to do anything.” Tubbritt has since been promoted to General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care in Waterford. He was determined to make his leadership training programme a personal success: “I wanted to learn. I knew I was raw, wasn’t perfect but was open to ideas. I had a huge interest in the programme and listened to every word.” He also has sound advice for businesses considering investing in leadership training: “I don’t think companies should send someone for the sake of it or to look good as a company – it’s important to invest in the correct people.”

I WANTED TO LEARN. I KNEW I WAS RAW, WASN’T PERFECT BUT WAS OPEN TO IDEAS. I HAD A HUGE INTEREST IN THE PROGRAMME AND LISTENED TO EVERY WORD.

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

38

SKILLS & TALENT:

Leading by Example

The compelling need for continuous leadership development in Irish business Words: Derek Nagle

87% role in 2019. ment

in the larg

of executives

EU were women in 2019

of senior executives indicated undertaking a leadership development programme enhanced their ability to perform more effectively in their roles

T

DEALING WITH COMPLEXITY Kevin Empey is Managing Director of Work Matters Consulting and Training. He is also Programme Director of the Senior Executive Programme at the Irish Management Institute (IMI). Empey believes leadership training is particularly important at a time when business conditions are getting more complex and the pace of change is increasing so rapidly. Like Donnery, he cites Brexit as a particular risk to business, but also the threat posed by Covid-19 and its implications: “What I have found in more recent years in leadership training is an ability to deal with complexity, to be able to focus on what is important amongst the myriad of possibilities, challenges and options available to a business in dealing with risks.” Donnery feels a good leader must be able to communicate and delegate effectively, set a strong example and manage the many

CASE STUDY:

woman in a senior manage

Finance

women are promoted and hired.

in th e

85%

Book Extract

72HR/Perso%nnel 53%ices Customer serv 39/Acc%ounting

72

nies

(Source: Microsoft’s Future Of Work Research Programme 2020).

t one

le levels of femain the participatinognsectors folllowihigh in 2018: were

For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only

100

of Irish organisations are facing rapid changes to their business strategy or regulatory environment

36

102

6.9% of CEOs 17.6%

93%

al businesses have at leas f glob

of Boards of Directolargrse of in enterprisines2019 Ireland female had a son. Chairper

US$50bn

he area of leadership training and development has evolved greatly as businesses are increasingly considering how to put meaning back into work. Companies need leaders who spend time communicating with employees, the result being a greater willingness to invest in leadership and wider development needs. Leaders need to stay on top of the current trends influencing their company and industry, the wider economy, their employees and themselves if they are to continue to produce results. Participating in a leadership development programme or series of coaching sessions can help individuals to step back and gain perspective. Participants can also focus on business strategy rather than normal day-to-day operations that can be a distraction. When leaders are supported through coaching and lifelong learning they can better support their organisations and teams to meet change with less resistance, better engagement and better performance. For over 20 years Skillnet Ireland and its 70 enterprise networks have played a pivotal role in leadership development in Irish businesses, helping companies nurture these vital skills for current and future leaders. Funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills, Skillnet Ireland

Ireland’s strong track record in securing Horizon 2020 funding thanks to research excellence

28%

7%

LEADERSHIP: THE STATS

(Source: UK Corporate Research Forum Report 2019).

Words: Grainne Rothery

FACING CHALLENGES Tracey Donnery, Executive Director of Skillnet Ireland, highlights the issues confronting companies in today’s climate: “There are many challenges facing businesses and their leaders in Ireland today – complexities arising from Brexit, access to skills and talent, technological changes, productivity challenges and the transition to a low-carbon and environmentally sustainable economy. All of these require leaders with the right skills to guide their organisations through.” Ireland’s talented workforce is a crucial factor for our economy. This is also a source of competitive strength that cannot be taken for granted. Employee attraction, development and retention are even more important and more challenging than ever due to a worldwide market where competition for talent is fierce. Leaders and employees place great value on a company’s willingness to invest in their development, and executive teams are mindful of the crucial importance of encouraging leadership behaviours across many different levels of their business. Developing leadership competencies that harness the potential of business leaders to lead, innovate and drive competitiveness should be a top priority for companies.

AM PLE

Innovation & Tech

of all Senior Executives in Irelland in 2019 were women

have three or more women in their C-suite

Continuous investment in the effective development of leaders within Irish companies is critically important for the future success of individuals, business and the economy at large, writes DEREK NAGLE.

is spent globally each year on leadership development

32

101 BOOKS The power of leadership and skills for continuous improvement

44% of companies

Y EX

B

Words: Bernadette Sampson

engages with over 16,000 companies every year, supporting their employees in developing a range of skills and competencies.

LEADI NG

Lucinda Kelly, CEO of Popertee on alternative methods of promotion using artificial intelligence

100 PODCASTS Angie Mezzetti’s ‘Women in Leadership’ podcast aims to give women a voice in media and business

In this issue, InBUSINESS explores leadership statistics on women striving to rise to the top levels of companies and progress on gender diversity in the worpkplace.

SKILLS& TALENT

Media & Marketing

98 INNOVATION Leading technologies that are shaping our future

THE InBUSINESS BUSINESS INDEX

SKILLS AND TALENT

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

001 InBUSINESS Spring 2020_Contents_V1.indd 3

[REGULARS] 4 Business News 8 Movers & Shakers 10 Start-Up Central 15 Opportunity Ireland 41 Chambers Catch Up 102 The IB Index

08

3

14/05/2020 13:37


NE WS INNOVATION GREEN CAMPUS FOR THE MIDLANDS

A

new initiative called Innovation Green has been established to create the first 100% independent renewable energy microgrid in Ireland to develop a prototype “low carbon trade and industry campus”. To be located in the Midlands, it will provide a centre of excellence for companies and researchers looking to test and develop renewable and sustainable energy solutions to real-world environmental problems related to trade and industry. “Overall this project offers an opportunity for investment to create jobs in the region that can assist and support other regions in the country in a smart and sustainable way. This is exactly what will be needed post Covid-19,” says Patrick Little, Director, Innovation Green.

Pat Lardner, CEO, Irish Funds and George O’Dowd, MD, Novi

TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE FOR IRISH FUNDS Secure IT and cloud service provider Novi has designed and implemented a customised IT infrastructure for Irish Funds as part of a €200,000 technology upgrade. The new infrastructure includes multiple layers of security to help protect Irish Funds’ systems and data from potential cyber attacks. Founded in 1991, Irish Funds is the representative body for the international investment funds community in Ireland, responsible for supporting, developing and promoting the funds industry globally. It represents more than 145 member companies, 16,000 funds industry professionals and 14,000 funds, totaling €5tr in assets under administration.

CENTRAL BANK BULLETIN PREDICTIONS STARK According to the Central Bank of Ireland’s latest Quarterly Bulletin, Ireland’s GDP could decline by 8.3% in 2020, based on the assumption that Covid-19 restrictions remain in place for a three-month period before being rolled back. In this scenario, given the fall in employment which has occurred to date and is likely, and if all those receiving Covid-19 related payments are counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would rise to around 25% in the second quarter. “Covid-19 has triggered a severe economic shock that is fundamentally different in nature and scope from types of shocks previously witnessed,” the bulletin states.

COVID-19 IMPACT ON EXPORTS Central Statistics Office figures show that goods exports were €812m lower in February 2020 compared to February 2019, at €11.6bn. There were significant drops in exports of organic chemicals (down 19% to €2.3bn) and medical and pharmaceutical products (down 14% to €3.4bn) while exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by 73% to €905m for the period in question. The EU accounted for €4.8bn (42%) of total goods exports in February 2020. Total EU exports increased by 3% compared with February 2019. The US was the main non-EU destination, accounting for one quarter of total exports in February 2020. Innovation Green masterplan

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

12/05/2020 09:18


BUSINESS NEWS

DPD IRELAND

SEES SURGE IN DEMAND Courier company DPD Ireland is to hire 100 additional drivers in response to a huge increase in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Part of DPD Group, the second largest international parcel delivery network in Europe, DPD Ireland has reported that deliveries of electrical goods are up 800%, pet food is up 300% and sports equipment is 225% higher in recent weeks. According to the company, parcel volume throughput at its central sorting office in Athlone during April was greater than on Black Friday weekend 2019. DPD Ireland took on 115 extra drivers in March to bring the total number employed to 1,100.

EXTENDED GRAVITY BAR

Brendan Kavanagh, CEO, Olive Group

OLIVE GROUP LAUNCHES MY VIRTUAL TUTOR Educational technology company Olive Group has launched its online training platform My Virtual Tutor to help organisations struggling to train staff due to coronavirus restrictions. This represents a €5m research and development investment to enable remote staff learning, up-skilling and regulatory compliance. Olive Group is also offering free and unrestricted access to its infection control hand hygiene course to healthcare workers. Founded in Dublin in 2011, the company has trained over 2 million people across the world and created digital learning content in 27 languages. It works in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, pharma, retail and construction.

AT GUINNESS STOREHOUSE

Gravity Bar at The Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse unveiled its new Gravity Bar in March before it had to close due to Covid-19. Developed over three years, with over 175,000 man hours and almost €20m investment, Gravity Bar has more than doubled in size, offering visitors extended panoramic views which now include the Phoenix Park and new vistas over the Dublin Mountains. The footprint of Gravity Bar is now constructed as a figure of eight, designed to give visitors maximum views across Dublin’s city skyline. The new 721 square metre bar will be able to host up to 500 people at a time whenever it can re-open.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

004 InBUSINESS Spring 2020_News_V1_REV.indd 5

Technopath’s Envetec 200 system

TIPP TECH BEING USED TO FIGHT COVID-19 IN NY

N

ew York State’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, is adopting the technology of a company based in Co Tipperary to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19. Developed by Technopath Clinical Diagnostics, the Envetec 200 system simultaneously shreds and disinfects infectious medical waste using a patented process that kills Covid-19 viruses. “This new technology allows us to remove the unknown risk exposure when disposing of medical waste while avoiding the need for costly and carbon-inefficient transportation and disposal by third-party handlers. It’s a positive light during a unique time,” said Michael Dowling, Northwell President and CEO.

5

12/05/2020 09:19


BUSINESS NEWS

WIX COMMITTED

TO DUBLIN

Cloud-based web development platform Wix has confirmed its commitment to Dublin as a hub for its international growth despite coronavirus fears. Wix has a staff of around 140 multilingual specialists and office operations personnel in Dublin supporting Wix customers across the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Russia and has plans for further recruitment over the coming months. President and COO Nir Zohar said: “Our Ireland operation is at the frontline of our product growth and the support team in Dublin is invaluable to serving our millions of customers in Europe and around the world.”

MAJOR TELECOMS

PROVIDERS SIGN UP TO NEW MEASURES Telecoms providers in Ireland have committed to a number of Government measures to help people stay in touch and work from home during Covid-19. All major providers have signed up, including BT Ireland, eir, Pure Telecom, Sky Ireland, Tesco Mobile Ireland, Three Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone. Among the customer commitments are that service providers will engage with any customer that contacts them who is in financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and has difficulty paying their bills to agree the best way of keeping them connected to voice and data.

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PICTURE

THIS

Smart energy company Pinergy has launched a new partnership with eLight. This will support businesses looking to become more sustainable by investing in energy efficient lighting. Pictured are Ian McKenna, Managing Director at eLight and Enda Gunnell, CEO of Pinergy.

Business

BITES

IT RECYCLING AMI has helped Kainos to raise €60,000 for charity and outreach activities through the collection and resale of the digital services provider’s old IT equipment.

ARDMAC INTRODUCES MEDIPODS Construction specialist Ardmac, which is headquartered in Dublin, has launched MediPods in Ireland and the UK. The new offering provides a fast, flexible solution for mobile, on-demand and high value medical Ardmac’s MediPod unit workspaces to support the healthcare sector. The mobile MediPod units have been designed for applications including intensive care and isolation units and are part of a suite of offerings Ardmac is now providing for high-value workspaces and technical environments. The announcement follows a partnership agreement that Ardmac signed with US-based Germfree Laboratories, a specialist in the design, engineering and manufacture of advanced biological containment laboratories.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

12/05/2020 09:19


BUSINESS NEWS

ALL-ISLAND LEADERSHIP

FOR DEALZ AND POUNDLAND

D

ealz and Poundland have appointed two Irish women to take leading roles as part of a new structure for the business across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sharon Sheridan has been appointed Country Manager – Trading, responsible for trading decisions, including buying, merchandising and supply chain, while Olivia McLoughlin has been appointed Country Manager – Retail, with responsibility for the supervision of 99 stores on the island of Ireland. Dealz stores across Ireland have remained open during the Covid 19 outbreak, introducing social distancing and hygiene measures in line with government guidelines. Before the crisis, Dealz planned to open 10 new stores in Ireland this year.

Sharon Sheridan, Country Manager, Trading and Olivia McLoughlin, Country Manager, Retail, Dealz

SUPPLY CHAIN

REMOTE WORKING

US$1BN FOR AIRBNB

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, FTA Ireland has reassured the public that the nation’s supply chain is resilient and there is no need to stockpile items.

Global jobs site Indeed has reported a huge surge in Ireland in people seeking remote work, with searches rising 158% between February and March.

Airbnb has secured a US$1bn term loan from institutional investors which will ensure it can continue to invest in over 220 countries and regions around the world.

ROASTED BROWN SUPPORTS CLOSED CAFÉS

Based in Co Wicklow, independent Irish coffee roaster Roasted Brown has introduced an initiative to support Irish hospitality businesses closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its ‘Our Shop is Their Shop’ campaign allows Roasted Brown coffee drinkers buying online to nominate their Ferg Brown, Founder, usual coffee shop. They buy from that shop, via Roasted Brown Roasted Brown, which then processes the sale on behalf of the cafés. Founded by Ferg Brown in 2010, Roasted Brown reported a 1,400% jump in its online coffee sales in March. “Our sales virtually stopped overnight as many of the businesses we supply closed. We had to adapt our business model quickly to survive,” he says.

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“There may not be a single or one-size-fits-all solution for each sector but ensuring that businesses are prepared correctly will be vital when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.” Gavin Kelly, CEO, Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland

COVER STORY

P16

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

M vers

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

SHAKERS

CATHERINE TOOLAN

ANN PRENDERGAST

JULIE ENNIS

BORIS CERGOL

NEW TITLE: Managing Director EMPLOYER: Guinness Storehouse PREVIOUS ROLE: Chief Executive, International Convention Centre, Belfast

NEW TITLE: Vice-Chairperson EMPLOYER: Irish Association of Pension Funds EXISTING ROLE: Senior Managing Director & Head of State Street Global Advisors Ireland

TITLE: CEO EMPLOYER: Sodexo, corporate services business, UK and Ireland EXISTING ROLE: Country President, Ireland, Sodexo

NEW TITLE: Head of Artificial Intelligence EMPLOYER: Comtrade Digital Services PREVIOUS ROLE: CEO and CTO, Ektimo

Catherine Toolan has taken over from Paul Carty as Managing Director (MD) of the Guinness Storehouse. Carty led the Guinness Storehouse since its inception, joining as MD in its year of opening almost two decades ago. Toolan has had a very successful career in the conference, events, live music and hospitality industry spanning three continents. She was responsible for managing the delivery of the Athletes Village at the Beijing and London Olympic Games

The Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) announced Ann Prendergast of State Street Global Advisors as its new Vice-Chairperson in March. She previously served on the IAPF Investment Committee. Having started her career at Bank of Ireland, Prendergast moved to the relationship management area of State Street Global Advisors Ireland in 2000 and became head of that department in 2010.

As of 1 March, 2020, Julie Ennis is CEO for Sodexo’s corporate services business in the UK and Ireland, while continuing in her existing role as Country President for Ireland. Ennis joined Sodexo in February 2019 as Managing Director for Sodexo’s corporate services business in Ireland. She assumed the role of Country President from Margot Slattery in September 2019.

In this newly created role at Comtrade Digital Services, Head of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Boris Cergol will be responsible for spearheading the company’s AI division and shaping its strategy. He will also manage the AI Collective, Comtrade Digital Services’ growing network of academic institutions and start-up companies, and assist in attracting new talent.

TOP CAREER TIPS 8

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Paschal Naylor is the co-founder and chief executive of IT product procurement and IT services company Arkphire. The company was established following a management buyout of the Memorex business in Ireland in 2010. Naylor now leads a team of over 200 people providing integrated technology solutions. An accountant by qualification, Naylor’s career started in his family’s printing business before moving into management roles in companies such as General Foods, Mostek and Memorex.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

MATHESON APPOINTS NEW PARTNERS

DEBS KENNEDY NEW TITLE: Head of Marketing with responsibility for Digital EMPLOYER: Europcar Mobility Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Marketing Consultant, DK Consulting

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Irish law firm Matheson has announced the appointment of four new partners in the first quarter of 2020, bringing the total number of partner appointments to seven in the past six months and the overall figure to 96. DAVID FITZGIBBON Corporate M&A

F David

SUSANNE McMENAMIN Corporate M&A

PHILIP TULLY Tax

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KIMBERLEY MASUDA Commercial Real Estate

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Michael Jackson, Managing Partner at Matheson, said: “The past 12 months have seen significant growth across the firm, such as the expansion of our London and Cork offices, and the establishment of the Matheson Digital Services Group. As we move further into 2020, external developments will have implications for our clients and their businesses.”

Be passionate and brave in your career and take calculated risks that support and encourage real innovation in everything you do.

gi

DAVID JONES Corporate M&A

As Head of Marketing with responsibility for Digital at Europcar Mobility Group, Debs Kennedy will head up the company’s marketing team for leisure and business, as well as overseeing its entire portfolio of websites. She has held numerous marketing management and communication positions, including with Sherry Fitzgerald and Hostelworld.com and, most recently, as Head of Digital Marketing for Eir. Europcar Mobility Group employs a team of over 250 people across 22 outlets.

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Live in the present but dream and commit to a ‘build for the future’ approach and attitude in everything you do.

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START-UPS

Start-Up Central

NEWS,VIEWS AND PROFILES ON THE LATEST START-UPS IN IRELAND

24m

The amount invested by Enterprise Ireland in a total of 127 start-up companies in 2019 through its High Potential StartUp and Competitive Start Fund programmes.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

ENTERPRISE IRELAND SECOND IN GLOBAL RANKING The 2019 global ranking by PitchBook has put Enterprise Ireland second in terms of Top VC investors in global seed funding with 200 investments. 500 Startups, an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator based out of California, took the top spot with 285 seed stage investments. Meanwhile in third place were Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play Tech Center and angel investor network Keiretsu Forum which operates 50 chapters on three continents. The PitchBook platform is used by close to 100,000 venture capital, private equity, angel investors and investment professionals for data, research and technology profiles of global start-ups.

PAUL O’BRIEN

CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, CALQRISK How did you fund your business initially? We started out as risk consultants and developed a process in line with international best practice in managing risk. Then we made a decision to put the process into a software application. We funded CalQrisk initially with our own money and then with BES investors, Enterprise Ireland and some equity partners.

Paul O’Brien

What’s the best advice you were given? “Put it in the market.” We used the tool ourselves in consulting work and spent a lot of time tweaking it, but not selling it as a standalone product that professional risk and compliance people could use. We took the advice and developed specific content for two sectors and put version 1.1 in the market. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? Software is never finished. From the beginning we showed what the product could do, then answered the ‘will it’ or ‘could it’ questions with a ‘yes’, using customers and prospects to inform the development roadmap from the outset. It has taken us to version 6.2 and a fully integrated governance, risk and compliance solution. Your biggest make or break moment? Putting a management dashboard feature into the software. When we added this, with pie charts, histograms and graphs, the solution came alive, particularly for senior management who wanted and needed the big picture. Would you change anything in hindsight? If I had to start again I would look to find strong partner relationships earlier. Company: CalQRisK Location: Shannon, Co Clare Product: A fully integrated governance, risk and compliance management software application Staff: 14 in Ireland and the UK Website: www.Calqrisk.com

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SUREWASH LAUNCHES APP TO TACKLE COVID-19 A Trinity College Dublin spinout called SureWash is launching its hand washing app to the general public in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company started 10 years ago with a view to helping health professionals and workers to memorise the essential motions that are required for thorough hand washing. It uses an interactive software system and augmented reality to offer training technology using the World Health Organzation’s hand hygiene protocol. The start-up is also a founding member of the WHO Private Organizations for Patient Safety (POPS), which helps the WHO to promote safe hand hygiene in healthcare.

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START-UPS

James Wall and Jacqui O’Connor, Co-founders, MedScan3D

David Curtain, CEO, IE Domain Registry

The latest .ie Domain Profile Report has revealed that .ie has overtaken .com as the online identity of choice for Irish businesses and individuals, with the IE Domain Registry recording 50,167 new .ie registrations in 2019. At the end of 2019, the total number of .ie domains in the national database was 280,958, up from 154,918 at the end of 2010 (+81%) and 262,140 at the end of 2018 (+7%). “Rule changes have made it easier and faster for people with a connection to Ireland to secure their .ie domain of choice and build a web presence,” said IE Domain Registry CEO David Curtin.

100 MORE BUSINESS ANGELS SIGNED UP HBAN, the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, recruited more than 100 business angel investors in 2019, 25 higher than projected. It aims to sign up a further 100 angels in 2020 through a recruitment drive which started in February at a conference in Powerscourt Hotel, Co Wicklow. Business angel investment is continuing to grow across the island of Ireland and in December last year, HBAN announced that its members have now invested more than €100m in start-ups since 2007. This represents a doubling of the €50m figure reached in 2015 thanks to increasing angel numbers and activity.

John Phelan, All-island Director, Halo Business Angel Network

NE TO WATCH: MEDSCAN3D

THE .IE DOMAIN ON THE RISE

As reported on RTÉ news in March, Galway-based start-up MedScan3D has offered to supply medical components to hospitals on a not-for-profit basis if they are experiencing shortages due to Covid-19. Husband and wife team James Wall and Jacqui O’Connor combined their bio-medical engineering skills to set up MedScan3D in March 2019. It is a consultancy-based company which specialises in printing highly accurate, patient-specific 3D anatomical models. “We work side by side with research groups and healthcare partners to develop clinically relevant models. Our consultancy includes converting medical scans into digital files that can be adapted for prototyping and medical device testing. The models can also be used for surgical planning and education,” says O’Connor. “MedScan3D streamlines what is normally a complicated process and provides a full turnkey solution, all in-house.” Wall said the company could print eight small respirator parts in 70 minutes. As well as aiding patients, MedScan3D can supply visors and goggles to frontline staff and support engineers making medical devices who need components urgently.

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12/05/2020 09:00


ENTREPRENEUR

ENTREPRENEUR: MICHAEL CRONIN

Currently on a recruitment drive to double its workforce, OpenSky is a gov-tech specialist which provides automated solutions to public sector bodies and the financial services sector. Michael Cronin established the business in 2004 with William Flanagan.

of our first projects was with Dublin City Council whereby we enabled it to aggregate information about traffic levels and parking space availability for the public via mobile phones. This was the kind of innovation that really kick-started the business. Q: What is different about what you do in

the IT space? MC: It can be difficult to find a company Q: How is life and how is business at

present? MC: We’ve had an excellent start to the year with lots of different projects underway. As a team, we have formulated some exciting plans for the next two years so now it’s just about putting those into action. Q: Have you always had a business head on

your shoulders? MC: I’d like to think I did. Looking back to

when William and I started the company in 2004, it was a world where a significant number of people had mobile phones but before applications were being rolled out across such devices. We looked at what was happening and how technology was enabling greater capabilities – within the context of how it might be leveraged to help government organisations deliver services. It became evident that there was potential for technology to create a better way of serving citizens and improving their experience. One

that understands the more complex areas of automation and the individual challenges facing organisations – many providers tend to supply ready, off-the-shelf products. However, at OpenSky, we decided to take more of an engineering approach in that we build solutions that solve specific, often intricate, problems. That was what we set out to do in the beginning and we’ve always worked that way, so it’s built into the DNA of the business. Q: What would you say has been the secret

to the success and growth of OpenSky? MC: Listening to and focusing on what

the customer wants. No matter what the industry, if any business fails to do this, it won’t be successful. Another key element in terms of our own achievements and growth is how we approach new technologies and endeavour to cut through the hype. We operate in a sector that is constantly changing and new solutions pop up all the time, but

THE LIMIT 12

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ENTREPRENEUR

“Listening to and focusing on what the customer wants. No matter what the industry, if any business fails to do this, it won’t be successful.”

Michael Cronin, Managing Director, OpenSky

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ENTREPRENEUR

William Flanagan, Commercial and Technology Director and Michael Cronin, Managing Director, OpenSky

IMPORTANCE OF R&D In 2019, OpenSky created a dedicated research and development division to ensure that it continues to develop high-quality solutions and services. It is also building a unit which will be dedicated to the implementation of robotic process automation to deliver efficiency within the financial services sector. Blockchain is another area OpenSky will be focusing on in 2020, specifically in relation to how government agencies can leverage it to better serve the citizen, enable greater transparency and secure interactions with the public. “Of course, we will continue to do what we’ve always done, but we haven’t gotten to where we are now by staying static for the past 15 years,” says Michael Cronin, Managing Director of OpenSky.

but the reality is that there are products and services that never make it anywhere because they don’t actually solve the challenges that customers are facing. Of course, we keep track of emerging technologies, but we always ensure that we trial and test them to determine the value they might deliver for the organisations we work with. Just because a solution is the latest on the market doesn’t mean it will be effective. As well as putting new solutions to the test before implementing them for customers, we invest a lot of time and money in research and development projects. In fact, we aim to spend up to €1m annually in this area to ensure we keep identifying, designing and delivering cutting-edge solutions for public sector bodies, government agencies and financial services companies. Q: You have made some key appointments

recently, why are these important? MC: While William and I founded OpenSky, it’s not just our story. The journey of the company is down to the entire team (in 14

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“IT MIGHT SOUND OBVIOUS, BUT I WOULD SAY

“COMMITMENT IS KEY” IS OUR MANTRA. I CAN RECALL

RECEIVING FEEDBACK

FROM A NUMBER OF SALES PITCHES THAT WE SUBSEQUENTLY WON, OUTLINING TO US THAT ONE OF

THE KEY

DECIDING FACTORS IN

US WINNING THE BUSINESS

WAS THAT WE SHOWED

REAL COMMITMENT

TO BOTH LANDING AND DELIVERING THE PROJECT.”

particular the management team) – they are at the centre of every project, business decision and customer win. We are lucky in that we have an extremely talented group of people who can collaborate together and are passionate about enabling digital transformation. Furthermore, it’s important to extend this wealth of expertise by adding to the team. In fact, last year we announced that we will be doubling the team by 2021 (taking our headcount to 160) and we’ve made some recent senior appointments including Tudor Pitulac, Head of Research Projects and Darren Clarke, Head of Customer Success. Bringing in good people with great experience is vital to ensure that our company strategy keeps evolving and our business performance stays on an upwards path. Q: What are your mantras in

business and how have they kept you going and your business growing? MC: It might sound obvious, but I would say “Commitment is key” is our mantra. I can recall receiving feedback from a number of sales pitches that we subsequently won, outlining to us that one of the key deciding factors in us winning the business was that we showed real commitment to both landing and delivering the project. We demonstrated that not only had we conducted our research and understood the requirements, we were also enthusiastic about working with these organisations. As well as helping us to stand out from the competition, this gave the buyers the confidence that we would deliver and be a great partner to work with. Q: Where would you like to be with

OpenSky in five years’ time? MC: The aim is to further grow the

company in terms of the team and our offering. As I mentioned, we understand that we have to keep learning, researching and evolving so that we can provide the best, futureproofed technologies to support customers. We have to stay ahead by understanding the next challenge and the next innovation, both in five months’ and in five years’ time. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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COMPANY: Udemy COMPANY: Granite Digital

SECTOR: Online learning

ANNOUNCEMENT: Online learning marketplace Udemy has opened an expanded EMEA headquarters in Dublin where it plans to double its number of employees to 200 in the next year. This follows a milestone growth year and a recent commitment by Japanese strategic partner Benesse Holdings to invest US$50m in the company.

SECTOR: Technology LOCATION: Dublin, Cork & Galway ANNOUNCEMENT: Granite Digital is to create 50 new jobs across its Dublin, Cork and Galway offices as part of a €2.5m investment. The software development, creative and data analytics roles are to be filled within three years, bringing its Irish workforce to over 100 people.

JOB CREATION

LOCATION: Dublin

COMPANY: AxiomSL SECTOR: Software LOCATION: Limerick ANNOUNCEMENT: Regulatory reporting and risk management solutions provider AxiomSL is opening a business operations centre in Limerick, expected to create up to 100 jobs over the next five years. The office will be located in the National Technology Park in Plassey.

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

COMPANY: Allergan SECTOR: Biopharmaceuticals

COMPANY: Fexco SECTOR: Fintech

LOCATION: Mayo ANNOUNCEMENT: Allergan has opened a €160m state-of-the-art Biologics 2 facility at its Westport campus where it will create 63 jobs. This brings Allergan’s total investment in Ireland to date to more than €750m.

LOCATION: Kerry

COMPANY: Sift

SECTOR: Technology

LOCATION: Dublin

ANNOUNCEMENT: Digital trust and safety technology company Sift is to open a new EMEA headquarters in Dublin. Counting several major European businesses such as Cabify, Curve and Delivery Hero as customers, Sift has already hired several members of its quickly growing sales team with plans to continue hiring.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fexco has opened a new building in Killorglin, Co Kerry, which will house 125 of its own staff and a new centre called RDI Hub, which is expected to create over 300 jobs by 2024.

Priorities Differ for Men and Women when Jobseeking Job flexibility is the most important priority for 33% of women when considering new employment options, while professional growth and development tops the poll for 34% of men. These were among the main findings from the latest Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey 2020. The survey, which looked at the attitudes of Irish people towards workrelated issues, asked over 2,500 of Taxback.com’s customer database their views. Employer culture and reputation scored low, with just 4% of people saying this would be a primary consideration.

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Everyone seeks different attributes from a job. It’s not entirely surprising that professional development was the number one priority overall, followed by job security. What is noticeable however is that the women in our survey placed less importance on these two aspects than men.”

Joanna Murphy, CEO of Taxback.com

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COVER STORY

Support Covid-19

through

Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland outlines the bank’s vital role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond while sector experts provide key advice to businesses in the food and drink, manufacturing, retail and hospitality sectors.

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T

he impact of Covid-19 has been felt right across the country, in every home and in every business sector. For most of us, be it in our lives or our careers, there has never been anything like the Covid-19 crisis. In a relatively short period of time it has upended our personal and professional lives, impacted loved ones, shaken the economy to its core, and challenged us all to do things very differently. As highlighted by the Government, dealing with Covid-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Banking exists to support the aspirations of individuals and businesses, and we will certainly play our part in helping customers to navigate the challenges ahead. For almost 240 years we have been a business that exists to serve our customers. That focus remains unchanged and I firmly believe that by working together we can get through this crisis. The Government acted decisively to implement various restrictive measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in order to save lives across the country. These measures, while absolutely necessary for our country, inevitably had a severe impact on trade. The last few weeks have seen businesses all over Ireland forced to take decisions they hoped they would never have to take. Many businesses have been hit hard, while others have had to significantly readjust their operations to fit the ‘new normal’. Cost reductions were found, business models re-thought, forecasts revised and cash flows protected – it has been a very difficult time for all sectors. We are seeing first-hand the impact on small and InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Gavin Kelly, CEO, Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland

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Conor McCabe

JUST AS WE HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO BUSINESS GROWTH DURING A PERIOD OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND EXPANSION, BANK OF IRELAND IS HERE TO HELP BUSINESSES MANAGE THE SEVERE IMPACT OF THIS CRISIS ACROSS ALL SECTORS.

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medium-sized businesses and the pressure on business owners, managers and employees.

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TOWARDS RECOVERY The Government announced an expansion of its business support package just before Easter, with €1bn in liquidity support measures set aside for small and medium-sized businesses. It is envisaged these measures will help to stabilise businesses, enable them to adapt to new ways of doing business and position them for recovery once this crisis is over. In terms of planning for the recovery, we must remain vigilant and heed the advice of the public health experts both here at home and further afield. While there are tentative steps to reopen economies in a handful of nations across Europe and Asia, every situation is different and evolving on a daily basis. There may not be a single or one-size-fits-all solution for each sector but ensuring that businesses are prepared correctly will be vital when the restrictions are lifted. Planning is critical, and at Bank of Ireland we have sector experts and advisors across all areas of business to help companies with their recovery plans – including across the agri, retail, hospitality, and healthcare sectors. As a nation we are discovering more about ourselves with each passing day, which strengthens my belief that we will emerge stronger from this. The road to recovery will be a gradual one and Bank of Ireland is here to support on every step of that journey.

ROISIN O’SHEA, HEAD OF FOOD & DRINK SECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES WITH THE CHALLENGES Just as we have contributed to business growth during a period of economic recovery and expansion, Bank of Ireland is here to help businesses manage the severe impact of this crisis across all sectors, from retail to hospitality, manufacturing to motors. Since the crisis hit we quickly rolled out a range of business supports, including putting in place payment breaks for loans and mortgages, with a quick online application process. We are providing emergency working capital and payment flexibility, whilst also making changes to our branch network to ensure resources are focused on the banking services most in demand. We are also fast-tracking payments to our own SME suppliers to help them navigate cash flow challenges during Covid-19, and have reduced the standard payment terms from 30 days to within five days. To date we have received over 16,000 applications for mortgage payment breaks, and more than 14,000 requests for support from businesses – related to additional working capital facilities and payment break requests. We have processed all of these applications as quickly as possible. These are just some of the initial steps we have taken and we stand ready to do more, as the scale of the impact becomes clearer and the full extent of the socio-economic consequences are revealed. We have seen in the past that businesses across Ireland are resilient. They have been through challenging times before

and many have emerged through them. Our role as a bank is to support our customers through this current crisis as best we can. We are working directly with businesses affected and I’d encourage anybody concerned about the impact of coronavirus on their business to talk to us.

The post Covid-19 consumer is likely to be a very different one from before. Food and drink companies should spend time trying to understand consumers adjusting to this new reality. With social distancing set to continue, grocery shopping will be a less frequent activity. Shoppers will be looking for larger format products with longer shelf lives and companies will need to adapt their products to satisfy these needs. As lockdown fatigue settles in, consumers will also be looking for new food experiences which can take place at home, rather than out of home. Food and drinks suppliers should be looking to produce fresh content in terms of recipes and cooking ideas that play a part in relieving the tedium of being housebound. The route to market is changing too, with directto-consumer channels becoming more popular. I’d advise companies in this space to work with suppliers to develop this area of your business, or even to explore if it’s something you can do by yourself.

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Employees

Engage proactively with your people and make sure they feel safe and fully informed within their work environment. Your people are your store’s most important brand ambassadors. Create a real sense of community within your team.

Your store

Is your store set up to facilitate physical distancing safeguards for customers and staff into the medium term? Does it allow a comfortable customer flow and shopping experience? Evaluate your store set-up from the perspective of the customer – excellent in-store standards, hygiene and accessibility will be an imperative for the consumer as we emerge from the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Suppliers

Keep communication channels open with your suppliers. It is vital that strong relationships are maintained as a collaborative approach will be required to deliver sustainable solutions that enable your business to recover. Managing in-store stock, stock in warehouses and stock in transit will be key for retailers in positioning their business for recovery.

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Cash flows

It is important to consider food and beverage stocks costing and requirements post Covid-19 as the supply lines could experience temporary delays when restrictions are lifted. Acknowledge that some suppliers to the sector could introduce cash-on-delivery deliveries for a short time after the crisis.

Strategy/ adapting operations

Consumer patterns could be temporarily disrupted and ultimately lead to permanent behavioural changes. Adapting to these changes could include: brighter open spaces, well distanced tables, reviewed buffet food offering, enhanced health and safety protocols and revised takeaway menus. The overall flow of the business can be reviewed and assessed for potential adjustments.

Staffing

Demand, particularly from overseas, could remain suppressed for some time after bans are lifted. Keeping staff informed about trade prospects and business strategy could help with staff morale and retention.

Domestic demand

Most experts agree that the domestic market could perform strongly this year as it has the ability to bounce back faster than overseas demand; staycations are expected to surge in popularity as air travel could be considered by some as an unnecessary risk after bans are lifted. Increased focus on advertising to the domestic leisure market could soften the impact of the decline in overseas demand and the corporate market.

BRIAN EVANS, HEAD OF MANUFACTURING SECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND

Effective communication with your customers during these difficult times is an imperative. Send your customers meaningful/topical content to enable you to stand out from the crowd.

GERARDO LARIOS RIZO, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY SECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND

OWEN CLIFFORD, HEAD OF RETAIL SECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND

Continue to stay close to your customers

Keep your team involved in the business

Know what’s happening and communicate daily to your staff and stakeholders, where possible retaining key staff.

Stay engaged with your suppliers

Your suppliers know you and your relationships are established so it is important to stay engaged with them. Suppliers know it is better to retain you relative to the cost of acquiring a new customer.

Stay engaged with your customers For both busy ‘essential goods’ manufacturers and scaled back companies, staying engaged with your key customers is critical to the future of the business.

Assess your operational model, capability and performance For scaled back businesses it is an ideal time to assess business performance and constraints with everyone in the business leading to a 'what should we do differently?' list.

Stress-test financials and engage with financial partners

Reforecast trading and cash flows. Test and challenge all assumptions including customer payment cycles and stocking levels.

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

CASH COWS The level of expertise and innovation in Ireland’s agritech sector is advancing as its cutting-edge products and solutions continue to solve problems and improve efficiencies for farmers in Ireland and elsewhere, writes EITHNE DUNNE

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

W

ith the global population growing exponentially, so is the demand for food. That means there is no longer any room for inefficiencies or wastage on our farms; it also means that there is now a voracious appetite of a different kind – for technology that can help already pressed farmers work smarter rather than harder, producing more with less. Little wonder then that those players in the Irish agritech sector that tick these boxes for farmers are seeing their products fly off the shelves. And the best ones are constantly improving their offerings and asking ‘what’s next?’. Padraig Hennessy is CEO of one of these companies – Terra NutriTech – and he says agritech is now a hugely active sector in Ireland, with many small to medium-sized firms operating within it. So much so that he and others are setting up an organisation called AgTech Ireland to bring some of these players together and give them a common voice when it comes to research and policy. There have been 20 preliminary signups to date. “At the moment, everyone is operating in their own sphere; there needs to be more coherency so that people can work together,” says Hennessy. Stephen Fagan is head of product design and operations at MooCall. He says agritech is one of the most exciting sectors in Ireland to be involved in. “The sector is growing at such a

Professor Edmond Harty, CEO and Technical Director, Dairymaster

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Padraig Hennessy, CEO and Tom Hennessy, COO, Terra NutriTech

rapid pace. As developers and researchers we’re all trying to make farms more efficient and profitable for every farmer, and to make their life even a bit easier throughout the year.” Edmond Harty, CEO and technical director, Dairymaster, says that in dairy farming one of the biggest challenges is milk price and volatility – which means margins are hugely important. “Improving your margins comes down to how efficient you are with your production.” PRECISION – AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Today’s agritech is all about getting accurate information to the farmer as quickly as possible, enabling smarter decisions and freeing up precious time. All this means that, hopefully, farms will become more sustainable. “For agriculture to be sustainable, we have to produce more with less, and be more efficient with what we use,” says Hennessy. “Using technology in all its facets, from genetics to feed to data monitoring, helps improve efficiencies on a farm, and the more you do this the more sustainable you become.” Rapid developments in communications have meant that farmers now have unprecedented access to useful data, he adds. “Farmers now want and expect data at their fingertips, whether it’s about nutrition, water, what temperature their milk storage tanks are at, or how many litres of milk a cow has produced. The expectation is that they will be able to use this information to make educated decisions about their farm.” 21

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

NUTRITION AND WATER Terra NutriTech, as its name suggests, is dedicated to improving animal nutrition and, by extension, animal health. Started by brothers Tom and Padraig Hennessy, it offers farmers a precise, controlled, and automated way of getting minerals into animals via their water supply. Its flagship product is its intelligent mineral dosing system, but it also produces its own customised liquid minerals. These two elements, working in tandem, can have beneficial knock-

development (R&D) and constantly has an eye to the future. It will soon announce details of a new project looking at the real-time analysis of milk to determine its mineral constituents, and is also in discussions with various research organisations and companies about the potential for using supplements to reduce methane emissions. Last year saw the firm complete a trial with a product aimed at reducing ammonia emissions; the results were encouraging, so watch this space.

Dairymaster Swiftflo Rotary Milking Parlour

on effects across the board, says Padraig Hennessy. “By improving nutrition on farms you get healthier herds, and that means better production, fertility and so on.” The smart system also monitors the water supply itself, alerting farmers to leaks immediately. By doing so, it saves thousands of litres of water that would otherwise go into the ground in the time it would take a farmer to spot the leak themselves. Nothing is static in this industry for long; Terra NutriTech invests heavily in research and 22

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CALVING AND HEAT DETECTION Another player in Irish agritech is MooCall – the seeds of which were sown when one of its founders had the misfortune of losing a cow and calf in a difficult calving back in 2010. Struck by both the emotional and financial impact of the loss, Niall Austin and his co-founders set about developing technology to minimise the chances of this happening in the first place. The result was a highly accurate calving sensor, which not only improves mortality rates but, crucially, frees up time for busy farmers to InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

Cows wearing MooCall products

concentrate on other jobs rather than repeatedly checking pregnant cows. “For part-time farmers it allows them to work away at their other source of income, and also have something watching the cow for them,” says Fagan. Put simply, the sensor detects tail movements and is able to infer from that – to within an hour – when the cow is due to calve. “The first couple of hours in a calf ’s life are the most important, so this gives farmers great peace of mind,” Fagan explains. Three years after launching the calving sensor, MooCall released its next offering – a heat detection system. This came about after numerous conversations with farmers about the need for a cost-effective solution to this aspect of their work. The company analysed bull behaviour and was able to ascertain from this when a bull has identified a cow in heat; at the time there was no other system on the market using the bull as a form of heat detection. The system, which involves a collar for the bull and RFID tags for the cows, updates the farmer (straight to their smartphone) as to what cows are in heat, and – importantly – when their heat started. Like all the best agritech products, this one is addressing a problem that had been putting extra strain on farmers. “Most farmers want to have the best herd genetics as possible, whether dairy or beef. So more and more farmers want heat detection for artificial insemination. It saves a huge amount of time checking cows,” says Fagan. He notes, for example, that about 60-75% of heats are detected at night-time, when the farmer is asleep in bed. For now, the firm is fully focused on this system, with which it’s going into its third season. While it has concentrated purely on cattle up to now, the future could well see it venture into research on new technologies for other animals or indeed other types of farming. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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MILKING AND FERTILITY For its part, agritech firm Dairymaster produces a range of innovative equipment for the dairy farmer – for everything from milking to fertility monitoring. The company’s MooMonitor, for example, is a wearable device that monitors a cow’s fertility cycle. “For a cow to produce milk, she has to have a calf, so how do you find out if there is a problem with this?” says Harty. The MooMonitor keeps track of the cow’s resting, feeding and rumination among other things, and alerts the farmer to abnormalities. It was found to be one of the most accurate such systems by two studies published last year. Whereas in the past, says Harty, a farmer might have been able to spot when something major was wrong with a cow, it was very difficult for them to spot or monitor smaller problems that could collectively have a significant impact on output. “It’s about getting in there sooner by using precise, digitalised information about each animal; that’s where the whole agritech sector is going,” he says. Another of Dairymaster’s products, its rotary milking system, deploys artificial intelligence to maximise efficiency. A bit like a ‘merry-go-round for cows’, it adjusts its speed to suit each cow that steps onto it, Harty explains. “This way you can improve throughput, and because milking is the main job on a dairy farm, there are big efficiencies to be had,” he says. “For example, in a 200-cow herd, you could save two weeks’ work a year on this.” The aim of these products, and agritech in general, says Harty, is individualisation and connectivity. “If you consider each individual cow as a resource, the question is how do you ensure that each one is as healthy, happy and productive as they can be? Where farmers once spoke about the state of their herd, they can now talk about individual animals. That’s the biggest shift of all,” he adds. There are also gains in terms of energy efficiency; Dairymaster’s products can, for example, reduce the energy footprint of milk cooling by 65%. Based in Ireland but with operations in the UK, US, Germany and Holland, Dairymaster puts a huge emphasis on R&D. It has partnered with various groups and institutions on this, among them Institute of Technology Tralee, Science Foundation Ireland, University College Dublin and the University of Kentucky. “R&D is a huge part of what we do; in fact, our facility could be described as an engineer’s playground, with everything from fabrication to mobile app development,” adds Harty. 23

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MENTORS

: @dexaldesign

MENTOR: ANTOINETTE DALE HENDERSON

GRASPING GRAVITAS

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With over 25 years’ experience in leadership communications, Antoinette Dale Henderson has recently launched a book primarily aimed at unlocking women’s full potential and helping them to achieve success at a senior level, writes GRAINNE ROTHERY. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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MENTORS

S

ometimes it’s hard to be a woman – particularly if you aspire to having a seat at the top table in your professional life. While things have been improving in recent years, the fact remains that if you happen to be female in Ireland – and most other countries – you are less likely to be in a senior leadership role than your male counterparts. There’s plenty of evidence to support this. According to the latest Balance for Better Business report (November 2019), for example, women accounted for 25.3% of board members of the ISEQ 20 companies and 19% of directors of other listed companies. The same report found that just 8.5% of executive directors in listed companies in Ireland were women. Another report – Women in Management: The Leadership Pipeline – reveals that 18% of CEOs in large Irish companies in 2018 were female. Meanwhile, in politics women make up 22.5% of the most recently elected TDs to Dáil Éireann (36 out of 160 deputies). “Women are currently at a disadvantage when it comes to fulfilling their potential in the workplace,” says UK-based executive leadership coach, author and Tedx speaker, Antoinette Dale Henderson. “Women have to move through concrete, tangible hurdles – which is not the case for men.” The statistics Dale Henderson reels off are as sobering as the Irish figures: 14 companies in the FTSE 350 have no woman, or just one woman on their board; 83% of women have witnessed other women struggling to make their views heard (Chartered Management Institute [CMI] study); 61% have seen gender bias in pay rewards (also CMI); 67% of women are more likely than men to feel uncomfortable when expressing themselves in a work environment (RADA). “If you combine all the evidence with the conditioning girls and women go through that prevents them from putting themselves out there and feeling like they have the right to ask for and get what they want, women are still unfortunately on the back foot,” she says. INNER RESERVES Helping women to tap into their inner reserves and ultimately fulfil their potential is the focus of Dale Henderson’s recently InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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published book, Power Up, which focuses on six power sources – intuition, knowledge, resilience, magnetism, relationships and assertiveness – and how these can be developed (see panel). Dale Henderson left a senior career in PR to start her own training business in 2007. Focused initially on traditional communications skills, she moved into leadership development and ended up creating her own programme, Gravitas, which launched in 2011 in the UK. “I wanted to develop a programme for managers and leaders from scratch that was fresh, practical and relevant and was different from a lot of the methodologies and theoretical models that were out there already.” Business owners, managers and leaders generally have similar challenges, irrespective of sector, she says. “It’s fundamentally about how you inspire and motivate people to do their best work. As part of that, you need to be able to communicate in a motivating and confident way that inspires trust, enables you to share your vision, and to deliver it with authority and conviction.” One of the objectives of that first programme was to shed light on what exactly gravitas is. “When I was 27, I was told I would need to develop my gravitas if I wanted to progress

“I WANTED

TO DEVELOP A PROGRAMME FOR

MANAGERS AND LEADERS

FROM SCRATCH THAT WAS FRESH,

PRACTICAL AND RELEVANT

AND WAS

DIFFERENT

FROM A LOT OF THE METHODOLOGIES AND THEORETICAL MODELS THAT WERE OUT THERE ALREADY.”

Antoinette Dale Henderson

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POWER UP: THE SIX KEY POWER SOURCES 1: INTUITION This is an important but often misunderstood trait, according to Antoinette Dale Henderson. “People think it’s about asking the universe or something coming to them in a dream, but it’s not – it’s about lived experience stored in our subconscious.” She notes that ‘gut instinct’, which is seen as a masculine quality, is the same as female intuition. “If we have a decision coming up and don’t know how to act, we can sometimes go through analysis paralysis – doing lots of research and not trusting ourselves. Nine times out of ten the intuitive response to a decision – listening to the voice that tells us how we should act – is the one that’s going to be best for us.” 2: KNOWLEDGE In a work context, knowledge is about continually developing ourselves and honing our expertise so we can differentiate ourselves from our peers, Dale Henderson says. “But it’s also about being able to articulate it in a way that is compelling to others. So, it’s as much about how we choose to share it as how we develop it for ourselves.” 3: RESILIENCE Resilience is vitally important for allowing us to get up again and again even when things happen outside of our control. Dale Henderson describes it as a secret weapon in the fight for power. Her four steps for developing resilience are: taking control, choosing the right mindset, building it into your daily life, and staying strong through adversity.

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and become an account director,” she says. “But I was never told what it was or how to go about getting it. When I was coaching, I met many people in the same boat. I really wanted to develop something that breaks ‘gravitas’ down and makes it tangible.” Incidentally, Dale Henderson sees gravitas as the ability to be taken seriously, command respect and have your voice heard, while staying true to who you really are. The good news, she says, is that it is much more likely to be learnt than to be an innate quality. “Even the most admired leaders have grown into their style with help, practice and dedication,” she says. WHEELS IN MOTION According to Dale Henderson, the internal qualities of gravitas include self-awareness, expertise and authenticity, while presence, connection and projection are among the external qualities. These qualities are encapsulated in the programme’s ‘Gravitas Wheel’ tool for assessing and enhancing your own gravitas as a leader. “If you are using the wheel you should start by objectively assessing yourself in each area and examining the qualities that are the strongest for you and the ones that might be holding you back. Self-reflection is important for this, as is getting feedback from others. “Once you define your strengths and the areas that need further development, you can make headway to defining your unique ‘G-Factor’ and increasing your own gravitas.” Two years ago, as the #MeToo movement was kicking off, gender pay gap reporting was coming on stream and the focus on diversity and inclusion was increasing, Dale Henderson decided to write a book specifically aimed at women. “A lot of the women I was working with were telling me they wished they’d had access to the Gravitas tools and techniques when they were starting

Power Up: The Smart Woman’s Guide To Unleashing Her Potential, published by Known Publishing, is available now, priced €17.45.

out. The idea behind Power Up was to reach as many people as possible.” Power Up uses the same approach as the Gravitas model, she says, but is aimed particularly – though not exclusively – at women at all stages of their careers. “Tapping into your power can be a challenge for everyone, but there are specific factors that make it more difficult for women to be assertive as they navigate through life,” she says. Common power blockers for women, she says, include not being heard, imposter syndrome, needing to be liked, expectations around sexuality, hiding their light and the need to be perfect.

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MENTORS

4: MAGNETISM One of three external power sources, magnetism is the ability to attract people to you and command attention in order to get things done. “It’s not about being liked or popular, but compelling people to want to do things for you. If we don’t get noticed, we can easily be overlooked.” While quieter, more reflective people can struggle to get noticed, Dale Henderson says that being curious about others and listening to them can boost an individual’s visibility while allowing them to stay true to themselves. 5: RELATIONSHIPS While woman tend to be good at forging strong relationships, Dale Henderson concedes that networking can be low down their list of priorities. “It is really important to prioritise relationship building, so think about what you can do with the time you have. Social media can be fantastic for building relationships if you use it effectively. But the blend of offline and online is important too. If we spend all our time building relationships online, we start to lose those natural skills and rapport building, reading people and making conversation, which are hard things to do.”

FORCE FOR GOOD Dale Henderson sees power in its most positive way, viewing it as a force for good that enables the individual at a personal level to propel themselves forward. From her own research, she says that while power is expressed in many different ways, powerful women have all spent time exploring who they are and their unique purpose and direction in life. Through the book – and her ongoing work – Dale Henderson hopes to provide women with the tools and techniques they need to better understand their self worth, unlock their inner power reserves and have the confidence and ability to use

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them when they need to. She firmly believes that women’s empowerment must not come at the expense of men. “This is about powering up together and learning from one another, supporting and having empathy for each other.” She has been asked to write a book aimed specifically at men. “I wouldn’t do that because I’m not a man,” she says. “But I do empathise with the challenges they’re currently facing and I think a lot of men are in a bit of a crisis now – behaviours that were masculine and alpha and celebrated a couple of years ago could now be grounds for being sent to HR!”

6: ASSERTIVENESS This can be a problem area for women. “It’s unfortunate that when a woman communicates powerfully she can be perceived as being bossy or even hysterical,” Dale Henderson says. “If a man were to say exactly the same words, he could be perceived as being strong or assertive.” Dale Henderson describes assertive behaviour as honest, direct, clear, expressive, self-enhancing, persistent and respectful. “You can use your emotions but you need to channel them rather than letting them run away with you. So, it’s not about shouting loudly or being pushy, but knowing where the line is and calling people out when they cross it.”

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Y L E

D Q: Why did you decide to set up Mechanical Modular Solutions(MMS) in 2016? MMcG: I served my time as a fitter and over many years of working on various building sites both nationally and internationally, I recognised the significant opportunity that existed in the marketplace for off-site modular construction solutions. I pursued this opportunity with the support of fellow company shareholders, Alan Filan and John Comerford, and

Established by Michael McGuire to ďŹ ll a gap in the market for off-site fabrication, Kilkenny-based Mechanical Modular Solutions was the 2019 winner of the Exporter of the Year award at the Kilkenny Business Awards and Best Export Business Award at the National Enterprise Awards.

IN AT I O N

STE

SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

E T E RM together we set up MMS in 2016.

Q: What is different and compelling about what MMS does? MMcG: MMS provides off-site modular fabrication as an alternative to traditional on-site fabrication for plantrooms and electrical switch rooms. We also offer off-site fabrication of pipework and steel work. Off-site modular fabrication involves the process of planning, designing, fabricating, transporting

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and assembling building elements for rapid site assembly to a greater degree of finish than in traditional piecemeal on-site construction. Irish mechanical engineering firms have not proactively embraced the concept of modular solutions and rather have generally continued to operate in the traditional manner of employing onsite solutions. Our dedicated in-house research and development team allows us to keep at the forefront of cutting-edge technology

in the mechanical and electrical area. Q: How have you grown and developed the business? MMcG: Currently in this specialised field, the products and services of UK companies are being imported into Ireland by businesses such as MEP Solutions. This leaves MMS in an excellent position to further develop and pioneer the concept of modular solutions in the Irish marketplace as well as in other markets, notably InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is interesting to note that it is cheaper to carry out a modular build in Ireland and ship it to Switzerland than carry out the build in Switzerland itself. MMS can deliver exceptional quality modular solutions, far more cost effectively and up to 25-30% faster than traditional methods. We increased our workforce from seven in 2017 to 16 in 2018. Further to a recent recruitment drive, there are now 25 full-time staff in the business, and it is envisaged that this will increase to 40 by the end of this year. Over the next 12 months, we will be recruiting for several positions including project managers, quantity surveyors, designers, steel fabricators, welders, general operatives and apprentices in order to meet upcoming business demands. Our goal is to have 70 staff employed directly by 2022. Q: What is your exporting strategy and the key to winning business abroad? MMcG: In terms of capabilities, size and scope, MMS will scale up significantly over the coming three years with more and more expansive projects coming on stream. We recently finished a job in Germany. By the end of 2019, upwards of 20% of MMS’s business was linked to projects destined for locations outside Ireland and in three years’ time, it is envisaged that this figure will have increased to 85%. Our immediate core objective is to generate and build additional revenue streams through profitable sales contracts across Ireland,

the UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. With this in mind, a 40,000 sq ft purposebuilt workshop for heavy steel works will be added to the facility at Castlecomer later this year. We recognise that this is a challenging time for business within Ireland and globally, however, we feel that we possess the skills to respond to client needs across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region and as a result become an Irish exporter of choice. Key to our success in winning business is that we acknowledge that our customers value consistency in the services we deliver. We understand that their expectations are based on previous positive experiences. Therefore, it is crucial that we continually strive to exceed their expectations. At the heart of this is a robust, accredited quality management system where we have standardised work practices, policies and procedures. We follow the principles of Lean to examine and continually improve our performance. Q: How as a business are you responding to the challenge of Covid-19? MMcG: The Covid-19 outbreak has required us to devise a plan regarding how to still operate to the best of our ability through this uncertain time while protecting our lives and the lives of those we come into contact with every day. As we are deemed an essential service, it is important that we monitor Covid-19 and the evolving challenges it brings as we maintain operations.

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Michael McGuire, CEO, Mechanical Modular Solutions

We have introduced remote working for employees who could work from home and created designated working zones within our premises for others to ensure social distancing and limited contact. We introduced a “no visitor entry without appointment” policy and created a compulsory visitor travel questionnaire to be completed upon entry to our workplace. We created additional sanitising areas and increased our personal protective equipment supply. In addition, we staggered lunch break times to limit contact between employees. The scale of the disruption is still unknown, and we must do what we can to protect our employees, supply chain, clients and all stakeholders during these unprecedented

times. Scenario planning and risk assessments will be key in safeguarding our business as these are the factors within our control that we can focus on to minimise risk to our operations both currently and for future practice. Q: How do you deal with competition? MMcG: In order to assess and manage the risks associated with running a successful business, we hold weekly meetings to stay on top of what’s happening within the company and look at any external competitors. The main elements of our business are placed under one roof which helps us to manage our supply chain efficiently and rectify any potential issues immediately. We ensure we are competitive in the market on price and in all the services we provide.

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MEDIA & MARKETING

-up

: @dexaldesign

Lucinda Kelly, CEO, Popertee

popularity Tapping into the growing demand for alternative methods of promotion, Popertee connects a brand with the ideal space with a little help from artificial Intelligence, writes BERNADETTE SAMPSON.

P

opertee is a dynamic and creative company which specialises in using artificial intelligence (AI) to link brands with vacant spaces for retail and marketing purposes on a short-term lease, all with the aid of behavioural data and social media. CEO Lucinda Kelly always wanted to start up her own company. From a young age she was working in her father’s business FX Kelly, a men’s clothing store in Grafton Street in

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Dublin, and it was here she developed a love of retail and business. Having studied entrepreneurial studies at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and previously worked in the corporate world, at Eircom and Paddy Power, Kelly founded Popertee in 2016. “I saw an opportunity where there were higher vacancy rates in retail units and brands looking to use physical spaces to create more memorable experiences,” she explains. The company started off as “a type of Airbnb for pop-ups”, matching brands with InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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MEDIA & MARKETING

vacant spaces for experiential marketing. But it soon realised that the brands required data for both targeting and measuring campaigns, similar to what they do with physical campaigns. Hence the business was pivoted to focus more on data in 2017. Popertee has grown substantially in the UK in this area. Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, which owns O2 there, has been an investor in Popertee since 2018. “We have used Telefonica data generated by 27 million handsets in the UK and combined that with other data sources to predict where target audiences are located for brands and measure activity,” Kelly explains. “This enabled us last year to work with really large brands on pilots, so the development of converting from pre-pilots to paid customers has seen huge growth over the past 12 months.” While the use of data doesn’t apply to the Irish market, Popertee has seen considerable success here with its pop-up service. “[Before the Covid 19 outbreak] there were more brands than ever before looking for retail spaces, particularly digitally native brands looking to test the bricks-and-mortar world for the first time,” Kelly notes. One of the main advantages of pop-ups is they don’t require long leases and the brands are able to test and learn from different locations with short-term rentals. GROWING AWARENESS There are numerous reasons ‘pop-ups’ became so popular. One of the main ones is the cost of customer acquisitions. Brands began to realise that pop-ups were a great way to build awareness and bring in new customers at a lower rate compared to the cost of a digital marketing campaign. “Brands realise that having a physical connection with the customer through ‘pop-ups’ or short-term ‘meet and greet’ campaigns is a great way to build up and retain relationships compared to e-commerce – which can be lacking in ‘brand love’ because it’s a transactional channel. With pop-ups, customers can see and feel the products and talk about them with someone,” says Kelly. There was an increase in pop-ups globally in recent years, not just as trials but because they became a strategic element of broader marketing campaigns, she adds. Popertee also saw repeat customers availing of its services. “Where brands may InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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have had a ‘test and learn’ with one campaign, they came back to plan for more than one location because they saw the success of previous pop-ups and hence the requirement for data through Popertee,” says Kelly. “To better understand their engagement brands need better metrics and analysis. They actually need to know who is engaged, what the footfall is and what type of audiences there are. Using our data allowed them to make a better plan for the future.” COVID 19 CONSEQUENCES Popertee’s Dublin and London offices were flourishing until the Covid 19 outbreak. All of its bookings have since been pushed out with no clear start date. “We would assume some of these will churn. Cash is king and my brilliant cofounder James Kenny is managing cash flow to help us through these tough times,” says Kelly. Once the crisis is over, she foresees changes which could actually be positive for Popertee, however: “With retailers being forced to close with this epidemic, they are skipping rent payments as they don’t have the cash. I would think some won’t even be in a position to reopen after this period of uncertainty. “The new retail landscape will show a higher vacancy rate across the board and we believe a growth in short-term retail licence agreements (pop-ups) will once again become prevalent in both shopping centres and high streets. There will be a behavioural shift where those who are using e-commerce channels to shop will continue to do so, leading to a further decline in footfall for bricks and mortar retails. We need to think hard about what the place of the physical retail channel is for the brand.” Kelly also expects developments for Popertee over the coming years in the US, further to talks she and Kenny have engaged in with investors there.

PADDY POWER PUSH Lucinda Kelly’s experience in a senior marketing role at Paddy Power was invaluable in terms of what she is doing now as CEO of Popertee.

“Paddy Power was amazing. The skills of the people I worked with were incredible. From a marketing point of view, we were trying to better understand how to acquire customers through mobile channels,” she says. “Paddy Power was ahead of its time as regards data analytics and marketing. Every marketing campaign we did was tested, measured and optimised rigorously.” The fact that Paddy Power was data marketing driven was inspirational when it came to setting up Popertee. Kelly says: “Even though Paddy Power budgets were large you were still scrutinised on how you were spending that budget. This really made you manage costs carefully and think about how important every penny was – something which I very much focus on now when running my own business.”

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INNOVATION

ANDTECH

Ireland has a history of punching above its weight when it comes to securing funding under the EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation and the signs are good that this run will continue with the latest scheme, writes GRAINNE ROTHERY.

EXPANDING HORIZONS The first EU

framework programme (FP1) was introduced in 1984 to support and encourage research and collaboration across member states as the EU was establishing the Single Market and trying to create a unified European research area (ERA). FP1 had a budget equivalent to €3.8bn. In place until the end of this year, Horizon 2020 is the eighth framework programme and the largest to date, with €80bn worth of funding up for grabs over the seven years from 2014. 32

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Implemented by the European Commission, the programme provides grants to research and innovation projects through open and competitive calls for proposals. The programme is based on three main pillars: Excellent Science – raise the level of excellence in Europe’s science base and ensure a steady stream of world-class research to secure long-term competitiveness; Competitive Industry – make Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation; and Better Society – reflect the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and address major concerns shared by citizens of Europe and elsewhere. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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INNOVATION AND TECH

Garrett Murray, National Director, Horizon 2020

X-RAY IMAGING In the medtech arena, University College Dublin spin-out company SiriusXT secured €3m in Horizon 2020 SME funding in 2016. Co-founded the year previously by Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Dr Paul Sheridan, the company has developed the first commercial laboratory-scale x-ray imaging microscope that allows researchers to create 3-D images of single cells. According to SiriusXT Chief Executive Tony McEnroe, this innovation will speed up research into disease and the development of drug treatments. McEnroe estimates that the company’s target market is spending €500m a year on alternative imaging equipment that is not giving researchers what they want.

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ACHIEVABLE TARGET Ireland has a target of securing €1.25bn in funding over the course of the programme. Based on current figures of funding allocated and approved through public calls, Irish participants have so far been awarded over €900m. “Overall, I’m very confident we’re going to be within the realms of the target,” says Garrett Murray, National Director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland, the national co-ordinator of the programme. “That is a demonstration of a very comprehensive national effort by companies, the research system, our third-level institutions and the national contact points in Enterprise Ireland and elsewhere, who spend a significant amount of time supporting applicants to apply for funding and helping them build out consortia.” There’s plenty still to play for in Horizon 2020; as of the middle of December 2020, 12,865 applications had been received from Irish organisations, with 1,968 of these successful. The funding secured at that point was over €860m. An important measure for Ireland is its share of the Horizon 2020 pot compared with its contribution to the overall EU budget. “We’re getting 1.77% of the money being allocated, which significantly exceeds the juste retour figure of 1.2%,” says Murray. An interesting aspect of the profile of funding allocated during this framework is a higher percentage of success by private companies. “That is very welcome as it shows that Irish industry is re-orientating itself in terms of R&D and innovation,” Murray notes. 33

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INNOVATION AND TECH

Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet, Project BioICEP Lead; Dr Yuanyuan Chen, AIT Research Engineer; Dr Declan Devine, Director of the Materials Research Institute; and Lorna Walsh, AIT-funded Programmes Manager

REDUCING PLASTIC WASTE Researchers at ATHLONE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY’S MATERIALS RESEARCH INSTITUTE are leading a pan-European and Chinese research project aimed at reducing the burden of plastic waste that has been awarded €5m in funding by Horizon 2020. The BioICEP (Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastic) project is working to develop sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional petroleumbased plastic. The BioICEP team will use an innovative, triple-action process in an attempt to accelerate the degradation of traditional plastic and convert it to biopolymers, which can be used as natural biodegradable replacement plastics. “In essence, we’ll be taking in the mixed plastic waste at one end, treating it with bacteria and enzymes, recovering the molecules, fermenting them, and turning them into new bioproducts,” says Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet, who is leading the project. According to the Materials Research Institute, the BioICEP approach to tackling mixed plastic waste has the potential to circumvent many of the challenges associated with plastic packaging materials, an essential step in resolving environmental damage.

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TOP PERFORMER Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) has been Ireland’s top performer under Horizon 2020, with awards totalling just over €147m between the start of the programme in 2014 and the end of November 2019. MSCA is a research fellowship programme that supports researchers at all stages of their careers and cooperation between industry and academia. By the end of last November, 349 Irish-based researchers were funded by MSCA, while 128 Irish organisations were in the programme. Irish applicants had a 15.24% success rate, compared with the EU average of 12.71%. Ireland has enjoyed particular success in the “OUR SUCCESS IN THIS MSCA COFUND programme, PROGRAMME, AND ITS with 70% of Irish applications CONTRIBUTION TO THE funded compared to 22% RESEARCH of EU applications overall. Thirteen COFUNDs are EXCELLENCE INHERENT currently running nationally. IN IRELAND, PLAYS A ROLE “Our success in this IN THE CONTINUED programme, and its DEVELOPMENT contribution to the research OF OUR INDIGENOUS AND excellence inherent in Ireland, plays a role in the FDI RESEARCH AND continued development of our MANUFACTURING SECTORS” InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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INNOVATION AND TECH

indigenous and FDI research and manufacturing sectors,” says Dr Lisa Keating, Director of Research and Innovation at the Irish Universities Association. From a sectoral perspective, meanwhile, Ireland continues to perform well in the ICT, health and agriculture/food areas. Another area of success under the current programme has been European Research Council (ERC) funding. Last December, the ERC announced that six Ireland-based researchers had won ERC Consolidator Grant awards, representing total funding of €12m. Of these six, three are based in Trinity College Dublin, two in NUI Galway and one in Maynooth University. This brought total ERC funding to researchers based in Ireland to €123m under Horizon 2020, with 67 awards nationally.

TREATING THUMB ARTHRITIS In August 2019, under the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) programme, a consortium led by LOCI ORTHOPAEDICS was granted €2.5m to help bring to market its ‘InDx Implant’, a product designed to treat arthritis of the thumb base joint. The condition affects over 30 million people across the EU. The NUI Galway spin-out company was founded in 2017 by Dr Brendan Boland and Gerry Clarke to develop novel, evidence-based orthopaedic technologies for patients with arthritis. In 2018, it closed an investment round of €2.75m. It worked with hand surgeons from Stanford University, Brown University and KU Leuven Belgium to develop what Clarke describes as the first implant that can fully mimic the natural motions of the thumb base joint.

SCALING UP SMES Elsewhere, Murray says the European Innovation Council (EIC), which supports disruptive and market-creating innovations for SMEs to scale up, has been particularly important for bringing companies into the grants system. Irish entrepreneurs were approved for €38m of funding under the programme in 2019. Murray stresses that EIC is not just an instrument for start-ups. “EIC is as appropriate for SMEs that have decided to pivot and diversify into a new product as it is for start-ups. “We’re seeing highly innovative, deep-tech SMEs competing in a very competitive environment in Brussels and coming back with large awards. That is something we really welcome,” says Murray. “A challenge and important focus going forward will be building on the success of the companies as individual applicants under the EIC and supporting them to go into research consortia in the future.” Companies innovating in the environmental space could this year benefit from a one-off EIC Accelerator call for Green Deal start-ups and SMEs. Some €300m has been allocated to support start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale breakthrough innovations that address at least one of the eight goals of the European Green Deal. Grant funding of up to €2.5m will be available, as well as the option of equity investment of up to €15m. The deadline for applications to this largest-ever funding round under the EIC pilot is 19 May 2020. There will also be additional opportunities for companies with female CEOs (or equivalent) to ensure that 25% of all finalists in the EIC Accelerator Pilot are companies that are led by women. HORIZON EUROPE The European Commission is currently working on the implementation strategy for Horizon 2020’s successor, Horizon Europe, which is expected to be a €100bn programme. These frameworks will continue to be hugely important for companies and universities in Ireland and the indigenous economy. “Our universities have always been competing with the best and we’re very proud of their success,” says Murray. “Now, we’re working closely with the institutes of technology so they can also compete as well as supporting companies in engaging alongside our higher education institutes and individually in the programme.”

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS Trying to push the boundaries of particle physics, researchers from the School of Mathematics at Trinity College Dublin are playing a leading role in a European team that last year secured €10m in funding from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation framework programme. The Strong-2020 project is a collaboration of research groups working to understand the ‘strong nuclear force’ that binds the fundamental constituents of matter – called quarks and gluons inside hadrons – and experimentally observable particles such as protons and neutrons. According to Sinéad Ryan, Professor of Theoretical High Energy Physics in Trinity’s School of Mathematics, developed technologies will drive advances in medicine (such as diagnostic tools for use in cancer treatment) and in industry (linescan cameras and new 3D magnet technology, for example) while new computing paradigms and algorithms will impact advanced scientific computing and machine learning.

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BOOK EXTRACT

“THE QUALITY OF DECISION-MAKING BY LEADERS BECOMES A MAJOR FACTOR. – PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE – IN EXPLAINING WHY

SOME ENTERPRISES DO WELL, AND MANY OTHERS DO POORLY.“ Jonathan Trevor in his latest book, Align: A Leadership Blueprint for Aligning Enterprise Purpose, Strategy and Organisation, provides a leadership blueprint for aligning enterprise purpose, strategy and organisation.

am passionate about organisational theory and practice. It may not be particularly rock and roll, as interests go, but I have been hooked ever since my first undergraduate lecture on the subject. I remember it was as if the lights went up in the lecture theatre by 50% when I was first introduced to ‘classical’ theories of management, such as Weber and bureaucracy, scientific management, human relations theory and other more recent works. As all good theory should, the appeal of the subject was that it helped me to better understand the confusing world around me. Organisations, or enterprises, are central to all our lives. Take you as an example, dear reader. You were carefully brought into this world by the best of efforts of an enterprise in the form of a hospital and its staff. You were, or perhaps are being currently, educated by enterprises in the form of schools, colleges and universities. You will spend the majority of your adult waking life working for enterprises, whether employed or self-employed. Your retirement is secured financially by the success of enterprises, whether privately or publicly funded. And yes, inevitably, you will be buried by an enterprise, whether you like it or not. Whether commercial, governmental or social, enterprises form a vital part of the human experience at every stage of our lives and are essential to our economic, social and personal well-being. So, shouldn’t we really care about how to make them function as best as possible? 36

036 InBUSINESS Spring 2020_Book Extract_V1_REV.indd 36

In terms of our conceptual understanding of what determines enterprise performance, one of the key (and often raging) debates in management theory is between Universalists and Contingency Theorists. Universalists contend that enterprises function best when they adopt universally applicable management practices, which always produce superior results. Regardless of whether you are a large or small business, domestic or international, governmental or commercial, or a manufacturer or a bank, these few off-the-shelf ‘best practices’ are suitable for all occasions. You will have encountered numerous examples of best practice – they often dominate management discussions (‘what’s best practice in this area?’ or ‘what does such and such a company do?’, for instance), and are prescribed everywhere, and by everyone, from management gurus in slick books, in brightly coloured and frighteningly expensive glossy management journals, earnest consultancy reports and jargon-heavy blog posts by the ever swelling ranks of business influencers, executive coaches and inspirational speakers. Best practice evangelists would have you believe that the biggest management challenge is simply one of effective implementation of standard practice (and help is always on hand for a fee, of course). If only it were so simple. Sadly, it is not. Contingency Theorists, of which I am one, reject any notion of universal best practice. There is no InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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BOOK EXTRACT

one-size-fits-all approach to management that suits all situations. For us, the best management practice is the one that is ‘best fit’ – or aligns – to the unique context of the enterprise concerned, and every enterprise is different. In other words, what is best depends solely upon requirements and the context in which it is being applied. By implication, there is no standard recipe, instruction manual or efficient short cut for how best to strategise and organise for success in every case. This presents a considerable management challenge. Managers must exercise careful judgement in choosing, from a vast array of options, what might fit best in any given situation, based upon the best available information, and mindful of the consequences of choosing poorly. The quality of decision-making by leaders becomes a major factor – perhaps the most important one – in explaining why some enterprises do well, and many others do poorly. The academic world is prone to fads and fashions like any other social field, and especially so in business and management. Contingency theory used to be all the rage, but it has fallen out of favour in published research and Universalists have taken the hill, for now at least. And yet, in my work with companies, most managers subscribe to contingency theory intuitively, even if they do not use scholarly lingo. They understand that choosing how to align all the moving parts of their enterprise, including its business strategy and the way in which it is organised, to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose – its raison d’être – is a critical performance condition, regardless of whether it is a company, a government agency or a charity. Their challenge always is to better understand their increasingly complex world and make better forward-looking decisions. This is the essence of what I refer to as strategic alignment. Many managers fail to meet this challenge. Due to performance pressure, being time-poor or even just lacking awareness and understanding of the issues at hand, they become tempted or blinded by the siren song of best practice prescriptions and end up adopting strategies, practices and systems that, while they might work elsewhere, are a poor fit for their own purposes. Alternatively, in the absence of knowing what is best for the future, managers seek to maintain the status quo and, sooner or later, fall foul of some form of organisational dysfunction, as the operating environment around them changes and they cannot or will not change with it. Or, more operationally, they fail simply to communicate their vision for their strategically aligned enterprise in ways that are meaningful and engaging for InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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stakeholders, be they customers, investors or employees. For example, research by Gallup indicates that only about four in ten employees (41%) understand what their company stands for and what makes it different from competitors. In my experience, the best companies are the ones in which their leaders regularly ask critical questions of each other, approach decision-making in a strategic, structured and systematic way, and use evidence to inform and defend their choices to all concerned for maximum engagement. I would argue that many enterprises struggle, and will continue to do so, because their enterprise leaders – by which I mean those tasked with strategic decision-making responsibility – are not strategic in their consideration of alignment as a factor determining their performance and competitiveness. Even today’s successful companies may struggle in future if they lack an effective and practical means of conceptualising the alignment of changing strategic and organisational requirements over time.

This is an extract from Align: A Leadership Blueprint for Aligning Enterprise Purpose, Strategy and Organisation by Johnathan Trevor published by Bloomsbury Books, priced €28.00.

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SKILLS& TALENT

LEADI NG

B

Y EX

Continuous investment in the effective development of leaders within Irish companies is critically important for the future success of individuals, business and the economy at large, writes DEREK NAGLE.

LEADERSHIP: THE STATS

US$50bn

is spent globally each year on leadership development

(Source: UK Corporate Research Forum Report 2019).

93%

of Irish organisations are facing rapid changes to their business strategy or regulatory environment (Source: Microsoft’s Future Of Work Research Programme 2020).

85%

of senior executives indicated undertaking a leadership development programme enhanced their ability to perform more effectively in their roles (Source: Financial Times Corporate Learning Pulse Survey 2017).

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AM PLE

T

he area of leadership training and development has evolved greatly as businesses are increasingly considering how to put meaning back into work. Companies need leaders who spend time communicating with employees, the result being a greater willingness to invest in leadership and wider development needs. Leaders need to stay on top of the current trends influencing their company and industry, the wider economy, their employees and themselves if they are to continue to produce results. Participating in a leadership development programme or series of coaching sessions can help individuals to step back and gain perspective. Participants can also focus on business strategy rather than normal day-to-day operations that can be a distraction. When leaders are supported through coaching and lifelong learning they can better support their organisations and teams to meet change with less resistance, better engagement and better performance. For over 20 years Skillnet Ireland and its 70 enterprise networks have played a pivotal role in leadership development in Irish businesses, helping companies nurture these vital skills for current and future leaders. Funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills, Skillnet Ireland InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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SKILLS AND TALENT

engages with over 16,000 companies every year, supporting their employees in developing a range of skills and competencies. FACING CHALLENGES Tracey Donnery, Executive Director of Skillnet Ireland, highlights the issues confronting companies in today’s climate: “There are many challenges facing businesses and their leaders in Ireland today – complexities arising from Brexit, access to skills and talent, technological changes, productivity challenges and the transition to a low-carbon and environmentally sustainable economy. All of these require leaders with the right skills to guide their organisations through.” Ireland’s talented workforce is a crucial factor for our economy. This is also a source of competitive strength that cannot be taken for granted. Employee attraction, development and retention are even more important and more challenging than ever due to a worldwide market where competition for talent is fierce. Leaders and employees place great value on a company’s willingness to invest in their development, and executive teams are mindful of the crucial importance of encouraging leadership behaviours across many different levels of their business. Developing leadership competencies that harness the potential of business leaders to lead, innovate and drive competitiveness should be a top priority for companies. DEALING WITH COMPLEXITY Kevin Empey is Managing Director of Work Matters Consulting and Training. He is also Programme Director of the Senior Executive Programme at the Irish Management Institute (IMI). Empey believes leadership training is particularly important at a time when business conditions are getting more complex and the pace of change is increasing so rapidly. Like Donnery, he cites Brexit as a particular risk to business, but also the threat posed by Covid-19 and its implications: “What I have found in more recent years in leadership training is an ability to deal with complexity, to be able to focus on what is important amongst the myriad of possibilities, challenges and options available to a business in dealing with risks.” Donnery feels a good leader must be able to communicate and delegate effectively, set a strong example and manage the many InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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CASE STUDY:

Steven Tubbritt, General Manager, Home Instead Senior Care Waterford

Home Instead Senior Care provides care to mostly elderly people in their homes, enabling them to live healthy, happy and independent lives. The company also provides services for children and adults with special needs, and works on behalf of the HSE as well as privately. It has 24 offices nationwide and more than 1,000 franchises globally. Steven Tubbritt was Operations Manager at Home Instead in Waterford when he was offered a Skillnet Ireland leadership training course by his employers. They felt this would benefit him greatly as at that stage of his career he had just three years’ experience in a managerial role. The programme was explained at an introductory meeting at a local hotel during which participants received a list of all available mentors in their region. Tubbritt chose three mentors with similar backgrounds to his (production and manufacturing) and spent over two hours with each, where he explained what his job entailed and in what areas he wished to improve. He explains the rationale behind his choices: “The reason I did this was that factories are built to be efficient and this was something I wanted to learn about. Their vast experience was also a factor – two of my mentors had over 30 years’ experience in management roles.’’ Networking gave participants the opportunity to discuss issues and differences across a wide variety of industries, with practical

suggestions on how these issues could be best addressed. The programme included talks by a particularly varied range of guest speakers (including a female astronaut) where tips and advice were offered. Mentors also made themselves available by phone and e-mail. Tubbritt found this approach invaluable: “When I first came into management I tried to model myself on previous managers I worked for thinking, ‘That’s the way you have to do it’. From speaking to mentors and guest speakers I realised there is no set way to do anything.” Tubbritt has since been promoted to General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care in Waterford. He was determined to make his leadership training programme a personal success: “I wanted to learn. I knew I was raw, wasn’t perfect but was open to ideas. I had a huge interest in the programme and listened to every word.” He also has sound advice for businesses considering investing in leadership training: “I don’t think companies should send someone for the sake of it or to look good as a company – it’s important to invest in the correct people.”

I WANTED TO LEARN. I KNEW I WAS RAW, WASN’T PERFECT BUT WAS OPEN TO IDEAS. I HAD A HUGE INTEREST IN THE PROGRAMME AND LISTENED TO EVERY WORD.

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SKILLS AND TALENT

moving parts of a dynamic team in response to shifting projects and priorities. She also feels a leader’s ability to help organisations manage change is vitally important as rapid technological advancements are bringing a faster rate of change. “Resilience, agility and adaptability are essential skills that leaders need to develop and re-develop,” she notes. Empey suggests the path companies should take if they wish to pursue leadership training within their business: “It definitely pays to look at the different offerings and pick something that suits what a leader may want and need at a specific point in their career. Organisations such as the IMI have become very innovative at packaging tailored programmes. With the Senior Executive Programme we also spend time with candidates in advance of the programme to make sure it is right for them and their learning objectives.” MODERN APPROACH The area of leadership development has recently seen an increased use of technologyenabled education to enhance the learning experience. These include executive coach ‘chatbots’ which answer questions and provide guidance using natural language processing technology or virtual learning environments designed for leadership development. In the Ireland of 2020 younger business leaders expect mobile access to learning opportunities at any place and at any time and online programmes can offer much greater flexibility. Modern businesses are recognising that leadership training is not only desirable but essential. There is a move away from the traditional concept of a classroom with the teacher at the front. Access to focused and purposeful insight and peer engagement is of huge value in a fast moving and interconnected business environment. Empey notes that the nature of leadership training is changing in response this need: “Shorter programmes and masterclasses on topical, quick-hit, high value areas are increasingly favoured over the traditional, longer-term generic programmes. Including space for peer learning groups and one-onone coaching as part of a blended learning experience is also a growing feature – it is not always about new content.” Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and digitisation are already impacting on many different work sectors and this is expected to continue. Predictions for the future vary but it seems highly likely that most jobs will 40

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“IT DEFINITELY

PAYS TO LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT

OFFERINGS AND PICK SOMETHING THAT SUITS WHAT A

LEADER MAY WANT

AND NEED AT A

SPECIFIC POINT IN

THEIR

CAREER.”

be affected, particularly low-skilled, manual work. Looking forward, an increased use of AI will influence the greater personalisation of the learning experience with targeted content based on the leader’s competencies, objectives and personality. A recent OECD report on SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland highlights the scope to enhance the export focus of smaller businesses, their financial capacity and their access through networks to other business owners. SMEs and entrepreneurs play a vastly important role in Ireland’s economy, with SMEs accounting for more than 70% of employment. These considerations underpin the design of many leadership programmes and initiatives supported by Skillnet Ireland. Its model has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD and International Labour Organisation (ILO) amongst others. Key to this is the capacity for business leaders to drive the success of Ireland’s 70 Skillnet Ireland’s business networks and play a key role in designing the most impactful leadership development programmes. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

12/05/2020 11:52


Chambers

CatchUp

‘Shop Limerick’ a nationwide first Limerick Chamber has partnered with the Limerick Local Enterprise Office and Limerick City and County Council in a nationwide first – to develop a portal for Limerick retailers to profile their offerings in one online location. The initiative aims to compile a full ‘Shop Limerick’ online listing of businesses that are trading in this period of workplace closure. Help and funding is available for those who are not currently trading online to do so, as well as funding for retail businesses to up their online presence using the expertise of local e-commerce service providers.

A ROUND UP OF ALL THE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE CHAMBER NETWORK NATIONWIDE

CHAMBER COMMENT “Chambers Ireland has called on the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities [CRU] to amend its proposed regulations which relate to the billing of Irish Water’s business clients.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland in response to CRU recommendations that Irish Water should be strict and inflexible with its business customers.

European Capital target for Cork

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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A

t the Cork Annual Dinner in March attended by over 1,000 leading business and political representatives, Paula Colgan, President of Cork Chamber set a target of Cork achieving European Capital status by 2025. “I set a goal so that we may measure success. I call on all stakeholders, the city and county, the next Government, the NTA, TII and our members to back this objective forcefully and with urgency. The award is not an end goal. It is a means of measuring first steps. For Cork to differentiate, for it to be internationally competitive, nothing short of excellence will suffice.”

Cork Company of the Year 2020 category winners: Joe Lennon and John Goulding, Workvivio; Paul Wickham, Irish Distillers (Overall winner); Sinéad Bleiel, AnaBio; Frank Madden, Crest Solutions; Debbie Power, Vodafone; Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, and Paula Cogan Cork Chamber President at the awards during the Cork Chamber Annual Dinner

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CHAMBERS NEWS

CHAMBER CAPTION

Quincy Chamber of Commerce had a two-day trade visit to Kildare in early March including a tour of Kerry Group. It followed County Kildare Chamber’s trade mission to Boston last year.

CHAMBER COMMENT “We are committed to showing flexibility and a co-operative approach in managing the inevitable disruption which will arise in these difficult and exceptional times and have also agreed to remain in close contact to monitor labour market developments.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, following the Covid-19 outbreak Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber

Proactivity in Shannon Manufacturing companies in Shannon are collaborating in an unprecedented way to guide each other through maintaining health and safety measures and adjusting them in line with Government calls in response to Covid-19. They have initiated measures to ensure they can remain open to meet the needs of essential supply chains. Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes cites the example of SME Advanced Technical Concepts, which is deploying its additive manufacturing division to 3D-print face shields for the health sector on a pro-bono basis. Another Shannon company, Modular Automation, is bringing its robotics experience to help in the fight against Covid-19.

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Dublin Chamber guide to smart working

T

he Dublin Chamber Smarter Working Guide was launched in March to help businesses to overcome many of the barriers and issues that typically may arise with home and remote working. Dublin Chamber consulted with dozens of companies already embracing smarter work practices in compiling the step-by-step guide. Its purpose is to break down some of the mystique around smarter working and to provide practical examples of how to get smarter, faster. Dublin Chamber said recent feedback from members has identified that being able to offer remote and home working is a major positive when it comes to attracting and retaining staff. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

12/05/2020 12:59


CHAMBERS NEWS

Sligo delegation to London

S

ligo Chamber President Karl Kelly, Chamber CEO Aidan Doyle, Events Manager Mary Harty and Skillnet Network Manager Geraldine Courtenay were part of a Sligo Delegation to London on 20 February to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sligo Business Network London. There was a reception in the Irish Embassy London hosted by Ambassador Adrian O’Neill followed by a briefing to highlight recent developments in Sligo and to promote it as place to work and set up business. Guest speakers were Richard Kennedy, CEO of Devenish and EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 and Colin Burke from LiveTiles.

Sligo Chamber President Karl Kelly, Ambassador Adrian O’Niell and Ciaran Hayes, Sligo County Manager

Athlone company helping the front line ICC and WHO Covid-19 survey The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are launching a worldwide survey to report the challenges faced by the private sector as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. In response to Covid-19, the ICC and WHO are surveying the private sector to gather more information about global business responses and develop solutions that will address the spread of the pandemic. The ICC-WHO survey will improve information flows between different sectors of the global economy and develop a framework for managing the economic and human consequences related to the pandemic’s spread. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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I

n the fight against Covid-19, Athlone Chamber member Zenith Adhesive Components (ZAC) is supplying subcomponents to an export customer that manufactures devices to do DNA testing. After a swab is tested for the virus, its kit is used to work out the exact strain and track the spread. ZAC was able to turn around a brand-new component from drawing/ concept to delivery to the customer’s door within five days. In addition, ZAC is working with a number of Irish companies to make the clear visor section of face masks.

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CHAMBER CEO Q&A

Positive Start InBUSINESS caught up with Bernie Everard, Chief Executive of Laois Chamber, to hear about how Covid-19 has affected the area and some positive developments in recent months. Bernie Everard, CEO, Laois Chamber

Q: Laois Chamber launched last September, how have things been going since? A: Following a

successful launch in September, membership has grown to 100 business members, across all sectors and of all sizes. Laois Chamber is working towards creating a business organisation that is fully inclusive, facilitating and encouraging engagement with all stakeholders leading to job creation and sustainable economic growth in the county. In February, the Chamber hosted the inaugural Laois Jobs Fair and it was a phenomenal success, judging by the numbers in attendance and the reaction from employers and employees alike. The event saw 2,500 highly skilled and qualified jobseekers file through the doors of the Midlands Park Hotel. There were over 300 varied jobs on offer from the 40 companies which exhibited. We hope to run this event on an annual basis.

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Q: How has Covid 19 affected businesses in Laois? A: Covid-19 has been

a huge blow to the county of Laois as it has to the rest of the country, with almost 40% of our members closed completely, 40% working remotely and 20% working as essential services. Companies have made the hard decisions and many have availed of the government supports such as the wage subsidy scheme, temporary layout and rates deferrals. Q: What advice and support are you giving businesses? A: From week one of the

crisis we have been very conscious to maintain good engagement with our members, hosting many interactive online meetings covering topics such as HR, financial supports, up-skilling and training and using experts to advise our members. I have been personally calling each member for a check-in to gauge how the crisis is affecting their business, to listen and help as best I can. The chamber’s involvement with the Laois Response

Forum has allowed us to reach out to businesses, resulting in a positive spinoff for many businesses that are contributing to the relief effort in some way. Q: Why is Laois a good place to locate a business? (once we come through this crisis) A: Laois has experienced

rapid population growth over the past 25 years, combined with its

A: Project Plan 2040

has identified Portlaoise as the first Low Carbon Town in Ireland. The aim of the Low Carbon Town is to remove the dominance of cars and address the poor pedestrian experience of the area. The Council will be investing an estimated a2.7m over the next three years to make the Low Carbon Town a reality. In January, the county

THE CHAMBER’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE LAOIS RESPONSE FORUM HAS ALLOWED US TO REACH OUT TO BUSINESSES, RESULTING IN A POSITIVE SPINOFF FOR MANY BUSINESSES THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE RELIEF EFFORT IN SOME WAY. strategic location within 70km from the Dublin Metropolitan area. In addition, Laois boasts an enabling infrastructure to support and drive business in the county. The county has an impressive network of co-working hubs, all within easy access of the motorway. Q: Can you highlight some recent positive developments in Laois?

also received rural development funding of a2m to develop the first dedicated Low Carbon Centre of Excellence facility in Ireland. Following the Covid-19 crisis the focus to become a more sustainable circular economy will inevitably lead to opportunities for Laois to become a leader in the low carbon economy nationally and internationally. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

12/05/2020 12:55


CHAMBER FEATURE

facilitate an extension, as a Treaty change will be required. Therefore, if an extension is not requested, the EU and UK have between March and October to agree a new deal. After that, the deal will need to be ratified so that it can be in place for January 2021.

NORTH-SOUTH PROTOCOL

A Time of Transition Emma Kerins, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Chambers Ireland, outlines what has been happening in relation to Brexit and the implications for Irish business.

A

t the end of January, the UK formally exited the EU and so follows a transition period, which will be in place until the end of this year. The transition is designed both to give time to the EU and UK to negotiate a trade deal and allow time to businesses to prepare for what will be very different trading conditions. The status quo that applied during the UK’s membership of the EU applies until the end of December 2020. Over the course of the coming months, the real work to agree and implement a new relationship between the two blocs begins in earnest. As has been the case since the 2016 referendum, the consequences for Irish business remain unclear, but at this point it will be fair to assume that, trade deal or not, we will be navigating very different territory in 12 months’ time.

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THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP First of all, the negotiations for the future trade relationship with the UK will need to begin (and conclude) before the end of the year for there to be a trade deal in place for the EU and UK and so that business can avoid a cliff-edge scenario which would revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. Negotiations were expected to begin in March. Trade deals typically take several years to negotiate and conclude (on average between three and seven years, depending on the degree of complexity). The UK has said it will not seek an extension to the transition. If it were to change its mind, this would have to happen before the end of June. After that point, the EU will not be able to

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, a Northern Ireland/ Ireland Protocol was agreed to ensure that no hard border would be on the island. Within this, it makes provisions for citizens’ rights, the Single Electricity Market and ensures that Northern Ireland businesses continue to have full access to the EU’s Single Market, with the only checks on goods between EU and UK being at ports/airports, rather than at the border with the six counties. Within the protocol, while Northern Ireland remains within the EU’s Single Market, it stays in the UK’s customs territory. A joint committee made up of EU and UK officials is currently being put together to review how to implement the protocol so that it is operational following the end of the transition period.

PREPARING FOR BREXIT Negotiating such a trade deal will be very challenging. Therefore, we are advising Chamber members to continue with their planning and preparation for no-deal/WTO rules. This includes reviewing your supply chain, logistics, whether you need to use the UK land bridge, product certification, tariff codes, rules of origin, data protection etc. For any Chamber members with questions on customs clearance, logistics or regulations, along with the many other dimensions involved in preparing for Brexit, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Recovering from Covid-19 Shane Conneely, Senior Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland discusses the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business and the logic of the EU gradualist approach to lifting restrictions.

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e have been lucky, so far. As I am writing this, Easter weekend has just passed. The restrictions have been in place for a month. It looks like our relatively early action has allowed us to avoid some of the worst impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, but the effect on the eldest in our communities has been devastating. The immediate economic shock has been deep. The Chambers Ireland Business Community survey found that 42% of businesses have closed entirely at this point, with almost half of businesses laying off staff. Most of those that are closed expect that their closures will be for a minimum of 12 weeks.

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While we are all still reeling from the initial wave, we should also look towards the postCovid-19 crisis options and choose the best path to get there. The EU commission has just published the Joint European Roadmap towards lifting Covid-19 containment measures. The agreed strategy for reopening the economy is one which is shaped by gradualism. Member countries are about to commence phased and limited reductions in the counterInBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Covid-19 measures that have been taken. But tensions arise, as every easing of restrictions will see an increase in the local rate of infection. Easing restrictions will lead to more cases. If the increase in cases is too sharp our health system will be overwhelmed, and maximal restrictions will have to snap back into place.

is such that over-extending in the short run could avoid the considerably greater costs of triggering another broad lockdown. The IMF estimates for developed countries, the cost of a long lockdown in 2020 is -3% of GDP whereas the slowdown associated with a reoccurrence of Covid-19 in 2021 is estimated at -5%.

GLOBAL EFFECTS

BREXIT IN A WILDFIRE

The world economy is already in a bad place relative to where we thought we would be in January. The most optimistic scenario from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees the brunt of the economic toll on the global economy being felt in Q2 2020. It foresees a massive contraction in economic activity with a 12% dip in economic output between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020, followed by a reawakening of economic activity in the second half of the year. For developed economies, the optimistic forecast looks towards a contraction of 6.1% this year, with growth in 2021 at 4.5%. Ireland, being a small, advanced, open, trading, economically developed nation can expect our ride to be a little wilder, given that our economy tends to experience these global effects in an amplified form. The downside risks with Covid-19 are considerable though: it may take longer than three months to get this wave of infection under control; we may see a later resurgence of the disease before an effective vaccine has been developed; or in the worst case scenario we could see both of these things happen. This is why a gradualist return to economic activity is central to the EU’s strategy. The risk associated with another outbreak during the winter of 2020-2021

I have been struggling to form a metaphor which captures the complexity of the Covid-19 crisis. Oscillating between the Australian wildfires and the Brexit crisis, all

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targeted ones. We will probably see restrictions ease quickest in sectors which are least likely to become loci for community transmission, i.e. those where social distancing is easiest to guarantee.This will probably see smaller businesses and retail units opening first as they will likely pose a lesser threat to public health if they become affected. The loosening up of measures for entire regions, or locales within regions, is only likely to occur in parallel with an enhanced Covid-19 testing regime. As individual countries stabilise then

MEMBER COUNTRIES ARE ABOUT TO COMMENCE PHASED AND LIMITED REDUCTIONS IN THE COUNTER-COVID-19 MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN. BUT TENSIONS ARISE, AS EVERY EASING OF RESTRICTIONS WILL SEE AN INCREASE IN THE LOCAL RATE OF INFECTION. EASING RESTRICTIONS WILL LEAD TO MORE CASES. IF THE INCREASE IN CASES IS TOO SHARP OUR HEALTH SYSTEM WILL BE OVERWHELMED, AND MAXIMAL RESTRICTIONS WILL HAVE TO SNAP BACK INTO PLACE. I can settle on is the idea of the hardest Brexit, but everywhere, and if it was also on fire. It is like Brexit because we have to consider multiple contingencies and develop strategies accordingly. Fortunately, as so many Irish businesses have been interrogating their supply chains as a result of Brexit over the past four years, we are probably more prepared as a community than most countries for this kind of disruption to trade. But it is also like a wildfire because bad luck, an inappropriate response, or failure in attention could see it flare up again, creating even more destruction than has already occurred. The EU ‘roadmap’ therefore takes the risk-averse approach and will involve a gradual shift from general measures towards

the travel restrictions between EU states will ease, and only when the EU is open and stable will the external borders slowly reopen. The medium-term horizon will likely remain constrained and trade, outside of essential goods, is likely to be depressed. Opportunities will revolve around locally supplying goods, or alternatives to goods, which we have typically received from abroad, goods and services related to the Covid-19 response and international services. Our best-case scenario is to clear the island of Covid-19, allowing us to free up the domestic economy so that we can support our peer nations through supplying goods and services which Covid-19 restrictions prevent them from supplying to themselves.

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sustainability by reducing carbon emissions, as well as increasing labour force participation amongst women, older people, carers, and people with disabilities. In addition, these policies are proven to be of huge advantage to enterprises with reported productivity increases of 1.5% (€1,342) per employee working flexibly on a one-day perweek basis.

NATIONWIDE CONSULTATION

The case for Flexibility Michaela Reilly, Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland discusses the relevance and importance of flexible working and how policy needs to evolve.

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s the nature of work and society changes, the way in which we work must also. Flexible working is quickly becoming an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, office-based employment with both employers and employees questioning the value or need to travel to the office every day. Flexible working allows an employee to shape how, when and where they work. The forms it can take are limitless, encompassing a wide range of practices including part-time, remote working, flexi-hours, compressed hours, annualised hours, homeworking and job sharing. These new modes of working are gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. These range from improving quality of life and reducing the cost of living to supporting

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The EU’s Work Life Balance Directive, which addresses the challenges faced by working parents and carers, prompted a nationwide consultation on the development of a national flexible working strategy. Under our pledge to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5: Gender Equality, Chambers Ireland continues to recommend the adoption of such a strategy, which must be underlined through sufficient supports for businesses in the transition. We have contributed to the national dialogue on flexible working through various submissions to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Justice and Equality on Flexible Working under Future Jobs Ireland. More accommodating workplaces and work practices are becoming driving factors in recruiting and retaining staff, with the potential for also boosting morale and improving work-life balance for many. It is the view of Chambers Ireland that a national flexible working policy, that sufficiently supports employers in implementing these arrangements, will be the key to unlocking the potential of the entire Irish workforce. This will be through greater female labour activation rates, an increased employment and retention rate of people with disabilities, and sustained inclusion of older people in the workplace. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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IMPROVEMENT NEEDED With full employment approaching, we must improve labour force participation. Female labour market participation is still significantly lower at 68.1% compared to 88.2% for men. Various economic and social factors, such as caring responsibilities, education attainment and social norms, all contribute to the lower levels of female participation in the labour force. Although this figure has somewhat improved in the past number of years, placing us below the EU average, advancements in female participation in the workforce must be drastically enhanced to bridge the 20% gap that still exists between female and male employment rates. Supports for flexible, inclusive workplaces that are family, age and disability friendly will encourage greater female labour activation in this regard, while also improving health, well-being and productivity. Changes in female employment together with an ageing population have brought the issue of reconciliation between work and caring commitments to the fore in Ireland. This is happening in a policy climate where State support for caring is relatively low, and government policy is predicated on there being one female in the home to care. The availability of leave and flexible working arrangements has been shown to strongly mitigate the effect of caring responsibilities on women’s employment outcomes in addition to having a positive effect on male participation in caring roles and the stigmas previously associated with this. Providing employees with greater choice in organising their work and caring responsibilities also reduces the risk of them leaving the labour market altogether. Companies would benefit from the ability to

access a wider talent pool, a more motivated and productive labour force and less absenteeism. In terms of access to a wider talent pool, flexible working arrangements can enable the retention of older staff, thereby allowing companies to continue to use the skills of experienced employees.

REGIONAL AND OTHER BENEFITS The benefits that flexible working arrangements can offer to employees are indeed numerous but the added economic value that these have in rural and regional economies should not be overlooked. Flexible working

working arrangements can have a positive impact on Ireland’s emissions targets, and employers’ targets, as less people on the road means less pollution. However, for these arrangements to become a reality across all areas of Ireland, supports for employers must be at the core of a national flexible working policy. Chambers Ireland would like to see the next Government commit to the nationwide delivery of high-speed broadband coupled with the increased rollout of co-working and digital hubs so as to enable businesses to fully benefit from the opportunities that flexible

IT IS THE VIEW OF CHAMBERS IRELAND THAT A NATIONAL FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY, THAT SUFFICIENTLY SUPPORTS EMPLOYERS IN IMPLEMENTING THESE ARRANGEMENTS, WILL BE THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF THE ENTIRE IRISH WORKFORCE. THIS WILL BE THROUGH GREATER FEMALE LABOUR ACTIVATION RATES, AN INCREASED EMPLOYMENT AND RETENTION RATE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND SUSTAINED INCLUSION OF OLDER PEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE.

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strategies have been characterised as one of the best ways for Ireland to address the combined needs of breathing life into rural Ireland and enabling people to live where they want to live while embarking on careers that may previously only have been accessible in urban centres. With the world getting serious about climate action, there is an increasing onus on employers to reduce their carbon footprint. It is estimated, on average, that 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions are produced per commuter per year. This is clearly at odds with the goals of both the Climate Action Plan and Project Ireland 2040, which underlines the transition to a low-carbon economy as the single largest investment priority. Flexible

working can offer them. Additionally, Chambers Ireland is calling for the modernisation of employment regulations to be a priority under the next programme for Government. Lack of regulatory clarity, particularly in respect of employment law and health and safety regulation, could potentially lead to employers inadvertently failing to comply with existing legal frameworks. Supporting employers to provide accommodating, flexible workplaces must be at the centre of future employment legalisation in the next programme for Government to actively encourage increased labour force participation, and improved health, well-being and productivity across all sectors and enterprises.

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Carly Mooney, Event Manager, Chambers Ireland, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland and Theo Cullinane, Chief Executive, BAM Ireland

The Journey to Sustainable Business Impact James Kiernan, Director of Relationship Management, Chambers Ireland outlines the concrete ways in which the organisation demonstrates its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and has made it part of all it does.

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s we begin a new decade, the challenges which both businesses and society now face look very different to those of the past ten years. With these changes, the metrics of success and best practice which we use to gauge the work of business must change also. As Ireland’s largest business organisation, with a network of 40 Chambers and almost 9,000 business members, Chambers Ireland is committed to making communities across the country better environments in which to live, work and do business. We put ‘place’ at the core of

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everything that we do, and endeavour to develop sustainable, prosperous and open places of business where local economies thrive. In 2019, Chambers Ireland decided to take leadership in incorporating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the strategy of our organisation. We are uniquely positioned to understand the needs and concerns of Irish businesses, and in turn, communicate and engage with them on the SDGs. We are committed to championing the SDGs in all the work that we do to promote decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities and advancements in both gender equality and climate action. Our internal processes, policy outputs and culture – along with our policy taskforces – now all align with these goals. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Furthermore, last year, on the fourth anniversary of the SDGs, to show the networkwide support for the goals all affiliated Chambers across Ireland announced that they had signed a pledge giving their commitment to supporting the SDGs, as part of our alignment with the goals. Also, during this time our Sustainable Business Council was formed. This council is made up of leading experts in the areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainable business and the SDGs. The council drives engagement on the SDGs in our nationwide network of Chambers. It is a significant part of our strategy to build awareness and engagement on the SDGs among businesses over the next number of years through our network. For over 16 years, Chambers Ireland has celebrated businesses’ activities, which have adhered to CSR principles, through our CSR Awards. During that time we have seen many great projects, from companies of various sizes, receive recognition at this event. These projects have benefitted the environment, communities, staff and charities, both in Ireland and abroad. The awards have also evolved substantially over this 16-year period, with the strength and depth of entries now barely recognisable from the first year.

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IMPACT AWARDS To continue the process of alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, from 2020 the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards will be renamed the Sustainable Business Impact Awards. The categories and entry

criteria will remain unchanged from last year and we continue to welcome projects and highlight the great work from multinational, large indigenous and small to medium enterprises. We believe the new description will greatly improve our ability to evolve our engagement with the SDGs further in the future, building on the enormous success these awards have garnered over the last 16 years. We see the use of the SDGs as a way for businesses across Ireland to further develop and enhance their CSR programmes and projects in

WE SEE THE USE OF THE SDGS AS A WAY FOR BUSINESSES ACROSS IRELAND TO FURTHER DEVELOP AND ENHANCE THEIR CSR PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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a sustainable way. The Sustainable Business Impact Awards will focus on the integration of these social and environmental concerns into mainstream business operations on a voluntary basis. We invite all CSR stakeholders to continue on this journey with us in using the SDGs to enhance their CSR programmes in a sustainable way by engaging with the SDGs and our Sustainable Business Impact Awards.

For more information on the Sustainable Business Impact Awards, visit our website: https://www.chambers.ie/ events/sustainable-businessimpact-awards/

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Winners of the Health & Wellbeing category, sponsored by Healthy Ireland - Cork City Council’s ‘Cork Sanctuary Runners’

In Search of Excellence Now in their seventeenth year, the Excellence in Local Government Awards represent a key date in the calendar of Local Authorities across the country.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland (left), with Siobhan Kinsella, President of Chambers Ireland (second from right), John Paul Phelan TD, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform (right) and Fingal County Council Representatives

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he Excellence in Local Government Awards are a celebration of community and place; they highlight the hard work and creativity of our Local Governments, which work year-round to improve cities, towns and communities in each of the 26 counties across Ireland. Hosting these awards has always been a great privilege for Chambers Ireland, as it gives our network of Chambers an opportunity to acknowledge the essential contributions of Local Governments to the areas that we call home. Now with 16 categories – as well as an overall award for Local Authority of the Year – the Excellence in Local Government Awards recognise Local Authority participation and support across a number of areas, from festivals and commemorations to disability services, urban and economic developments. With almost 150 entries from all corners of Ireland, the awards give a fantastic overview of all the activities and engagement happening across the country. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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STAYING RELEVANT As the Excellence in Local Government Awards grow, we have continued to adjust the categories in order to reflect the changes in our society. Last year, we introduced a new category, ‘Age Friendly Initiatives’, to highlight the fantastic work being done to support and include older generations within our communities. Mayo County Council led the way with its winning project ‘Age Friendly Airport Guidelines’. This project’s aim was to ensure that travelling through airports is as stress-free an experience as possible, for all ages, and the hope is that this initiative can be adapted to be used in airports across the globe. This year we will be bringing about a few changes to the Awards, with some small alterations to the names of three categories;  utstanding Initiative through the Municipal Districts O will become Initiatives through the Municipal Districts Supporting Active Communities will be changed to Supporting Sustainable Communities Best Practice in Citizen Engagement will now be titled Best Practice in Community Engagement Each change or addition that we make to the Excellence in Local Government Awards is to ensure that they stay relevant year-on-year and reflect the ever-evolving work undertaken by our 31 Local Authorities.

Winners of the Heritage and Built Environment category, sponsored by AIB - Monaghan County Council’s ‘The Monaghan Spitfire - Life on the Border with a World at War’

This year’s Excellence in Local Government Awards applications will open on 7 April, 2020. Links to the application forms can be found on the Chambers Ireland website: www.chambers.ie/events/elg-awards/ and the deadline for submitting applications to the Excellence in Local Government Awards 2020 is 6 May 2020.

[THESE AWARDS] HIGHLIGHT HOW LOCAL AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO SHOW THEIR IRREPLACEABLE VALUE, MAKING SUBSTANTIAL EFFORTS WHICH HAVE WIDE-RANGING POSITIVE IMPACTS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND THE LOCAL ECONOMY.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, speaking at the Excellence in Local Government Awards 2019

Clare County Council was the winner of the Sustainable Environment category, sponsored by ERP for its ‘Banner Beekeepers Association Apiary at Doora, Ennis’

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Brussels Delegation There was another Chambers Ireland delegation to Brussels in January, where several important topics relevant to Irish business were discussed.

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s part of our work to advocate for a more business-friendly EU, Chambers Ireland once again led a delegation from the Irish Chamber Network to Brussels in early January and met with key officials from across the European Commission, the Irish Regions Office, and the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU to discuss matters of importance to the Irish business community. Seán Kelly MEP generously hosted a breakfast briefing at the European Parliament during which the delegation was briefed on current policy portfolios and the EU post-Brexit. The importance of the Irish business voice at EU-level was reaffirmed by Kelly and his other colleagues who were also in attendance, including MEPs Mairéad McGuinness, Frances Fitzgerald and Billy Kelleher. Issues that were discussed during the two-day visit encompassed

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many elements of the European Commission’s latest workplan for the next legislative term, which centres around the European Green Deal. Topics included Ireland’s position in the future EU-UK negotiations, the rising global tide of protectionism, the aims of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism, and the need to leverage EU FTAs for SMEs across Ireland and the wider EU.

KEY INSIGHTS Thomas Liefländer, Head of Unit of the Taskforce for Relations with the UK, provided some insights into what the future EU-UK relationship might look like, underlining that any agreement will fully apply to Northern Ireland without the possibility of any special relationship. The protection of Irish citizens under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) was also discussed.

Liefländer outlined that for now the Common Travel Area (CTA), which predates the EU, and the WA will exist in parallel. However, such protections under the CTA could be unilaterally amended by Westminster or cease to exist at some point in the future. In addition to this, delegates learned about the EU’s Market Access Strategy which provides exporters with accessible and free information on EU trading relationships and methods to detect and remove trade barriers, in a world which Laurent Javaudin of DG (Directorate General) for Trade described as becoming “increasingly susceptible to rising tides of protectionism”. Declan Costello of DG ECFIN (Economic and Financial Affairs) echoed this and shared some concerning views on a likely stagnation of European economic growth resulting from international trade uncertainties and tensions that are dragging on overall global economic growth. The central theme throughout he visit was the new European Green Deal, an ambitious programme for the EU for the next five years that is set to completely overhaul and realign the commitments and targets of the Commission to achieve a carbon neutral continent by 2050. This was further underlined by Quentin Dupriez from DG Clima who explained some of the intricacies of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism, both of which will be key to ensuring that all internal economies across the EU are protected and transformed into prosperous and sustainable environments with high levels of resource efficiency and netzero emissions. It was encouraging to see the widespread support from Commission representatives for the Chambers network-wide pledge to the UN SDGs, and that they are leading the charge on this, given that many European policies are now looking towards framing their objectives in the same manner. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Pathways to Progress With a new strategy for further education and training soon to be published, it is an exciting time for the sector, which offers opportunities for everyone across the country.

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he Further Education and Training (FET) sector has a lot to offer and is central to skills development in Ireland. With a growing range of programmes specifically designed to provide work-ready skills, upskilling programmes for employees and an expanding range of apprenticeships, employers can look to the sector for a talent pipeline for their businesses. A new five-year strategy for the Further Education and Training (FET) sector is due to be published shortly. SOLAS, the Government agency with responsibility for FET, is leading on the development of the strategy on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills and in consultation with the sector and a range of stakeholders. FET is unique. FET is for everyone. It is available in every community in Ireland, and offers every individual, regardless of any previous level of education, a pathway to take them as far as they want to go. It also offers great opportunities to move into exciting and interesting vocations and careers, or a platform to develop the skills that will allow someone to flourish if they go on to further study in higher education. Learner feedback is generally positive, employment and progression outcomes are strong, and employers are highly satisfied with the quality of FET graduates.

MEETING FUTURE NEEDS But FET must continue to evolve. It needs to ensure that it can meet the needs of the future world and the evolving needs of InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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economy and society. It must simplify its structure and learning pathways, facilitate easier access, ensure a more consistent learner experience and build a more powerful identity within communities and potential learners. It must become louder and prouder, with more and more people of all ages becoming aware of the opportunities to learn, develop and progress at local level. There is a real opportunity to grow the FET contribution to a more collaborative and cohesive tertiary education system for Ireland. This will mean transforming what future FET means for all those who can benefit from its provision: the school leaver; the lifelong learner, the employee looking to upskill; the marginalised who want to re-engage in education; and the employers and the communities which FET helps to serve. The new FET strategy sets out a range of priorities across three core pillars: building skills; creating pathways and fostering inclusion. Alongside this, addressing enabling themes around staffing and structures; ensuring a learner and performance-centred approach; digital transformation; and capital infrastructure will be critical to success. This means that, by the end of 2024:  here will be a greater overall T penetration of FET across the population of Ireland A greater share of school leavers will be choosing FET or apprenticeship as their first destination People will move seamlessly between FET and higher education with clear transition criteria in large numbers There will be a significant and growing cohort of people in employment using FET to upskill and of employers viewing FET as a critical enterprise resource Progression levels through FET will increase strongly, with pathways from core skills and community education available to all who wish to pursue them A digitally transformed FET system will offer a large portfolio of flexible, online and blended opportunities. The future of FET is exciting. The future of FET is now.

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Commitment to Sustainability Ervia is playing a pivotal role in the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy, writes Eilish Scott, Programme Manager, Ervia.

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ccording to Forbes Magazine, 2020 heralds a new focus for business leaders around the world: sustainability. This is an area which is driving investment in new technologies and Eilish Scott, transforming business practices across Ervia. We are Programme Manager, committed to playing a pivotal role in the transition to a low Ervia carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy. Ervia’s approach to sustainability is not only core to our future business operations, but critical to our national ambitions to protect Ireland’s precious water resources for future generations and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

DELIVERING SUSTAINABILITY FOR IRELAND Ervia is one of Ireland’s leading semi-states and the parent company of Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water with core activities linked to the UN’s Sustainable

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Development Goals. Access to clean water and effective management of wastewater is a critical requirement for a modern society and Ireland has the potential to become one of the most water resilient countries in the world. Irish Water is actively investing in infrastructure and services to address weaknesses in the current system and reduce leaks, raise drinking water quality standards, minimise disruptions to supply, and eliminate unacceptable wastewater discharges. Due to be published shortly, Irish Water’s National Water Resources Plan proposes a new way to balance the amount of water we take from the environment with the water we need to support sustainable future growth. This will be through a three-pillar approach based on water conservation, leakage reduction and the development of smart infrastructure. As we roll out an investment programme of over a8bn in the next ten years, there is an opportunity to ensure sustainability-related policies InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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and strategies are embedded in how we plan, design and run all our projects. The gas network plays a critical role in Ireland’s economy today, serving homes, businesses and electricity generation. Gas Networks Ireland operates and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland, providing safe, sustainable, efficient and reliable services for customers. The gas network delivers 30% of the country’s primary energy needs and generates over half of Ireland’s electricity. It is one of only 33 companies in Ireland which holds the Business Working Responsibly Mark, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable business practices.

COMMITTED TO CLIMATE ACTION Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland strongly support the Government’s 2019 Climate Action Plan and believe that Ireland’s a2.6bn gas network will be key to Ireland’s energy transformation. The Climate Action Plan sets clear targets for emissions savings per sector to 2030, including a move to 70% renewable sources for electricity generation. However, to ensure a secure energy supply at all times, Ireland will continue to require gas powered electricity generation as a vital backup for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Through decarbonising the gas network, Ireland can continue to benefit from its reliable, secure supply while meeting climate action goals. The recently published report ‘Vision 2050 – A Net Zero Carbon Gas Network for Ireland’ outlines a pathway to achieve a net-zero carbon gas network by 2050 through a combination of biomethane, compressed natural gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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This pathway will decarbonise the gas network and significantly decarbonise the electricity sector, in addition to delivering solutions in the challenging areas of heat and transport. The development of green gas technologies is continuing at pace. The European Commission’s recently announced European Green Deal identifies clean hydrogen, CCS and decarbonised gases as priority technologies. Ervia and Gas Network Ireland’s strategy to actively increase the volume of renewable gas in our network is aligned with the Commission’s objectives. Equally, hydrogen produces zero carbon emissions when combusted. Much like natural gas, it can be used for heating, transport, and power generation. CCS is a proven technology for capturing carbon emissions and storing them safely underground. This technology can be used to decarbonise electricity generation, large industry and hydrogen production.

REALISING THE VISION Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland are actively developing the roadmap for Vision 2050 across biomethane, compressed natural gas (CNG) in transport, CCS and hydrogen, which will identify the financial, regulatory and policy supports required to deliver a clean energy network for Ireland. The significance of CCS has already been recognised through its inclusion in the Climate Action Plan and the establishment of a Department Steering Group, of which Ervia is a member, to examine and oversee the feasibility of the utilisation of CCS in Ireland. At an international level, Ervia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on CCS with Norwegian company Equinor to work with Equinor and the Norwegian Government’s ‘Northern Lights’ project to drive

CCS development across Europe. Gas Networks Ireland is supporting the funding of CNGpowered commercial vehicles. CNG is a proven alternative to diesel or petrol and reduces transport costs by up to a quarter and carbon emissions by 22%. These vehicles can achieve zerocarbon transport when operating on renewable gas. Gas Networks Ireland is progressing plans to introduce significant volumes of renewable gas onto the existing natural gas network. Overall it is anticipated that the gas network can reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions by one third by 2050.

The Climate Action Plan sets clear targets for emissions savings per sector to 2030, including a move to 70% renewable sources for electricity generation. However, to ensure a secure energy supply at all times, Ireland will continue to require gas powered electricity generation as a vital backup for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

PART OF WHAT WE DO EVERY DAY In 2019, Gas Networks Ireland produced its very first Sustainability Report aligned to the UN SDGs, focusing on the areas of environment, social and economic. Gas Networks Ireland was acknowledged for its work in the area at the 2020 Green Awards. The Green Large Organisation of the Year was awarded for the best environmental practices demonstrated in a large business, while the Sustainable Energy Achievement award focused on the effectiveness of energy initiatives reducing energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions. In December last year Chambers Ireland also awarded Gas Networks Ireland with the 2019 Special Merit in CSR award. Irish Water has also started to embed sustainability not just within individual projects but as part of what the business does every day. It is clear that our national gas and water utilities have a significant contribution to make in the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy by 2050. For further details on Vision 2050 visit: gasnetworks.ie/vision2050

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Leading the Charge The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s new online courses can help businesses to lead sustainable change in energy efficiency.

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ver the coming years, Ireland must use less energy, move to clean energy, and innovate to create new solutions to meet our energy needs. Saving energy cuts your energy costs and makes business sense for you. The average small business can save up to 10% on its energy bills from behavioural changes alone, and as much as 30% with capital investments. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is here to help you to start on your energy efficiency journey by helping you to identify energy saving opportunities, implement energy saving changes, and lead your organisation’s shift to energy efficiency.

FREE ONLINE LEARNING Free online courses created specifically for Irish businesses on climate impact

and energy efficiency are being launched this month (April 2020). This affordable and flexible way of learning will help your business take the first step towards reducing its climate impact. The online training allows anyone to learn about energy efficiency with short, interactive, animated modules and mobile-friendly access. Benefits include: free online training for you and your staff; flexible anytime learning; and access to case studies and practical examples implemented by businesses just like yours. These courses are a great way of engaging, upskilling and retaining staff. Learners can receive a Certificate of Completion which demonstrates your company’s commitment to educating staff about energy and this can be displayed at your premises.

Modules that will be available in April 2020 include: Energy and Climate Change Business Energy Efficiency Lighting: The Basics Lighting: Design Home Energy Efficiency Heating Refrigeration Electric Vehicles Electricity Bill Analysis Office Energy Efficiency Behavioural Change Once the platform is launched on 1 April, details on how to access the courses will be available on the website: www.seai.ie/business-andpublic-sector/small-andmedium-business.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT TRAINING For organisations that prefer to attend in-person workshops, SEAI also offers one-day energy management training. ‘Introduction to Energy Management’ will take place in the following locations this year: Athlone – 11 June Dublin – 3 September Cavan – 12 November Registration is free of charge however spaces are limited. To register for training visit: www.seai.ie/business-andpublic-sector/small-andmedium-business. If you have a group who would like to avail of Introduction to Energy Management training but cannot attend one of our scheduled events, we would also be happy to offer you a customised course. For more information on how SEAI can assist your business in becoming more energy efficient visit www.seai.ie or contact the Business Team on business@seai.ie.

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Ahead of the Curve

Frustration arises from a lack of knowledge. Make sure people know what isn’t changing, too. That stability will ease the problem.

Experts from Health Assured provide advice on managing change within your organisation and how an employee assistance programme can help.

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hatever our role is, we all experience change regularly. This can be both positive and negative. Change management is a method of coping with both the effects and the causes of change. By managing change effectively, we can minimise the negative effects, and greatly improve the resilience of our organisation. Responding to change — especially large-scale change — is difficult. People don’t always respond well. Change management helps. It’s about ensuring that your people understand what’s happening and why, are assured that it’s positive, and have the mental tools at hand to cope. When change is badly managed, or not managed at all, you’ll find that it dents morale, decreases wellbeing and causes drop-offs in productivity. Uncertainty is the enemy of good business. When change is well managed, you’ll find that even the largest and most disruptive events are much easier to deal with. And your employees will be confident enough to take on more and more challenges, knowing they have support.

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THE CHANGE CURVE Developed as a way to predict how people will react to change, the Change Curve can show you how to help others to make personal transitions, supporting them correctly and ensuring that change goes smoothly. People need different support, depending in which stage of the Change Curve they’re at. S HOCK: In the early stages, it’s best to listen, understand and give space. People need time to process, and they need gentle encouragement to ask questions at their own pace.

RESPONDING TO CHANGE — ESPECIALLY LARGE-SCALE CHANGE — IS DIFFICULT. PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS RESPOND WELL. CHANGE MANAGEMENT HELPS.

 ENIAL: D Again, it’s important to give people time. No-one in denial is going to make a sudden leap into acceptance — carefully explain the risks of remaining in denial, but don’t push too hard.  NGER: A Be honest and stay calm when faced with angry reactions. Remember, it isn’t personal — empathise, listen to and respect people, and their anger will clear.  RUSTRATION: F Keep supplying as much detail about the changes as possible.

 EPRESSION: D Encourage healthier living, encourage openness about feelings, and encourage proper breaks. Maintaining a good work/life balance is key to beating this stage.  ARGAINING: B people at this stage may put you under pressure to approach changes differently. Be clear and firm, and communicate your position as best you can.  CCEPTANCE: A As the changes are accepted and assimilated, recognise and reward people’s efforts. Provide positive feedback, and emphasise the future.

HOW AN EAP CAN HELP The Health Assured employee assistance programme (EAP) is a useful benefit tool to complement your promotion of mental health wellbeing at work. It’s a complete resource, accessible 24/7 via phone, inperson and online. It encourages individuals to take part in healthy behaviours and activities, offering a sensitive helpline and confidential counselling sessions to help people through life’s challenges. This counselling can be an invaluable lifeline to someone dealing with change in a company —whether it’s an affected employee, or a manager tasked with leading people through that change. Get in touch today to discuss how Health Assured can help. Go to www.healthassured.org/ie for more information.

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Introducing Chambers Ireland’s Sustainable Business Impact Awards. Earlier this year, we announced that we have renamed our annual Corporate Social Responsibility Awards as we align the Awards with our promise to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. To find out more about how this change came about, you can read the story behind this change on page 54. For more information, please contact carly.mooney@chambers.ie

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An additional 3.3m is being provided to the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, designed to assist small businesses

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Cork County Council Library and Arts Service, with support from the Arts Council, is providing a free online writing workshop

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Fingal County Council donated more than 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Beaumont Hospital

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Donegal County Archives launched an oral history project as part of its Peace IV funded ‘Echoes of the Decade’ project

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COUNCILS ANSWER THE COMMUNITY CALL IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

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3D PRINTED PPE IN FINGAL

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La Trattoria Restaurant in Midleton prepares and distributes over 300 meals a day around East Cork

Cork Covid-19 Response Cork County Council staff members and local businesses are supporting local communities where people are socially isolated or cocooned.

Brian Lougheed

TALES FROM ROSCOMMON

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30,000+ Local volunteer Paul Quinn created face shields with A4 acetate sheets that Fingal County Council donated using a 3D printer. These face shields were delivered to the National Ambulance Service in Swords and distributed around the country.

[ COUNTY DUBLIN ]

DUBLIN LOCAL ENTERPRISE OFFICE CLIENTS PIVOT IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

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usinesses across Dublin, with the support of their Local Enterprise Office, have found ways to diversify to survive the crisis and retain their staff. One such business is Uniformal, a uniform and corporate wear provider in South Dublin. Uniformal experienced a sharp decrease in demand as hospitality and corporate clients closed their doors. Recognising the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), the company decided to produce antibacterial reusable face masks. Meanwhile, Kianda in Fingal, which developed a platform that enables companies to turn paperwork into digital apps, believes its technology will help businesses adapt to working remotely using its entirely paperless, cloud-based platform. And RYPT, a software platform that connects fitness coaches to clients via a smartphone app, has seen an increase in demand for its services from all over the world since the outbreak and received interest from high-performance sports teams in Ireland, who are currently unable to train in a team environment.The Local Enterprise Office network is the first stop for anyone seeking information and support for starting a business. It provides access to supports including training, networking events and mentoring. Eligible start-ups can apply for co-funding for feasibility research, salaries and other costs, as well as help in accessing other sources of finance, including from Microfinance Ireland.

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Fingal County Council donated more than 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Beaumont Hospital, including face masks and protective suits. It also donated raw materials to be used to create PPE face shields for frontline workers, created by the likes of 3D printing volunteer Paul Quinn. Blanchardstown Library also supplied two 3D printers to SurfBox, along with libraries in Kildare, South Dublin and Kilkenny. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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[ FINGAL ] [ COUNTIES LOUTH AND MEATH ]

Boyne Valley producers collaborate to deliver products to customers

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any of the producers in the Boyne Valley have collaborated to develop a new initiative to help their businesses survive in these difficult times – Boyne Valley Flavours Boxes can be ordered online and delivered to customers’ homes, helping people avoid busy supermarkets while offering an opportunity to get the finest Irish produce delivered to their doors. Customers also have the option of adding 2 x 250ml bottles of Listoke Distillery’s hand sanitiser. The initiative was spearheaded by Ruairí Browne, who along with Laura Menamy is the proprietor of Great Northern Larder, which makes a range of sauces and rubs. Browne and Menamy have dedicated their website (greatnorthernlarder.com), time and packing facilities to help local food producers across the Boyne Valley and those in isolation.

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Fingal responds to the community call Fingal’s Covid-19 Community Response Forum, established at the end of March, reached out to the county to offer its support during the coronavirus crisis, with a Community Response Helpline inviting people who need assistance, know someone who needs help or would like to volunteer to get in touch seven days a week from 8am to 8pm. The majority of requests were for the collection and delivery of food and other essential goods to the homes of vulnerable people, while other calls sought An Garda Síochána assistance and the delivery of cooked meals to homes. Volunteers from local GAA clubs and the Fingal Volunteer Centre provided these support services for vulnerable residents. The Community Response Forum is made up of national and local public institutions, community organisations and public representatives with Chief Executive of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly as Chair. Those involved included the Mayor of Fingal, Fingal County Council, the HSE, Fingal Local Community Development Committee, An Post, Community Welfare Service, Tusla, An Garda Síochána, Fingal Volunteer Centre, Muintir na Tíre, Order of Malta, Dublin Civil Defence, Dublin GAA, Local Link, Citizens Information, Fingal Public Participation Network, ALONE, TU Dublin, Fingal Chamber of Commerce, Empower, Fingal Leader Partnership, Irish Farmers Association, and other agencies.

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[ COUNTY LIMERICK ]

LIMERICK VIDEO CALLS ON MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO VOLUNTEER

Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Michael Sheahan featured in the new video calling for volunteers

The Limerick Covid-19 Community Response Group launched a video in a call to action to all across Limerick to get on board and support the volunteer programme, which co-ordinates the delivery of messages, prescriptions and dissemination of relevant information to elderly people or others who are in isolation to help them stay at home and protect them from the coronavirus. The video was released a day after the Community Call programme was launched nationwide to co-ordinate, through local authorities, the volunteer response to help those marginalised by the pandemic. The Limerick initiative is led by Limerick City and County Council in partnership with An Garda Síochána and the HSE, and backed by Limerick GAA, Munster Rugby, IRFU, FAI, Liveable Limerick, the Catholic Church and Church of Ireland, Limerick Volunteer Centre and multiple sporting and volunteer groups.

€2,500 A new Business Continuity Voucher is now available to sole traders and companies that employ up to 50 people through the Local Enterprise Office Limerick. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders in Limerick to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. 64

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Cork County Council staff members are supporting local communities where people are socially isolated or cocooned. In Midleton, La Trattoria Restaurant run by the Corigliano family prepares over 300 meals daily and through a network of local volunteers, distributes the meals around East Cork. The ingredients are donated by local businesses with Cork County Council assisting with deliveries. This is just one example of a daily service taking place throughout the county, co-ordinated by Cork County Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Programme. Photograph by Brian Lougheed.

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[ COUNTY CORK ]

Noel O’Mahony, Executive Librarian at Cork County Council’s Bantry Library, assembles boxes of books for housebound members, as part of Cork County Council’s new Library Delivery Service

In its first week of operation, Cork County Council Library Service’s Book Delivery Service transported over 200 boxes of books to cocooning or self-isolating readers across the length and breadth of the county who are unable to utilise the online Borrowbox service. Five drivers work daily on the service, collecting boxes from the local library before delivering to people’s homes.

[ COUNTY CORK ]

Cork County Council facilitates online writing workshops Declan Burke

Denyse Woods

Matthew Geden

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Cork County Council Library and Arts Service, with support from the Arts Council, is providing a series of free online writing workshops, designed to support creative writing throughout the county. Beginning 29 April and running every Wednesday evening until late June, the workshops will offer those with an interest in poetry, fiction and crimewriting an introduction to the skills and techniques used in these forms. ‘Criminal Intent’ is a 10-week crime-writing series offered by award-winning novelist Declan Burke; while novelist Denyse Woods will present ‘A Time to Write’, which will explore narrative writing in fiction; and Cork County Council Library and

Arts Service writer in residence Matthew Geden invites people interested in writing poetry to join him on an eight-week journey of exploration and learning called ‘A Light to Transform the World’. “This new series of online courses is an example of how Cork County Council can continue to support the cultural and creative needs of its citizens in the midst of this health crisis,” says Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey. “Creativity is essential to our wellbeing and this imaginative use of digital resources is a dynamic and creative response which I am delighted that our Library and Arts Services have been able to develop at this difficult time.”

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[ COUNTY MAYO ]

Virtual Care at Sensational Kids Non-profit Sensational Kids is innovating to improve access to services and look after vulnerable children and adolescents when clinic-based services are unavailable. Families can now connect with Sensational Kids remotely for Virtual Care. Occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, reading for dyslexia and play therapy sessions will be moving to online video calls using a secure virtual healthcare video conferencing system. Parents can also request for a therapist to call them over the phone. Sensational Kids Virtual Care services are easy to use, private, and most of all convenient. In addition, this new service removes accessibility and/or mobility barriers and can connect families with a therapist for their child regardless of their location. The platform protects privacy through safeguards and robust policies and is fully GDPR compliant. The main advantages for many families who have children with additional needs are no travel time whilst ensuring their child receives quality therapy supports and enhancing the continuum of care when getting to the clinic is not possible. Families can use their laptop, iPad or mobile phone to avail of this service. To make an appointment for Virtual Care at Sensational Kids, parents get in touch with their local Sensational Kids child development centre by phone or email.

€5.6 MILLION

An additional €3.3m is being provided to the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade online, bringing the total available nationally to €5.6m.

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Working with the Irish Wheelchair Association, Mayo County Library staff have been delivering books and DVDs to isolated wheelchair users, including Carmel (pictured), who lives near Balla and loves history. The sanitised items are left in a suitable place (in this case, Carmel’s window) and the recipient is phoned to let them know they’re there. “We are experiencing a surge in library usage,” says County Librarian at Mayo County Council Austin Vaughan, “including audiobook downloads and online courses, and we’re providing story hours for children, articles on Mayo history on our Facebook page, and delivering book bags to organisations and people in isolation.”

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[ COUNTY GALWAY ]

ROSCOMMON LIBRARIES HOST ONLINE STORYTIMES Every year during the month of April, Roscommon Libraries hosts a series of Spring into Storytime events for families and schoolchildren. This year, while libraries and schools remain closed, these stories were delivered online via library Facebook and Twitter pages and the videos will remain online while library buildings are closed. Irish publishers and the Irish Writers Union temporarily waived licence fees for the reading of selected books and posting or streaming of videos online. Library storytimes are a fun way for children to enjoy stories, especially those who may not have access to books at home or new books at this time.

[ COUNTY MAYO ]

Mayo Day goes virtual Mayo Day went ahead on Saturday, 2 May For the past six years, the green and red flag has flown with pride; pride in the county, pride in its people, pride in the place and pride in its heritage; and this year, it was flown again with pride and hope. Mayo once again reached out to its communities and diaspora, scattered across the world, to unite its people at a time of global crisis. Instead of gathering at public events of celebration, Mayo Day used technology to celebrate the spirit of a resilient people at this time, reaching out, linking up, supporting each other, and marking that Mayo spirit. Follow #MayoDay2020, #HometoMayo for more. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Galway County freephone number deals with over 260 calls for assistance

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hief Executive of Galway County Council Kevin Kelly acknowledged the significant response of state, local development, community and voluntary groups and sporting organisations across the county in mobilising local supports as part of the National Community Call efforts in reponse to Covid-19: “My staff have been impressed over the past weeks by the level of local supports available and initiatives that are taking place in communities, demonstrating the strong sense of care and neighbourly attitude that exists in County Galway.” Since the freephone number launched on 31 March, over 260 requests for assistance have been dealt with. Approximately 40% of calls relate to the request for the delivery and collection of groceries, 10% for non-emergency medical including collection of prescriptions and transport to essential medical appointments, 46% relate to a variety of queries on Covid-19 measures such as concerns about income and queries on where to source information, with the balance of calls relating to social isolation and general wellbeing. “The dedicated community support helpline deals with assisting at-risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports during the current public health emergency,” says Alan Farrell, Acting Director of Services. “The focus is on providing practical assistance with the collection and delivery of groceries, collection of fuel, needed prescriptions and setting up the provision of hot meals if necessary for those who are cocooning or vulnerable. Transport to necessary hospital appointments has been arranged and there are partnerships in place with the Order of Malta and others to provide this vital link.”

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[ COUNTY ANTRIM ]

LORD MAYOR ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO ‘TAKE 5’

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he Lord Mayor of Belfast is supporting the ‘Take 5’ campaign and encouraging people to look after their mental and physical wellbeing while at home. “Staying at home is the right thing for us to do right now, as we all do our bit to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect ourselves and our health and care workers – but it’s a big adjustment,” says Cllr Daniel Baker. “Many of us are working from home while also trying to look after little ones or caring for elderly relatives, and it is a stressful time for everyone. That’s why I’m encouraging people to make sure they take time out for themselves every day. Even the simplest of things can make a big difference. Turning off the TV, taking a break from the constant stream of news and maybe listening to some music, reading a book, or learning a new craft. It’s also important to look after our physical health. While we can’t get to the gym or leisure centres, people have been really creative when it comes to keeping fit at home. Things like gardening or doing an online exercise video, even just getting outside with the kids if you’re lucky enough to have a garden – it keeps you active and also is a great stress-buster.” “For some people who already struggle with their mental health, or who live alone – this will be a particularly challenging time,” he adds. “I would encourage people to make sure they stay connected with family and friends, especially those who may be more vulnerable, or older. Stay in touch via phone or text, or think about using technology to have online meet-ups.”

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£735,000 Belfast City Council announced it will be delivering £735,000 of emergency community response funding to support voluntary and community groups in its response to the pandemic. The council benefitted from £485,700 from the Department for Communities and contributed an additional £250,000 which will be distributed via funding agreements with local community and voluntary sector organisations to assist in the delivery of urgent services to those who are most vulnerable.

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Lord Mayor of Belfast announces mutual aid agreement with Belfast Trust

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elfast City Council is to provide health workers with access to its leisure centres for showering and changing, to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 when workers return home. “I’m pleased that we are in a position to support our frontline health workers in this way,” says Belfast Lord Mayor Cllr Daniel Baker. “Health workers are risking their own health to care for others and having access to our facilities means they can be guaranteed a safe and clean environment to shower and change between shifts, and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus when they return home to their loved ones.” “At this time, we as a council are doing everything we can to support the efforts of our health trusts, government agencies and city partners,” adds Cllr Baker. “We need to work together and support each other, and this is just another small way in which we can assist those who are working round the clock to keep us safe and providing care for the most vulnerable in our society.” InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Donegal County Archives launched an oral history project as part of its Peace IV funded ‘Echoes of the Decade’ project. This is a joint project with the Donegal County Museum and focuses on the Decade of Centenaries (1912-23). Children and young people of Donegal were asked to reach out to grandparents or older people in the community who are confined to their homes, with an online questionnaire and advice sheet available on the Donegal Archives website. Adults were also encouraged to get involved in the project by reaching out to their own parents and older family/community members, while older people could use the questionnaire as a starting point for recording their own memories and family history.

COMMUNITY HUB SET UP TO HELP BELFAST RESIDENTS DURING LOCKDOWN A virtual community hub, including a dedicated helpline, has been set up by Belfast City Council to support residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The hub will provide assistance to Belfast residents to help co-ordinate the distribution of food parcels in partnership with the Department for Communities, as well as providing advice on jobs and benefits, practical assistance such as collecting prescriptions, and offering emotional support and a listening ear if needed. The council is working closely with a range of community, voluntary and statutory providers across the city to deliver this resource to ensure the needs of local residents and communities can be supported during this time.

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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 sorcha.corcoran@ashvillemediagroup.com

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12/05/2020 14:41


DAA 80TH ANNIVERSARY

Viewing area in Dublin Airport circa 1960

DUBLIN AIRPORT CELEBRATES Dublin Airport has welcomed 580 million passengers since 1940

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bout 580 million passengers have been welcomed at Dublin Airport since the first commercial flight, an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft, departed for Liverpool’s Speke Airport at 9am on Friday, 19 January, 1940. Airport operations commenced with just a single flight on its opening day. Dublin Airport is now an international gateway for the island of Ireland, a significant hub for transatlantic traffic and in the top tier of European airports. In 2018, it welcomed 31.5 million passengers and it has more than 233,000 take offs and landings per year. To mark its 80th birthday Dublin Airport had musical entertainment between 10.30 and 12.30 from the Bugle Babes in Terminal 1 and The Apple Blossoms in Terminal 2 while the Dublin Airport Police and Fire Service Band played in Terminal 1 between 14.00 and 16.00. Dublin Airport has come a long way in those 80 years, according to Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “From one flight twice-weekly to one destination in 1940 to 700 flights daily, with direct services to more than 190 destinations in 42

YEARS CONNECTING IRELAND TO THE WORLD InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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DAA 80TH ANNIVERSARY

DUBLIN AIRPORT: How time flies

1936

Irish Government announces plans for a civilian airport at Collinstown

1938

Work begins on the new terminal building

1940

Dublin Airport opens on 19 January with a flight per day to Liverpool Speke Airport

1945

First Dublin Airport-London service begins to Croydon Airport

1947

KLM starts DublinManchesterAmsterdam service

1948

Completion of concrete runways

1949

Passenger numbers reach 200,000 per year

1958

First scheduled transatlantic service as passenger numbers top 500,000 per year

Guided Tour in Dublin Airport circa 1968

countries, Dublin Airport is a thriving hub of economic activity, a significant employer and contributor to the exchequer.” Dublin Airport’s award-winning original terminal building was designed to handle up to 100,000 passengers per year. Last summer, Dublin Airport welcomed more than 100,000 passengers every day. “While the scale of Dublin Airport has changed dramatically over the past 80 years, the core of what the airport does has remained exactly the same throughout that period,” according to Harrison. “Dublin Airport connects Ireland to the world, and we bring people

Dublin Airport circa 1948

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together; for business, for pleasure, at times of sadness, and at times of joy.” Dublin Airport also plays a vital role in growing inbound tourism, in boosting Irish trade and exports and in facilitating foreign direct investment in the Irish economy. “Dublin Airport is at the heart of the Irish economy and its impact reaches all 32 counties on the island of Ireland.” Harrison said that Dublin Airport’s employees are a fundamental element in the success of the airport. “Dublin Airport is a hive of activity 364 days per year and it simply couldn’t operate without the dedication of tens of thousands of employees from daa, airlines, ground handlers, air traffic control, State agencies, retail concessionaires and other firms. As Dublin Airport celebrates its 80th birthday, I’d like to thank both current staff and their retired colleagues.” Dublin Airport was originally known as Collinstown Airport, as it was located in the townland of Collinstown, north of Dublin city centre. Collinstown had been used as a British Royal Flying Corps and RAF base between 1917 and 1922 but had fallen into disrepair before being selected as the site for the new Dublin Airport in late 1936. Work began on the airport site in 1937, as InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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DAA 80TH ANNIVERSARY Aerial View of Dublin Airport circa 1943

DUBLIN AIRPORT: How time flies

1959 North Terminal opens

1963

Passenger numbers top 1 million for the first time

Laying the turf sods for the grass runway of Dublin Airport circa 1936

1972

Terminal 1 opens

1989

Passenger numbers reach 5 million

1990

Celebrates 50th birthday

1997

Welcomes more than 10 million passengers

2008

Passenger numbers reach a record 23.5 million

2010

Terminal 2 opens

2014

Welcomes 21.7 million passengers

2015

Celebrates 75th anniversary

2016

Passenger numbers pass 30 million for the first time

2016

Plans announced to proceed with a new North Runway

2019

First sod is turned on the new runway site

2020

Dublin Airport celebrates 80th anniversary

more land was acquired, and site clearance commenced for the new grass runways. Construction of the new terminal building started in the summer of 1938. The architect of the terminal was Desmond FitzGerald, an elder brother of former Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, who led a team of young architects. The curved building and its tiered structure, which echoed the lines of a great ocean liner, won many architectural awards for its design. Collinstown Airport remained relatively quiet during the 1940s, as war raged throughout Europe. However, Aer Lingus continued to operate a twice-weekly service to Liverpool. During this period, Dublin Airport was required to observe black-outs and anti-aircraft guns were in place for defensive purposes. By 1947, flights departing from Dublin ventured as far as Europe with Dutch airline KLM beginning the first continental service to Dublin. New concrete runways were completed in 1948, and in 1950, after ten years in operation, the airport had been used by a total of 920,000 passengers. Air travel was the preserve of the wealthy during this period and many Dubliners would have travelled to the airport simply as a treat to see the aircraft. The terminal building also boasted one of Dublin’s best restaurants, the Collar of Gold, which was hugely popular and not only for those travelling. As Dublin Airport’s route network grew and its passenger numbers expanded, it became clear that the original terminal building had far exceeded its capacity. The North Terminal opened in 1959 and was used to process arriving passengers, while the old terminal remained in place for departing passengers. By 1963, Dublin Airport had grown to one million passengers per year and additional facilities were again required. New boarding gate areas were added in the 1960s and work

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on a new terminal building began in 1969. The new terminal building, now known as Terminal 1, opened in 1972 and was originally designed to cater for six million passengers per year. In November 1985, the Government approved the construction of a new runway at Dublin Airport, together with new taxiways, and a new air traffic control building. The new runway 10/28 officially opened for flights on 21 June, 1989. That year, more than five million passengers used Dublin Airport. Passenger numbers increased to 5.8 million in 1992 and following 17 consecutive years of growth, reached 23.5 million in 2008. Facilities however had not kept pace with the passenger growth and between 2007 and 2010 Dublin Airport embarked on a major investment programme to transform the airport by significantly increasing capacity and dramatically improving the passenger experience. This programme delivered Terminal 2, two new boarding gate areas (the 100 gates and the 400 gates), a new road network, and a host of other major improvements. The new award-winning new terminal was opened in November 2010. The economic downturn saw passenger numbers decline to 18.4 million in 2010, before eight consecutive years of growth boosted them to 31.5 million by 2018. Dublin Airport has hosted many dignitaries and special homecomings during its 80-year history. It has welcomed seven US Presidents, two Popes, the return of many Irish Olympic medal winners, a host of Eurovision winners, the Irish football team returning from World Cups and European Championships, and the Irish rugby team with the Grand Slam trophy. This summer Dublin Airport will have 13 new routes and services including two new long-haul destinations, with Juneyao Airlines launching a twice-weekly service to Shanghai via Helsinki and United Airlines operating a new year-round daily service to San Francisco. Dublin Airport’s short-haul network is also expanding, with 11 new summer services to the following destinations: Brindisi and Verona in Italy, Marseille and Toulouse in France, Alghero in Sardinia, Tel Aviv in Israel, Billund in Denmark, Podgorica in Montenegro, the Balearic Island of Menorca, Palanga in Lithuania and the Egyptian capital Cairo. Dublin Airport is posting 80th birthday related content on its award-winning social media channels using the hashtag #DUB80 throughout the year. 73

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Work agile.

We believe businesses should work without constraints. That’s why you can scale our workspace up or down as your needs change. 15 locations across Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Ready-to-use O�ce Space, Coworking, Meeting Rooms, Virtual O�ce & Flexible Working Plans regus.ie | +353 (0)1 536 0759

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Ready to Fly Flexible working at Regus will help your business take flight.

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emand for flexible working is continuing to grow as business leaders recognise the value of flexible working spaces. In fact, according to Regus’ parent company IWG’s Global Workspace Survey, 94% of business leaders in Ireland agree that flexible working helps their business grow. This rising demand for flexible working has mainly been driven by digitalisation and new technologies which have transformed the world of work. As employees and employers alike are tuning into the benefits of flexible working, at Regus, we’re meeting this demand by offering 15 flexible workspace locations in three cities across Ireland including Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Regus has the world’s largest network of workspaces and co-working spaces, with 3,000 locations in 120 countries. The fully-furnished, IT-enabled workspaces can grow with your business—be it for one person or an entire team, we offer professional and inspiring work environments to suit businesses of all sizes and budgets. Using a Regus serviced office space means your business can get off the ground without set-up costs, capital investment and the ongoing hassles of property management such as maintenance, security and cleaning. AIRPORT ADJACENT One of the Regus office centres in Dublin, which opened three years ago, is in the airport itself. As Dublin Airport marks 80 years in operation, we’re honoured to be

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

part of its journey and contribute to the airport’s attractiveness for business customers and travellers alike. The centre, located in Skybridge House, offers the ideal solution for business travellers and companies looking for quick and easy access to office space from both airport terminals. Regus Skybridge House places your business at an international hub in more ways than one, with 40 countries served by the airport. The centre occupies three floors in the recently renovated building and offers professional, modern and fully serviced offices, co-working and meeting room spaces with views across the airfield and North Dublin. Our network of centres across the country enables organisations

to operate anywhere. As Ireland continues to showcase itself as a great place for businesses to set up shop—welcoming some of the most impressive headquarters in the world, including Twitter and Google—this booming tech and innovation culture often demands rapid business growth. Flexible workspaces can offer the perfect solution for expanding companies, ensuring that Ireland maintains its position as one of Europe’s top business capitals. For more information, please visit regus.ie or call + 353 (0)1 536 0759

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Fully-serviced, flexible and convenient New Digital Office Centre in Swords opens offering fully serviced offices just minutes from Dublin Airport.

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igital Office Centres’ newest location in Swords offers all the facilities of fully-serviced, flexible office space with the added bonus of being convenient to Dublin Airport—the ideal location for internationally-focused companies which are frequently welcoming visiting executives or travelling for business. The brand new business centre offers allinclusive rates and flexible terms on serviced private office space suitable for teams from two up to 100 people. Located only 10 minutes from Dublin Airport, there is also ample parking onsite, and excellent transport connections to the city centre. “Our all-inclusive rates allow you to budget effectively for the year and our turnkey

fully-fitted suites allow clients to have their office up and running with minimal effort so they can concentrate on their business,” says Bridget Murphy, Business Development Manager with the Digital Office Centre. Customisable depending on the requirements of your business, offices are fully furnished, air-conditioned and have plenty of natural light, with secure 24/7 access, and cafe areas with tea and coffee provided. Clients can avail of boardrooms and training facilities at preferential rates across the group—other locations include Dublin City, Maynooth and a fourth in Belgard, Dublin 24 which will be opening its doors in Q4. For more info see docentre.com

Brand New Flexible Serviced Office Space from 2 - 100 people only 10 minutes from Dublin Airport" Ample parking, training rooms and shared/hot desking options available. Call now to find out more 01 541 3700

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Effective and Affordable Appeals The newly rebranded Credit Review has a 90% success rate of securing up to €3m in bank credit for individual SMEs and farming businesses.

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redit Review (formerly known as the Credit Review Office) is an independent body which offers a simple, effective and affordable credit appeals process to small businesses which have been refused credit, or have had existing lines of credit, up to a value of €3m, reduced or withdrawn. The service works with clients of AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB and Ulster Bank. An appeal costs in the region of €100 up to a maximum of €250. First established in 2010 by the Minister for Finance, Credit Review’s role is to ensure the flow of credit to viable smallCR 2888 - Credit Review (SMEs) Ad_188x130.pdf and medium-sized enterprises

and farming businesses. Credit Review appeals are successful in 90% of the cases it supports, resulting in SME and farm businesses receiving a lending/credit solution from their bank. The Credit Review team includes a panel of expert professionals, across Ireland, with front-line SME and farming finance experience. They are credit experts who know and understand the banking sector and how it works. They also understand what it takes to run a successful business. Many of the Credit Review expert panel have former banking experience, and all are independent 1 of the 06/03/2020 12:56 banking sector.

In addition to reviews and appeals, Credit Review is available to help all SMEs and farms on credit matters by providing accessible, easy to understand and affordable expert assistance and information. The website (www.creditreview.ie) has lots of easy to understand resources and articles on a wide range of topics, including how to improve your credit rating and make strong bank loan applications. For more info see www.creditreview.ie or call 1850 211 789.

Credit where it’s due. Having trouble getting a business loan from your bank? Have your credit facilities been reduced or declined? Credit Review is here to help. Call our helpline on 1850 211 789 or visit creditreview.ie

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his prestigious awards celebrated the best in business across multiple areas of digital The winners of this year’s Digital Media Awards were announced on Friday the 21st of February 2020 at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4. The event which recognises and celebrates c reativity and innovation across multiple areas of digital was presented by Newstalk’s Tom Dunne with 700 attendees on the night. Hundreds of digital specialists from across Ireland battled it out to win a series of coveted titles with Wolfgang Digital claiming top prize as Best Agency. This year’s Digital Media Awards attracted over 400 entries with 75 winners crowned in various different categories.

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2020 WINNERS

BEST AGENCY WOLFGANG DIGITAL

BEST SMALL AGENCY FRIDAY AGENCY

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Now in its 17th year, the EPA Digital Media Awards are the most prestigious digital awards in Ireland. They recognise creativity and innovation across multiple areas of an ever-evolving sector which includes digital content creation, advertising and marketing, mobile media, social networking, app development, web design, and development. The judges on the night included Alan Devlin Commercial Director at Webfactory, Edel Walsh Senior Marketing Manager Demand Generation, Lynden Breatnach Principal Account Manager for Large Customer Sales - Google Ireland. Commenting about the winners at this year’s awards, Teresa Gilligan, Event Manager said: “The Digital Media Awards have gained a reputation for honoring the best in the business. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the deserving winner’s whos innovation and creativity are paving the way to new heights in digital.” The Digital Media 2020 Awards main sponsor was the EPA with the theme ‘Be the Change’ which highlights the personal responsibility we all have in relation to protecting our environment and to draw attention to the small changes we can all make in our day to day lives. Other sponsors include Cpl recruitment, Square1 designers and developers and The Irish Times Media Solutions. Commenting on their sponsorship for Digital Media Awards 2020, EPA Communications Manager, Tanya Kenny said: “We are asking for people to think of the environment in their decisionmaking and in their actions, both at work and at home. We are also asking the Digital Media Awards audience, with their innovation and creativity, to assist the EPA spread the message of environmental protection whenever they can - to use their influence to #BeTheChange and spread the word for a better, cleaner, healthier future. Keep informed and be part of the conversation by following @ EPAIreland on Instagram and Twitter.” You can view the full list of winners of this year's DMA on the event website.

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BEST IN BIG DATA & ANALYTICS CARAT + IPROSPECT

BEST SEARCH CAMPAIGN WOLFGANG DIGITAL & INTERSPORT ELVERYS

BEST PODCAST

EDELMAN

MINDSHARE IRELAND

BEST OOH DIGITAL CAMPAIGN

BEST TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

OMD

CARAT + IPROSPECT

BEST COLLABORATIVE CAMPAIGN

THE TOMORROW LAB

IMAGE MEDIA

BEST INTEGRATED DIGITAL CAMPAIGN VIZEUM + THE STORYLAB

BEST BLOG CPL

BEST USE OF MOBILE

BEST WEBSITE BEST NATIVE CAMPAIGN SPARK FOUNDRY

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA WOLFGANG DIGITAL

BEST IN RETAIL & CONSUMER GOODS

IZEST MARKETING

SPARK FOUNDRY

BEST NEWCOMER

BEST CREATIVE

AUDIOXI

BIGO

BEST USE OF AI

BEST IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

VROOM DIGITAL

BEST INTEGRATED MEDIA STRATEGY

CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND

BEST STRATEGY

MACE

TENEO

DIGITAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR

LOVIN MEDIA GROUP

JIM MORRISON - ULSTER UNIVERSITY

BEST IN GOVERNMENT & NOT FOR PROFIT EDELMAN

BEST BRAND BEST CONVERSION STRATEGY CARAT + IPROSPECT

BEST USE OF VIDEO CORE

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

29/04/2020 11/03/2020 15:45 14:23


SLIGO CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Here to help

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SLIGO CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Karl Kelly, President of Sligo Chamber of Commerce, has a message of support for Sligo businesses navigating uncertain waters.

“We

don’t know what the new normal is going to be,” says Karl Kelly, President of Sligo Chamber of Commerce, but he underlines the mission and purpose of the Chamber remains the same: “The Chamber has a very simple message—we’re here to help Sligo grow.” Looking back just a few short months ago when he assumed the role of President he recalls: “I remember sitting down at the meeting in December when I was being launched to the Chamber Board as the incoming President and it was a case of Sligo has never been in a better place.” The upbeat and optimistic atmosphere was well-founded, with a number of long-awaited large infrastructure projects in place and impactful numbers of job announcements over the previous year. “The N4 Sligo-Dublin road is being upgraded at the moment, we’ve a new Western Distributor Road opening into a new IDA Ireland industrial park and we’re online for an eastern bridge which will open up the other side of the town,” notes Kelly. “Tourism was really on the uplift for Sligo , from the National Mountain Bike Centre in Coolaney to the new National Surf Centre in Strandhill. The great work-life balance here is a big factor for companies attracting talent,” he continues. “We’ve had 1,800 jobs announced in Sligo in the previous 14 months or so. For a town the size of Sligo this is a phenomenal rate of employment. That’s where we were coming from at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.” ADAPTING TO UNCERTAINTY Kelly came to the role with a clear mandate: “We’re a members-led organisation. We have several different committees which focus on the key areas—industry, tourism and so on. We’re all living and working in Sligo and we just want to make Sligo a better place to live and bring up our families.” Like many businesses, the Chamber is adapting to circumstances, working remotely and using social media to communicate and disseminate information to its members. “We’ve taken to having virtual meetings to look at how we can react to this crisis and move forward. The Chamber is very strong on social media and we’ve put out a number of posts about relevant topics to help our members, outlining different supports that have been announced for companies,” he notes. Sligo Chamber hosts a Skillnet Network funded by the Department of Education and Skills via Skillnet Ireland. Member companies can avail of subsidised training and upskilling. Programmes can be delivered online, via classroom, on site, self-directed or a blended method. Funding is available for everything from short training events to QQI level 9 programmes , as long as its required by industry it can be considered for funding.. “This is completely uncharted waters,” he concludes. “All we can do is our best to support everybody in every way we can.” LIFE IS FOR LIVING – #LIFE IS SLIGO.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Karl Kelly, President, Sligo Chamber of Commerce

THE CHAMBER HAS A VERY SIMPLE MESSAGE— WE’RE HERE TO HELP SLIGO GROW.” 81

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Sustainability in the North West and Border regions PlanEnergy’s technical experts are trusted advisors on sustainability and energy projects.

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lanEnergy advises organisations on sustainability and energy projects— through designing, funding and delivering energy efficiency and clean energy developments. Headquartered in Sligo, with offices in Belfast and Dublin, the company employs a team of eight technical energy experts. Staff are members of the Energy Institute and work as independent advisors to the EU Horizon 2020 programme, as well as Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

PlanEnergy delivers Energy Champion training and follow-on support alongside academic partners including IT Sligo and Dundalk IT. Beneficiaries of this support include the Irish League of Credit Unions, Dublin City University and Department for the Economy NI as well as Housing Associations and local authorities. Within an organisation, Energy Champions are empowered to engage stakeholders on the delivery of a low carbon strategy. Energy, from electricity to transport fuel, can represent 30% of a business’s costs but many organisations consider it too complicated to tackle. Gavin Forkan, PlanEnergy Managing Director, says, “Even

starting a simple low cost monitoring and awareness programme tends to modify energy behaviours. Regularly changing energy supplier and checking bills for unnecessary cost saves money immediately. Further savings of 20% are achievable by moving to efficient technologies like heat pumps and solar panels”. Substantial financial and technical support is available from Government, Local Authority and EU sources. For more information contact one of the PlanEnergy offices to explore your sustainability options. www.planenergy.co.uk

planenergy • Organisation energy strategy • Leadership and Energy Champion training • Project scope, business case and delivery

BELFAST | SLIGO | DUBLIN Belfast +44 (0)28 9072 6116 Sligo +353 (0)71 930 0025 Dublin +353 (0)1 524 2097 info@planenergy.ie www.planenergy.ie 249607_2L_Plan Energy_JM_InBus 13.01.indd 1

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

People-first Culture: A Recipe for Growth LotusWorks attributes its success and growth to putting staff first.

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ngineering and technical experts LotusWorks has been a strategic partner to the world’s best-known manufacturers since 1989. It is well established in Europe and North America as a leading provider of services including calibration, commissioning, operations and maintenance and contract staffing in the data centre, pharmaceutical/ biotechnology, medical device and semiconductor sectors. The year 2019 was a superb one for the LotusWorks team, having maintained a 100% client retention

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rate and grown its headcount by 25% as a result of securing new contracts. The company was recognised as a Great Place to Work for the fourth time and a Deloitte Best Managed company for the third time. LotusWorks Director Emer Conroy says: “We understand that people are at the forefront of LotusWorks’ success now and into the future. “Executing initiatives focused on building on our people-first culture throughout the organisation is a major part of our strategy. Providing effective support structures to enhance our employees’ skills and knowledge means

our people are constantly upskilling and gaining experience with the newest technologies. For LotusWorks, attracting and retaining expert talent has been key to our success.” Its 470-strong workforce enjoys stable employment, good benefits, ongoing training and development programmes and competitive pay. “LotusWorks’ vision for the future is centred on our people—we will continue to focus on leveraging our reputation and our brand, and working in partnership with industry leaders to transform lives and develop solutions to the challenges manufacturers face,” says Conroy. For more information email contactus@lotusworks.com

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Proud to Protect and Power the North West Power Right Fire Energy & Security is celebrating 37 years in business, protecting the North West and Connacht.

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ower Right has come a long way since its MD Raymond O’Boyle first set up an electrical contracting business in 1982, operating out of the Stables Bar Courtyard in Sligo Town. In the early days of its existence Power Right diversified into home and business security and has been providing peace of mind for the North West ever since. Today the company is proud to employ 27 staff from across counties Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo, including three apprentices, and

operates from a new premises in the North West Business Park in Collooney, Sligo. Over the years Power Right has added a specialist Fire and Emergency Lighting Division to the company, offering installation and maintenance solutions to companies in line with national standards. Recently it has added an Energy Division to install a network of domestic and commercial chargers, which will help drive the adoption of electric vehicles in the West. It also offers Solar PV solutions for homes and businesses. In 2019 Power Right was fortunate to receive an All-Stars Award from

With over 37 years of experience in the design and installation of security, fire, electrical and energy saving systems, we can provide you with the peace of mind to know that your home, business or valuables are efficiently powered and protected. Fire We are a fire, escape & emergency lighting service & solution provider. We help you to protect lives and assets. Do you know your legal responsibilities in regards to your systems? Every employer in Ireland has to legally manage fire safety. Speak to us today to book a Risk Assessment. This can be an effective tool in achieving this and to gain an overview on both areas of compliance and areas of noncompliance. Energy We have an Electric Vehicle Charger for every situation, from a single domestic grant applicable install to a Fully Managed Multi-Unit install in both AC and DC with payment management solutions. Security Power Right offers a wide range of security solutions incorporating many modern technologies. Let us protect what is important to you. Working to the exacting standards of the EQA and Private Security Authority, Power Right aim that all installations and services carried out will exceed customer expectations. Servicing & Maintenance Ensuring appropriate service and maintenance for your facilities and systems is as important as your decision to provide them in the first place. Without effective maintenance, even the best equipment will deteriorate, and without rapid response, even a minor fault could cause a major problem. Let us protect you and maintain your assets.

COVID19 Technologies Power Right and Engineers across the country have been engaged in essential works projects ranging from automatic door projects, contactless access control upgrades, handsfree 2-way communication via intercoms, thermal imaging CCTV for fever detection and even barrier installations to control the movement of people and vehicles. Speak with us in order to safeguard your business and employees. Power Right Fire Energy Security, Northwest Business Park Collooney, Co. Sligo 1800 938 881 www.powerright.ie

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For more information see powerright.ie or call 1800 938 881.

WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON OFFERING A PROFESSIONAL, HIGH-QUALITY, RESPONSIVE SERVICE TO ALL OUR CUSTOMERS

We are Passionate, We are Committed, We Listen

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the All-Ireland Business Association, recognising its achievements and services in commercial security, energy solutions and fire safety solutions. Working to the exacting standards of the EQA, Private Security Authority and Safe Ireland Electric, Power Right aims that all installations and services carried out will exceed customer expectations.It prides itself on offering a professional, high-quality and responsive service to all of its customers.

WE DON’T WANT TO SAVE CHILDREN’S LIVES Children’s lives shouldn’t need saving from entirely preventable causes. UNICEF wants you to help prevent needless deaths.We believe that one child dying is one too many. We believe in zero and we desperately need your help. Call 01 878 3000 or visit unicef.ie today to give your support.

Believe in zero.

28/04/2020 10:19 30/04/2020 18:05


Pat McDonagh, Owner Supermac’s, Trócaire Supporter.

“ my business has helped children children go go to to

school and and provided provided

water to

vulnerable villages in in

zimbabwe “

Find out what your business can do by partnering with Trócaire: Please contact us on 00 353 1 629 3333 or visit trocaire.org Trócaire Head Office, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland Irish Charity No. CHY 5883

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CORK CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Fighting Spirit The Cork business community and people are looking forward to putting the Covid-19 pandemic behind them and are facing the future with determination and confidence.

Cork

Chamber has seen a great number of businesses in the region step up to the challenge of the Covid-19 crisis by pivoting their operations to match current needs, according to Chief Executive Conor Healy. “It is different for every sector with retail operations quickly developing online offerings, food outlets setting up delivery channels, manufacturing adjusting production processes and supply chains, professional and other services moving to digital formats, and so on,” he says. “Also of note is the fantastic spirit and ‘meitheal’ that has come to the fore with Cork-based businesses supporting each other and the efforts of frontline healthcare staff.” Across the pharmaceutical and wider life sciences sector, including biotech and medtech, there has been a rallying of efforts to ensure that the supply chains for key medicines and products are kept full. At a global level, many of the life sciences companies based in Cork are engaged in the race to find a vaccine or enhanced treatments for Covid-19, as well as the supply of key testing and laboratory products and general medical supplies and equipment. “Equally, in other key sectors, such as information and communications technology, global and indigenous companies are at the forefront of supplying equipment and technology which is facilitating new ways of working and ensuring global business can continue – albeit remotely and in a much changed environment,” notes Healy. Moving to food and drink, Irish Distillers recently donated alcohol to Mervue Laboratories for the production of much-needed hand sanitisers for the HSE and others. “Irish Distillers was awarded

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Conor Healy, Chief Executive, Cork Chamber of Commerce

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CORK CHAMBER OVERVIEW

WHILE WE HAVE A STRONG AND RESILIENT BUSINESS COMMUNITY HERE IN CORK, IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT BUSINESSES AND THE JOBS THEY CREATE ARE SUPPORTED THROUGHOUT THIS SHOCK AND BEYOND.

the Cork Company of the Year Award 2020 at Cork Chamber’s Annual Dinner on 7 February, which feels like a lifetime ago considering recent events!” says Healy. “An integral part of Cork’s history and future, Irish Distillers has once again shown its fortitude and resilience in this pandemic.” Another positive is that the Port of Cork is fully operational from a freight perspective, with all contingencies in place to make sure it stays open and the supply chain remains unbroken. “The team at the port are doing stellar work to keep things going,” says Healy. “There has been a temporary suspension to the cruise liner arm of the business, which will bring challenges, not only to the Port of Cork but to be felt across the wider economy. This brings into sharp focus the supports that will be needed to recover the full potential of port activities and the tourism and hospitality sectors, among others.” CAUSE FOR CONCERN Cork Chamber’s first quarterly economic trends survey of 2020 charted the growing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting a sizeable decrease in respondents reporting business confidence, from 93% in the previous quarter to 54% -- the first such dramatic shift of this scale since the survey began in 2009. “Though not surprising, this is incredibly concerning. While we have a strong and resilient business community here in Cork, it is absolutely essential that businesses and the jobs they create are supported throughout this shock and beyond,” says Healy. “As a Chamber, we will continue to advocate on behalf

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of the business community and employees for the supports to keep businesses operational, to reopen their doors in the coming months and to keep those that can work in work.” As a team, Cork Chamber continues to be in regular contact with its members and through this has seen how much the situation is evolving on the ground. Whereas the hospitality, retail and services sectors felt the full intensity of the crisis initially, the impact has extended significantly to all sectors leaving very few businesses unaffected. Cork Chamber has engaged with senior officials at the Department of Finance, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Revenue, the Central Bank of Ireland and senior political leaders to ensure the right measures at the right time are introduced to support and improve cash flow in businesses. “We are working with our members to address concerns, guide on the available supports and identify and chart a pathway to support business through the pandemic,” says Healy. NEED FOR INVESTMENT Before the pandemic, Cork was very much on an upward curve and Healy hopes to get back there as quickly as possible. “We will need to see significant stimulus investment by government to get the economy moving again and commitment to key infrastructure projects as well as major elements of the Cork Metropolitan Transport Strategy,” he contends. Planning permission was recently granted for the Cork Events Centre, which requires the government support that has been committed to stay in place. While there are a few hurdles to be overcome, Healy says the planning permission has been a positive development in recent weeks, bringing Cork one step closer to realising this plan. On the whole, businesses in Cork are exerting all efforts at the moment to maintain their workforces in employment. Apart from the national recruitment drives across the retail sector in recent weeks to assist with the increased demand, understandably there haven’t been any major job announcements in Cork lately, but Healy is confident of seeing new projects and investments taking place during the year.

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Ready to Reboot Stay positive and ask your professional advisors for help as the economy reboots, says Michael Nolan, Partner at Grant Thornton.

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rant Thornton opened its Cork office in 2013, with four people, and grew from its initial offering across two service lines, to a thriving business employing 125 staff. “It opened with two of the service lines Grant Thornton operates across, one of them being insolvency and recovery, which was prevalent at the time as we were in the midst of the last recession. The other service line was our financial accounting and advisory services, which is primarily focused on FDI and multinationals,” explains Partner Michael Nolan.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY Reflecting on the atmosphere in the city before the global pandemic, Mr Nolan recalls a sense of positivity with jobs announcements, building work, and firms taking up bigger office spaces. “The Cork economy had taken a while to come back from the last recession but it had got a lot of momentum… It was all very optimistic, 2019 was very good for the city.” Grant Thornton are currently envisaging a short delay on moving to their own new office space at Penrose Quay, which was nearing the end of the build with a

WE ARE THERE FOR CLIENTS IF THEY REQUIRE US. WE KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE DIFFICULTIES IN REBOOTING. WE CAN HELP. WE HAVE THE STRUCTURES, THE CONTACTS, THE NETWORK, THE SYSTEM, THE STAFF—EVERYTHING TO HELP PEOPLE. Michael Nolan, Partner at Grant Thornton Mr Nolan himself joined through the merger with Welch & Co in 2015, bringing its audit, tax and general advisory to add another string of service lines to the office in Cork, with growth across all lines over the last few years. Attracting talent to the business has been helped by two factors. Firstly, Mr Nolan notes, “There is a huge grá in Cork people for Cork and we’ve found a lot of people who moved away ultimately want to come back.” As well as the quality of life, he points out there is excellent potential for making career moves within the city as there is a strong jobs market, with multiple big players in the sector.

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move-in date originally pencilled in for 1st July. Meanwhile, both staff and clients adapted well to the new normality of working from home. Mr Nolan credits their strong IT systems with the seamless transition. “The main thing is that we are very much operating business as usual. We are there for clients if they require us. We know that there will be difficulties in rebooting. We can help. We have the structures, the contacts, the network, the

system, the staff—everything to help people.” He concludes, “People should ask for help,” Whether it is to get a second opinion, run through scenario analysis, or benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas and innovations from other industries: “It’s something that people don’t necessarily ask for early enough and I would advise businesses to get in contact with their professional advisors early in the reboot.”

THE CORK ECONOMY HAD TAKEN A WHILE TO COME BACK FROM THE LAST RECESSION BUT IT HAD GOT A LOT OF MOMENTUM… IT WAS ALL VERY OPTIMISTIC, 2019 WAS VERY GOOD FOR THE CITY. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Helping you thrive in a changing world Moore’s accountancy and advisory teams are tailoring solutions for the ‘new normal’.

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oore, a leading Irish-owned provider of accountancy and advisory services for smart, commercially ambitious enterprises, has always worked on the basis of helping their clients thrive in a constantly changing world. Never before have their company values of Access, Passion, Care and Community, been so pertinent. Managing Partner, Ned Murphy, says, “All of our 130 staff are working remotely and easily available to clients who need support now more than ever. Communication is hugely important and

Ned Murphy, Managing Partner we are keeping clients fully briefed on key business considerations as well as various areas of assistance from the Government.” Moore offers a range of core and specialist services including audit and tax compliance, business and personal tax planning, corporate finance, insolvency,

corporate governance and forensic accounting. Now, added to this, the teams in Cork and Dublin have reacted quickly to form a new unit dedicated to supporting businesses which are seeking funding to deal with the Covid-19 disruption. “The current crisis is a major business threat across all sectors,” says Mr Murphy. “However, there may be opportunities for businesses to restructure and turnaround in a way that sees them best positioned to deal with the ‘new normal’ business environment that we all face post-crisis. Our Corporate Finance team are actively looking at tailored solutions in this area for a range of businesses.” For more information see mooreireland.ie or email funding@mooreireland.ie

In Africa women do

80% 5% but with only

OF THE FARM WORK

OF THE HELP & SUPPORT

In Africa, the hand that rocks the cradle also tills the field. In addition to raising children, preparing food, carrying water and collecting firewood, African women do up to 80% of the farm work. But they get as little as 5% of the support in training, seeds, land and credit. You can change this. Add your name to the petition to demand increased support for African women farmers. Find out more at www.changeherlife.org

YOADD NA UR ME

Texts will be charged at your standard network rate

?

Text ‘PETITION’ followed by your name to 57856

Petition organised by

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Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

capacity of 300 delegates. 20 minutes from Dublin City Centre 13 minutes from Dublin International Airport 131 luxury bedrooms 6 meeting rooms for break out spaces 3 functional spaces

4 dining options Teambuilding activities Championship 18-hole Links Golf Course An award-winning spa

It’s never too early to plan for the festive season, contact a member of our Meetings this Christmas atmeetings@portmarnock.com or by phone at+353 1 866 6524

For meetings & events, contact our team at meetings@portmarnock.com or call direct +353 1 846 0611 www.portmarnock.com

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Wicklow’s Eco Responsible Dedicated Venue The perfect location for your conference or think tank with a touch of environmental awareness.

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ocated just one hour from Dublin, BrookLodge & Macreddin Village provides the perfect setting for your conference, team think tank or corporate event. BrookMews at Macreddin Village is Ireland’s eco responsible dedicated Conference venue which provides a meeting structure and a destination that allows you to work in a conscious free environment encouraging environmental awareness for all your delegates. Macreddin Village is at the forefront of innovative green tourism and as such has received many accolades recognising these efforts. Home to Ireland’s first certified Organic Restaurant, The Strawberry Tree, a group dining experience like no other is a promise. Day Delegate Packages on selected dates available from €35 per delegate. For more information visit www.brooklodge.com, contact 0402 36444, or email events@brooklodge.com.

What’s on your

You’re not alone When it comes to coping www.turn2me.org

Forums, group support, 1to1 counselling, iphone enabled Turn2me Advert half page.indd 2

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Chambers Ireland Ad 210x297 18th March 2020.pdf 1 18/03/2020 17:14:59

Transformational Talent Experiences

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CM

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Cpl is a global provider of talent solutions. Headquartered in Ireland, the Cpl Group comprises 23 brands spanning more than 40 offices in over 10 countries.

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CMY

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We partner with organisations in every sector, from start-ups to multinationals in order to design and execute the most impactful talent solutions for their business. We deliver this through our range of connected service offerings: • •

Recruitment Flexible Talent Solutions

Strategic Talent Advisory

It is our aim to transform each client's business through a range of talent solutions while positively impacting the communities we work in and the lives of the people we work with. Get in touch to see how we can help your business grow or help find you the right job opportunity. Contact: gillian.owens@cpl.ie 01 614 6195

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Cpl Resources PLC 8-34 Percy Place, Ballsbridge, D4

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Some of these have free versions, that will work for a couple of people, but in the long run, you might need to pay for richer features like screen sharing and multiple attendees. Amongst the biggest names across the corporate space are specialists like Zoom and Bluejeans. For around €10-15 per month you can get set up quickly with these services and begin video interviewing or conferencing as soon as needed.

The Value of Technology and Remote Work Technology tools make remote working and team communication seamless, allowing businesses to widen the talent pool and benefit employees.

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e’re fortunate that in this day and age, there are lots of tools we can use that help businesses conduct video interviews and even hire online—when we are forced to work remotely, or to simply widen our talent pool. Even better, almost all of us have the necessary technology in our home office or our pockets to do just that. Recent years have seen a proliferation of technology with Skype being the first to be really widely adopted. In 2011 Microsoft bought Skype and has been incorporating the technology into its own offering since, first with

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

Skype for Business and then with Microsoft Teams. Other widely used video technologies include Hangouts by Google, Jabber by Cisco and even Uber has UberConference. All these tools have similar functionalities and are excellent ways to video conference or have video interviews when in-person job interviews aren’t possible. If your business or your employees don’t have access to these platforms there are other ways. We’re all now walking around with video conferencing capability in our pockets in the form of WhatsApp video and Facetime on iPhone.

VIDEO INTERVIEWING & VIDEO HIRING At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic both Microsoft and Google announced that their enterprise versions of their software will be free to use for an extended period while unprecedented levels of people are working from home. Video interviews are an incredibly effective way of maintaining hiring processes while improving candidate engagement and retaining a high quality of hire during uncertain times like these, all the while ensuring you don’t lose out on any talent you had lined up to interview, or disturb hiring plans you had planned in the near future. In Cpl, we’re well used to using this technology for running video interviews, internal meetings and one-to-ones with remote staff. Even without the current imperative for social distancing, they can be an extremely powerful tool to avoid costly travel, keep distributed teams connected and keep up engagement and team morale with remote colleagues. Within Cpl we use Microsoft Teams as it comes with extra benefits that suit us, from file sharing and chat to a secretary bot which can help find good times for meetings. If your business is interested in learning more about video interviews over the coming months or have a hiring query please get in touch with gillian.owens@cpl.ie

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Strengthening bonds The Irish-Polish Chamber of Commerce has been promoting trade and investment between the two countries since 2005.

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ince its foundation in 2005, the Irish-Polish Chamber of Commerce has worked to promote Irish-Polish trade and investment through networking opportunities, market assistance and information, industry events, social gatherings and more. “Ambassador Emer O’Connell provides strong support for the Chamber’s activities, including

hosting its AGM and Board meetings. The Embassy is also represented on the Chamber’s Board, as are representatives of Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia,” says Dorothy Hansberry-Bieguńska, Chairperson of the Irish-Polish Chamber of Commerce. Events such as the annual Flavours of Ireland dinner event, which showcases high-quality food and

IT IS OPEN TO ALL, FROM SMALL START-UPS TO LONG-ESTABLISHED MULTINATIONALS, AND THE DIVERSITY OF THE CHAMBER’S MEMBERSHIP IS ONE OF ITS STRENGTHS.

drink products from Ireland, provide opportunities for bonds to develop between potential and actual trading partners in the Polish market—it takes place on 8 October this year, see www. flavoursireland.pl “Through its regular breakfast briefings, industry events, family days and networking opportunities, the Chamber is a hub of business and social activities for growing Irish-Polish ties in trade and investment,” says Hansberry-Bieguńska. The Chamber is keen to welcome new members from Irish companies with businesses in Poland. “It is open to all, from small start-ups to longestablished multinationals, and the diversity of the Chamber’s membership is one of its strengths.” For more information see irishpolish.pl

THE IRISH POLISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

19.00 on Thursday 8 October 2020 at the Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PLN 350 TICKETS ARE PLN 300 IF YOU BUY BEFORE 15 JUNE OR RESERVE A FULL TABLE FOR 10 PEOPLE To reserve tickets, check out the Flavours website, or email Brian at brianmason@irishpolish.pl for more details

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DHL - Continuing to Connect the World The importance of partnering with a reliable logistics provider has never been clearer.

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HL is in a unique position to support businesses across the world during these trying times. As our individual physical environments shrink, it can feel like we have never been further from our family, our friends and even our customers; DHL is on a mission to continue to strengthen these ties by connecting people and improving lives. As an essential service, DHL is continuing to deliver across the globe. Our operations teams are on the frontline in 220 countries to ensure that healthcare workers have sufficient provisions of personal protective equipment, medicine and testing kits. Almost every day we are delivering hundreds of thousands of face masks and hand sanitisers to hospitals and care facilities across the world. Additionally, DHL has supported businesses to move millions of employees to their home offices. In doing so this has ensured that companies can stay open during this time and continue to contribute to the global economy. SUPPORTING RETAIL On a local level DHL Express Ireland ‘is committed to supporting our pharmaceutical customers and Irish business. This is a challenging time for retailers who are anxious about not being able to reach their customers. While eCommerce and online retail have been increasing in popularity in recent times, the closure of many retail outlets has catapulted online business into the

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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spotlight. DHL Express couriers has been working tirelessly to continue delivering for our customers. One such customer is Irish Dance Pro. The current lockdown has been an incredible business opportunity for Irish Dance Pro as it sells portable, non-slip, noise-muffling Irish dancing mats, perfect for practising at home. Speaking of ‘its partnership with DHL the company said; “We have been so lucky with DHL as they have kept our deliveries moving amid all the challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic. They communicate and problem solve with us daily over any issues or worries we might have.” Small

business in Ireland can continue to grow through these times if they ensure to partner with the correct logistics provider and in DHL we are continuing to connect Ireland to the rest of the world. At DHL we pride ourselves on delivering not only business continuity, but also a moment of joy. We are all looking for the positives in life at this time and the excitement of receiving a shipment can brighten someone’s day. We are delighted that at DHL we can continue to deliver this! If you would like to speak to a DHL representative please contact ie.ecommerce@dhl.com

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COVID-19 CRISIS SUPPORT

Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission

The European Commission: Supporting Business Survival

The European Commission is mobilising all possible resources to support businesses and economies through the COVID-19 crisis.

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s the coronavirus outbreak grips European and global economies in a stranglehold, the European Commission and the EU have mobilised all possible resources and set in motion a range of macroeconomic measures designed to make funding available to underpin the budgetary, liquidity and policy measures of individual Member States to increase the capacity of their health systems and provide relief to those citizens and sectors that are particularly impacted. ECONOMIC FORECAST On 6 May the European Commission published its Spring 2020 Economic Forecast, revising last Autumn’s growth projections downwards by 9%. Due to the economic shock caused by the pandemic, it is projected that the EU economy will contract by 7.5% in 2020

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and grow by around 6% in 2021. The economic recovery of each Member State will depend on the evolution of the pandemic at national levels as well as on the structure of the economy and the state capacity to respond with stabilising policies. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

14/05/2020 16:44


COVID-19 CRISIS SUPPORT

comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. PROTECTING SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES The survival of small and medium-sized enterprises is essential for national economies across the EU. Supporting them is part of a comprehensive package put together by the Commission and the European Investment Bank Group. On 6 April, the Commission announced that financing estimated to €8 billion would be made available to provide immediate financial relief to small and medium-sized businesses across the EU. The Commission has unlocked €1 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments to serve as guarantee to the European Investment Fund in incentivising local banks and other lenders to provide liquidity to at least 100,000 European small and medium enterprises. EU Funding is available for all types of companies of any size and sector. The decision to provide EU financing, and exact financing conditions – the amount, duration, interest rates and fees – will be made by the local financial institutions such as banks, venture capitalists or angel investors.

proposing targeted legislative changes, the Commission enables banks to keep on providing liquidity to those in need. The Commission engages with the European financial sector and explores how it can develop best practices and further support citizens and businesses. The banking package includes an Interpretative Communication on the EU’s accounting and prudential frameworks, as well as targeted “quick fix” amendments to EU banking rules. MITIGATING UNEMPLOYMENT RISKS SURE - Support mitigating Unemployment Risks in Emergency - is a new initiative launched by the European Commission in April to preserve

BANKING PACKAGE On 28 April, the European Commission adopted a banking package to ensure that banks can continue to lend money, thereby supporting the economy and significantly mitigating the effects felt by citizens and businesses. In applying the full flexibility of the EU’s banking rules and

EXCHEQUER FUNDING In light of the European funding supports underpinning national initiatives, the Irish Government has provided additional Exchequer funding to support liquidity measures of approximately €1 billion in total.

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 Sustaining Enterprise Fund, A operated by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, of up to €180 million. This is specifically aimed at vulnerable but viable firms with 10 or more full-time employees and provides repayable advances of up to €800,000 in accordance with new EU State Aid rules.  450m in lending under the SBCI € COVID -19 Working Capital Loan Scheme. Loans, with terms from 1 to 3 years, can be between €25,000 and €1.5m at a maximum interest rate of 4%.  n additional €200m in COVID-19 A funding for the Future Growth Loan Scheme to provide longer term loans to COVID-19 impacted businesses. MicroFinance Ireland has received

TO CUSHION THE BLOW TO PEOPLE’S LIVELIHOODS AND THE ECONOMY, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED A COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC RESPONSE TO THE OUTBREAK jobs and support families. The SURE initiative provides financial assistance of up to €100 billion in total to Member States in the form of loans granted on favourable terms to cover the costs of national short-time work schemes. In Ireland this takes the form of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, which was announced on 24 March, to provide the payment of income supports to employers in respect of eligible employees on their payroll where the employer’s business activities have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

Some of the many measures include:

increased funding and upped its potential loan threshold from €25,000 to €50,000 with terms that include a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium. Interest rates have dropped from 7.8% to 4.5%.  he Credit Guarantee Scheme T (operated by the SBCI since 2018) has been repurposed and will be provided by the pillar banks to affected firms. Loans of up to €1 million are available.  xtension of supports for online E trading for business, extension of the trading online voucher scheme and free mentoring as well as free online training for all businesses. Businesses should explore the full range of supports available through Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

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INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue: LEADERS IN TECHNOLOGY.

BMW I3 URBAN SUITE Introduced at the Consumer Electronic Show in january 2020, the BMW i3 Urban Suite is a mobility experience of the future tailored to meet the passenger’s individual needs. The cabin has been remodelled to include a lounge chair with a foot rest, thermoelectric cup holders and wooden table large enough for a laptop. The passenger can connect their iPhone to the car wirelessly and mirror their mobile’s content on a flip-down overhead screen. bmw.ie

WI-CHARGE Wi-Charge is the leader in long-range wireless power technology. Built with Wi-Charge’s efficient AirCord™ technology, Wi-Charge powers compatible smart, mobile and IoT devices wirelessly from distances up to 30 feet and delivers more power than batteries and more freedom than power cords. wi-charge.com

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SAMSUNG BALLIE At CES 2020, Samsung unveiled Ballie, a combination of robotic companion and smart home device. Shaped like a ball and equipped with cameras and sensors, this gadget can control various smart home features. www.samsung.com

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

14/05/2020 12:51


MICROSOFT SURFACE EARBUDS

LIFESTYLE: innovation

Featuring an ultra-comfortable and stable fit, Surface Earbuds offer intuitive touch and voice controls for music, calls and more. It has crisp lines, is wrinkle-free, and has a modern fit that’s form flattering and sharp. Screen-free integration with Office 365 lets you access your Outlook calendar and email with your voice and even get live, on-screen captions and translations in PowerPoint. microsoft.com

ADAPTIVE BIOTECHNOLOGIES and MICROSOFT will leverage their existing partnership mapping population-wide adaptive immune responses to diseases at scale to study Covid-19. Data will be made freely available to researchers via an open data access portal.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

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Patient portal developer WELLOLA in collaboration with the HSE has developed and launched the HSE Covid-19 Portal for clinicians and primary care providers in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The online portal allows GPs and healthcare providers to treat people remotely.

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EAR TO THE

THE IB

Could you tell us about Women in Leadership and why you created this podcast? Women In Leadership came out of two radio documentaries I made for Newstalk asking how women reach leadership levels in all sorts of organisations, ‘Leading Women’ and ‘Banking On Women’. These are podcasts on newstalk still. Turns out lots of people both men and women are interested in the topic and there are many thoughtful inspirational women out there with a lot to say. What is the message/goal of the Women in Leadership podcast? Women learn to use your voice! We need you, the world needs you, now more than ever. Listen to this inspirational woman! Women are under-represented in media so this is a way to give women a voice and learn about things like unconscious bias, mentoring, finding your voice, technology and leading in a feminine way.

InBUSINESS SPEAKS TO WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP’S ANGIE MEZZETTI ABOUT WOMEN REACHING LEADERSHIP LEVELS AND WHY THEY NEED TO HAVE A VOICE IN MEDIA AND BUSINESS.

Why do you think the topic of leadership is so important? In times of crisis like now during the Covid-19 pandemic we need to have the best leaders directing operations in all fields. Our survival depends on it. We need to use the best brains available and not just choose from a narrower 50% of the population. Women are working on the frontline together with men as well as on the domestic front. If we look at the financial crisis, to quote Christine Lagarde, ‘If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Brothers and Sisters’ maybe they would have done a bit better. What are the ingredients that make a great podcast? A good topic, good opening hook and teasers, catchy signature tune and good guests. Excellent sound quality is a must. Also taking the time to edit out bits. People don’t tolerate bad sound. I occasionally interview via Skype if I have a good American guest but I rather have someone in studio or record on location. A good platform like Blubrry is essential too. It gives you great reach. What challenges do you face when making the podcast? Time. I spend lots of time editing and writing up social media and web content to go with the podcast. It is not just a matter of click and go. Other people are asking me to do theirs now so that keeps me busy too.

The Women in Leadership podcast is available to download online at womeninleadership.ie

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What can we expect from Women in Leadership in the future? Exciting developments coming down the track. There are several exciting speakers lined up for the next few months including Rachel Hussey of Arthur Cox and the 30% Club Chair in Ireland. We also have a new sponsor and we are getting offers for advertising now from the US on a regular basis.

GROUND

InBUSINESS RECOMMENDS THREE PODCASTS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS QUARTER.

MADE IN IRELAND

UNITED IRELAND United Ireland is a weekly podcast delving into the issues in Ireland, and around the world. Una Mullally and Andrea Horan focus on an Irish county, and bring smart and sound conversations about a question vital to that county, discussing the things that matter.

NOT TO BE MISSED

THE IRISH PASSPORT Presented by journalist Naomi O’Leary and lecturer Tim Mc Inerney, The Irish Passport podcast has smashed into international podcast charts with its fun blend of Irish current affairs with the history and culture needed to understand them.

THE BUSINESS PICK

IMI TALKING LEADERSHIP A provider of world-class executive education, IMI equips leaders to build the future. In its podcast series, IMI speaks with some of the world’s leading business thinkers about what it takes to lead today.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

14/05/2020 12:42


LIFESTYLE: books

InBUSINESS looks at the latest books offering insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals, highlighting the power of leadership and skills for continuous improvement.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: 10th Anniversary Editon

LEADERSHIP IS LANGUAGE: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don’t

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ost of us use the language we inherited from a time when workers worked with their hands and managers worked with their heads. Today, your people do much more than simply follow orders. They contribute to performance and solve problems, and it’s time we updated our language to reflect that. In Leadership Is Language, former US Navy captain L. David Marquet offers a radical playbook to empower your people and put your team on a path to continuous improvement. The framework will help you achieve the right balance between deliberation and action, and take bold risks without endangering your mission. L. David Marquet draws on a wide range of examples, from the 2017 Oscars Best Picture mishap to the tragic sinking of the SS El Faro, to show you exactly how the words you use (and don’t use) impact how your people contribute.

They Know Not What They Do AUTHOR: Jussi Valtonen PUBLISHER: Oneworld AVAILABLE: amazon.co.uk

Gripping and suspenseful, They Know Not What They Do skilfully weaves together the big issues of the day- the relationship between science and ethics, and people’s increasing inability to communicate - into an ambitious page-turner of a novel.

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PUBLISHER: Portfolio Penguin RRP: €20.99 AVAILABLE: easons.com

Must Read

YOUR TRAVEL COMPANION

AUTHOR: L. David Marquet

What would happen if a top AUTHOR: expert with more John C. Maxwell than 30 years of leadership PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson experience was Publishers willing to distil AVAILABLE: everything he dubraybooks.ie had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life! John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He has combined insights learned from his 30-plus years of leadership successes and occasional mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.

How To Go To Work From dealing with your mistakes to celebrating your successes, in How to Go to Work, CEO Lucy Clayton and education policy advisor Steven Haines show what really matters and how to make the best beginning. The book is packed full of all the vital advice you need to jump-start your fledgling career. Drawing on the collective wisdom of CEOs, creatives, scientists, activists and professionals in every industry, this is all you need to know about how to go to work.

AUTHOR: Lucy Clayton & Steven Haines PUBLISHER: Penguin AVAILABLE: bookdepository.com

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28%

of all Senior Executives in Irelland in 2019 were women

THE InBUSINESS BUSINESS INDEX

44% of companies

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ale levels oaftifoenmin the participwing sectors folllo high in 2018: were

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In this issue, InBUSINESS explores leadership statistics on women striving to rise to the top levels of companies and progress on gender diversity in the worpkplace.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2020

14/05/2020 12:33


Ashville Media Presents

Enter the Energia

Family Business Awards Today With 3 easy steps

1

2

3

Visit familybusinessawards.ie

Select from our list of Categories

Select “Enter Now” to set up an account and start your entry

The Deadline for entries is the 11th of March For any enquiries please contact event manager Michael O’Donoghue michael.odonoghue@ashvillemediagroup.com or 01 432 2224 Proud media partners of the Energia Family Business Awards

Family Business Awards 2020_AW.indd 1

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Reopening Business Getting Ireland Back to Work—Safely The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our communities and our businesses, but now – thanks to your patience and sacrifice – we’re looking ahead to a careful, phased reopening of our country. National and local government, State agencies and representatives of employers and employees have worked together so that businesses can resume, safely and effectively. There are four pathways to help get your business back on its feet:

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2

3

4

There is a guidance roadmap in place for gradual business reopening – in five phases – beginning on 18th May, with different starting dates for different business sectors and always subject to change based on health advice at the time.

Employers and Employees – make yourselves aware of the full advice contained in Return to Work, the National Return to Work Safely Protocol — available at Gov.ie

There is a wide range of financial supports available through your Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland, Microfinance Ireland and other agencies to help with cashflow, payroll, working capital and long-term investment – for example:

If your business model needs to change, the national network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices and other relevant State agencies can help through:

1

Phased return of outdoor workers, more retail, construction and manufacturing.

As an Employer there are things you must consider, for example:

COVID-19 Trading Online Grants up to €5,000

2

Limited return to onsite working subject to compliance capability.

Keep your workplace safe and clean

Sustaining Enterprise Fund

Provide training on new work practices and hygiene

3

Return to low- interaction work.

COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant

4

Return to work, where employees cannot remote work.

Make sure your employees know how to reduce the risk of infection

Restart grants up to €10,000

Mentoring to help businesses identify immediate challenges and solutions. Mentors are business experts working alongside business owners and managers providing practical, useful advice and guidance.

Phased Return to Business

5

Phased return to work across all sectors. For all phases, remote working continues for all that can do so.

Staying Safe, Staying Healthy

Have a procedure in place to identify, isolate and safely transfer from the workplace a worker displaying symptoms of COVID-19 Make sure your customers are safe As an Employee there are things you also must consider, for example: Participate in training on new work practices and hygiene Make yourself aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Financial Supports

Three-month commercial rates waiver ‘Warehousing’ of tax liabilities Wage Subsidy Scheme Lean Business Continuity grants

Advice & Guidance

Online Training to develop the skills to steer your business through this challenging time.

COVID-19 low-cost Business Loans Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme vouchers SBCI Working Capital Loans through the banking sector.

Monitor your own wellbeing Report to managers if any symptoms develop at work.

Remember — the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to use proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and practice social distancing.

Tailored business supports for individual sectors are available from all of Ireland’s enterprise agencies.

Please stay the course—help make the return to work safe and effective—and please pay close attention to the health guidelines. For more information go to gov.ie/business

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InBUSINESS Spring 2020  

The official publication of Chambers Ireland.

InBUSINESS Spring 2020  

The official publication of Chambers Ireland.