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MENTORS SERIES SPRING

TRACY KEOGH, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW REMOTE ON HOW ‘REMOTE FIRST’ SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

2021

AIRTIGHT approach Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenge

NATURALLY NIMBLE InBUSINESS SPRING 2021

How Nuasan has made natural ingredients its core strength

THE POWER OF PODCASTS

A valuable addition to the marketing mix

ON Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, CCO of Immedis, on achieving global success 01

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“The course is tailored to the needs of our business”

Skills to Advance Highly subsidised Supervisory Management training ₀ To help team leaders and supervisors meet the business challenges of Covid-19 ₀ To upskill in people management, digital and remote working Contact your local Education and Training Board or visit skillstoadvance.ie

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Editor: Sorcha Corcoran Creative Director: Jane Matthews Editorial Assistant: Kiah Townsend (Chambers Ireland)

Contents

Designer: James Moore Photography: iStock Photo

COVER STORY

COVER STORY Mark Graham, Chief Commercial Officer and Ruairi Kelleher, Chief Executive Officer, Immedis

ON

Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production Executive: Claire Kiernan Sales Director: Diarmaid Lennon

uairi Kelleher and Mark Graham seem very grounded and humble for two men running a business which has seen compound annual revenue growth of 100% and increased its workforce from 20 to 330 in the past five years. Their demeanour reflects a culture which they have deliberately built based on a strong work ethic combined with fun, flexibility and continuous innovation. “We give a huge amount of responsibility to our people to deliver on company objectives within a very open environment and a flat structure. Without a doubt what has made Immedis such a success so far is the people we have hired. Seeing tangible results from their hard work and the difference their knowledge and expertise make to the business drives people massively,” says Chief Executive Officer Kelleher. “While our focus is on growth, it is very important to me to maintain that strong culture of decency that comes with a family-oriented start-up.” One of a suite of companies in the Clune Technology Group, founded by acclaimed Irish entrepreneur Terry Clune, Immedis is delivering global payroll for the first time as a standalone platform. Processing payroll in over 150 countries, the platform provides a unified view of global payroll operations, real-time data analytics, and advanced reporting capability, while ensuring legislative compliance and data security. “We brought a solution to the market which had never been seen before – an incredible piece of technology which can be integrated with existing human resources and finance systems to dramatically simplify multicountry payroll obligations. Previously, the Big Four [accounting firms] aggregated payroll from a number of countries, but there was never a unified platform, which has given us a unique ‘global first’ perspective,” explains Graham, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer.

COVER STORY Having recently secured US$50m in funding from Leading Edge Capital, global payroll technology company Immedis is set to continue on its rapid growth trajectory, driven by a ‘global first’ mindset since it launched as a standalone company in 2016.

Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon 16

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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 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 All articles © Ashville Media Group 2021. 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

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

COVER STORY:

On a Roll

InBUSINESS speaks to Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, COO of Immedis on achieving global success

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MEDIA & MARKETING

MEDIA & MARKETING

AS

Entrepreneur

Andrew Day, Group CEO of Keywords Studios, a company scaling to serve the gaming industry

THE

Daily walks have become the norm during the pandemic and for many people that has meant listening to podcasts – one of the many reasons why now is a good time for companies to consider introducing them into the marketing mix, writes SORCHA CORCORAN.

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Industry

Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenges posed by remote working Words: Eithne Dunne

POWER OF PODCASTS InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

a radio producer and presenter for many years, Patrick Haughey was always fascinated by the ability of audio to connect with people in ways that the written word and video can’t. But it was while working as Content Editor with Irish tech company Voxpro in 2017 that he spotted a gap in the market for a business specialising in company and branded podcasts. On Today FM, Haughey was Senior Producer of The Last Word with Matt Cooper for 11 years and is the Founding Producer of Mario’s Sunday Roast with Mario Rosenstock. In 2013, he also founded the Today FM School of Radio. “My job at Voxpro was to oversee all of its content channels, which already included blogs and video. By that time, podcasts were starting to grow in popularity and because of my love of audio I put a case together for Voxpro to have a presence in this space,” he recalls. “This was my first experience of developing a branded podcast. The process involved was quite simple and I apply it to this day.” Haughey asked three simple questions: ‘Who is our target audience?’; ‘What would be of value to this audience and make their professional or personal lives better?; and ‘What can we do as a company to provide this in a unique way?. “Voxpro’s target audience was customer relationship managers in big tech companies. We decided to interview these leaders to find out what made them tick and give them a platform to share their insights,” Haughey explains. “A light touch is key – people don’t tune into a podcast to hear how great your company is. The alignment of your brand with relevant and valuable content is so important. The interviewees on the Voxpro series were from some of the biggest tech companies in the world, such as Spotify and Google. From a listener perspective, this meant the Voxpro brand was aligned with these companies.” OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFIED Before long, Haughey could see the Voxpro podcast series was working. Aside from achieving strong listenership and attracting the attention of the right people, it was also proving to be a good relationship builder. “Instead of the initial conversation with potential customers being about buying Voxpro’s services, it was an invitation to share their stories and expertise, which was

TOP TIPS Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand, shares his key insights into how to make a good company podcast. • Take time to plan the content Long before you press record, you have to establish what is going to make the podcast a success and be very clear about your goals with it. Spend three times more time planning than recording. • Focus on the hook It is the same with podcasts as with radio – those first 15-20 seconds are so important to engage people. If they’re not interested during that time, they’re gone. • Be really thorough with your edit You may have 40 minutes of good material, but go through it with a fine tooth comb several times and only leave the best stuff in so you really give value to the listener. • Make it entertaining You might have a topic you want to educate a business sector in, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. For a podcast to be interesting, the music has to be good and the presenter upbeat. Keep it snappy and keep the pace up.

Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand

of immense value to them. I could see the opportunity for creating podcasts for other companies and established Audiobrand in 2018 with this in mind,” he says. The idea of branded podcasts was still in its infancy back then and Haughey had to put a lot of effort into educating the market about the concept and its benefits. His client base has since grown incrementally to include the likes of Dublin City University, Ibec, EY, The Happy Pear and Irish Life. To Haughey’s surprise, Covid-19 turned out to be a good thing for the business. “It quickly became apparent that a company podcast was not just seen as a discretionary marketing channel but suddenly crucial to keep connections going as even video became impossible. It became the perfect pandemic communication tool,” he says.

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

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Sligo welcomes support for heritage buildings and Hawk’s Well Theatre, Mayo gets funding for Castlebar projects, and Galway City receives €53.24m URDF funding

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ULSTER

LEINSTER

MUNSTER

Skills and talent mapping comes to Clare, while Cork sees ambitious Bohill River bridge construction commence and Limerick looks to the future with €116m URDF funding

CONNACHT

Fingal and South Dublin County Councils both welcome support from the Urban Regeneration Development Fund, while Meath County Council receives active travel funding

Belfast Lord Mayor welcomes Centenary support and regeneration of Maritime Mile. Ballyshannon and Letterkenny receive heritage funding

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EIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES COME TOGETHER TO LAUNCH DUBLIN BELFAST ECONOMIC CORRIDOR

Eight local authorities from either side of the border came together to launch the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor in response to challenges facing the region, which have been identified by a joint report from Dublin City University and Ulster University. The eight local authorities are: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Dublin City Council; Fingal County Council; Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council; Louth County Council; Meath County Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. The report, The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation, states that this is an opportune time to create a north-south economic corridor given the challenges the region faces as it comes to terms with the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU and the Covid-19 pandemic. For more, visit dbec.info.

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CASTLEBAR FUNDING

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MARITIME MILE BOOST

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LEADER PROGRAMME SUCCESS

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Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand, makes the case for company podcasts

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AllAll Rise Rise ChampionGreen.ie Pledge online today

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MENTORS SERIES

Contents

TRACY KEOGH, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW REMOTE ON HOW ‘REMOTE FIRST’ SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SPRING

2021

AIRTIGHT approach Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenge

NATURALLY NIMBLE InBUSINESS SPRING 2021

How Nuasan has made natural ingredients its core strength

THE POWER OF PODCASTS

A valuable addition to the marketing mix

ON Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, CCO of Immedis, on achieving global success 01

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Go to chambers.ie for the online edition

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Naturally Nimble

Natural skin and bodycare brand Nuasan is focused on R&D and new product development

88 28 88 INNOVATION Clothing with a difference from Irish designers 90 PODCASTS The Happy Pear podcast, which focuses on healthy living and wellbeing 91 BOOKS Insights on lifelong learning and understanding the economics of the Internet

Tracy Keogh

Co-founder of Grow Remote Tracy Keogh discusses the need for a ‘Remote First’ approach in the post-pandemic era Words: Sorcha Corcoran

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20,676

NEW DWELLINGS

A late surge in completions brought the 2020 total close to 2019 levels after a slump in Q2 and Q3 due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to the Central Statistics Office

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BOOK EXTRACT:

Innovation & Tech

How Showcase Ireland adapted to being a virtual trade show

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Skills & Talent THE InBUSINESS INDEX

IPE

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MENTORS:

[LIFESTYLE]

FEEDING THE P

SMALL BUSINESS:

The growing appetite for high-level skills in the food and drink sector

An extract from The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

[REGULARS]

Planning Permission

04 Business News Total Planning Permissions Granted in 2020

88 up 13.5% on 2019

While more than half of all completions were in Dublin and the Mid-East regions, W91 ‘Naas’ and H91 ‘Galway’ were the Eircode areas with the highest number of completions

Price inflation for 2021 will only be marginally higher than 2020, reporting at

104

In Q4 2020, there were 7,400 apartment completions

The Central Bank has said that 34,000 new units need to be built in Ireland each year, in order to relieve pressure.

Planning permissions were granted for 26,224 apartments in 2020, an increase of 33.9% on the previous year and the highest number since 2005

increase from the same quarter in 2019

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08 Start-Up Central 13 Opportunity Ireland 25 Movers & Shakers 42 Chambers Catch Up 92 The IB Index

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BUSINESS NEWS

NE WS IRELAND SIXTH IN EUROPE FOR GDPR BREACHES Ireland reported 6,615 data breaches in the past 12 months to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), according to DLA Piper’s latest annual General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Fines and Data Breach Survey. Ireland recorded the sixth-highest level of breach notifications across Europe and the third-highest on a per-capita basis. Since the implementation of GDPR in May 2018, Ireland has imposed €715,000 in GDPR fines, ranking it 14th in Europe. “The DPC has issued fines against domestic organisations as well as a large technology company. With a large volume of inquiries underway, it is likely to issue further sanctions as 2021 progresses,” said John Magee, Intellectual Property & Technology Partner at DLA Piper Ireland.

PINERGY LAUNCHES LIFESTYLE PLANS Energy supplier Pinergy has launched a new range of plans to help families with smart meters to better manage their energy usage. A first for Ireland, the new Pinergy Lifestyle plans introduce ‘Time of Use’ tariffs, including a ‘Work from Home’ plan, a ‘Family Time’ plan and a ‘Drive Time’ plan for those families looking to charge their electric vehicles overnight. The plans will be fully integrated with the installed smart meter presenting all the relevant energy data via a mobile phone app. Currently being rolled out by ESB Networks, the national smart metering programme is committed to having 2.25 million meters installed in Irish households by 2024. To date, 240,000 households have had smart meters installed. PICTURED ABOVE: Enda Gunnell, CEO, Pinergy

Tea education a growth area for Solaris

The Solaris Home Office Tea Set

Founders of Galway-based Solaris Tea Joerg and Karin Mueller are collaborating with The European Speciality Tea Association to develop a tea certification programme. This world-class tea education initiative is being created in response to demand from baristas and the wider hospitality sector for industry certification, but will also be accessible to tea lovers everywhere. “Tea education is a huge passion for us and a strong growth area for the business,” said Joerg Mueller. “We’ve had a lot of interest from the corporate sector with employers using our Sensory Tea Experience workshop as part of employee wellness programmes.” Solaris Tea has also created a range of Home Office Tea Sets in response to the pandemic.

REMOTE WORKING

Just 34% of workers will be returning to the office full-time once restrictions lift, a Sigmar/Aon Pulse Report reveals; 22% of employees are expected to work full-time remotely with the remaining 44% to be hybrid workers.

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BUSINESS NEWS

SSE Airtricity and ePower join forces

SSE Airtricity Managing Director Klair Neenan and ePower Director Hugh Hall

SSE Airtricity has announced Cork-based company ePower as its exclusive electric vehicle (EV) charger installation partner nationwide. The agreement will help to eliminate barriers to home charging for EV owners by providing customers with a choice of EV chargers supplied and fitted by ePower, which will power their cars with 100% green energy from SSE Airtricity. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) there are over 17,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids on Irish roads today. SEAI grant funding of up to €600 for private users is available to help with the install costs and ePower will provide assistance with all grant applications.

PATH TO DIGITAL MATURITY STALLING Ireland is lagging behind six other European countries when it comes to progressing on the digital maturity path, according to BearingPoint’s 2021 Digital Leaders study. Many companies have seized opportunities created by digitalisation, but there are significant gaps in Ireland around e-customer relationship management, it notes. The study scores 390 companies representing various industry sectors on a scale ranging from ‘Failed’ (0) to ‘Outstanding’ (5). Ireland achieved an overall average score of 2.53 for its digital maturity, compared to the Netherlands as the leading country, with an average score of 3.00. The other countries covered are the UK, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Italy.

AI UPTAKE

Almost two thirds of Irish businesses will be leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) by the end 2023, finds an Expleo survey; 22% of businesses have already implemented AI/ML solutions, with an additional 42% planning to do so within three years.

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PICTURE

THIS IRELAND’S ATTRACTIVENESS

AIB has rolled out a multimillion-euro employee mobilisation programme, which saw Irish IT company Arkphire deliver 8,000 digital workspace solutions to the bank’s employees across Ireland and the UK. Pictured is Geraldine Casey, Chief People Officer, AIB having a virtual meeting.

Boston Consulting Group’s ‘Decoding Global Talent’ report reveals that Ireland has dropped 13 places in its ranking for attractiveness to workers since 2014. The poll of over 200,000 workers puts Ireland at number 32.

ONLINE SHOPPING

A survey of 1,000 consumers in Ireland released by PayPal has revealed that 88% of those who shop online bought something from a website outside of Ireland over the past year, with 78% spending with UK retailers and 38% using websites based in China.

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BUSINESS NEWS

NEW DUBLIN BREWERY TO START OPERATIONS STRIPE EXPANSION IN DUBLIN A MAJOR BOOST IDA Ireland has welcomed the announcement by Stripe, the online payments firm founded by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, that it is to create 1,000 jobs in Dublin over the next five years, further to raising US$600m in new funding. “This will have a long-term and strategic impact on Ireland’s digital and technology ecosystem, proving once again that Ireland is the location of choice for Silicon Valley and other global technology and fintech companies to expand and grow in Europe,” said CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan. Stripe already employs around 300 staff in Dublin and 3,000 globally in 14 offices.

Dublin City Brewing Co’s new facility is set to begin operations this Spring despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic. The 11,000 sq ft property, located in the Parnell Centre on Parnell Street, will comprise a brewery with the capacity to produce 5 million litres of premium beers per year, making it the biggest independent brewery in Dublin’s city centre. It will also have a visitor centre providing guided tours, with a capacity of up to 200,000 visitors per annum, and a merchandise shop. Work commenced on the site in January 2018 and the business is expected to employ about 50 people.

David O’Hare, Geoff Waddell, Fergal Murray and Karen Burke of Dublin City Brewing Co

“The Immedis platform allows customers to look at payroll for all employees across the world and use the deep reporting data to make strategic decisions.” Ruairi Kelleher, Chief Executive Officer and Mark Graham, Chief Commercial Officer, Immedis

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CONTINUED MOMENTUM FOR CLEANING COMPANY Momentum Support has secured a new cleaning contract with Dundrum Town Centre, valued at around €4m over three years and providing 50 full-time jobs onsite. Providing cleaning services to Dundrum Town Centre since it opened in 2005, Momentum operatives are currently engaged in a daily sanitising programme in response to Covid-19. The shopping centre has served as the pilot site for many innovations in the Irish cleaning industry, some of which are now standard in retail settings, including the use of robot vacuums and cleaning and polishing the mall floor using a chemicalfree method.

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START-UPS

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

48m

The amount Enterprise Ireland (EI) invested in early-stage companies in 2020, double the 2019 figure. EI supported 125 start-ups last year.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

BUSINESS ANGEL ACTIVITY ENCOURAGING Despite the pandemic, business angels invested over €14m in start-ups across the island of Ireland in 2020, according to the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN). Its angels invested in 59 companies last year, with an average deal size of €250,000. These funds leveraged a further €40.5m from Enterprise Ireland and other investors. HBAN attracted over 100 new angel investors to its group in 2020, as well as forming the new Kerry Angel Network group.

JONNY PARKES,

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO AT CUSTOMERMINDS How did you fund your business initially?

We founded the business in 2007 and put in some of the initial seed funding ourselves along with Enterprise Ireland and a Business Expansion Scheme ‘friends and family’ round. That was just before the financial crisis so securing additional funding after that was a real challenge.

What’s the best advice you were given?

Identify the things that you do best, then surround yourself with people who think differently to you and leverage their strengths to address your own weaknesses.

What was the most important lesson you learned starting out?

Resilience really is key to success – you have to truly believe in what you’re doing so you can keep going when things get tough. At the same time, you need to be flexible and alert to spot changes in the marketplace that might provide opportunities if you tweaked your approach or solution.

Your biggest make or break moment?

Everything in my career probably goes back to the internship that I was lucky enough to have with Apple in California back in 1990 while I was still in college.

Would you change anything in hindsight?

To be resilient you need to back yourself and keep looking forward so I don’t tend to dwell on past decisions and think about what might have been!

Company: CustomerMinds Location: Dublin Product: Enterprise cloud platform for digital customer journeys Staff: 15 Website: www.customerminds.com

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ENTERPRISE IRELAND GETS TOP GLOBAL VC RANKING PitchBook has named Enterprise Ireland as the world’s most active venture capital investor by deal count both in Europe and globally, with more than 350 investments last year. In 2019 Pitchbook ranked Enterprise Ireland first in Europe and second globally. The platform is used by around 100,000 venture capital, private equity, angel investors and investment professionals. More than one third of Enterprise Ireland’s 2020 investments went to early-stage companies. It recently launched its €1m Competitive Start Fund.

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START-UPS

Anthony Cheung, Atlantic Therapeutics and Gillian Buckley, Western Development Commission Circit team David Heath, Elaine McCaffrey, Clodagh Vance and Harry Largey O’Byrne

Launched in 2017, Dublin-based start-up Circit has expanded its data analytics capabilities through the acquisition of London firm Audapio. Circit is a financial audit management platform that provides real-time visibility of audit confirmations as well as the verification of business transactions through its integrated network of banks, solicitors, brokers and fintech services. Founded in 2019, Audapio has developed analytics solutions for fraud detection and revenue completeness testing. “This acquisition strengthens our analytics offering and our commitment to helping auditors drive audit quality and reduce the chances of financial fraud going undetected,” said Circit CEO David Heath.

BERWOW in new partnership with Gamma Founded in 2017 in Dublin, smart solutions provider BERWOW has partnered with location intelligence company Gamma to create Ireland’s first retrofit energy efficiency calculator. The solution assesses the financial benefits and carbon impact of home upgrades and allows users to customise their retrofit options. It is already being used by SSE Airtricity. “This solution is the latest example of our dedication to enhancing how location intelligence can be applied in real-world situations,” says Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma. “We have developed a tool that can help Irish households to be more energy efficient and make better decisions in terms of their homes.”

NE TO WATCH: ATLANTIC THERAPEUTICS

Fintech start-up Circit acquires Audapio

Founded in 2013 in Galway, medtech start-up Atlantic Therapeutics is pioneering a non-invasive, wearable device for the treatment for urinary incontinence. The INNOVO device, which has been designed by a team of clinical experts, acts to strengthen the pelvic floor using neuromuscular electrical stimulation. It has provided over 4 million successful sessions across the globe, with 80% of users reporting a significant improvement after four weeks. Atlantic Therapeutics recently secured a €2m investment from the Western Development Commission (WDC). The largest single investment the WDC has made in any start-up in the west to date, it is complemented by an undisclosed sum from Seroba Life Sciences, Earlybird, LSP, Andera Partners and Atlantic Bridge. The financing will support the commercialisation of Atlantic Therapeutics’ INNOVO technology in the UK and US markets. Last year it received approval for the device in the US from the Food and Drug Administration. Also known as bladder weakness, urinary incontinence impacts one in three women worldwide, according to the company.

Feargal O’Neill, CEO, Gamma

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ENTREPRENEUR

ENTREPRENEUR: ANDREW DAY Founded in Dublin in 1998, Keywords Studios has created a global services platform for video games and beyond. Its Group Chief Executive Officer since 2009, Andrew Day is driving the continued scaling of the company, predicting significant revenue growth in the next three to five years.

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Q: Would you say you always had a business head on your shoulders? AD: Yes, for better or worse, I have always been business oriented. I started by breeding and selling budgies from the age of about ten in a little village in South Africa. Then I started working with cars (even before I could drive). I fixed up the mechanics and bodywork and sold them for a profit. On top of this, I had a couple of part-time jobs while at school, including at the local supermarket. I continued to work throughout university, raising funds for a business that I started in my final year. I have never stopped thinking of business. Q: What is the secret to the success and growth of Keywords Studios? AD: Vision and strategy are without a doubt part of Keywords’ growth, but most importantly it’s about good execution, and that means people. We probably weren’t the only ones to spot an opportunity to enter the games industry just as it was taking off, but we earned the right to pursue that strategy with the backing of financial markets and stakeholders by delivering on our plan, year after year. We haven’t been diverted from our path by all the other opportunities we see around us and continue to stay focused on the basics – doing the best we can for each and every project entrusted to us by our game developer and publisher clients. People are at the heart of everything we do, so creating and maintaining a healthy workplace is key – one where our people can exercise their passion for games while fully supported by an inherently inclusive, relaxed but professional culture.

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ENTREPRENEUR

“I think the biggest realisation was that Keywords could never scale if our employees weren’t empowered to make decisions. For this to happen, there needed to be financial transparency at all levels of the organisation”

Andrew Day, Group Chief Executive Officer, Keywords Studios

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ENTREPRENEUR

MASSIVE POTENTIAL

Andrew Day, Group Chief Executive Officer, Keywords Studios

Keywords Studios benefits from serving a video games market that is itself growing at around 8% per year. For Group CEO Andrew Day, the market opportunity is huge. “While we have grown rapidly to get to the size we are now, it really feels to me as if we are only just getting started,” he says. “New gaming consoles, the advent of streaming games via the cloud, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality all add further momentum to the industry. Games are becoming services rather than static, packaged products, driving the demand for content – and where there is content, there is opportunity for Keywords.”

Q: How have you grown and developed the business? AD: When Keywords’ Co-founders Giorgio Guastalla and Teresa Luppino gave me the keys to the business in 2009, we had 50 people in a single office in Dublin. Today we have 9,000 people working from 60 facilities across four continents. About one third of our headcount is in Asia, one third in Europe and one third in the Americas. We’re a truly global company. To get here, we started with a vision which went something like this: There weren’t any service providers to the industry of any scale 20 years ago. However, we reasoned that such businesses would be able match the footprint of the global games companies, adopting more mature supply chains in the way pretty much all other industries of this scale have done. We decided to set out to do that ourselves. Without any external finance, Keywords grew the business to five locations and €16m in revenue, with a good year-on-year profitable growth trajectory behind us. We were soon able to do our initial public offering on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange in July 2013. Keywords has since achieved consistent, double-digit organic growth coupled with a well-grooved acquisition and integration programme that sees us welcome five to 10 businesses into the Keywords family each year. We now have annual revenues of over US$500m. Q: What effect has Covid-19 had on the business? AD: Covid-19 has a disruptive effect on the games industry and business in general. Keywords has been forced to move most operations

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Without any external finance, Keywords grew the business to five locations and €16m in revenue, with a good year-on-year profitable growth trajectory behind us.”

from in-studio to work-from-home. Given we have some 9,000 employees across 22 countries, this is quite some challenge. Fortunately for us, demand for Keywords’ services has remained good throughout. Being a digital-first business has meant that we have been able to continue to work despite lockdowns and in line with social distancing requirements. In fact, the video games market itself is doing well, as people are spending more time inside. Keywords will continue its growth and investment plans, including our mergers and acquisitions programme. To this end, we raised around €110m in May 2020 through a placing of new shares. Despite all of the obvious uncertainty that prevailed at that time, the funds raised were very well supported by existing and new investors. This helped allay any fears investors may have had in terms of liquidity or gearing. In the second half of 2020, we made seven acquisitions. AD: What lessons would you say you have learnt as Group CEO of Keywords? AD: I think the biggest realisation was that Keywords could never scale if our employees weren’t empowered to make decisions. For this to happen, there needed to be financial transparency at all levels of the organisation as well as generally open communications and flows of data. Hiring the right team is also vital to the success of a business. We have passionate people who truly care about every pixel, the best possible choice of word or turn of phrase, hunting down every bug in a game and generally acting in the best interests of every project entrusted to us. If delivery quality and timeliness is taken care of in this manner, then we can continue to grow and grow. Q: Where would you like to be with Keywords in five years’ time? AD: I would like to think we could double our revenue to US$1bn or more in the next three to five years. We will also be a more active participant in some of the markets that neighbour video games such as online streaming platforms as they seek to make content more interactive and use game engine technology to revolutionise production. I’m talking here about areas such as film, television and e-learning. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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JOB CREATION COMPANY: Genesys

SECTOR: Cloud solutions

LOCATION: Galway

ANNOUNCEMENT: Genesys, the global leader in cloud customer experience and contact centre solutions, is to create 100 new software roles in Ireland. The company’s R&D Centre for Digital and Artificial Intelligence in Galway is a key driver of technology innovation for Genesys.

COMPANY: Huawei SECTOR: ICT

COMPANY: Fidelity Investments SECTOR: Financial services LOCATIONS: Dublin and Galway

LOCATIONS: Dublin, Cork, Athlone

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fidelity Investments Ireland has announced that it will further grow its national footprint by adding 90 new full-time jobs within its technology team in Ireland with 60 positions based in the Galway office and the remainder in Dublin.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Chinese tech giant Huawei is to create 110 new jobs in Ireland and invest €80m in Irish research and development (R&D) over the next two years. The new roles will be in sales, R&D, IT development and in its consumer division.

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

COMPANY: Camile Thai SECTOR: Food

SECTOR: Integrated solutions

LOCATION: Dublin, Cork, Waterford ANNOUNCEMENT: The Thai takeaway chain founded by Brody Sweeney, Camile Thai, is to create 200 jobs and open 15 new outlets in Ireland this year, fuelled by the pandemic. The new positions will be in retail, business development, marketing, sales, and cookery.

COMPANY: Alter Domus

LOCATION: Cork COMPANY: Aerogen

SECTOR: Medtech

LOCATION: Shannon

ANNOUNCEMENT: The world leader in high-performance aerosol drug delivery in the acute care sector, Aerogen is opening a new manufacturing facility in Shannon, Co Clare where it will take on 90 new recruits across operations, engineering, quality assurance and manufacturing.

Recruitment outlook positive despite impact of Covid-19 Research released by recruitment firm Hays in February revealed that 78% of employers are planning on hiring staff over the next 12 months and 86% expect their organisation’s activity levels to increase or at least stay the same in the same timeframe. The survey of over 2,000 Irish employers and employees also found that 45% of professionals say they are considering career changes as a result of the pandemic, while 17% plan to find a completely new career path. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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ANNOUNCEMENT: A provider of integrated solutions for the alternative investment industry, Alter Domus is to create 100 new jobs at its European Centre of Excellence in Cork. With offices in Cork and Dublin, Alter Domus increased its headcount in Ireland from 100 to 180 people in 2020.

In an evolving recruitment environment brought about by the pandemic, Irish employers need to refresh their hiring strategy to attract and retain talent.” Maureen Lynch, Hays Ireland Director

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COVER STORY

ON COVER STORY Having recently secured US$50m in funding from Leading Edge Capital, global payroll technology company Immedis is set to continue on its rapid growth trajectory, driven by a ‘global first’ mindset since it launched as a standalone company in 2016.

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uairi Kelleher and Mark Graham seem very grounded and humble for two men running a business which has seen compound annual revenue growth of 100% and increased its workforce from 20 to 330 in the past five years. Their demeanour reflects a culture which they have deliberately built based on a strong work ethic combined with fun, flexibility and continuous innovation. “We give a huge amount of responsibility to our people to deliver on company objectives within a very open environment and a flat structure. Without a doubt what has made Immedis such a success so far is the people we have hired. Seeing tangible results from their hard work and the difference their knowledge and expertise make to the business drives people massively,” says Chief Executive Officer Kelleher. “While our focus is on growth, it is very important to me to maintain that strong culture of decency that comes with a family-oriented start-up.” One of a suite of companies in the Clune Technology Group, founded by acclaimed Irish entrepreneur Terry Clune, Immedis is delivering global payroll for the first time as a standalone platform. Processing payroll in over 150 countries, the platform provides a unified view of global payroll operations, real-time data analytics, and advanced reporting capability, while ensuring legislative compliance and data security. “We brought a solution to the market which had never been seen before – an incredible piece of technology which can be integrated with existing human resources and finance systems to dramatically simplify multicountry payroll obligations. Previously, the Big Four [accounting firms] aggregated payroll from a number of countries, but there was never a unified platform, which has given us a unique ‘global first’ perspective,” explains Graham, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer.

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COVER STORY Mark Graham, Chief Commercial Officer and Ruairi Kelleher, Chief Executive Officer, Immedis

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COVER STORY

Terry Clune, Founder and CEO, the Clune Technology Group

“We brought a solution to the market which had never been seen before – an incredible piece of technology which can be integrated with existing human resources and finance systems to dramatically simplify multicountry payroll obligations.”

“The Immedis platform allows customers to look at payroll for all employees across the world and use the deep reporting data to make strategic decisions, for example whether or not to enter new markets. Essentially, it gives payroll as a function a seat at the top table. This wasn’t an option before because the information couldn’t be presented in a credible format as there were so many different reports and systems across territories.”

FAST-PACED GROWTH Further to making an acquisition in the US in 2017 to show commitment on the ground there, Immedis now has offices in Kilkenny, Dublin, London, New Jersey in the US and Varna in Bulgaria. Within a couple of years, the company had moved quickly from serving midmarket companies with ten to 100 staff overseas right up to the large enterprise space, counting the likes of Uber, McAfee and Adobe as clients. Its typical customer is operating in 24 different jurisdictions. “We have a large number of fastgrowing tech companies as clients as

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they are very interested in bringing efficiencies to the processes they already have so they can focus on their core business. The fact that our platform can be fully integrated with existing systems creates major efficiencies for companies with this profile,” says Graham. “We have also been very successful with financial services and pharmaceutical companies, which tend to have cross-border operations and look for the most cutting-edge solutions to grow.” At the end of November, Immedis secured a US$50m strategic investment from Lead Edge Capital, a growth-stage investment fund based in New York and California. It meant the valuation of the company grew to over US$575m in just 18 months since the previous round of financing led by Scottish Equity Partners. This latest investment will support global growth, including the opening of West Coast and Singapore offices to service the increased demand from US and Asia Pacific clients. “After the Scottish Equity funding was completed in May 2019, we didn’t anticipate going to the market so soon again. But there was a huge influx in demand towards the company and the board decided to look at the opportunity for additional funding. The process started last summer and there was a lot of interest from private equity firms in the UK and US. Everything was done remotely because of Covid-19,” says Kelleher. “This is purely growth capital which will allow us to continue to invest InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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COVER STORY

in people across technology, sales and marketing. We expect to finish this year with 400 employees and compound revenue growth to continue at 70% a year until 2024. We have a very strong recurring revenue model, generally winning a customer for a period of seven to ten years.”

TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP Clune Technology Group was originally Taxback Group, which began in 1998 providing a global taxation service to individuals and then diversified to serve international corporations with cross-border operations. Kelleher and Graham were

working in Taxback’s Global Mobility division when the idea for Immedis manifested itself. “We were providing a solution to organisations with expat employees on secondments or assignments. These organisations asked us time and again could we provide a service for their local staff as well,” Graham explains. “Terry saw a massive opportunity to invest in technology to do something no-one else was doing. He could see this was a market that was really underserviced. So, we investigated the best way of approaching this, sitting down with numerous organisations and speaking to them about their payroll needs. It took 12 months to build and we have a customer advisory board to this day to help us check what we have built and add functionality. We allow customers to have an impact on our technology roadmap.” Chief Product Officer at Immedis, Richard Limpkin, was charged with driving this technology roadmap from the outset. “While the core technology was driven by Richard, we recognised early on that it was really important that it was built around the deep domain expertise of our Chief Operating Officer Christine Keily and Payroll Operations Director Philip Hogan, who are both InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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qualified tax experts. That blend of complex international tax expertise and technology capability has been key,” notes Kelleher. “So many of our people have come with us from Taxback and a lot of them are now in positions where they are running functions within Immedis. As the business continues to grow and our needs change, new roles will be added. There are likely to be around 20 significant roles next year that don’t exist at the moment.” The technology was a key enabler to scaling into large organisations, but the ability to service it with experts has been equally important, adds Graham. “The

support infrastructure that sits behind the technology is critical to good customer experiences and the level of service we provide is so important considering how sensitive an area payroll is. Research has shown that 60% of people think about leaving their job if they are paid incorrectly twice.” Employees of Immedis clients can access the platform to get payslips, endof-year tax forms and make changes to personal information. Kelleher says the plan is to innovate in terms of employee experience over the next couple of years, building out from the existing self-service facility to focus more on financial wellbeing and employees managing their own payment options. The heritage of the Clune Technology Group and Clune’s entrepreneurial vision have been at the heart of Immedis’ ‘global first’ mentality and phenomenal growth. “As an entity, the Clune Technology Group has been incredibly supportive to us. Our ambitions as an organisation start with Terry. His take on things has always been to pursue ideas that he believes can change the world and positively impact customer experiences,” says Kelleher. “The aim is to be the best in the world, not just in Ireland. That fundamental culture is really important to sustain.”

Hole in one Golfers Shane Lowry and Stephanie Meadow have been Global Brand Ambassadors for Immedis since 2017 and 2020, respectively. “The values international sports people have are highly correlated with our own, particularly that drive to succeed, and golf is certainly the most global sport from a brand ambassadorial standpoint,” says Chief Executive Officer Ruairi Kelleher, who has a background in sport on the commercial side. “Shane was at a stage in his career which aligned really well with our aspirations as a company; he was striving to be one of the top golfers in the world and then won the US open. Stephanie followed suit with success in the US.” Lowry and Meadow have been a great asset to the business, particularly during the pandemic, he adds. “It means a lot to our people to have them as ambassadors. Their webinars discussing resilience during Covid-19 have been inspiring. They also represent us really well externally; their downto-earth approach and humility resonate with our employees and customers.”

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

airtight

The past year has put the importance of cybersecurity firmly in the frame, and Irish companies are ideally placed to meet the challenges head on, writes EITHNE DUNNE.

approach

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

N

ot even the smuggest businesses with the most watertight cybersecurity arrangements were ready for Covid-19. The mass exodus of workers from offices over the past year in order to obey lockdown and work from home instantly and by definition compromised even the best-in-class. On the upside, the upheaval put cybersecurity and business continuity at the top of boardroom agendas – not a bad thing for the Irish cybersecurity sector, which is chomping at the proverbial bit to become a global contender in this space. Pat O’Grady, Global Lead for Cybersecurity at Enterprise Ireland (EI), was unequivocal when he referred to Ireland as “an international hotbed of cyber talent”. EI part funds Cyber Ireland, which was formed with the express purpose of bringing together industry, academia and government to put Ireland on the cybersecurity map. There are plenty of global as well as indigenous players here; among the latter are Stryve, CWSI and Typetec. Paul Conaty, Principal Consultant, CWSI, who is involved in the Irish Information Security Forum and Cyber Ireland, says the feedback from multinationals is that Ireland has a strong talent pool. “We also have a strong unique selling point in that a lot of European data centres are based here, which makes it a good place to be a cybersecurity hub. There’s room for improvement, and more could be done at government level, but this is something we could be a leader in.” Paul Delahunty, Information Security Officer at Stryve, says Ireland has “huge potential”, but agrees there is room for more concerted support from government. “There are a lot of individuals and companies here who are really good at what they do, and we have the capability to be a major player. But in terms of national strategy, there is nobody pulling everyone together at the top in the same way as in the UK or US.”

“Many organisations relied on having people inside a building on the company’s network, with very sophisticated tools to record or analyse what was happening on devices,” says Conaty. “When they moved to the remote world, they lost that visibility, and many are still struggling with how to replace that governance.” Much of Conaty’s work revolves around risk reviews – helping companies assess what they’ve put in place thus far, and how it will serve them into the future. “Most of our clients are working off the basis that anything up to 50-70% of their employees will be working remotely for two to five days a week once this is over.” In general, the extent to which businesses have got to grips with cybersecurity in this brave new world has depended largely on the type of activity they’re involved in. Those in more sensitive or regulated areas, such as those handling card transactions, confidential calls, trading or healthcare are, says Conaty, generally further on than those in other sectors.

Many organisations relied on having people inside a building on the company’s network, with very sophisticated tools to record or analyse what was happening on devices. When they moved to the remote world, they lost that visibility.”

THE COVID-19 EFFECT According to Conaty, in the early days of the pandemic, it was a case of businesses having to quickly cobble together some kind of cybersecurity policy for remote working. “They had to deploy a lot of kit and enable a lot of remote working at a pace they had never intended,” he explains. “And when you do things in a hurry, it straight away increases the risk of things not being secure. We have seen a lot of that.” CWSI has been working with many clients who found themselves in this boat and who are now – 12 months on – reviewing what they have done to date, finding the gaps and figuring out how to plug them. Some of these might have had the most secure workplaces possible, but the sudden upset sent most back to square one.

Paul Conaty, Principal Consultant, CWSI

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

Finbarr O’Riordan, Sales Director at Typetec

The old mentality was that your data was safer under your desk, but the cloud has proven over and over again to be 10 times more secure.”

NEW VULNERABILITIES One example of a field that went from niche to widespread almost overnight – particularly in highly regulated sectors – is mobile phone recording; companies that would previously have been recording calls in a central location now find themselves grappling with the same task via mobile. “Eighteen months ago, mobile phone recording would have been something companies might have looked at for the medium or long term,” says Conaty. “Now it’s front and centre, and while regulators will give some dispensation because of the situation, there’s only so much leeway.” Stryve has also seen an uptick in demand for its services since the pandemic hit. It gets many requests for penetration testing (where someone tries to hack into a system to find the holes), as well as its advisory service (it provides a chief information security officer as a service). “With a lot of clients, once they got over the initial panic of ‘how do I stay afloat?’ they started thinking about the fact that even when the pandemic eases, their workforce will be at

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home much more than before,” says Delahunty. “The whole digital transformation has been given a kick forward, and whereas up to now all of a business’s defences were about securing the office network, now there’s a new back door they hadn’t considered before.” HEAD IN THE CLOUD Fortunately, given what has happened in the past 12 months, businesses had – albeit slowly in some cases – been coming around to the idea of migrating to the cloud. Finbarr O’Riordan, Sales Director at Typetec, says this transition is a win for security. “The old mentality was that your data was safer under your desk, but the cloud has proven over and over again to be 10 times more secure.” Conaty says the cloud will become the de facto way of working – and not just among the more forward-looking types of business. “We’re now seeing traditional or conservative organisations that previously wanted to keep all their data on their servers accelerating their use of cloud platforms.” InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

Another trend is consolidation. With so much complexity in organisations, people want to pull various strands together. “Businesses want a small team to have good visibility on what’s going on, whether that’s on phones, laptops, servers and the cloud – without having to log in to a whole bunch of consoles,” notes Conaty. EVOLVING SCENARIO With many predicting that we will never go back to working 9-5, Monday to Friday in the workplace, there is much talk of a more hybrid approach – a couple of days in the office, the rest at home. This straddling is something the industry will have to get to grips with, says O’Riordan. “Those shifting patterns of how people operate will bring their own challenges,” he says. But never fear; the cybersecurity wizards are always on the lookout for new angles. Stryve, for example, is currently in beta testing with M365 Protect, designed to allow Microsoft Office users do backups quickly and easily. “Lots of Office users think their data is backed up automatically, when in fact it either isn’t backed up at all or only partially,” says Delahunty. There is also an ever-growing realisation among businesses that their people are the ultimate cybersecurity weapon – for good or ill.

“A company’s employees are its soft underbelly as well as its strongest defence,” says Delahunty. “Once they have been trained and have the right mindset, they can make it much harder for hackers.” He adds that, when the focus of cybersecurity experts shifts away from remote working, it will undoubtedly veer towards artificial intelligence (AI) and the ‘Internet of Things’. Our homes, for example, may be getting ‘smarter’, but in the process they’re getting less secure. “The use of AI in protecting homes and businesses will be important; while there are great products, the people behind them want to make them sexy and get them sold. Security is often an afterthought, when in fact it should be a factor in every step of the process.”

A company’s employees are its soft underbelly as well as its strongest defence. Once they have been trained and have the right mindset, they can make it much harder for hackers.

PROTECTION PRIORITIES ENISA, the EU cybersecurity agency, has some advice for a more watertight working environment. For employers, it says to have a clear procedure for security incidents; provide authentication and secure session capabilities (encryption); use virtual solutions such as electronic signatures; and consider restricting access to sensitive systems. Finally, make use of what you already have; as Paul Conaty, Principal Consultant, CWSI notes, many businesses have untapped security resources. “You may have a tool and only be using half of it, so you can make improvements without necessarily spending any money.” Cyber Ireland (www.cyberireland.ie) has useful resources in its Covid-19 section, including a link to the Global Cyber Alliance’s free cybersecurity toolkit for SMEs.

Paul Delahunty, Information Security Officer, Stryve

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MEDIA & MARKETING

THE

Daily walks have become the norm during the pandemic and for many people that has meant listening to podcasts – one of the many reasons why now is a good time for companies to consider introducing them into the marketing mix, writes SORCHA CORCORAN. 22

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POWER OF PODCASTS InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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MEDIA & MARKETING

AS

a radio producer and presenter for many years, Patrick Haughey was always fascinated by the ability of audio to connect with people in ways that the written word and video can’t. But it was while working as Content Editor with Irish tech company Voxpro in 2017 that he spotted a gap in the market for a business specialising in company and branded podcasts. On Today FM, Haughey was Senior Producer of The Last Word with Matt Cooper for 11 years and is the Founding Producer of Mario’s Sunday Roast with Mario Rosenstock. In 2013, he also founded the Today FM School of Radio. “My job at Voxpro was to oversee all of its content channels, which already included blogs and video. By that time, podcasts were starting to grow in popularity and because of my love of audio I put a case together for Voxpro to have a presence in this space,” he recalls. “This was my first experience of developing a branded podcast. The process involved was quite simple and I apply it to this day.” Haughey asked three simple questions: ‘Who is our target audience?’; ‘What would be of value to this audience and make their professional or personal lives better?; and ‘What can we do as a company to provide this in a unique way?. “Voxpro’s target audience was customer relationship managers in big tech companies. We decided to interview these leaders to find out what made them tick and give them a platform to share their insights,” Haughey explains. “A light touch is key – people don’t tune into a podcast to hear how great your company is. The alignment of your brand with relevant and valuable content is so important. The interviewees on the Voxpro series were from some of the biggest tech companies in the world, such as Spotify and Google. From a listener perspective, this meant the Voxpro brand was aligned with these companies.” OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFIED Before long, Haughey could see the Voxpro podcast series was working. Aside from achieving strong listenership and attracting the attention of the right people, it was also proving to be a good relationship builder. “Instead of the initial conversation with potential customers being about buying Voxpro’s services, it was an invitation to share their stories and expertise, which was InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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TOP TIPS Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand, shares his key insights into how to make a good company podcast. • Take time to plan the content Long before you press record, you have to establish what is going to make the podcast a success and be very clear about your goals with it. Spend three times more time planning than recording. • Focus on the hook It is the same with podcasts as with radio – those first 15-20 seconds are so important to engage people. If they’re not interested during that time, they’re gone. • Be really thorough with your edit You may have 40 minutes of good material, but go through it with a fine tooth comb several times and only leave the best stuff in so you really give value to the listener. • Make it entertaining You might have a topic you want to educate a business sector in, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. For a podcast to be interesting, the music has to be good and the presenter upbeat. Keep it snappy and keep the pace up.

Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand

of immense value to them. I could see the opportunity for creating podcasts for other companies and established Audiobrand in 2018 with this in mind,” he says. The idea of branded podcasts was still in its infancy back then and Haughey had to put a lot of effort into educating the market about the concept and its benefits. His client base has since grown incrementally to include the likes of Dublin City University, Ibec, EY, The Happy Pear and Irish Life. To Haughey’s surprise, Covid-19 turned out to be a good thing for the business. “It quickly became apparent that a company podcast was not just seen as a discretionary marketing channel but suddenly crucial to keep connections going as even video became impossible. It became the perfect pandemic communication tool,” he says.

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MEDIA & MARKETING

Patrick Haughey, Founder of Audiobrand

Apple can tell you exactly how many people have listened and how long they listened for,” Haughey explains. “This will allow you to tweak and improve things – for example, if people are only listening to 20% of a podcast, you may have marketed it really well but need to hook people in better and for longer.” However, Haughey advises not to focus too much on having a large audience. “There are so many other things a company podcast can deliver beyond plays. The obvious one is its ability to bring brand awareness to another level. Look at how a podcast can help the marketing department or digital team to create additional content, such as blog posts and tweets, and whether it helps you to reach key performance indicators such as bringing more people to your website. Has it created chatter in the media perhaps? And enhanced employee engagement?”

COMPELLING STATS • 40% of Irish people listen to podcasts regularly, compared to an average of 32% across the EU (Reuters) • Irish people listened to 20 million podcasts in Q4 2020, up from 15 million in Q1 (Chartable) • In 2018, advertisers globally spent US$480m on podcasts; in 2021 they will spend US$1bn (IAB/PwC) • A total of 885,262 new podcasts were launched worldwide in 2020, almost triple the number of new offerings the year before (Chartable) • There were 2.2 million podcasts on Spotify in Q4 2020, up from more than 1.9 million in Q3. Podcast consumption hours on Spotify nearly doubled in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019 (Spotify)

“Other forms of content require 100% attention from the reader or viewer, whereas audio can go along with a person as they get on with their day. It is so time efficient. People choose to listen to a podcast whenever they want. Listenership of podcasts generally has exploded [see panel] and I don’t believe it’s a flash in the pan.” MARKETING MAGIC From a marketing point of view, the beauty of company podcasts is that every organisation has its own unique goals, style and target audience so each one will be different. The effectiveness of a company podcast can also be easily monitored. “The measurement of radio listenership is still quite basic, but with podcasts, Spotify and

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Look at how a podcast can help the marketing department or digital team to create additional content, such as blog posts and tweets, and whether it helps you to reach key performance indicators”

PROMOTIONAL ADVANTAGE When it comes to promoting a podcast, companies are generally in a very advantageous position as they already have well-established channels, according to Haughey. He cites SuperValu’s sponsorship of The Happy Pear Podcast, which is another good example of clever brand alignment. “Between subscribers to the Real Rewards app and its email database, SuperValu has a reach of almost 300,000 people, all of whom are potential listeners to The Happy Pear Podcast. The company can also promote the podcast in Fresh magazine, its own publication with a distribution of over 200,000 copies,” he says. “Companies will generally have very well established social channels through which to promote their podcast. In SuperValu’s case, it has 340,000 followers on Facebook and 117,000 on Instagram.” Haughey likens the stage company and branded podcasts are at now to where blogs were ten years ago. “People who started blogs back then are reaping the rewards now. There is fierce competition now in the podcast space but it is still a good time for companies to get into it. Particularly if they put a lot of thought into it and are innovative, a company podcast provides the opportunity to build a really valuable audience. You could spend €100,000 on advertising or sponsorship and for a fraction of this cost you can develop a series which builds an audience which is yours and yours alone.” InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

ENDA MURPHY

NIKITA LYNN

ROGER GRIBBIN

DEIRDRE O’CARROLL

NEW TITLE: Managing Director, Cleanrooms Division

NEW TITLE: Vice President of Finance

NEW TITLE: Sales Director, Envisage and OSSM

NEW TITLE: Blender

EMPLOYER: Diaceutics

EMPLOYER: Ardmac PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Engineering, Ardmac

PREVIOUS ROLE: Senior Director of Corporate Advancement, Diaceutics

Construction specialist Ardmac has promoted Enda Murphy to the position of Managing Director of its Cleanrooms Division. In his new role, Murphy will be responsible for leading a team of 171 people that work directly within the division and driving business growth, both in Ireland and internationally. Jason Casey has also been appointed as Deputy Managing Director for the Data Centre Business Unit at Ardmac.

A data analytics firm specialising in diagnostics, Dundalk-based Diaceutics has promoted qualified chartered accountant Nikita Lynn to the position of Vice President of Finance. Before joining Diaceutics in August 2020, Lynn was a Senior Manager at PwC in the Assurance department. During this time, she worked on reporting accountant engagements, which included project leading Diaceutics’ initial public offering in March 2019.

UPSKILLING AND LIFELONG LEARNING ON THE UP

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EMPLOYER: The Noledge Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Sales and Marketing, Acorn IT Irish cloud solution specialists The Noledge Group has appointed Roger Gribbin as Sales Director for its Envisage and OSSM brands, with responsibility for leading the sales teams and strategy for both. Bringing more than 25 years’ of leadership, sales and IT experience to the role, Gribbin was previously Managing Director of IT consultancy Making IT Happen, helping organisations to maximise value from their IT infrastructure.

EMPLOYER: Midleton Distillery PREVIOUS ROLE: Bond Supervisor, Midleton Distllery

Irish Distillers has announced the appointment of Deirdre O’Carroll as Blender at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork. Working with Master Blender Billy Leighton, she will be responsible for the development of new and existing Irish whiskey blends. O’Carroll joined Irish Distillers in 2012 as part of the first year of the Jameson Engineering Programme. She holds a degree in Food Science and Technology from UCC.

Employees are responding to the pandemic by upskilling and engaging in lifelong learning, according to the Labour Market Pulse index published in March by IDA Ireland in partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn. It shows that the skills added most in the 12 months to December 2020 were a mix of technical skills and interpersonal competencies – in line with the ongoing growth in data analytics and data science activity in Ireland. Microsoft has just launched a programme called StepIn2Tech with Fastrack to IT to equip 10,000 people with the digital skills required to transfer to emerging and in-demand roles in the digital economy.

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

NATURALLY NIMBLE Dara Scott, Founder and Managing Director, Nuasan

Building on success with a business focused on bee welfare, Galway-based Dara Scott launched Nuasan, a natural skin and bodycare brand for sports and active people, in January 2020. It recently secured a €250,000 R&D investment from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland. Q: How did your first venture HiveAlive come about? DS: I have a degree in physics, worked in research and development (R&D) for a large medical multinational and spent 10 years working for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution doing deep sea research. During that time I had also been keeping bees. I wanted to stop traveling so I decided to set up a business in a space I was passionate

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about. Taking advantage of my background in marine research and R&D as well as contacts I had made – in particular seaweed experts – HiveAlive was developed to tackle key problems we associated with the colony losses that were being seen around the world. HiveAlive is a natural, seaweed-extract based supplement for bees and the only scientifically proven one to strengthen colonies, keep their disease levels low, reduce losses

and increase productivity long term. We have grown very quickly in this beekeeping space and are now the market leader and in over 40 countries. Our success is really down to a quality product. It was our knowledge of the power of natural efficacious extracts that allowed HiveAlive to be so successful. Q: Why did you decide to move into bodycare products? DS: I looked for other ways that the knowledge gained through HiveAlive could be put into practice. Being an active and sporty person myself, I noticed that there was a need for tailored bodycare for active people that targeted the issues these people face on a regular basis: Why be

sore after a run? Why feel sweaty after cycling to work or a lunchtime yoga class? How can you expect to run well if you don’t take care of your feet by preventing things such as nail fungus? So we set about developing products for active/sports people that really helped to support all the hard work they put into taking care of their bodies. Q: What would you say is Nuasan’s unique selling point? DS: Until now you had personal care products that would have “sport” written on them but did nothing but trick you to think they helped in some way. There is a lot of generic “sport” titled products out there with no active ingredients or anything to distinguish InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

them from any standard bodycare product. All Nuasan products are tailored specifically for people who take care of their bodies, allowing them to perform better, recover quicker, feel great and stay safe – all while using natural ingredients. Q: How have you developed and grown the business? DS: We had just launched about a month before Covid-19 hit Ireland, not a great time. Our initial sales strategy was to target health food stores and pharmacies. Although we have had some success with this, there have been challenges due to the change in store structure and reluctance to take on new brands because of the pandemic. We have refocused primarily on our direct sales online. Products such as our gift boxes have been very popular. We have already had success in the UK and Germany and plan to expand further into Europe and North America. When the stores get back to normal we have a number of chains ready to go. Q: How important is R&D and what will the SBCI investment allow you to do? DS: We are all about R&D; all of our products are unique. The reason we set up in the first place was that we couldn’t find natural, nice-to-use products that actually did anything. Our R&D has been mainly in-house. We tried to get companies to make these products for us initially but when we demanded they use only natural ingredients we found they weren’t able to. Our expertise in this space allows us to do that and be confident that we are happy with every ingredient that we use. We have now started InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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R&D on a number of new products – some, such as the bath soak, sport recovery moisturiser and intensive muscle relief are well on their way with more to follow. Q: What is your approach to sustainability and the environment? DS:: I have always been very conscious of our responsibility as a company regarding sustainability and the environment. Personally I have been involved in a number of active eco groups and feel this has followed with me into the company. Our business is wind powered; we don’t have any nonrecycling bins. We have done considerable work on the circular economy and Lean principles to ensure we’re running as environmentally responsibly as we can. Where possible our plastic is all made of recycled plastic. Our wipes are biodegradable and our card and paper are also made from recycled paper. The beauty of all this is that as a team we feel great

I have always been very conscious of our responsibility as a company regarding sustainability and the environment. Personally I have been involved in a number of active eco groups and feel this has followed with me into the company.

about doing what we can to help the planet. It can cost more to be sustainable unless you’re dealing with larger quantities, but for us it’s about leading the way as a business and hopefully encouraging other companies to take the same initiatives going forward. In addition, we’re working with a charity called Bees Abroad. It promotes locally appropriate beekeeping in Africa to enable participants to generate income to enhance their livelihoods, alleviate poverty and improve their quality of life. Q: What challenges do you face as a small business owner? DS: The hardest part is keeping on top of

everything. I have a brilliant, albeit small team. When starting in a space like this there is an awful lot of water to tread and the waves seem overwhelming until you get bigger and more established and can afford to have a bigger team. Then the waves will start to seem a lot smaller. Q: Any other news or expansion plans you can share with us? DS: Our immediate aims are to expand the range and grow our online presence. Once Covid-19 backs off, we will engage with the pharmacies and health stores. We want to keep expanding internationally and plan to grow our team in the areas of sales and marketing as well as R&D.

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MENTORS

MENTOR: TRACY KEOGH 28

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MENTORS

ACCESS

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When Tracy Keogh co-founded social enterprise Grow Remote in 2018, little did she know how relevant it would be three years later – and indeed the role it can play in driving the remote working movement into the future, writes SORCHA CORCORAN. In recent weeks IDA Ireland announced the creation of 270 jobs by two global companies, Medallia and IQVIA, available to skilled people working remotely, regardless of their location. It’s a development which has been welcomed by Tracy Keogh, Co-founder of Grow Remote, a social enterprise which has at its core the desire to raise awareness of such “locationagnostic” jobs and stimulate demand for remote working across the country. “There were 55,000 remote jobs open in Ireland in March alone. The caveat is that they’re available remotely within Europe, but this figure is growing by 8-10% every two months,” she says. “A fully remote ecosystem means that companies can access talent from anywhere in Ireland, not just from the often limited pool living in their local area.” Grow Remote started in 2018 as a WhatsApp group of community developers with the mission of enabling people to live, work and participate locally so that communities can thrive. Further to securing €500,000 under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, it hired its first full-time team of five people last September, all based in different places. Using the ChangeEx technology platform allowed Grow Remote to bring together all of the information available on companies hiring remotely in one centralised location. Engaging with about 300,000 people online a month, it has also built up 80 communities or ‘chapters’ of remote workers around the country. The largest is in Castlebar, Co Mayo where 300 people are working remotely for a variety of companies. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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MENTORS

Tracy Keogh, Co-founder, Grow Remote

COMMUNITY AWARENESS Keogh grew up in a family-run pub in Kinvara, Co Galway where she was Manager for four years. Further to graduation from University of Limerick with a degree in Business Studies, Finance and Economics, she worked in a number of tech start-ups before joining Bank of Ireland in 2017 as Innovation Community Manager. This included helping to scale the bank’s Startlab incubator programme across the West. “I could see that the intersection between startups and community development is where real magic can happen. At the same time, companies were screaming out for talent and this talent was available in rural locations,” she says. Now based in the Burren, Co Clare, Keogh was frustrated that there was so much hype about remote working, yet nobody had heard of Gitlab and Automattic, two of the largest remote companies in the world already employing people in Ireland. “The problem was that when jobs were advertised without a location being specified there was no business model to make them local. There needed to be a different way to build awareness of the remote jobs that existed. Grow Remote has calculated that there are about 50 fully distributed companies hiring remotely in Ireland.”

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The problem was that when jobs were advertised without a location being specified there was no business model to make them local. There needed to be a different way to build awareness of the remote jobs that existed.”

TRUE TRANSFORMATION Covid-19 has obviously been a catalyst for increased levels of remote working, but Keogh says it is important to recognise that for most organisations remote work was forced on them in an emergency setting. A year on, Grow Remote is keen to encourage employers to approach it in a more transformational way. With this in mind, it has developed a training programme with Solas and IDA Ireland, which so far has been delivered to 39 organisations from a cross-section of sectors. Involving various different experts, it is designed to support senior leaders with the transition to a proper remote working culture and provide the skills and tools necessary for remote teams to be successful. Around 375 individuals have participated in the programme. “One of the experts we brought in was John Riordan, Director of Support at Shopify Ireland, who manages a fully remote team of 400 people from Cork. He discussed how decisions which might have been made on the fly in the office before need to be documented now so that nobody is operating in the dark. This is a new habit and way of thinking,” notes Keogh. “The future is most likely going to be hybrid, with probably a third of employees in the office, a third a couple of days in the office and the rest fully remote. There is a danger of making second-class citizens of remote workers when the culture is not intentional. The solution is to adopt a ‘Remote First’ culture which assumes if one employee is remote then everybody is remote and power being distributed regardless of location.” Keogh refers to the five levels of remote devised by Founder of Automattic Mat Mollenmeg. It goes from level one, where a company has taken no deliberate action in relation to remote working to level five, or ‘Nirvana’, which he describes as working more effectively than could have ever happened with 100% of employees in the office. “With each lockdown we’ve been in, companies have gone up levels by reviewing what their teams would like to see done better and being more deliberate about maintaining the culture and solving the issues that come up,” says Keogh. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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Available in SMALL,

MENTORS SERIES

MEDIUM

SPRING

TRACY KEOGH, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW REMOTE ON HOW ‘REMOTE FIRST’ SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

2021

MENTORS SERIES

AIRTIGHT approach

TRACY KEOGH, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW REMOTE ON HOW ‘REMOTE FIRST’ SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SPRING

2021

and

Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenge

AIRTIGHT approach

LARGE

NATURALLY NIMBLE

Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenge

InBUSINESS SPRING 2021

NATURALLY NIMBLE InBUSINESS SPRING 2021

How Nuasan has made natural ingredients its core strength

THE POWER OF PODCASTS

A valuable addition to the marketing mix

How Nuasan has made natural ingredients its core strength

THE POWER OF PODCASTS

A valuable addition to the marketing mix

ON

ON

Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, CCO of Immedis, on achieving global success 01

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Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, CCO of Immedis, on achieving global success

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01

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MENTORS SERIES SPRING

01/04/2021 10:48

TRACY KEOGH, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW REMOTE ON HOW ‘REMOTE FIRST’ SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

2021

AIRTIGHT approach Irish cybersecurity companies rising to the challenge

NATURALLY NIMBLE InBUSINESS SPRING 2021

How Nuasan has made natural ingredients its core strength

THE POWER OF PODCASTS

A valuable addition to the marketing mix

ON Ruairi Kelleher, CEO and Mark Graham, CCO of Immedis, on achieving global success 01

772009 393018

2.70

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Ashville Media’s online digital publications are now available to view our website

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

CRIOSTAL NA RINNE

A

Hand-cut crystal design company Criostal na Rinne was established by Eamonn Terry in 1987 in An Rinn, Co Waterford. Describing its hand-cut crystals as “stories made physical”, the company seeks to connect customers with the rich nature, culture, history and language of the region. The collections include whiskey tumblers, wine glasses, gin glasses, decanters and carafes and decorations.

DIFFERENT STORY

Criostal na Rinne

Bonner of Ireland

Showcase Ireland has built up a global reputation for being one of the best trade fairs of its kind. This year, its format had to be just as innovative as the design and craft products on display, writes SORCHA CORCORAN.

H

ow do you go from a set-up where buyers from all over the world descend on Dublin’s RDS to meet Irish designers and craft makers, hear their stories and touch, smell and sample their products to a situation where travel is severely restricted and large gatherings are out of the question? This was the dilemma facing Showcase Ireland, the craft, gifts, fashion and interiors trade fair as it headed towards its 45th anniversary year. The event in January 2020 was the most successful show yet, with 400 exhibitors and thousands of buyer visitors. A subsidiary of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) and supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI), Showcase Ireland resulted in sales of €26m for the traders who took part over the four-day event.

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

Hawthorn Handmade Skincare

HAWTHORN HANDMADE SKINCARE Hawthorn Handmade Skincare was the vision of Elaine Kennedy who, upon returning from London to her rural Irish roots, established the company on the family farm in Claremorris, Co Mayo. Inspired by her family’s traditions of farming and crafting, the 100% natural skincare and bodycare products use minimal packaging that is 100% recyclable, exclude palm oil and use only sustainable, natural ingredients.

BONNER OF IRELAND Set up in 1976 in Ardara, Co Donegal, Bonner of Ireland’s knitwear lines are inspired by the surrounding rugged mountain landscape. The family-run company employs skilled craftspeople to ensure its designs are a fusion of quality, traditional design and contemporary style. Bonner of Ireland’s autumn/winter 2021 collection offers a wide range of unique pieces across cardigans, sweaters and scarves.

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“Under normal circumstances we would start planning for next year straight away. Six weeks into this process we were faced with the reality that the physical show might have to be cancelled,” says Eddie Shanahan, Chair of Showcase Ireland and a board member of the DCCI. “It was never an option to do nothing. But, we knew it wasn’t going to be as simple as just pivoting online as buyers have different requirements and challenges. It was important to build confidence in both exhibitors and buyers.” VIRTUAL PLATFORM Last July, the decision was made to build a platform to allow makers and designers to have one-to-one virtual meetings with buyers. It would incorporate a dedicated area called ‘The Marketplace’ where buyers could look at new and innovative products and discover new makers and selections. “There was no roadmap for this. It was virgin territory. We did have the opportunity to see other versions of virtual trade shows with varying degrees of success and were lucky to have the support of the EI events team, which had used a similar platform for International Markets Week,” says Shanahan. In preparation for the new format, Showcase Ireland developed a virtual selling masterclass for exhibitors,

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

CUSHENDALE Kilkenny-based textile company Cushendale is a family-run manufacturer that has been passed down by six generations. The company has been carding, spinning and weaving Irish wool from selected farmers in Graignamanagh, Co Kilkenny since the 18th century. Operating a vertical mill maintaining all stages of production in-house, Cushendale is focused on creating natural and fully sustainable pieces, including blankets and scarves.

Cushendale

It was never an option to do nothing. But, we knew it wasn’t going to be as simple as just pivoting online as buyers have different requirements and challenges.”

which were recruited based on their ability to engage with and service international buyers. For buyers attending the fair, it created its first-ever interactive digital catalogue with live links to all of the exhibitors’ websites. “The masterclass helped exhibitors to understand the process, perfect their storytelling and make their products and craftspeople very much part of the value proposition. It also showed them how to set up a presentation and use the right equipment and lighting,” Shanahan explains. “We were able to use the digital catalogue for an international campaign through LinkedIn targeting 153,000 buyers around the world.” SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE Run over five days in January from 8am to 8pm, Showcase Ireland 2021 involved hundreds of meetings between 104 exhibitors and around 310 buyers from 17 different countries. “One or two buyers attended specifically because this was a purely virtual trade show, including one online trader from Europe with 20 million users,” notes

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Shanahan. The type of product innovation at this year’s event included contemporary versions of Aran sweaters and cut glass, 100% natural skincare products, candles made with soya and natural aromas and unique ceramic homeware pieces. Exhibitors and buyers uploaded their profiles in ‘The Marketplace’ and were able to communicate through the platform’s messaging system to set up meetings. “The one-to-one meetings were a bit like Zoom calls, but with very high definition. Meetings were set at 45 minutes and there was a counter in the corner of the screen so both parties could see the clock counting down,” Shanahan explains. “There were no technical issues whatsoever and everything went smoothly, with participants reporting a seamless experience.” RISE OF ONLINE WHOLESALE Showcase Ireland commissioned Frost & Sullivan to produce a white paper on the future of e-commerce and presented its findings to attendees during a webinar. “One of the things InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

IRELAND’S EYE that emerged was the simple directive to people that the journey now begins online – it’s not about bricks or clicks, it’s about bricks and clicks and new digital tools – and a strong message is that wholesale is now becoming a multichannel operation just like retail,” says Shanahan. “We have repurposed our website to become a source guide and a business-to-business [B2B] enabled platform. When we started the process, 46 of the 400 exhibitors we canvassed in 2020 were B2B-enabled and able to do online wholesale; this figure has now increased to 200. The website will become a year-round source guide and B2B-enabled facility for buyers, not just an active feature in advance of the fair.”

Ireland’s Eye creates quality Irish knitwear crafted in Baldoyle in Dublin and inspired by the windswept landscape of the uninhabited island of the same name. At the heart of its creations is a belief in “combining the soul of the classic Irish wool sweater with the vigour of contemporary fashion”. The 2021 collection features sweaters, cardigans, accessories and throws along with stylish Aran knits.

BROOKE & SHOALS Created by Alison Banton in 2010, Brooke & Shoals is a fragrance brand based in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Banton’s lifelong passion for fragrances brought her to France where she began her journey into the world of perfumery and developed her own unique style. Brooke & Shoals offers a wide selection of products from diffusers to scented candles and a body range made with natural, organic and eco-friendly ingredients.

CASTLE ARCH POTTERY Located in The Castle Yard of Kilkenny Castle, Castle Arch Pottery handcrafts pottery embracing Ireland’s rich tradition of storytelling and the ancient preserved buildings, grounds and stables that surround it. In its workshop, Castle Arch Pottery creates “contemporary heirlooms to last a lifetime”. Its skilled craftspeople keep measurements exact and time is taken to ensure no unnecessary wastage during production.

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SKILLS& TALENT

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The past year has accelerated Bord Bia’s focus on talent and skills development in the food and drink industry as it increasingly embraces digital transformation, writes SORCHA CORCORAN

I

f the Bord Bia Talent Academy postgraduate masters’ programmes are anything to go by, the appetite for highlevel skills development in the food and drink sector is greater than ever. Its International Graduate Programme received a record 3,047 applications for 32 places at the end of January and there was a 60% surge in applications for the Marketing Fellowship which is due to start in April – 800 people applied for the 22 places on that programme.

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Three other MSc programmes are part of Bord Bia’s Talent Academy – Origin Green Ambassador, Supply Chain & Procurement and Insight & Innovation. Last year, Bord Bia received over 2,700 applications for almost 80 places across all five, which was a 20% jump on the previous year. “Young people tend to look to the food and drink industry more in times of challenge in the economy as a solid, steady place to build a career. It has been fairly Brexit and Covid-19 resistant and, similar to late 2009, has shown itself to be a steady sector that holds its own in a crisis,” says Michael Murphy, HR and Talent Director at Bord Bia. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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SKILLS AND TALENT

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DIGITAL UPGRADE Bord Bia’s Client Capability team is engaged in evolving existing skills and up-skilling, and since Covid-19, this has largely meant helping to ramp up companies’ digital skillsets. “This represented a big step change internally for us in 2020. We have done in-house skills development so we can help our clients to make digital work for them and maximise the impact of all of their channels. Digitalisation is not just

Ta l e

ad

The process of building the suite of Talent Academy programmes started in 2009 with the Marketing Fellowship. The International Graduate Programme is the latest addition, with the first batch of candidates starting in 2019. “The aim of the Talent Academy is to attract the best talent into the food and drink industry from right across the economy. We work with companies to identify and fill gaps in the availability of talent, such as in business development, sustainability and innovation,” says Murphy. Bord Bia’s pioneering Origin Green sustainability programme has around 400 company members now. In line with this, the Talent Academy is focused on building a group of people who can become Heads of Sustainability within organisations and drive progressive change. “We are seeing right across the industry that companies are taking on new sustainability professionals to make changes and communicate what they do well to customers,” Murphy notes. According to Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer, food and drink companies are concentrating more on talent now than they would have done in the past – it became as big an issue as Brexit in their thought process in 2020. “They are upping their game in terms of diversity and inclusion and looking at the full gamut of areas including gender, disability and the LGBTQ+ community in order to attract the best talent,” says Murphy. A recent research report commissioned by Taste4Success Skillnet highlighted the need for cultural diversity training in the agri-food sector, finding that 29% of its employees come from outside Ireland compared to 17% in the overall workforce. The high level of diversity in the sector poses unique challenges and opportunities to employers in their efforts to attract and retain international employees to meet business needs, it found.

They are upping their game in terms of diversity and inclusion and looking at the full gamut of areas including gender, disability and the LGBTQ+ community in order to attract the best talent”

about having the necessary skills, but also understanding what it means for the business,” Murphy explains. In February, Bord Bia launched a new suite of digital services under its Think Digital programme designed to unlock the e-commerce potential within the sector. The new services will mainly be provided through a series of virtual workshops, webinars and self-service digital marketing guidebooks. “Diversification into new markets has been a crucial component for growth across the food industry over the past decade. Today, the growth in online shopping and grocery e-commerce offers our sector another potentially very valuable alternative route to market,” says Adam Baker, Client Capability Manager at Bord Bia. “Through this new Think Digital programme, Bord Bia wants to ensure that Ireland’s food industry has the requisite skills and knowledge it needs to successfully compete in a digital world.” Part of this approach will be to support and prepare companies to sell on some of the world’s leading marketplaces, such as Amazon, Ocado, Walmart and Alibaba. “We are working directly with these companies to develop bespoke ‘how to’ guidelines for the Irish food industry to enable them to compete on a global scale,” says Baker.

GOING NATIONWIDE Established 25 years ago, Atlantis of Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford was historically focused on supplying seafood to hotels, restaurants and shops. Covid-19, in particular the closure of foodservice, reduced its turnover by 60%. “We quickly identified a new niche business opportunity in home deliveries of fresh fish to local customers. Based on the success of this pilot, we could see an opportunity to sell direct to customers on a national scale,” says John Kenny, Director, Atlantis of Kilmore Quay. “We worked with Bord Bia on a digital transformation for over six months to help us prepare for what was essentially a new business.” The company’s new brand identity and e-commerce website went live in February.

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We live in an age of exponentially accelerating and converging technology that doubles in power while dropping in price on a regular basis. Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler discuss how converging technologies are transforming business, industries, and our lives.

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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BOOK EXTRACT

n March 2011, an earthquake in Tokyo triggered a tsunami in the Pacific, flinging a wave the size of an apartment complex at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In the ensuring chaos, first the emergency power supply went haywire, then the pumps failed to pump, finally the cooling systems failed to cool. These three meltdowns were followed by a series of mid-air hydrogen explosions and a catastrophic mess. A month later, on a scale designed by the International Atomic Energy Agency to measure radiation levels after an accident, sensors were off the charts. Getting clean-up crews on site quickly was fundamental to containment, but Fukushima was too hot for humans. Yet Japan has long been one of the world leaders in robotics, so they sent in droids. And the droids failed miserably. The rough terrain acted like a minefield, the radiation fried their circuits. Within a few months, Fukushima was a robot graveyard. The disaster hit Honda especially hard. Since the start of the crisis, they’d been fielding phone calls and emails from thousands of people begging them to send in ASIMO, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot. Looking a lot like a teenager dressed up as a 1950s era astronaut (think big bubble white spacesuit), ASIMO was an international celebrity. Yet there’s quite a distance between strutting across a carpet and handling

the complex environment of a nuclear disaster. ASIMO, like the other robots sent into Fukushima, turned out to be too unreliable for disaster mitigation, creating a public relations nightmare for Honda and an uproar in the robotics community. In response to the roar, a few years later, DARPA launched their Robotics Challenge, a $3.5 million purse for a humanoid robot capable of “executing complex tasks in a dangerous, degraded, human engineered environment.” This last bit is key. Humanoid robots are critical because we live in a humanengineered world, one built to interface with our interface: two hands, two eyes, forward-facing bipedal posture. The results of the 2015 Challenge, viewable online, are a robot blooper reel. Robots fall down, robots fail to climb stairs, robots shoot sparks then short-circuit. But progress was swift. A year later, a video released online showed off Boston Dynamics’ robot Atlas, the second place winner from the 2015 DARPA Challenge, hiking through slick, snowy woods, stacking boxes in a warehouse, even regaining his balance after getting whacked with a hockey stick. A year after that, a different video showed Atlas navigating an obstacle course that included a backflip off a wooden crate and color commentary by a sports announcer: “A 360 spin onto the pallet, backflip gainer off . . .” Honda also got in on the action. By 2017, they’d created a prototype disaster-response bot that could climb ladders, shimmy sideways, and even get

Robots are now entering nearly every aspect of our lives. Today’s versions are AI-empowered, allowing them to learn on their own, operate solo and in swarms, walk on two legs, balance on two wheels, drive, swim, fly, and, as mentioned, backflip. Today, robots do jobs that are dull, dirty, or dangerous. Tomorrow, they’ll show up anywhere accuracy and experience are key.

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BOOK EXTRACT

down on all fours and knuckle-walk through rough terrain. In the six years since Fukushima, we’d gone from drunken droids to disasterready ninjas. And not to be outdone by Honda, 2017 also saw the Japanese conglomerate Softbank buy Boston Dynamics from Alphabet (who had purchased the company back in 2013). The reason? A different national disaster facing Japan—a rapidly aging population and no one to care for the elderly. After decades of rising life expectancies and falling birth rates, Japan entered the new millennium with the bulk of its population edging into retirement, and no one to take their place. In 2015, in order solve both problems at once, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a “robot revolution.” And thanks to a series of convergences, his call was heard. Globally. Robots are now entering nearly every aspect of our lives. Today’s versions are AI-empowered, allowing them to learn on their own, operate solo and in swarms, walk on two legs, balance on two wheels, drive, swim, fly, and, as mentioned, backflip. Today, robots do jobs that are dull, dirty, or dangerous. Tomorrow, they’ll show up anywhere accuracy and experience are key. In the operating room, robots are assisting on everything from routine hernia repair to complicated heart

This is an extract from: The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Published by Simon & Schuster, priced a18.28.

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bypasses. Out on the farm, roboharvesters gather crops from the fields and robo-pickers pluck fruit from the trees. In construction,2019 brought the first commercially available robomason, capable of laying a thousand bricks an hour. Industrial robotics has seen a bigger shift. A decade ago, these multimillion-dollar machines were so dangerous they were walled off from the workforce behind bulletproof glass and so complicated to program that PhDs were typically required. Not anymore. A slew of “cobots,” short for collaborative robots, are hitting the market. To program them, just move their robotic arms through the desired motion and they’re good to go. Even better, these cobots are jam-packed with sensors, so the millisecond they encounter anything fleshy—like a human—they freeze. But the real revolution is economic. The UR3, a cobot from the Danish manufacturer Universal Robots, retails for $23,000, which is roughly the average annual global wage for a factory worker. Plus robots never tire, don’t need bathroom breaks, and won’t go on vacations. This explains why Tesla, GM, and Ford are fully automating their plants and why Foxconn (manufacturers of the iPhone) and Amazon, have already replaced tens of thousands of factory jobs with robots. Of course, we could go on like this for quite some time. Elder care, hospice care, infant care, pet care, personal assistants, avatars, autonomous cars, flying cars—the robots are coming, the robots are coming, the robots are here. But there’s a forest through these trees: It’s not just robots. It’s the convergence of robots with other exponential technologies. It’s an electric skin of sensors smashing against neural net–powered AIs in the cloud that are bashing into a growing swarm of deftly nimble and increasingly intelligent robots.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:00


Chambers Ireland would like to thank all the companies who took part in the Sustainable Business Impact Awards 2020. Applications for the 2021 Awards are now open. Apply before 28 April 2021 at sustainablebusinessimpactawards.ie. For more information, please contact carly.mooney@chambers.ie

1C_Ashville SBIA_JM_InBUS Q1.indd 1

15/04/2021 12:50


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

Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber

Report highlights opportunity for Cork Harbour

Cork Chamber, along with industry partners, has launched a new report entitled ‘Cork Harbour 2025: Ready to Float Offshore Wind’, which highlights the prospect of Cork becoming the hub for a whole new industrial sector. “This is something not seen since Ringaskiddy was designated as a cluster for pharmaceuticals by IDA Ireland in the 1970s. Floating offshore wind is the economic opportunity of our generation, with significant positive implications for the development of infrastructure and employment prospects in the region,” said Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber. The report can be found on www.corkchamber.ie.

CHAMBER COMMENT

‘Grow with Google’ workshops in Kildare

“We are calling on government to publish a National Action Plan for Trade, which should include an awarenessbuilding campaign to improve the capacity of SMEs to engage with EU Free Trade Agreements.”

County Kildare Chamber, in partnership with Local Enterprise Office Kildare, is rolling out a suite of complimentary online workshops delivered by Google trainers. “Our partnership with Google is the start of a series of bespoke training programmes we will be delivering for businesses this year. They will assist businesses to navigate through this digital transformation age and find future opportunities for growth,” said Luke Hanahoe, President of County Kildare Chamber. “Businesses need to understand how to be seen on Google, how to ensure their customers can find them and more importantly how they can grow business through Google.”

Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, in reaction to the newly published EU trade strategy

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Luke Hanahoe, President, County Kildare Chamber

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CHAMBERS NEWS Eamonn Brennan, Director General, Eurocontrol

NearForm scoops top prize in Waterford Multinational company NearForm was named Overall Waterford Business of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards on 26 February during a live virtual awards ceremony where it also picked up the Technology & Innovation of the Year award. Having created the Covid-19 tracker app, which is now being used globally, NearForm is one of the biggest success stories to come out of Waterford, if not Ireland, during the pandemic. Currently employing around 160 people, the company recently secured a multimillion-euro investment from Columbia Capital, which will be used to scale up operations and accelerate recruitment.

Long-term support needed for aviation The impact of Covid-19 on global aviation was outlined by Eamonn Brennan, Director General of Eurocontrol, which manages the European Air Traffic Network, during a recent Shannon Chamber webinar. “Flight movements throughout the globe are now at 52% of their 2019 figure,” he said. “Seat capacity on all continents has been reduced, with Europe the hardest hit. Europe has witnessed a 55% reduction in flights; 51% of its aircraft are parked; passenger movement is down by 1.7 billion; and 191,000 permanent aviation jobs have been lost. The Government must have a clear, long-term plan and provide support now to seed the recovery of the sector.”

CHAMBER PROJECT Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in procuring new Christmas lighting for the main public area in Kilkenny City – the Parade, which has remained in place since December. The funding for this project came through Kilkenny Leader Partnership under the Rural Development Programme.

KILKENNY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Cian O’Maidin, CEO, NearForm

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CHAMBERS NEWS

Meath Business Owners Network goes online

HSE wins global innovation award In December 2020, the HSE was announced as the winner of the Global Public Sector Innovation Award at the Corporate Start Up Stars Awards ceremony. These prestigious accolades were hosted by the International Chambers of Commerce and Mind the Bridge. The annual awards, established in 2016, identify and celebrate best practice in global corporate-startup collaboration under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative. The HSE was awarded the Global Public Sector Innovation Award for its next-generation approach to Open Innovation 2.0 methodology. This approach aligned with a common digital innovation strategy ‘Stay Left, Shift Left’, which uses a network of living labs to codevelop solutions in complex, real-world health environments. ‘Stay Left’ advocates for solutions which keep well people healthy and at home; while ‘Shift Left’ supports digital health solutions which aim to move patients from an acute/community setting back home as quickly and efficiently as possible. The success of the HSE’s Stay Left, Shift Left initiative has been supported by collaborations with start-ups/SMEs such patientMpower, RedZinc, S3 and PMD Solutions, which have contributed unique digital solutions to this project. “We are delighted that the HSE has been recognised internationally for our work in open innovation,” said Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE. “Using the Open Innovation 2.0 methodology enables us to rapidly develop transformational digital health solutions. This is substantial early evidence that the HSE is making good progress on our transformation journey.” Ian Talbot, Secretary General of ICC Ireland, said: “We are really pleased to see an Irish organisation succeed in these global awards, with other winners mainly comprising household name technology giants. Encouraging and investing in innovation is vital to our future, so well done to the HSE.”

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County Meath Chamber has started to host its first online Meath Business Owners Network Meetings, partnered by Local Enterprise Office Meath. There were 70 business owners from around the country on the first Zoom call on 22 January, where Minister Damien English provided the latest information on Covid-19 supports to the business community. A total of 124 business owners signed up to the second one on 19 February, which focused on networking and featured breakout sessions during which business owners could pitch their ideas. Emma Kerins, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Chambers Ireland, was the guest speaker.

Chambers innovate with virtual events Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber celebrated International Women’s Day on 5 March with a podcast. Hosted by journalist, writer and broadcaster Barbara Scully, it featured award-winning international author Sinead Moriarty, charity fundraiser Dee Featherstone and entrepreneurial specialist and businesswoman Dr Lorraine Mancey. Meanwhile, one of County Wexford Chamber’s popular Zoom events in February was ‘Brexit and Beyond – The Reality for South East Businesses’, which included Annie Flahavan, Financial Controller and seventh-generation family member of E Flahavan & Sons, discussing how it has dealt with the Brexit journey.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:03


When a child loses their home, they lose their entire world. There are almost 4,000 children homeless in Ireland. Donate now.

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04/02/2020 15/04/2021 16:09 12:59


CHAMBER CEO Q&A

In the face of economic hardship, an even stronger sense of community pride has developed amongst business owners and the customers they serve.”

Q:What is the business sentiment like in your region? In the face of economic hardship, an even

Ken Tobin, Chief Executive, Tralee Chamber Alliance

Community spirit InBUSINESS caught up with Ken Tobin, Chief Executive, Tralee Chamber Alliance, which was re-established in 2012 and since grown to become the largest business representative organisation in Co Kerry.

Q:What key things are Tralee Chamber Alliance tackling? Tralee is developing as a strong regional

hub for employment but requires key policy change, infrastructure development and regional investment in order to fully capitalise on the potential it offers. Historically a market town, Tralee has developed a strong tourism, technology, engineering and retail offering. Developments online have presented challenges to the town centre which has led to 19% of business properties lying idle. Our ‘1 in 5’ report identifies key opportunities and solutions to address commercial vacancy in Tralee. In addition, Tralee Chamber Alliance has an active programme of training and business development supports with other stakeholders to assist local businesses.

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stronger sense of community pride has developed amongst business owners and the customers they serve. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by local businesses and groups to support the frontline teams and vulnerable people in our area, but also by the reciprocal support customers have shown in the ‘Shop Local’ and ‘staycation’ campaigns we have been involved with. Crucially over the next year we must ensure to support businesses to keep trading, but we should be optimistic that once we move past this period, businesses will be stronger as a result. Q: How significant is the establishment of Munster Technological University (MTU)?

Institute of Technology Tralee has always been a critical part of the ecosystem in Co Kerry. Now being amalgamated with Cork Institute of Technology, the MTU campus in Tralee presents even more opportunities for employment development in the county. This extends beyond the opportunities to attract foreign direct investment, as the team in MTU provides support for lifelong training and bespoke development for indigenous businesses of all sizes. The amalgamation offers greater opportunities for collaboration and clustering of industry across the southwest region. Q:Why should a business consider locating in your region? One of the unique things about

having a business in Co Kerry is that every stakeholder is approachable and supportive – whether it is our inherent abilities to offer a warm welcome derived from our tourism training, or our experience in growing some of the largest Irish multinationals with the likes of Kerry Group and Fexco. The fact that Kerry-born Richard Cantillon coined the term ‘entrepreneur’ is no surprise. Over the past number of years, a strong network of hubs, second-site and incubation spaces have developed throughout the county to the highest standard. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:04


CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP

Evolving Membership Benefits The Covid-19 pandemic has evolved the way that Chambers deliver benefits to members, with many moving online. Staff of Chambers have been working remotely but have embraced this challenge to deliver services to their members.

Networking Events

Chambers host regular webinars on various topics to keep you informed on all the key issues affecting business. They are now being streamed live or can be recorded and viewed by members at their convenience.

Introductions

Chambers provide targeted introductions for businesses to help them to expand both their customer base and supply chain. This is all done virtually so you can establish important contacts without having to meet in person.

Supporting the local community

Chambers are at the heart of supporting local communities. They lobby and work hard to enhance the community in which you live and work by engaging the key decision makers.

Supporting Shop Local

Chambers have organised initiatives to promote the importance of shopping local and the benefits it brings to towns and communities across the country. They promote click and collect and other online campaigns for their retail members who have had to close their premises in line with public health guidelines.

Working with local authorities

One of the key stakeholders in every county is the local authority. Chambers work hand in hand with their local authority on various projects to support business and enhance their community.

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Chambers have moved their networking online, using technology to provide opportunities for business to make connections and begin new business relations. Chambers use the latest applications to provide the same networking opportunities as they did at physical events.

Lobbying

Chambers continue to lobby national and local government on behalf of business to provide the crucial supports which are necessary for businesses during the pandemic when many have been unable to trade due to the lockdown.

Policy

Chamber teams are continuing to work to influence current and future policy which will support business throughout the country. They are also active in preparing submissions on various issues which influence future strategy for business in Ireland.

Training

Chambers have organised training for members to help them adapt to new environments and develop the skills they need to compete. The training that Chambers provide is always current and engaging which benefits all of their members. All this training is now delivered to high standards online.

Representation

Chambers continue to attend important meetings in a virtual capacity to represent their members’ requirements at national and local level. They provide the business voice on economic, infrastructure, skills and county development forums.

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16/04/2021 11:06


CHAMBER FEATURE

The road to SME success Michaela Reilly, Policy and Research Executive at Chambers Ireland, discusses the National SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan published in January by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

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reland’s SMEs and entrepreneurs operate in what is broadly regarded by the OECD as a favourable business environment with a solid and comprehensive set of programmes targeted to continuously improve the sector. That does not ignore the fact, however, that greater supports for entrepreneurs and SMEs are required if businesses in this sector are to continue to grow and succeed at home and abroad. The National SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan is a timely and promising strategy that maps out an ambitious strategic blueprint for this sector. As a member of the SME Growth Taskforce, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot was centrally involved in the development of the strategic vision. The new plan aims to assist companies to start up, scale up, enhance their digital capabilities, and increase export activity across the next one to five years to aid in the post-pandemic recovery. 

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN Divided across three timeframes, the strategy sets out a broad set of policy deliverables, which encompass: internationalisation; productivity, digitalisation and competitiveness; networks and clustering; and entrepreneurship.

• Short-term deliverables (>1 year) such as all Government departments utilising the SME Test, an analysis of existing network and clustering programmes and the establishment of micro-credentials for entrepreneurs in finance, digitalisation, and human resources. • Medium-term deliverables (1-3 years) comprise the majority of the plan. These include the publication of an SME Cost Index and exploring new ways to incentivise and de-risk the exporter journey for SMEs through trade missions and a State-backed export insurance scheme. • Long-term deliverables (3+ years) are more broadly focused on increasing the number of SME exporters to over 2,000 and sustained State investment in emerging tech start-ups.

Long-term deliverables (3+ years) Medium-term deliverables (1-3 years) REAPING THE BENEFITS The growth plan is a progressive framework for boosting SME and entrepreneur productivity in the coming years. It is very welcome that it commits to addressing many of the key challenges that Chambers Ireland continues to advocate for such as expanding apprenticeships and traineeships to increase labour market participation and essential upskilling. In addition, the ambition to develop sectoral export guides, supported by relevant case studies, is welcome. We would like to see this built on to produce an Action Plan for Trade to support SMEs to benefit from EU Free Trade Agreements. The SME sector accounts for 99.7% of active enterprises in Ireland. However, they produce less than 20% of national output.  Though Ireland has reaped the benefits of being an open economy and a prime location for foreign direct investment, our Short-term deliverables indigenous SMEs and entrepreneurs have not always enjoyed the same (>1 year) levels of growth as multinationals have in recent years. The targets in this plan will undoubtedly give rise to considerable change to this reality, firmly embedding the ‘Think Small First’ principle in future The SME sector accounts for policymaking. 99.7% of active enterprises in

Ireland. However, they produce less than 20% of national output.

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:07


CHAMBER FEATURE

EU-UK Trade Progress With Brexit finally a reality, Michaela Reilly, Policy and Research Executive at Chambers Ireland, outlines where we are now in relation to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

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ust seven days before the end of the transition period, the EU and UK finalised the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which came as a significant relief to the many EU businesses that trade with the UK. Going well beyond traditional Free

Trade Agreements, the TCA provides a solid basis for safeguarding the integrity of the Single Market and the indivisibility of the ‘Four Freedoms’ (people, goods, services and capital). Pending ratification, the provisionally applied draft TCA consists of three main pillars, encompassing: 1. A Free Trade Agreement This facilitates zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin. This ensures that the trade preferences granted under the agreement benefit both EU and UK businesses rather than third countries, thereby preventing circumvention. In addition, the TCA covers a broad range of other areas such as investment, competition, State aid, tax transparency, air and road transport, energy and sustainability, fisheries, data protection, and social security coordination. 2. A new partnership for our citizens’ security The TCA establishes a new framework for law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal and civil law matters, recognising the need for strong cooperation between national police and judicial authorities. 3. A horizontal agreement on governance A dedicated chapter on governance provides clarity on how the agreement will be operated and controlled to give maximum legal certainty to businesses, consumers and citizens.

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STUMBLING BLOCKS As of 1 February Michel Barnier was appointed Special Adviser to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. Although the early application of the TCA has not been without obstacles, both sides continue to work towards building a constructive relationship surrounding the following areas: • Continuing the work of the Joint Committee to oversee the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement • Implementing the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, in particular in relation to customs, veterinary and phytosanitary measures • Implementing the provisions on citizens’ rights, which also require close monitoring by the European Commission

• Implementing the financial settlement, which ensures that the UK and the EU will honour all financial obligations undertaken while the UK was a member of the union. NEXT STEP – RATIFICATION The draft agreement must be ratified by both the UK and EU according to their own legal and constitutional requirements. The British government accepted an EU request for a technical two-month extension (to 30 April) to ratify the deal, to allow more time to scrutinise the treaty and for the text to be translated into the 24 official EU languages. Signals suggest that there is a high degree of certainty that the current agreement will be approved by both sides on that date.

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16/04/2021 11:08


CHAMBER FEATURE

L to R: Síne Breslin, Bank of Ireland, Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change, Francesca McDonagh, CEO Bank of Ireland and Sinéad Burke, CEO Tilting the Lens at the launch of Employers for Change

Understanding disability Director of Employers for Change, Christabelle Feeney, explains what this new service is all about and the difference it aims to make in terms of improving opportunities for people with disabilities.

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disability information service for employers, Employers for Change was launched on 11 March 2021 to an online audience of 500 by Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, disability advocate and author Sinéad Burke and CEO of Bank of Ireland Francesca McDonagh. According to the World Health Organisation, there are more than 1 billion people in the world living with some form of disability, which corresponds to about 15% of the world's population. In Ireland there are approximately 650,000 people living with a disability. Research shows that people with disabilities have far fewer employment opportunities when compared to their nondisabled peers. In fact, the 2016 census showed that only 36.5% of people with a disability (aged between 20 and 64) were in employment compared

to 72.8% of people without a disability. And that was preCovid-19, with its subsequent rise in unemployment directly impacting on this same group. It is also important to note that according to the same 2016 census, 70% of people with a disability aged 20-64 acquired their disability after the age of 16. That means that many of us will acquire a disability at some point during our working lives. To help tackle the lack of information in the area and a reticence in some employers to hire people from this group, Employers for Change provides a central source of information and advice for employers that informs them on all aspects of working with people with disabilities and encourages them to actively recruit from this group. THE SERVICE DOES THIS BY:

• Providing a dedicated helpline giving advice and information

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According to the same 2016 census, 70% of people with a disability aged 20-64 acquired their disability after the age of 16. That means that many of us will acquire a disability at some point during our working lives.

to employers about recruiting and employing people with disabilities, with a response within 24 hours • Hosting a central webbased information resource incorporating guidance and a FAQ section • Providing and participating in awareness raising and outreach activities • Maintaining links with employer stakeholders and disability stakeholders • Promoting the positive business case for the employment of people with disabilities. The website covers an array of information, including inclusive recruitment practice, reasonable accommodation, as well as toolkits, supports and useful links. This provides the opportunity for employers to access advice and training, which will improve their business and their workforce. People with disabilities bring a different perspective to the table, including creative thinking and problem solving and add great value to a business. You can see this in the personal stories of employers and employees on the ‘Voices of Experience’ section of our website. Over the coming months, we will run various training and events which will help employers to understand disability and how to be more inclusive in the recruitment and retention of employees. I would encourage employers to sign up to our email or follow us on social media to hear about our upcoming training and events. More information can be found at www.employersforchange. ie or by emailing info@ employersforchange.ie. You can request a video call by email or text, call or WhatsApp on 085 157 9603 or go to Twitter @EmployforChange or LinkedIn Employers for Change. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:40


Lasting impact Chambers Ireland’s 2021 Sustainable Business Impact Awards are now open for applications with a deadline of 28 April.

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ollowing our rebranding to the Sustainable Business Impact Awards in March 2020, we have taken further steps this year to integrate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into all aspects of these awards. We have adapted some of the categories this year to allow applicants to further highlight the work that their company has undertaken to align with the SDGs. There is also a new category in place of the Excellence in Marketplace Award. On 10 March we were joined by a number of this year’s judges to launch the 2021 awards online. Each of the judges offered tips to applicants on how to structure a stand-out submission and spoke through what they look for in an award-winning application. During the launch, we also unveiled our new category – Excellence in Social Enterprise – introduced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and sponsored by the Department for Rural and Community Development. This category is open to applications from companies across the country which have engaged in an outstanding collaboration between their business and a social enterprise partner. A social enterprise is one whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders. We want to hear from businesses working together with a social enterprise in any number of ways, including: • incorporating a social enterprise into your supply chain • funding the delivery of an initiative run by a social enterprise • offering work experience and/or employment opportunities to clients of a social enterprise • supporting and promoting awareness campaigns alongside your social enterprise partner • engaging in operational and skills-sharing projects in order to facilitate the work of your social enterprise partner. This category aims to highlight flourishing partnerships between businesses and social enterprises across Ireland. The introduction of this award will give a platform to these collaborations to showcase the impact they can make to businesses, our environment and society as a whole. The Sustainable Business Impact Awards are made possible by the generosity of our overall sponsor, BAM, our category sponsors the Environmental Protection Agency (Environment) and One4All (Workplace), as well as Waterford Crystal which provides trophies for each of the award winners.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION Ahead of completing an application for this year’s awards, you may wish to watch our ‘Winners Webinar Series’ to hear from last year’s winners about how they set up their projects and initiatives. These 30-minute videos are available to view, along with the full category list for the awards and online applications here: www.sustainablebusinessimpactawards.ie

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16/04/2021 11:41


CHAMBER FEATURE

Making Remote Work Emma Kerins, Director of Policy and Communications at Chambers Ireland, shares the Chamber view of the Government’s recently launched National Remote Working Strategy.

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he Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, under the leadership of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, launched the new National Remote Working Strategy ‘Making Remote Work’ in January. This strategy, which has been of great interest to Chambers Ireland and our members, commits to an acceleration of the National Broadband Plan, investment in remote hubs, reviewing tax treatment and introducing legislative changes on rights to request remote working. From Chambers Ireland’s perspective, the commitment to this strategy by government is an ambitious vision for the future of work in Ireland, which has the potential to transform the workplace into one that supports quality of life, inclusion and regional development. The alignment of the strategy to other key government policies such as the National Economic Plan, the Climate Action Plan, the Town Centre Living initiative, and the forthcoming Sustainable Mobility Policy is also extremely welcome. Of particular importance to our members is the commitment within the strategy to accelerate the National Broadband Plan and develop a National Hubs Network. The experience of the pandemic has shown that digital infrastructure is more important than ever. So, we must ensure rapid delivery of high-speed broadband throughout the country. Remote working paired with a National Hubs Strategy could play a transformative role in reviving our towns, villages, and urban centres. One of the issues that Chambers Ireland highlighted in our submission to government on this was that a hubs strategy should be aligned with important community infrastructure, including childcare provision and access to public transport links.

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The commitment to this strategy by government is an ambitious vision for the future of work in Ireland, which has the potential to transform the workplace into one that supports quality of life, inclusion and regional development.”

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CODE OF CONDUCT In terms of what comes next, the strategy commits to introducing a Code of Conduct on the Right to Disconnect and a formal Right to Request Remote Working. The wider context for the conversation on a Right to Disconnect has been driven by the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic, and its work-related restrictions, has forced a large proportion of the workforce to transform spaces in their homes into makeshift offices, resulting in the line between work and home life blurring considerably. In a submission to the Workplace Relations Commission in January, we recommended that a Code of Conduct should include guidelines on recommended protocol for workplace communications and advice on how to introduce such protocol. This guidance should be paired with a campaign directed at the business community and wider workforce to establish and enforce best-practice norms that are suitable for a more digitised economy and way of working. With regard to the Right to Request, we must ensure that such rights support flexibility, for both employers and employees, and are SME-friendly in their design. Government must ensure that a “right to request” is developed in a way that is cognisant of growing data that shows most employees would prefer hybrid, or blended forms of remote working. It’s also important that employers are equally empowered to “refuse” such requests, and to recognise that not all roles or workplaces are suited to remote working. We’re hoping that we will see a holistic approach to how the workplace can be supported in this transformation. For example, if remote working is to evolve in a way that supports competitiveness, productivity, and job creation, it must be complemented by an ambitious skills development strategy for managers and leaders, particularly within SMEs. We note commitments to expand training and skills development and it is our view that government must make urgent progress if the wider workplace is going to capitalise on the experience of remote working during the pandemic. UNINTENDED IMPACTS

Finally, while remote working presents significant opportunities in creating a more equal workforce, we should be very cognisant of unintended impacts. There is growing evidence, nationally and internationally, that the negative consequences of the pandemic on the workforce have been felt more strongly on women than on men, with women carrying more of the load when it comes to childcare, homes duties and home-schooling. Through feedback from members, there are concerns that unless future remote working polices are led from the top, and are ‘Remote First’, we are then more likely to see only those with caring responsibilities availing of remote working opportunities. While this kind of flexibility is positive, there is a fear that if “remote” was something only of interest to working parents, or in most cases working mothers, it could harm career progression for women and potentially widen the gender pay gap. While these concerns are acknowledged within the report, as the strategy evolves, it’s our view that the Department should closely monitor the impact of remote working on gender equality in the workplace. The consequences of Covid-19 for the health and economic well-being of Irish society cannot be understated. It is likely we will be living with the destructive impacts of the pandemic for some time to come. However, with vaccinations being rolled out, it is important to look to the future and the legacy of our experience with the pandemic. The Department’s Remote Work Strategy is an ambitious set of targets that could have a transformative impact on labour participation, quality of life and regional employment. We look forward to working with government over the coming months as it is implemented.

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CHAMBER FEATURE

Offshore opportunity Shane Conneely, Head of Research at Chambers Ireland, highlights an unheralded opportunity for Ireland – we will soon become an energy exporting nation.

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n its 2010 report ‘The Wind Energy Roadmap’, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) estimated that with the right investment we are likely to see between 40 and 50 gigawatts (GW) of capacity becoming available to our grid by 2050.

Given that the targets under the current Programme for Government will see us get to 8GW onshore and 5GW offshore by 2030, the SEAI is likely to be on the conservative end of the estimates. Assuming we barely hit the SEAI’s projected output, this will see us generate more than 140 terawatt/hours of energy a year from wind – equivalent to our total annual energy consumption from all energy sources, and more than five times our current electricity production. And this is without the waste associated with electricity generation (a minimum of 43% of the energy used in fossil fuels is lost as heat). Between them, the increase of supply and this efficiency gain will transform our island into a net energy exporter. ENORMOUS OUTPUT Add to wind the additional 31GW of wave energy that the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan identified as being readily accessible in Irish waters, the increasing affordability of solar energy (particularly beyond 2030), and the potential for tidal energy and we will attain enormous amounts of energy production. Between wind and waves – in terms of usable energy – Ireland will have an output equivalent to Kuwait, but with a well that never runs dry. If we ignore wave energy entirely, and assume we achieve self-sufficiency in energy through only using wind, this will mean €4bn of energy import spending will stay in the country. Over our lifetimes we will create an entirely new multi-billion-euro industry which will add more value to the economy than agriculture (in the worst-case scenario); will likely add more than the entirety of the hospitality sector, but could easily dwarf the total output of the construction sector. While optimistic at the time, SEAI assumptions about technological improvements have turned out to be conservative given all that has happened over the past decade. The lifespan of windfarms has proven to be about 40% longer than anticipated, allowing for cheaper repowering and higher net present value for investments. This has seen a flood of investment into renewables – a surge that has been amplified by policies such as the EU Green Deal that will see €800bn of investment in offshore over this decade. The great task of our government is to ensure that we can capture as much of the value chain arising from this opportunity as possible. We are in an enormously opportune moment. We need to be ambitious for ourselves and for our country.

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InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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16/04/2021 11:47


CHAMBER OF EMBASSY PARTNER BRAZILPROFILE IN IRELAND PROFILE

Enriching lives through science and technology ENRICH in Brazil aims to foster links between local and European research and technology centres. Irish company develops platform for virtual exploration of sustainable tourism in Brazil

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he European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs (ENRICH) is a global network which aims to foster the internationalisation of European science, technology and innovation. ENRICH is a project supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. The initiative believes that higher social welfare can be achieved through innovative measures on several fronts, from industrial and academic research to public policies and business management. Created as a point of contact between European and Brazilian science, technology and innovation players, ENRICH in Brazil was set up as a nonprofit association in December 2019. Its network offers a range of services to European researchers and entrepreneurs who intend to develop cooperation and business activities with Brazilian counterparts. With a consolidated innovation centre in Brazil, and benefitting from the knowledge it has generated since its beginnings in 2017, ENRICH in Brazil aims to contribute not only to Brazilian research, science,

Support for the co-creation of innovative products and services is achieved by providing services designed to connect European and Brazilian research and technology with small- to largescale business organisations in a collaborative environment." 56

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and technology progress, but also to the fulfilment of the enormous potential of the country. According to ENRICH in Brazil, its contribution will bring positive spillovers to other regions as well through the partnerships created and consolidated by this initiative. Likewise, European countries will be able to benefit from the excellence provided by Brazilian partners across a vast array of industry sectors. This will also enable the exchange of expertise and experience between Brazil and the other ENRICH centres in China and the US, making the initiative even more global. Support for the co-creation of innovative products and services, despite the current global challenges, is achieved by providing services designed to connect European and Brazilian research, technology and small-to-large-scale business organisations in a collaborative environment. Some of the services, part of the ENRICH in Brazil portfolio, cover: • networking events and meeting opportunities; • high-level training sessions; • guidance on funding; • matchmaking with international businesses; and • customised legal and financial consulting services. INNOVATION CENTRES ENRICH in Brazil has recently completed the accreditation process for five innovation centres able to provide softlanding support to European start-ups in the Brazilian market. These are: • São José dos Campos Technology Park

(www.pqtec.org.br) • Porto Digital (www.portodigital.org) • TecnoPARQ (www.centev.ufv.br/en) • TECNOVATES (www.univates.br/ tecnovates) • Sistema FIEP (www.fiepr.org.br) These centres encourage and facilitate cooperation in research and business between Europe and Brazil by supporting and empowering all stakeholders, from the public and the private sectors alike, along the innovation value chain. The start-up scene in Brazil is booming, despite the pandemic. It is forecasted to achieve further record investments this year. The five innovation centres which are part of the ENRICH in Brazil network have the capacity and high standards required to work as gateways for Irish companies willing to enter the Brazilian market and benefit from this growing environment. In 2019, for the third consecutive year, investment in start-ups in Latin America grew by over 100%, according to data from the Latin American Association of Private Equity and Venture Capital (LAVCA). Brazilian start-up companies received over US$2.49bn in 222 investments. The fintech, biotechnology and health, logistics and distribution as well as real estate sectors received the most capital. In 2020, the resumption of investment was accelerated in start-ups faster than in the rest of the economy, due to the intensification of the digital world. This recovery reflects the maturity of the Brazilian start-up ecosystem, which has grown consistently over the past eight years with the establishment InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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RIVER SNORKELLING IN BONITO, BRAZIL | PHOTO: MÁRCIO CABRAL

of even more accelerators, angel investors, innovation hubs and corporate venture initiatives. IRISH COMPANY COLLABORATION The award-winning travel platform Trift, with a focus on inspiring unconventional travel experiences, has recently collaborated with the Institute for Development of Bonito (IDB). The region of Bonito is one of the world's top eco-tourism destinations, located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Visitors can enjoy pristine clearwater rivers and lakes and experience swimming and diving among a countless diversity of exotic fishes. This watery eco-haven - that some compare to the Great Barrier Reef in grandeur - is set in a naturally preserved environment of luxuriant vegetation and waterfalls. Trift is using its digital platform (https://www.trift.io/bonito) to support local tour guides and content creators to expand their reach, aiding the InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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tourism sector in Bonito in the wake of the pandemic. It provides in-depth first-hand information about Bonito, and offers on-demand virtual tour experiences. The Trift-IDB alliance now plans to create 'paid experiences' to support the local tour guides to monetise their work using the Trift platform. "We understand that not everyone can physically visit Bonito due to travel restrictions in most parts of the world. Keeping this in mind, we have designed multiple ‘virtual experience’ tours. Digital technology has gained unprecedented importance in times of Covid-19, and the tourism sector is no exception. Our specially curated virtual expeditions allow people to explore the hidden treasures of nature in Bonito from the comfort of their homes,” said Tarun Krishna Jayachandran, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Trift. Trift was incorporated as an Irish company further to taking part in the Propeller Shannon Accelerator programme, supported

by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Aviation Authority. It established the collaboration with IDB through a first-of-its-kind programme by ENRICH in Brazil in the last quarter of 2020 called Innovation Challenge. This venture intends to support nonprofit organisations engaged in the tourism and leisure, digitalisation, and sustainable development sectors in Brazil to overcome Covid-19 challenges with innovative solutions provided by European companies and organisations.

FIND OUT MORE In a world where the creation of knowledge is increasing rapidly and on a global scale, ENRICH in Brazil is prepared to overcome these challenges and contribute to the prosperity of all – directly or indirectly – related to the centre and its network. Interested European innovation players can obtain further information about ENRICH in Brazil here: http://brazil.enrichcentres.eu/ or by emailing brazil@enrichcentres.eu

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

at the House of Waterford Crystal factory in the heart of Waterford City. From the heat, noise, and fire of the blowing room to the exquisite skills of cutting and engraving, a guided tour immerses you in the time-honoured processes behind the creation of each sparkling piece of crystal. On the tour, visitors witness mould-making – a technique at Waterford that has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. Visitors enter the blowing department, watching glowing balls of crystal transformed into majestic shapes as they are put through the 1400-degree furnace. Then comes the cutting department where master cutters rely on their skill to judge the amount of pressure that is required to hold the crystal to the wheel. Each of our craftsmen has trained for a minimum of eight years to master their craft. The final stages of the tour are the engraving and sculpting departments. Master sculptors work three-dimensionally, using their skill to sculpt the desired piece from solid blocks of crystal. The type of copper wheel engraving used at Waterford Crystal is called 'Intaglio', which means reverse. It can take from hours to days to complete the engraving on many of our international sporting trophies and limited-edition inspiration pieces.

Buds of hope Spring means a renewal of gardens; the plants and flowers are beginning to bud. Beautiful flowers deserve a beautiful vase, especially one carefully made by Waterford Crystal craftsmen.

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hether you use a Waterford Crystal vase to display cut flowers from your garden, roses or a floral arrangement, it makes a stunning statement in your home. Waterford Crystal vases come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. Once Covid-19 restrictions allow, visitors can see our selection in the 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. A luxury collection of the finest crystal, including vases, continues to be made by skilled craftsmen

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RETAIL STORE AND CAFÉ The retail store and brand experience at Waterford Crystal represents everything we make, including a showcase on golf and sport, which is a major part of our international business. Our café serves sumptuous food, homemade sweet treats and afternoon tea served in Wedgwood fine bone china. We use the best locally sourced seasonal produce supporting as many Irish suppliers as possible. CORPORATE & SPORTS Our corporate and gift solutions cater to rewarding your employees or clients. We can customise a piece from our core range which will allow you to create your unique message or logo on an item. Our worldwide shipping service allows the flexibility to deliver in 24/48 hours to Ireland, the UK or the US. Our dedicated Sales Manager Tom Walsh can be contacted at tom.walsh@fiskars.com or 087 120 9143. For further information go to waterfordvisitorcentre.com, email houseofwaterfordcrystal@fiskars.com or call 051 317000. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Reasons for optimism HR and health and safety experts at Peninsula discuss the vaccine rollout and other likely positives ahead for employers and their staff.

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lthough Level 5 restrictions have reduced trade for much of the first half of the year, there is good reason to think that even the worst affected Irish businesses will return to profitability in the second half of 2021. The reduction in transmission of Covid-19 amongst healthcare staff who have been vaccinated indicates that community transmission should reduce significantly the more the vaccine rollout progresses. Our clients do have concerns around how the vaccine will impact the workplace and there are certain legal risks to be aware of. From an employer’s perspective, there is currently no legal basis to require staff to take the vaccine but we are providing our clients with all the assistance they need to encourage take-up of the vaccine among their workforce. This advice ranges from communications programmes with staff to facilitating employees who want to take the vaccine. Providing staff with paid time off for their GP vaccine visit is one way to encourage uptake for example. Our BrightHR VaccTrak software helps businesses support the vaccine rollout in the workplace by not only keeping track of vaccine uptake among staff but also providing resources such as vaccine awareness courses to help employers communicate their vaccine policy to staff.

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PRESSURE TO EASE The phased reopening of schools and childcare services should also relieve some of the pressure on working parents. Both employers and staff should benefit from a return to more predictable working patterns. With an employee right to request home working on the way before the end of the year, it looks likely that there will be a long-term shift in how working parents balance their home and working lives. We expect employers and employees to engage in discussions throughout the year to agree mutually acceptable working patterns. Another reason for optimism in the Irish business community is the spending power of Irish consumers. The Central Bank has forecast that domestic demand will bounce back once the vaccine rollout progresses. Many of our clients work in the sectors that have been worst hit by the Covid-19 restrictions and we’re focusing on making sure they are ready to resume trading when the public health advice allows. Safety measures look likely to remain in place in the medium term and we have developed a range of online health and safety tools to ensure our clients provide a safe place of work for staff and customers. Peninsula’s HR and Health & Safety experts are offering a free phone consultation to any Chambers Ireland member who needs assistance with HR, employment law or health and safety issues. Call the dedicated Chambers Ireland line on 1890 253 104.

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CHAMBER FEATURE

Reasons to do business in Latvia With nearly half of its territory made up of woodland, Latvia has a lot to offer in relation to innovation in furniture, building and agriculture.

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atvia joined the EU in 2004 and since then has enjoyed all of the benefits that the EU offers. Thus, Latvia is sometimes chosen as an economic gateway to access the EU market. If a company opens an office in Riga, it automatically gets access to more than 70 travel destinations all over Europe, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries. Flights are provided by the national airline airBaltic as well as other globally renowned airlines. Flights to and from Dublin are organised several times a week and the airport is only 30 minutes’ drive away from Riga’s city centre. Latvian territory is made up of 6.46 million hectares of land, around 3.35 million hectares of which is woodland (forests occupy around 3.04 million hectares). According to the UK-based personal finance site NimbleFins,

stands and infrastructure as part of the daily planning and assessment of forest health and status. At the core of its digitalisation strategy, LVM has developed and commercialised its integrated geospatial information system (GIS) and related tools, known as LVM GEO (https://www.lvmgeo. lv/en/ ). This has transformed the entire forest planning and management cycle, ensuring a data-based assessment of current forest inventory, projections of forest growth based on sustainable forest management techniques and visual, map-based operational management tools on the desktop as well as mobile devices. LVM GEO has also been recognised as a leading GIS solution by agricultural, civil engineering, animal disease tracking and other industries.

INNOVATIVE LATVIAN COMPANIES

Latvia is ranked as the secondgreenest country in Europe, largely due to its abundance of natural resources such as freshwater and forests. It also produces a relatively low amount of greenhouse gases per capita – 6 tonnes per capita – and has the second-lowest consumption of non-renewable energy in the group – 1.4 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita.

Forest management

AS Latvijas valsts meži (Joint Stock Company Latvia’s State Forests, https://www.lvm.lv/en/ ) is the leading forest management company in Latvia, managing over half of Latvia’s forests – an area of over 1.6 million hectares. LVM’s success is based on extensive digital solutions, as the organisation continues to innovate in all stages of the forest management cycle. A fleet of over 60 drones regularly flies over forest

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FURNITURE • Woodheart (woodheart.lv) - a company specialising in modern wooden design as well as wooden/aluminium window and wooden door manufacturing. • Quiet (en.quiet.lv) - unique two-layer oak curved parquet with naturally formed lines, where no board repeats. • Kukuu (kukuu.eu/ - design furniture for kids. BUILDING • Pavasars (pavasars.lv) - specialises in high quality prefabricated wooden panel house manufacturing. • Modul 3 (thehouse.lv) - modular and prefabricated houses. • Dores (dores.lv) - log houses in combination with contemporary solutions and modern technologies. AGRICULTURE • AirBoard (airboard.co/agriculture-drone) agricultural drone with industrial crop spraying functionality. • Weed Bot (weedbot.eu) - high precision in-row weeding for delicate crops. You can find additional information on what Latvia has to offer on the websites of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (https://www.liaa.gov.lv/en) and Latvian Import Export Directory (http://exim.lv/). The Embassy of Latvia in Ireland is also here to help.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 11:52


CORK CHAMBER OVERVIEW

The Sustainable Cork Programme BUILDING ECONOMIC RESILIENCE

Michelle O’Sullivan, Senior Public Affairs Executive at Cork Chamber, outlines their vision for building back better, tackling the issues that matter through engagement with stakeholders and an innovative series of webinars.

Michelle O’Sullivan

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The Sustainable Cork Programme was initiated in May of 2020 to drive a considered and focused agenda for recovery as Cork Chamber navigated through the pandemic. “Unfortunately, and all too real, were the contextual challenges that pre-dated Covid-19,” says Michelle O’Sullivan, Senior Public Affairs Executive at Cork Chamber. “Namely, climate change and the need for urgent and committed climate action. Added to that were the challenges of Brexit and the persisting uncertainties accompanying this. In starting the Sustainable Cork Programme at an incredibly challenging time for businesses, for everyone right across society, we wanted to explore how to build back better, to lay those foundations of resilience and sustainability for generations to come.”

In the initial stages, the Chamber organised ten virtual discussions across the Cork business community, comprising over 100 representatives from a huge variety of businesses types and sizes. The focus was on exploring the challenges and the opportunities for a strong recovery, in parallel with a discussion on the vision for Cork. The output from these discussions, along with a public survey, were joined to form a comprehensive research report. “Our Sustainable Cork Programme Report consulted almost 1,000 people and consistent themes emerged time and time again,” says O’Sullivan. The key themes include: Sustained support through the recovery and post Covid-19; climate action and Government policy certainty and support for climate innovation; enhanced public and

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CORK CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Conor Healy, CEO, with Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber launching the Sustainable Cork Programme report

sustainable transport infrastructure; the delivery of Project Ireland 2040, the Government’s long-term strategy to make Ireland a better country for all; faster rollout of the National Broadband Plan; more people living in the heart of our city and towns; flexible working; support to transition business skills, activities, production models and materials to support climate ambitions and a thriving low carbon economy; enhancement and protection of ecology, from the planting of trees to wildflower verges; real equality for people of any gender, race or background; childcare; competitiveness and talent attraction; support for cluster and innovation hubs to support emerging businesses and skills and synergies in our culture and arts sector. “The research paints a very clear picture of Cork with business and

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community sharing common goals and ideals—a Cork that people want to live in, work in and enjoy, a place where we want to be, and how our future could look.” SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Cork Chamber, and the national Chamber network are championing five of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and O’Sullivan notes that, “While there are crossovers between the goals, homing in on these five has been beneficial at the outset.” The SDGs cover a range of areas from climate action to poverty eradication, reducing inequality, economic growth, access to education services to environmental protection, though all SDGs are interlinked.

The research paints a very clear picture of Cork with business and community sharing common goals and ideals—a Cork that people want to live in, work in and enjoy.”

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CORK CHAMBER OVERVIEW

“At Cork Chamber our chosen SDGs are now the guiding principles for our work. Our operational activity is rooted in the SDGs and the team, together with our valued members, are working to achieve key outputs in support of the SDGs. So whether it is advocacy and lobbying work or event planning, the direction and content of our activities are all in support of the SDGs.” WEBINAR SERIES Following the publication in 2020 of the ‘Sustainable Cork Programme Report: Building Economic Resilience’, Cork Chamber launched a hugely successful webinar series to align with a number of the key themes and discussion points raised in the sectoral discussions held in June. The SCP webinar series which concluded in January 2021 invited an array of speakers offering the latest insights and perspectives, with the discussion deeply rooted in sustainability and resilience building. O’Sullivan recalls: “The series launched with an incredibly emotive and inspiring talk from Dr. Naomi Masheti, Programme Coordinator of the Cork Migrant Centre.” Dr. Masheti spoke on the ‘Black Lives Matter Movement and the Pathway for Government and Business in Creating an Inclusive and Sustainable City Region’.

The principles of a circular economy and circular production models can be instrumental in exploring the opportunities to transform for example what might once have been considered as a waste material into a raw material.“ InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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Following this, the series hosted Tony Reddy, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism & Sean Kearns, Director of Reddy Architecture + Urbanism, with a webinar entitled ‘Living in the Heart of Our City’, effectively lifting the lid on the regulatory challenges which need to be addressed to effectively, and at scale unlock over-shop living and reinvigorate residential potential within urban centres. “In November, we were delighted to host Dr. Tara Shine, Director of Change by Degrees, to discuss ‘Business Resilience in an Uncertain World: How Sustainability Can Help’, presenting a framework for assessing business operations and charting a resilient pathway empowered by people, and a strong, progressive strategy and vision.” ‘Exploring Climate Finance - What is it, and how to engage’ was the fundamental question addressed by Yvonne Holmes, Chief Sustainability Officer, AIB, David Looney, Senior Financial Advisor, Alpha Wealth Ltd and Nils Hums, Group Sustainability team, Deutsche Börse Group, in another webinar. The December webinar explored ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing in financial markets, the fundamental role of ESG-led investment decision making in tackling climate change and the wider sustainability agenda. The most recent and last webinar in the series in January was dedicated to uncovering the crucial role of ‘arts & culture at the Heart of our City Region’. Enlivening a crucial discussion at a time when the Arts and Culture sector is being hugely impacted by the Covid pandemic, the Chamber welcomed Liz Meaney, Arts Director Performing and Local Arts, The Arts Council of Ireland, Lorraine Maye, Director, Cork Midsummer Festival and Shane O’Driscoll, Visual Artist and initiator of Ardú, Cork’s new street art initiative. “Together they discussed the many facets of our strong arts and culture tradition in the region, the role of arts and culture in nurturing a progressive, inviting and attractive city region and communities, and the resilience of the sector in meeting the

ongoing challenges,” notes O’Sullivan. “The session delved into the influence of a thriving arts and culture sector far beyond its one sectoral footprint.” CIRCULAR ECONOMY Most recently in February, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Sustainable Cork Programme at Cork Chamber teamed up with *MODOS to deliver ‘Circular economy training programme to micro, small and medium sized enterprises.’ “With the EU introducing new policy and regulation for a lowcarbon economy, Irish businesses need to adapt to the transition from a linear to a circular economy in as many operational areas as possible. In a circular economy, products, components and materials are kept in use for as long as possible. The principles of a circular economy and circular production models can be instrumental in exploring the opportunities to transform for example what might once have been considered as a waste material into a raw material, an approach that can increase efficiencies and even develop new product lines and market opportunities for businesses. “ The 2021 Sustainable Cork Programme webinar series, sponsored by KPMG, launches on 30 April, addressing the concerning and growing trends in youth unemployment, and what business can do to take proactive action in this area. Cork Chamber has also teamed up with SHEP Earth Aware, Green Spaces for Health, Cork Healthy Cities and the Environmental Research Institute, UCC for a hugely informative webinar series titled ‘Greening Our City’ to showcase examples from other countries and discuss the many ways to make Cork a greener city. Exploring topics ranging from the transformative power of parks, to building with nature, and urban forests, this series delves into the opportunities for Cork to green from the inside out, to embed environmental resilience and nurture the quality-of-life attributes of the region for all to enjoy.

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Keep Your Team Connected Sign Up to Our Remote Team Office Package & Get Two Months Private Office Free in 2021. *Terms & Conditions apply.

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At Glandore, Ireland’s leading provider of serviced, flexible, private office space and coworking, we have an in-depth understanding of the markets in which our client and member businesses operate. Our mission is to help your company land and expand and to provide a professional network that can help your business grow. We are experts in our field having been active in the market since 2001. We create office spaces to help businesses flourish and to help attract the best talent in the market. We’ve got everything covered, from Operations to IT Services and more. As we navigate these difficult times, we want to do everything we can to help your business thrive and we have developed bespoke Remote Team and Virtual Office packages to help keep your business connected. We provide a platform to connect your teams with other Glandore Members via our Members Portal and through our virtual events. With newly designed collaboration spaces and state of the art meeting rooms, Glandore has everything your business may need as you navigate remote working or plan your return to the office.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Same Workplace, Different Workspace As the needs of the mid-pandemic employee have changed, Glandore serviced offices offer a solution for returning to work in a new way.

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ith the end date for this pandemic still unknown, many employers are trying to plan for a potential return to the office. Glandore’s workspaces in Dublin, Cork and Belfast are seeing enquiries coming in from indigenous and foreign businesses that want to downsize their property footprint. “We are seeing that a lot of companies are seriously reconsidering the amount of capital that is being put into rent on an annual basis for larger properties with their brand name on the front door,” says Henry Daly, Head of Marketing at Glandore. “Remote working works, but companies also need to be able to create a culture for employees to buy into—the importance of the office environment cannot be overlooked.” SERVICED SOLUTIONS Serviced offices offer a solution which frees up capital for companies to invest in their products and employees. “As one of the larger serviced office providers in Ireland we understand the importance of office culture but we also understand the importance of flexibility, something that businesses and their employees now want and need more than ever.” To give employees the option is the key. The future of work is flexible, companies will have to accommodate for the lack of childcare, the risk of a commute on public transport, the risk of

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WE UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF OFFICE CULTURE BUT WE ALSO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF FLEXIBILITY, SOMETHING THAT BUSINESSES AND THEIR EMPLOYEES NOW WANT AND NEED MORE THAN EVER. another pandemic and the even grimmer risk of another economic crash. “The safety of serviced offices is that companies can sign up for six months, 12 months, 18 months or more and at the end of said terms they can extend, renegotiate, scale up or scale down based on the needs of their business and the ever-changing economic landscape.” COMMUNITY AND CULTURE The team have focused on building a virtual replacement for the sense of collaboration and community normally experienced in their workspaces, for those working from home. “We have developed bespoke Remote Team and Virtual Office

packages to help keep businesses connected. We provide a platform for teams to connect with other Glandore members and business partners via our Members Portal and through our virtual events.” With many businesses reassessing their needs, Daly predicts an upsurge in ‘remote first’ companies. “They will have a need for smaller spaces which their employees can use on a irst-come, first-served’ or pre-book basis. All the culture without the traditional costs. The future is serviced and it is a win-win. For us, and for other providers, it is now more important than ever that we focus on the actual services provided as well as the bricks and mortar.”

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

A Global Network of Accounting Expertise Outsourcing offers tailored expertise and access to a global network, says Gerard Walsh, Partner in Financial Accounting and Advisory Services at Grant Thornton in Cork.

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lobalisation has driven the shared services proposition over the years, and Ireland has a strong reputation in this sector. Grant Thornton’s Outsourcing Centre of Excellence offers a worldleading service to businesses looking to take advantage of the consolidation and costeffectiveness it can offer.

from one location for each of those countries globally. There’s a whole litany of local compliance and reporting and that’s where we come in; we bridge that gap through the Grant Thornton accounting network.” A feature of the Grant Thornton model, which he emphasises the importance of, is the single point of contact. “If a

THIS IS OUR CORE BUSINESS, AND ALLOWS OUR CLIENTS TO CONCENTRATE THEIR EFFORTS ON THEIR OWN CORE BUSINESS. Not only does outsourcing accounting and finance processes reduce costs, it also plugs companies in to Grant Thornton’s global network of experts. OUTSOURCING Gerard Walsh, Partner in Financial Accounting and Advisory Services at Grant Thornton in Cork, explains how its solutions remove the need to put a finance person or team into every country for multinationals moving into new markets: “You have all of your accounting done

client has a question about VAT or accounting for any country in the world, they can come straight through to one single point of contact in our team,” he notes. “Speed and efficiency are really important. We have people that are dedicated to this—we’re not drafting people in from the audit team or the tax team—and we have built up expertise over multiple countries.” The solutions offered make it possible for start-up companies to grow and expand internationally relatively quickly, by outsourcing

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Gerard Walsh, Partner in Financial Accounting and Advisory Services Grant Thornton, Cork the finance function, rather than hiring for each new country they enter. “This is our core business, and allows our clients to concentrate their efforts on their own core business.” GLOBAL MOBILITY The model Grant Thornton put in place for outsourcing and shared services, focusing on a single point of contact for clients, has worked so well it is now being applied to end-to-end solutions around global mobility. Walsh explains that Grant Thornton goes beyond ticking the boxes, to support workers with international moves. “Our idea here is to have that assignment looked after holistically, rather than just from a purely mechanical point of view.” The team go the extra mile, plugging people in to their networks, and making introductions. “Putting somebody into another market to work for a few years is a multiple of the cost of hiring somebody locally,” Walsh says, “But if it’s the right person at the right time, it can be successful for that person’s career, and hugely successful for the organisation.”

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Let’s Do Business! Make your vision a reality with Ireland’s biggest regeneration project

Commercial Opportunity, Forward-Thinking & Growth This is What Makes Us Cork.

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“My Business

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a baby in Find out what your business can do by partnering with Trócaire: Sinéad Christian, Company Giving Officer T: 01 654 9149 E: sinead.christian@trocaire.org

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www.trocaire.org Photo: John Byrne,Owner Maynooth Bookshop, Trócaire Supporter. Charity Reg. No. CHY 5883

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Pedalling Into Post-Pandemic Commuting Half of working Millennial and Gen Z adults in Ireland said they are more likely to cycle to work following the Covid-19 outbreak.

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nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults aged 18+ years, carried out by Coyne Research, showed 85% of Irish adults were concerned about public transport due to the pandemic, and 60% of working adults responded they would change their commuting habits. Half of working Millennial and Gen Z adults in Ireland said they are more likely to cycle to work following the Covid-19 outbreak. In August 2020, the Government issued improved legislation allowing for the purchase of bikes and accessories up to the value of €1,250, an increase of 25%, and e-bikes up to €1,500, through salary sacrifice. Teamed with the Government’s commitment to providing new bikeways nationwide, it’s apparent

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there’s a focus on encouraging people to start or return to cycling, and employers are increasingly aware. “We are already reporting a 30% increase in employees availing of our cycle-to-work scheme, and interestingly, we’ve seen an increase in the value of bikes being attained, showing people are serious about their commitment to cycling as their commute of choice where possible, when workplaces resume to normal,” said Ronan Kieran, Business Development Manager for One4all Rewards and project lead on the newly launched Cyclescheme which has replaced its predecessor, Bikes4work. SIMPLE SOLUTION Moving away from the old model of physical cards, Cyclescheme provides a

simple e-code solution for employers and employees alike which improves on efficiencies from placing an order to receipt of a bike. The new scheme brings with it an increase in the number of participating retailers to over 300, for those looking to invest in a bike as transport for work, as well as their health. “We know the health of employees is paramount for employers. Wellness is a topic which has been consistent in media across the last 12 months and post-Covid, employee mental health and wellness will continue to be a focus for most businesses. Cyclescheme can play a role in this as a cost-effective way to promote wellness awareness.” Cyclescheme presents a more fluid, online platform where employers can track, review, and approve employee applications, and apply salary sacrifice agreements and payroll adjustments via a centralised and business-customised software platform, MyScheme. Additional features include customisable marketing collateral, for example, posters and email templates. “One4all continues to champion Irish retail. If employers request a local retailer to be part of our Cyclescheme community, we encourage this support.” Bike retailers who sign up to Cyclescheme also receive a unique URL which allows for transparent reporting on pending and completed bike orders, with visibility at any time on payments. Differing from the old scheme, when an employee applies for a quote with a bike retailer and submits the details via MyScheme, the transaction is confirmed against that retailer only, guaranteeing the retailer that sale. One4all continues to lead the rewards and incentives sector, backed by parent company Blackhawk Network, with market-leading products like Cyclescheme, and a world-first with the One4all Digital Gift Card. For more information on Cyclescheme, email info@cyclescheme.ie.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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MULLINGAR CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Putting Mullingar on the Map Mullingar Chamber President John Geoghegan on joining the dots between business sectors and promoting the town as a great place to live and work.

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n his professional life, Mullingar Chamber President John Geoghegan is Founder of Landcorp, a company dealing with commercial and residential real estate asset acquisitions and onward asset management. He is also a co-founder of the Invest Mullingar initiative which promotes investment and development in the town of Mullingar. After spending some years working in Eastern Europe he returned to live in Mullingar a decade ago, and has been involved with Mullingar Chamber since 2017, serving as Treasurer before taking on the role of Chamber President in 2020. He credits previous Chamber President Tom Hyland with handing over a healthy Chamber to him: “Tom did a super job. He was president for three years before me and he transformed the Chamber into a really well-organised vehicle, with a proper structure, plan and procedures that got us into a good place.” JOINING THE DOTS “My ambition is to really get the Chamber integrated into the different sectors of the economy in the town, to join a lot of dots,” he states. While the Chamber has traditionally had strong involvement from larger companies and multinationals, he is keen to grow an organisation that is inclusive of town centre traders. “My goal is to have more of a connection to the street, to

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John Geoghegan, Mullingar Chamber President

the hospitality and leisure businesses, and to promote Mullingar as a place to live and work.” He notes that Mullingar has lacked a government minister or senior politician, but now, with two LongfordWestmeath TDs holding strategic government positions—Fine Gael TD Peter Burke, Minister of State, with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, and Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy TD, Minister of State Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion—Geoghegan sees this as a crucial time for making Mullingar’s case.

“The big announcement this year has been that IDA Ireland has finally approved Mullingar as a location for an advanced building solution (ABS).” Mullingar is among 19 destinations announced as part of IDA Ireland’s continued focus on regional development in its new four-year strategy 2021-2024. Construction on the €12m investment is hoped to begin later this year. “It will lower the barrier to entry for a large international company to come to Mullingar. It’s important that we have a landing space for them in the town, so the Chamber is also working on a project to deliver 5,000 sq ft of fully-furnished offices in the middle of town to be available, ready to go, for whoever comes along. “It’s one of the best locations in the country. It’s only 45 minutes from the M50, but we’re not on the map, so to speak. The reality is, when you come out off the M50 onto the M4, there is no sign for Mullingar until you get to Correllstown, so we’re campaigning to get the signage upgraded and get the town on the map.” NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN The Chamber made a submission to the National Development Plan’s ‘Review to Renew’ recently. “We think that the Midlands should get a higher percentage of population growth than it’s already getting. In the current plan we’ve only got population growth of 1.5% per annum in the projections, in a country that’s growing at 6-7%.”

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In a town that is less than an hour from the capital, and which has seen its population double twice in the last 40 years, Geoghegan’s concern is that the current growth figures projected for Mullingar in the NDP will not allow it sufficient resources, that a greater growth projection would. “We also looked at improving the direct link railway times to Dublin. It was the same speed in 2020 as it was in 1920 to get to Dublin on the train.” EDUCATION AND LEISURE Two other issues Geoghegan is keen to address are aimed at both providing facilities to locals, and encouraging others to come to Mullingar: the lack of a third level education facility in the town, and the development of a lakeside leisure

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facility and access points to open up the area for tourism. An old army barracks on the edge of the town centre, closed since 2011, is a location he would like to see used for an educational facility. Given that Athlone already has a high standard institute of technology, he envisions something different: “We think it could become a national centre for excellence to train apprentices, from plumbing and electrical to coding and technology.” The other vision for Mullingar is to develop a lakeside leisure facility, with an eco-friendly building, car parking and restaurant facilities to open up the lakes to tourism. Finally, he concludes, “Last year’s WinterFest was cancelled, so we’d be thrilled if we could announce in September or October that we will be doing it this year.”

My goal is to have more of a connection to the street, to the hospitality and leisure businesses, and to promote Mullingar as a place to live and work.”

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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MULLINGAR CHAMBER OVERVIEW

Mullingar Chamber: Boosting Local Business with Gift Vouchers Aisling Coleman of Mullingar Chamber of Commerce on printing half a million worth of vouchers to boost the local economy.

Mullingar

Mullingar Chamber recently relaunched its gift vouchers, which have been in circulation since 2011. Aisling Coleman, Office Manager of Mullingar Chamber says, “The Mullingar Chamber gift vouchers have consistently sold €200k for the last number of years and they have simply been given a facelift for marketing all year round.” Using the voucher as a post-Covid boost to local business, Mullingar Chamber projects growing the scheme year-on-year, to €500k over the coming three years.“This last year has been an extraordinarily difficult year for many local businesses, especially those who have endured long periods where they

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have not been allowed trade due to Covid-19 restrictions,” says Coleman. “The idea behind the Mullingar Gift Card has been, and always will be, an opportunity for local people and employers to back local businesses, which in turn boosts the local economy and helps sustain local jobs. Every €10 spent locally is worth €24 to the local economy. Never has that message been as important as it is this year.” Voucher sleeves have been designed for a number of special occasions, including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, and more. There are currently 75 local businesses participating in the scheme. For participating businesses the scheme

does not cost anything to set up. There is simply a redemption fee of 1.5% on vouchers. For this, the business receives a listing on the Chamber’s website, promotion on their social media channels and other promotional material accompanying the vouchers, as well as promotional posters in Mullingar Credit Union and at the Chamber office at Market House. Vouchers can be redeemed at any time, and businesses can post their vouchers through the Chamber’s letter box, along with company details, an email address and value of voucher sales. “Mullingar Chamber is reminding people to buy the vouchers even if some businesses are not open at present, as these businesses will be open in the coming weeks and will be ready to accept them,” notes Coleman. It is also calling on employers, small or large, across the Mullingar area to make a direct and positive impact on the economy and recovery of Mullingar and the surrounding areas by using the vouchers as a reward scheme for employees. Employers can reward employees with up to €500 in vouchers completely tax-free (exempt from Income Tax, USC and employee and employers PRSI) under the Small Benefits Exemptions Scheme, saving both employer and employees money. Register your interest by emailing office@mullingarchamber.ie and receive a reminder for Christmas bonus vouchers. InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 13:00


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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Excellence. Simply Delivered. In a Sustainable Way. Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s leading logistics company, is guiding the industry towards a sustainable future with its accelerated roadmap to decarbonisation.

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t DHL, we connect millions of people across the globe, so we understand that we carry huge responsibility to the environment, our 500,000 employees worldwide, our customers, partners and the 220 countries we connect. Frank Appel, CEO at Deutsche Post DHL has referred to climate change as the “greatest crisis that humanity faces”. To tackle this great challenge, Deutsche Post DHL recently launched its new roadmap defining our ambitious sustainability targets. As the world’s largest logistics company, it is our responsibility to lead the way and guide the logistics industry towards a sustainable future. As Frank Appel outlines, “We are turning our Yellow Group into a green company and making an important contribution to our planet and society.” SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Since 2008, DPDHL has had ambitious sustainability targets. However, we understand our responsibility to do more and we are committed to ambitious CO2 reduction targets as part on the Science Based Initiative. By 2030, the Group will have invested around €7bn in climate neutral logistics solutions to reduce annual C02 emissions from 33 million tons in 2020 to 29 million tons in 2030.

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To achieve this, DPDHL will aim to decarbonise our operations through carbon neutral buildings, sustainable aviation, a comprehensive green product portfolio and green last-mile deliveries with continued electrification of our vehicle fleet. By 2030, 60 per cent of global delivery vehicles will be electrically powered for the last mile, with more than 80,000 e-vehicles on the road. Additionally, the Group will focus on sustainable, clean fuel alternatives in aviation and line haul and significant investments will be made in environmentally friendly properties such as office spaces, mail and parcel centres and logistics warehouses. INVESTING IN IMPROVEMENTS Here in DHL Express Ireland, we have made great improvements and investments in our sustainable strategies. One such investment is the purchase of a number of aerodynamic ‘teardrop’ trailers which significantly reduce fuel consumption due to the drop-shaped roof and reduced air resistance. Additionally, our Dublin City Centre base in Pearse Street is a fully carbon neutral facility. In 2018, we removed two diesel vans from the streets of Dublin city, replacing them with one electric van and four semi-electric cargo bikes. This change results in approximately 3,200 litres less of diesel being burned annually, while improving the efficiency and productivity of our operation. One lesson the world in general and we as a company have learned in the last year is that if we put our minds and hearts to it, we can achieve incredible things. In times of great need, DHL kept supply chains moving and delivered goods to doorsteps. Now, it is time to tackle climate change with the same vigour and togetherness as we did the pandemic for the good of our employees, investors and partners. With this new roadmap, we are committed to our purpose of ‘Connecting People and Improving Lives’ in a sustainable way.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

An Independent View Credit Review is on hand to help small businesses navigate the tricky route to debt restructuring during Covid.

Catherine Collins, Deputy Head, Credit Review Office

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ast year, almost a quarter of all SME borrowers across AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank availed of system-wide payment breaks for up to six months, offered by the banks in response to the Covid-19 crisis. With ongoing lockdowns and closures, businesses may need further payment breaks or restructuring of debt if they cannot meet debt commitments. The Central Bank and the Government, together with the banks, have agreed that these solutions will be agreed on a case-by-case basis by the lender and the borrower. When you approach your bank, you may request a revised repayment plan or the bank may propose one. But what if you cannot agree terms with your bank? Credit Review can help. Our mission is to assist SMEs and farms, which are viable or potentially viable, to get access

to the bank finance they need for their businesses. We don’t just deal with new applications for credit but also review changes to existing credit facilities – where credit facilities are being restructured, reduced or even withdrawn. So, if you need assistance in altering the repayments on your existing debt – for example, by extending the term of the loan to reduce monthly payments – you can appeal to Credit Review. Or, if your bank proposes to reduce your overdraft limit and you believe you need to keep it at the existing level, you can appeal to Credit Review where we will take an independent view on what your business needs. Contact CreditReview.ie and talk to one of our professional reviewers so that you are fully informed on bank credit issues relevant to your business. Phone 087-1217244 or email info@creditreview.ie

Credit where it’s due during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Considering your credit needs during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic? Need to restructure your existing credit facilities? Established by the Minister for Finance, we are here to help. Call our helpline on 087 121 7244 or visit creditreview.ie

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

The Jack & Jill Foundation County Champion Appeal The children’s charity is appealing to businesses to sponsor a family in their county, to provide at-home nursing care to seriously ill young children.

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he Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was set up in 1997 by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Mary Ann O’Brien (founder Lily O’Brien’s chocolates), in memory of their son Jack who suffered a brain trauma shortly after birth that left him developmentally delayed. Despite lack of support for Jack outside of the hospital environment, the family

remaining days amongst their own family, friends and community. There are currently 374 families across the country being supported by the Foundation’s army of 700 nurses and carers. With over 100,000 hours of home care visits funded every year, exhausted parents get an opportunity to do things that most of us take for granted, such as the weekly grocery

Deirdre and Tristan O'Gorman with their sons Finn (3) and Noah (one month). pictured in their home Whitegate, Co. Cork. were determined to care for him at home, with the help of local nurses, throughout his short life. The family’s experience was the blueprint for the care-at-home model the Foundation funds today, for children under six years of age with severe neurodevelopment delays. They also offer end of life care for children at home, regardless of diagnosis, empowering parents of sick children to bring them home to live their

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shop, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, spending quality time with their other children or simply catching up on much-needed sleep. It allows them to keep their child in the home and at the heart of the family. COUNTY CHAMPIONS Every year Jack & Jill must raise over €4 million to keep its service going, and over the past year the Covid-19 crisis has made fund-raising more difficult.

As the economy opens up again, the Foundation is appealing to business owners to get behind local families and become a County Champion, sponsoring a family in their county. “Our Call to Action this year is to ask people to continue to support local and donate local. Throughout the Covid crisis Jack & Jill has kept going, just like the families we support, by providing care through our team of specialised paediatric nurses, operating seven days a week, with no waiting list. Becoming a business County Champion is a great way to showcase your generosity and let customers know that you support local by getting behind a special family in your community, with your donation funding specialist home nursing care hours that make a real difference,” states Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Foundation. With a donation from as little as €900—which translates into 50 hours of home nursing care—your business can make a real difference. In return, business supporters will receive a personalised framed certificate and window decal, a personalised badge for social media, and electronic Jack and Jill Easter/Christmas cards to send to clients. Along with this supporters can be included in Jack & Jill promotional opportunities, social media posts and have a presence on the Jack & Jill website. For more information see www.jackandjill.ie

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Skills and talent mapping comes to Clare, while Cork sees ambitious Bohill River bridge construction commence and Limerick looks to the future with €116m URDF funding

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EIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES COME TOGETHER TO LAUNCH DUBLIN BELFAST ECONOMIC CORRIDOR Eight local authorities from either side of the border came together to launch the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor in response to challenges facing the region, which have been identified by a joint report from Dublin City University and Ulster University. The eight local authorities are: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Dublin City Council; Fingal County Council; Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council; Louth County Council; Meath County Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. The report, The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation, states that this is an opportune time to create a north-south economic corridor given the challenges the region faces as it comes to terms with the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU and the Covid-19 pandemic. For more, visit dbec.info.

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LEADER PROGRAMME SUCCESS

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[ FINGAL COUNTY ] Niwel Tsumbu, one of the performers featured in the series at the Hide Sculpture

Fingal County Council launches Sustainable Business initiative ‘Once Upon A Sound at the Hide Sculpture’, an online series presented by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office, sees broadcaster Donal Dineen take audiences on a deep exploration of music in the company of some of the finest music makers in the land. Together they will tell the story of their sound, the songs, the instruments and their connection to them. They will perform at the Hide Sculpture, a sculpture by artist Garrett Phelan. thehideproject.com.

[ FINGAL COUNTY ]

Fingal County Council awarded €25.4m in URDF funding for Balbriggan rejuvenation

Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD; and Fingal County Council Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly

Fingal County Council welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, that 25.4m has been awarded under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) for projects associated with the rejuvenation of Balbriggan. The funding will help realise eight projects under the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan by 2027. The overall cost of the projects is anticipated to be 33.9m with Fingal County Council providing 8.5m to complete the planned public realm improvements.

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ingal County Council has launched a Sustainable Business initiative which aims to encourage SMEs across Fingal to embrace sustainable measures in their businesses, with a series of practical tools and resources to help them. The initiative realises one of the council’s commitments in its Climate Action Plan and is being co-ordinated by the Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development Department. A digital brochure provides businesses with ideas on how they can become more sustainable and the benefits they can expect in incorporating sustainability into the day-to-day running of their business under the key headings of Energy, Water and Waste. A dedicated Sustainable Fingal webpage has also been created on the Fingal County Council website to direct businesses to the extensive variety of supports and information available to help them become more sustainable. “Fingal County Council is committed to supporting SMEs to become more sustainable and providing leadership at a local and regional level in achieving Climate Change Action targets,” says Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy.

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South Dublin County Council (SDCC) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, that SDCC has been awarded €186.32 million in funding for the major regeneration projects of Clonburris and Adamstown Strategic Development Zones (SDZs) under “Call 2” of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

€186,320,000 [ COUNTY MEATH ]

Meath County Council receives €12.9m in active travel funding

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eath County Council welcomed the announcement of a 12.9 million investment to be provided this year to the council by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for sustainable transport projects. The funding is being provided under the Programme for Government published last June, which sets out ambitious targets for the delivery of cycling and walking projects over five years, with an anticipated 1.8bn in funding to be provided nationally over the lifetime of the programme. “In partnership with the NTA, Meath County Council continues to mitigate the challenges of climate change by providing infrastructure to offer sustainable transport choices, thus reducing both our reliance on car-based trips and the associated transport carbon footprint,” says Meath County Council CEO Jackie Maguire. “The level of funding allocated to County Meath this year is a significant increase on allocations previously provided, and with the provision of additional staff, we aim to deliver the ambitious programme of sustainable measures and infrastructure to support active and healthy lifestyles and improve the environment and quality of life in County Meath.”

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[ COUNTY CLARE ]

Skills and talent in Co Clare mapped to increase employment and new business opportunities Clare County Council launched a new initiative in partnership with Irish technology company Abodoo aimed at mapping the talent and skills of those living and working in Clare. The aim of the project is to develop ongoing live skills mapping for the county, align with Clare’s growing international business profile and showcase the broad talent Clare has to offer. The work will leverage Abodoo’s AI skills data information technology in order to identify the skills that exist within Clare and thus enable greater inward investment in the county. “This proactive approach to skills mapping will enhance our competitiveness and enable us to uniquely position Clare as an attractive destination for inward investment,” says Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr Mary Howard. “We are delighted to be working with the dynamic team in Clare County Council and to bring our skills mapping technology to the Midwest,” says Vanessa Tierney, CEO of Abodoo. “This continues our goal to develop constructive and long-term relationships with local governments, to help them identify the skills in their areas and to ultimately ensure that they are best placed to take advantage of business opportunities.”

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With 13.93m funding allocated to Cork County by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the LEADER programme, delivered by six Local Development Companies working in partnership with Cork County Council, has supported 249 projects across Cork. One of the LEADER programme projects brought to completion was a state-of-the-art facility to make cheese at Bó Rua farm in North Cork, run by Norma and Tom Dinneen (pictured).Construction of the Cheese Dairy at Bó Rua began in 2018 with grant assistance of 149,997.95 under the Enterprise Development sub-theme.

[ COUNTY CORK ]

121-metre Bohill River bridge progressed as part of N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development

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he N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development, representing an investment of 280m in County Cork, is progressing since construction commenced in earnest in early 2020. Works on the 22km scheme are well underway, with the dual carriageway and associated structures being constructed, largely offline through challenging terrain. The bridge journeyed from Seville Spain to the Gaeltacht Mhuscraí. It took 20 trucks to bring the structure to site, eight of which were abnormal loads requiring skilled drivers and Garda escorts. Beams for the bridge were manufactured by Tecade SA in Seville and shipped to the Port of Cork for onward delivery to the Bohill River with the beams then assembled to form a two-span 121-metre-long structure to be “pushed-launched” over the River Bohill to form 80.5 and 40.5 metre spans. On 4 March , a 90m bridge section weighing 770 tonnes, assembled on the riverbank, was pulled into position by specialist push-launch contractors Mammoet using temporary steel piers and Teflon pads. The beams are expected to be fully in place in April. “The construction of the Bohill Bridge was always going to be one of the most challenging structures to build, particularly given the confined nature of the site,” says Mary Flynn, Project Engineer, Cork County Council.

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National Roads Allocation for Cork County Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s 2021 National Roads Allocation for Cork County of €86,990,093, which marks a 42% increase on last year’s allocation: “This represents a significant investment in Cork County and along with the allocation from the Department of Transport for Regional & Local Roads of €66.6m, demonstrates the confidence of National Government in the capacity of Cork County Council to administer €154m of expenditure and deliver accordingly.”

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[ COUNTY LIMERICK ]

Limerick City and County Council awarded €116m in URDF funding

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imerick City and County Council welcomed the announcement of e116m in funding allocated to Limerick as part of the latest announcement of projects through the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). These projects have received funding as part of ‘Call 2’ of the URDF: The world-class waterfront development linking the Opera site and the proposed new UL Campus across the river to the Cleeves riverside campus (above) and towards the docklands, incorporating major improvements at Arthur’s Quay, riverside flood defences, high quality public realm, a pedestrian bridge from the city to Cleeves and signature buildings (e73.4m); and the Liveable Limerick City Centre Initiative – a project that is about making positive, innovative and transformational change to revitalise the centre of Limerick City (e42.61m). “This grant will support delivery of several key projects on strategic city centre sites over the coming years,” says Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council. “The delivery of these projects will create thousands of jobs and serve as a catalyst for many more exciting investments both public and private that will help transform the city and the region as set out in our Limerick 2030 plan and confirm Limerick’s status as a very attractive investment location.”

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The Yeats Building, Sligo is to benefit under the Historic Towns Initiative 2021

[ COUNTY SLIGO ]

Sligo to benefit from Historic Towns Initiative

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he historic built environment of Sligo will receive much-needed support and investment following the announcement of a heritage-led e1.5m fund which will provide a jobs boost and an economic stimulus for 10 towns around Ireland. The Heritage Council, along with Minister Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan TD, announced a list of nominated towns that will share a e1.5m fund. The Heritage Council’s Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2021 will help to rebuild local economies with heritage as a focal point. Counties included in this year’s scheme are Kerry, Donegal, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Offaly, Wexford, Meath and Kilkenny. Sligo County Council submitted an application for HTI funding to continue the Heritage Led Regeneration of O’Connell Street (Phase 2). The Heritage Office of Sligo County Council in partnership with the property owners and key stakeholders were successful in securing e200,000 under the initiative. The award is being further supported with 50,000 in funding from Sligo County Council as well as private investment from property owners.

€48M funding will transform Sligo town centre

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Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien announced €48m in funding for a suite of regeneration projects in Sligo town under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The projects that have been approved are: Sligo Public Realm Plan – the transformation of a number of Sligo’s streets and spaces – €19.16m; and City Campus – Sligo’s cultural and learning hub – an exciting collaboration between Sligo County Council and Sligo IT which will involve a new County Library, IT library, offices and residential spaces – €28.68m.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS

[ COUNTY SLIGO ]

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[ COUNTY GALWAY ]

Galway City Council welcomes €53.24m funding

Cathaoirleach Councillor Dara Mulvey (pictured here with Jane Parsons, Acting General Manager; Maeve McGowan, Acting Director; Trevor James, Rhatigan Architects; David Kiely, Jennings O’Donovon Structural and Civil Engineers; and Keith Monaghan, Sligo County Council) welcomes a step forward in the Hawk’s Well Theatre Renovation Project. The 340-seat venue in the heart of Sligo town has secured two major capital grants: 550,000 from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and 105,000 from the Sligo LEADER Partnership. Each grant stipulates that the theatre is required to provide match funding in order to access the funds. To date, 340,000 had been fundraised by the Hawk’s Well; 250,000 has also been provided from Sligo County Council.

[ COUNTY MAYO ]

Mayo County Council welcomes confirmation of €11.03m government funding for Castlebar projects under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2021

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he Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD announced 82.8m in funding for seven regeneration projects in the Western investment region of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The projects are being funded under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation project has received approval of 8.53m. This is a public realm project that will stimulate regeneration by redressing the deterioration of underutilised historic properties and back lands that frame the Mall, Castlebar’s historic urban core. The Castlebar Military Barracks Project has received approval of funding of 2.5m. This project is a follow-on to the masterplan for the multi-phased Castlebar Military Barracks project. The project’s first phase was funded under ‘Call 1’. The Military Barracks (below) has significant potential as a catalyst for re-energising the centre of Castlebar. “When completed, these projects will provide new and exciting opportunities for the town of Castlebar, through innovation, and the public realm, for those who live in, work in, and visit the town and indeed the county,” says Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Cllr Richard Finn. The 11.03m in approved funding is in addition to 7.38m in approved URDF funding for three ‘Call 1’ projects: Ballina Innovation Quarter, Castlebar Urban Greenway Link and Castlebar Military Barracks, bringing the total funding into the county under the URDF scheme to 18.40m.

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Galway City Council has been awarded 53.24m in funding under the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund (URDF); this is in addition to 6.31m previously approved under URDF ‘Call 1’. The projects submitted by Galway City Council come under the headings of Transport Infrastructure, Public Realm Projects and Innovation: Galway City Council Transport Connectivity Project (Galway City Council) – 40.30m; Galway Public Spaces and Streets Project (Galway City Council) – 8.64m; and Galway Innovation and Creativity District (Galway City Council with NUI, Galway) – 4.3m. “I am delighted to welcome the funding of these ambitious projects,” says Cllr Mike Cubbard, Mayor of the City of Galway. “They will transform our medieval city into a modern centre of innovation and sustainability. We must now knuckle down to deliver for the city and its people.” “Galway’s projects will result in more sustainable transport and compact growth in the city and will provide new opportunities for residential and employment growth,” says Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD. “These projects will also help the city transition to a lowcarbon future. The projects for the city’s Innovation and Creativity District and for Oranmore will enable future development and opportunities in these areas.” Project delivery will be agreed between Galway City Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and will be rolled out over the coming years up to 2026.

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funding for Letterkenny’s historic town centre

Donegal County Council welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD and confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, that €13.6m has been awarded under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) supported by €4.5m match funding committed by Donegal County Council for regeneration projects in Letterkenny town centre.

[ COUNTY ANTRIM ]

Belfast Lord Mayor welcomes funding to deliver Centenary projects

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Belfast City Council and the Maritime Belfast Trust are leading partners in a new 7.9m European project that aims to transform historic areas across Europe through innovation. Over the next four years, funding from the European Commission – Horizon 2020 – will establish local innovation hubs in eight European cities as part of the Hub-In project to maximise the positive local impact of major regeneration projects in historic urban areas. In Belfast, the focus will be on the Maritime Mile on Belfast’s waterfront – an experience that encourages people to explore Belfast’s maritime and industrial history by connecting key attractions, public realm, sculptures and viewing points on both sides of the River Lagan. Pictured is Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Frank McCoubrey with Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of the Maritime Belfast Trust.

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ord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Frank McCoubrey welcomed news that Belfast City Council has been awarded funding to deliver a number of projects to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year. A number of Belfast City Council’s Decade of Centenaries projects have been awarded funding from the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office. Belfast City Council will receive £87,700 to help deliver the projects over the next 12 months, which include marking the 100th anniversary of the speech delivered by King George V when he opened the Northern Ireland Parliament 100 years ago, this June. “This is an important year in our Decade of Centenaries Programme, as we mark 100 years since the formation of Northern Ireland,” says McCoubrey. Among the projects Council will take forward is the conservation of two chairs, currently in the Council Chamber at City Hall, which were used by King George V and Queen Mary at the inauguration of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1921. Council has also commissioned a drama piece to be performed in the Chamber on 22 June which will include a dramatisation of the King’s speech, and a talk on this period in our shared history by well-known local historian Dr Eamon Phoenix.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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[ COUNTY DONEGAL ]

Ballyshannon’s built heritage gets investment boost

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he built heritage of Ballyshannon is set to benefit following the announcement that The Heritage Council has awarded 200,000 to a heritage-led regeneration initiative in the town this year. The Heritage Office and Conservation Office of Donegal County Council in partnership with the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group, Dedalus Architecture and local property owners were awarded 200,000 under The Heritage Council’s Historic Towns Initiative. This is the third success for Donegal County Council under the Historic Towns Initiative following its award of 200,000 for Church Lane, Letterkenny in 2019 and of 290,000 for Ramelton in 2020 under the scheme. The award will be augmented with 85,000 in funding from Donegal County Council as well as private investment by property owners. “Ballyshannon has a rich built heritage and impressive historic streetscapes that give character to the town,” says Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer. “Initiatives such as the Historic Towns Initiative underline the importance of our built heritage and emphasise the opportunities that historic buildings present to accommodate new uses and to bring life back to our historic towns and villages.”

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: ULSTER

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ABOVE: Some of the historic buildings along The Mall in Ballyshannon that will benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative this year. Donegal County Council in partnership with the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group and local property owners have secured 200,000 from The Heritage Council under the Historic Towns Initiative. BELOW: The early 19th-century Condon House on The Mall in Ballyshannon will undergo conservation works under the Heritage Council’s Historic Towns Initiative.

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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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16/04/2021 12:15


IB PARTNER PROFILE

A No-brainer for the New Normal How the Needs of the Mid-Pandemic Employee Have Changed.

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ith the end date for this pandemic still unknown and with many employers still trying to navigate remote working and plan for a potential return to the office, we, at Glandore are seeing a number of positive enquiries coming in from indigenous and foreign businesses that want to downsize their property footprint in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. With the overall productivity and output of employees across the island of Ireland improving across the board over the past number of months we are seeing that a lot of

Henry Daly, Head of Marketing, Glandore companies are seriously reconsidering the amount of capital that is being put into rent on an annual basis for larger properties with their brand name on the front door. Remote working works, but companies also need to be able to create a culture for employees to buy in to, the importance of the office

environment cannot be overlooked… So how do they do that without eating into their profits due to high rents? Go serviced! It’s a no-brainer for the new normal. Less risk and all the advantages. On another note, we want to do everything we can to help our member businesses thrive and we have developed bespoke Remote Team and Virtual Office packages to help keep businesses connected. Even as most of us are restricted to remote working, we can still ensure that we are connected in the best way possible. For further information or to request an interview please contact, Henry Daly, Head of Marketing Glandore, email: henrydaly@glandore.ie, or visit www.glandore.com, @GlandoreNetwork

Keep Your Team Connected Sign Up to Our Remote Team Office Package & Get Two Months Private Office Free in 2021.

• Return To Work Support • Develop & Maintain Culture

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developed bespoke Remote Team and Virtual Office packages to help keep your business connected.

www.glandore.co | info@glandore.ie | @GlandoreNetwork

+353 (0)1 669 4700

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest Irish innovators in sustainable clothing design.

DUE SOUTH IMPACT SWEATERS Due South has created beautiful minimalist designs on its sweater collection, reflecting a vision of Ireland which captures the heart and soul of the land and its people. Its garments are printed on a range of fabrics from 100% organic cotton to recycled polyester. duesouth.ie

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JILL & GILL BOSS LADIES JUMPERS Jill & Gill is an award-winning Irish brand with a fresh approach to illustration and print across sustainable fashion. At the core of its creative vision is the ‘Boss Lady’ collection, a celebration of aspirational women through illustration, print, and style. The ready-to-wear collection is hand-printed onto 100% vegan organic cotton and includes recycled polyester t-shirts and jumpers. jillandgill.com

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

GREY + GINGER ORGANIC SWEATSHIRTS Grey + Ginger has created a range of wearable art that stands for individuality, social awareness, equality and acceptance of our differences. Its range of sweatshirts are now made from 85% organic ring-spun, combed cotton and 15% recycled polyester as part of its move to becoming a more sustainable brand. greyandginger.com

STENCILIZE GEOMETRIC ANIMAL SWEATERS Stencilize is an Irish clothing and homewear brand with designs based on geometric animal graphics with an edgy urban feel. The clothing range consists of gender neutral designs and each item is produced in-house and printed by hand. The Stencilize collection currently includes adult and children’s clothing, art prints, jewellery, bags and ceramics and has expanded into the realm of athleisure wear. stencilize.ie

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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EAR TO THE

THE IB

Could you tell us about The Happy Pear and why you created this podcast? The Happy Pear started 16 years ago, in 2004, with a dream of using business as a vehicle for social change to encourage people to eat more fruit and veg, to live a healthier life, happier life and to build a community. The podcast is a wonderful opportunity to have a longer form conversation with someone, to connect with others around topics and to share this with other people who want to listen to it. With the current Covid-19 restrictions, why do you feel this style of podcast appeals to listeners? It’s about how we can become healthier, how we can be happy, how we can build community and how we can just become more inspired.

InBUSINESS SPOKE WITH STEVE FLYNN, ONE OF THE HAPPY PEARS TWINS AND HOST OF THE HAPPY PEAR PODCAST ABOUT MAKING FRUIT AND VEG SEXY AND THE JOY OF CONVERSTATION WITHOUT ANY DISTRACTIONS.

The Happy Pear podcast’s mission is to make fruit and veg sexy, do you feel that people’s approach to food has changed during this pandemic? It has and it hasn’t – the single biggest thing people can do for the climate is to eat a plant-based diet. One of the leading causes of illnesses is lifestyle and that’s down to diet. Many people have started to cook at home and to eat more plant-based foods and for other people, it’s a stressful time, so they’re turning more to junk food. What has been your most interesting discovery with the podcast so far? I’s rare that we sit down and have like a deep one-to-one, fully present conversation with someone - with no phones, no distractions, so I’m really enjoying just how visceral it is, how real it is and how to ask the questions you always wanted to ask. What are the challenges you face producing a podcast? There are more and more podcasts today, so one of the challenges is to make sure ours is unique, different and has its own voice, so we’re still working on all of that.

Stephen and David Flynn

The Happy Pear podcast is brought to you by Supervalu and is available to download online.

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Who are you looking forward to appearing on the podcast? We’re interviewing Canadian singer Bryan Adams and I can’t wait for that. I’m also really excited to interview Dr Zach Bush. What can we expect from The Happy Pear in the future? We’re working on a local organic regenerative farm, so that’s really exciting. We have a farm where we grow microgreens, but this would be more than one to two acres and the goal is to be able to come up with a model that will help inspire others to grow using similar methods, as in organic and regenerative styles of farming so we’re very excited.

GROUND

InBUSINESS RECOMMENDS THREE PODCASTS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS QUARTER.

MADE IN IRELAND

THE TOMMY, HECTOR & LAURITA PODCAST Unpredictable and funny, carefree and intimate, join Tommy Tiernan, Hector Ó hEochagáin and Mayo woman Laurita Blewitt as they sit around the table in the West of Ireland and just chat.

NOT TO BE MISSED

WEST CORK In West Cork, it’s simply known as ‘the murder’. The series brings together an incredible cast of characters to discuss the murder of French film producer, Sophie Toscan, who was found dead near her holiday home in 1996.

THE BUSINESS PICK

THE ENTREPRENEUR EXPERIMENT The Entrepreneur Experiment Podcast, hosted by Gary Fox, is a weekly business podcast that shares the journeys, insights and business lessons from Ireland’s most interesting entrepreneurs.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 12:19


LIFESTYLE: books

InBUSINESS looks at the latest books offering insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals, seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.

BEGINNERS: The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning

Why do so many of us stop learning new skills as adults? Are we afraid to fail? Have we forgotten the sheer pleasure of being a beginner? Or is it simply a fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Inspired by his young daughter’s insatiable need to know how to do almost everything, and stymied by his own rut of mid-career competence, Tom Vanderbilt begins a year of learning purely for the sake of learning. Along the way, he interviews dozens of experts to explore the fascinating psychology and science behind the benefits of becoming an adult beginner. Weaving comprehensive research and surprising insight gained from his year of learning dangerously, Vanderbilt shows how anyone can begin again – and, more importantly, why they should take those first awkward steps. Ultimately, he shares how a refreshed sense of curiosity opened him up to a profound happiness and a deeper connection to the people around him – and how small acts of reinvention, at any age, can make life seem magical.

YOUR QUARANTINE COMPANION

The Best Catholics in the World

AUTHOR: Derek Scally PUBLISHER: Sandycove AVAILABLE: easons.com

With wit, wisdom and compassion, Scally gives voice and definition to the murky and difficult questions that face a society coming to terms with its troubling past. It is both a lively personal odyssey and a resonant and gripping work of reporting that is a major contribution to the story of Ireland.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

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AUTHORS: Tom Vanderbilt PUBLISHER: Penguin AVAILABLE: amazon.co.uk

The Flip Side of Free Understanding the Economics of the Internet

Michael Kende explains the unique economics AUTHOR: of the Internet and Michael Kende the paradoxes PUBLISHER: that result. The MIT Press most valuable AVAILABLE: bookdepository companies in .com the world are now Internet companies, built on data often exchanged for free content and services. Many users know the impact of this trade-off on privacy but continue to use the services anyway. We complain about companies having too much data, but developing countries without widespread Internet usage may suffer from the reverse: not enough data collection for the development of advanced services— which leads to a worsening data divide between developed and developing countries.

Must Read

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment From the bestselling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, the co-author of Nudge, and the author of You Are About to Make a Terrible Mistake! comes Noise, a revolutionary exploration of why people make bad judgments, and how to control both noise and cognitive bias. The authors show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organisations alike are unaware of it.

AUTHOR: Daniel Kahneman Cass Sunstein Olivier Sibony PUBLISHER: HarperCollins AVAILABLE: dubraybooks.ie

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THE InBUSINESS INDEX

Planning Permission

20,676

NEW DWELLINGS

A late surge in completions brought the 2020 total close to 2019 levels after a slump in Q2 and Q3 due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to the Central Statistics Office

Total Planning Permissions Granted in 2020

up 13.5% on 2019 While more than half of all completions were in Dublin and the Mid-East regions, W91 ‘Naas’ and H91 ‘Galway’ were the Eircode areas with the highest number of completions

Price inflation for 2021 will only be marginally higher than 2020, reporting at

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In Q4 2020, there were 7,400 apartment completions

The Central Bank has said that 34,000 new units need to be built in Ireland each year, in order to relieve pressure. Planning permissions were granted for 26,224 apartments in 2020, an increase of 33.9% on the previous year and the highest number since 2005

increase from the same quarter in 2019 InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

16/04/2021 12:24


COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme

• •• •

Key features of the Covid-19 Scheme Loans from €10,000 to a maximum of €1,000,000 per borrower; Terms of between 3 months up to 5.5 years; Loans unsecured up to €250,000 (unless it is a requirement of the product feature, e.g. asset finance, invoice discount facilities); The Scheme permits the refinance and rollover of debt incurred as a result of Covid-19 (e.g. Covid-19 related expenses that were initially funded through short term/temporary facilities such as overdrafts); Loans will be available up to the end of 2021.

• Loans can be used for • Scheme costs •

Working capital or investment requirements.

The interest rate applicable to the loan will be determined by the participating lender. In addition, the participating lender will collect a premium which is payable to the Government of Ireland.

Who can apply?

• • •

To be eligible a borrower must

• •

Be a viable business with up to 499 employees (Micro, SME or small Mid-Cap enterprise), including Primary producers (Agriculture/Fishing); Have or expect to have a reduction of minimum 15% in the turnover or profitability as a result of Covid-19; Meet the eligibility criteria.

How do I apply?

The Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is available trough a wide range of lenders (banks, credit unions and non-bank finance providers). The updated list of the Scheme providers is available on the SBCI website www.sbci.gov.ie

For further queries on the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, please visit www.sbci.gov.ie or call 1800 804 482.

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