InBusiness Summer 2021

Scroll for more

Page 1

MENTORS SERIES SUMMER

2021

DIANA GERAGHTY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT BROWN THOMAS ARNOTTS ON BRINGING ABOUT ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Sustainability start-ups THE WHOLE PACKAGE Zeus in growth and environmental mode InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS FiltraCycle’s solution to cigarette waste

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

DIGITAL 02

OFC InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover.indd 1

772009 393018

€2.70

9

16/07/2021 10:13


Skills to Advance Make skills work for you

Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism ƒ Boost the retention and development of key talent ƒ Avail of highly subsidised training for enterprise Contact your local Education and Training Board or visit skillstoadvance.ie

Advert template.indd 1 250203_1C_SOLAS_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

16/07/2021 01/06/2021 09:12 15:48


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

Contents

Photography: iStock Photo

COVER STORY

COVER STORY

DIGITAL

Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production Executive: Claire Kiernan

COVER STORY

Sales Director: Diarmaid Lennon

One of the outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the acceleration in digital transformation among SMEs and Virgin Media Business has been there to empower them to make the most of this journey.

Managing Director: Gerry Tynan

“In today’s world, consumers have more choice and information than ever at their fingertips and they are making smarter decisions. Service providers and retailers alike need to be able to keep up with customer demand and make sure they stay relevant.”

While the overnight switch to home working was a shock to the system for Irish SMEs, they have been quickest to adapt and agile in their approach to digital transformation. This is the view held by Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing at Virgin Media Business, who has observed a real mindset shift among smaller companies. “Up until 18 months ago there were mixed views towards working from home and it wasn’t a priority for the majority of businesses. The adjustment to remote technologies was not without its struggles, however Irish businesses reacted swiftly,” she says. Aside from adapting to remote working, e-commerce has been the main other driver of accelerated digital transformation among Irish SMEs. According to the IE Tipping Point Report 2021, 30% of SMEs now claim to sell their products via an online store, up from 25% in 2020. An increasing proportion of businesses recognise that a digital channel is key to their survival while the pandemic continues. “E-commerce grew by a staggering 159% in 2020 and customers have the power. The increased demand for fast, easy-to-use websites with chat functionality to deal with issues, next-day delivery and with simple returns policies mean that retailers need to engage in technology or they will miss out on the opportunity,” notes Kelly.

Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business

14

14

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

DIGITAL DRIVER

MENTORS:

10

18

Brian O’Sullivan, Founder of Zeus, a fast-growing packaging company with green credentials

Irish start-ups playing their part in the race towards zero emissions Words: Eithne Dunne

Entrepreneur

Page

78

Page

80

Page

82 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

Industry

Page

84 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

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

Head of Sustainability at Brown Thomas Arnotts Diana Geraghty discusses taking a scientific approach to positive change in retail. Words: Eithne Dunne

In Association with

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

RGB: 64/179/223

Diana Geraghty

• Din Medium • Din Regular

80

SEA LOUTH SCENIC SEAFOOD TRAIL

83

YOUGHAL ECO BOARDWALK

85

SWAN PARK RESTORATION

Belfast businesses encouraged to join global green tourism industry award scheme Visit Belfast and Belfast City Council have launched a new initiative designed to rapidly advance sustainability within the city’s tourism sector and redefine the sector’s growth for a generation. Designed to help individual tourism businesses contribute to improving the environment, address climate change and lift the local economy, a new partnership with global sustainability experts Green Tourism will encourage eligible local businesses to boost their environmental credentials and be rewarded for their efforts through an international award. Offering Belfast businesses the chance to secure gold, silver or bronze accreditation for their efforts to meet best-practice standards in sustainability – with membership funded by Belfast City Council – the Green Tourism Award is the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world. The initiative will help tackle the climate emergency, improve Belfast’s sustainability credentials as a destination and help the industry compete within a changing and competitive marketplace. It also recognises changing consumer behaviour in favour of more sustainable and ethical visitor destinations. Belfast City Council declared a climate change emergency in October 2019 and unveiled the city’s first Climate Plan last year.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 73

001 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Contents.indd 1

COVER STORY:

22

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

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

InBUSINESS speaks to Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing at Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

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

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

In Association with

73

16/07/2021 12:10

1

16/07/2021 15:26


microfinanceireland.ie

We’re changing futures every day Need help to support your business? Talk to us about our small business loans. 

Register online at www.microfinanceireland.ie

Or visit your Local Enterprise Office

Microfinance Ireland (MFI) benefits from a guarantee funded by the European Union under the programme for Employment and Social Inclusion (EaSI)

Advert template.indd 1 250295_1C_Microfinance_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

16/07/2021 21/05/2021 09:13 14:18


MENTORS SERIES SUMMER

2021

DIANA GERAGHTY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT BROWN THOMAS ARNOTTS ON BRINGING ABOUT ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Sustainability start-ups THE WHOLE PACKAGE Zeus in growth and environmental mode InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS FiltraCycle’s solution to cigarette waste

Contents

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

DIGITAL 02

772009 393018

€2.70

9

OFC InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover.indd 1

16/07/2021 10:13

Go to chambers.ie for the online edition

126

30

[LIFESTYLE] 127 BOOKS Insights on confidence and happiness in a changing world

INNOVATION & TECH

Outdoor evolution

128 PODCASTS The Poz Vibe Podcast, which aims to eliminate stigma around HIV

How Ireland and hospitality businesses have responded to restrictions on indoor dining in creative ways

26

28

SMALL BUSINESS:

Turn up for the Butts

FiltraCycle is tackling the problem of toxic cigarette waste in a circular way

MEDIA & MARKETING

Jade O’Connor, VP Product & Marketing at GetLocal.ie, a platform aiming to make e-commerce easier

[REGULARS]

128

4

Business News

7

Snapchat

8

Start-up Central

13

Opportunity Ireland

34 Movers & Shakers 104 Chambers Catch Up

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

001 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Contents_V1 REV.indd 3

34

MOVERS & SHAKERS 3

20/07/2021 09:42


BUSINESS NEWS

Adaptable working models the way forward

“Digital transformation is not a one-off – it is a perpetual change that all businesses need to embrace to survive.”

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business

COVER STORY PAGE 14

Flexible workspace is ever-growing as the desired solution for multiple businesses and industries, based on the diverse ways of working and the ability to adapt as needed, according to design-led flexible workspace provider Iconic Offices. “The traditional office leasing market will always be an option for some more established businesses but we are working closely with existing and new clients to provide more tailored solutions,” said CEO Joe McGinley. “We break down walls [literally], to help clients create the perfect space – from reconfiguring floors, custom-fitting breakout spaces to redesigning IT structures.”

Iconic Offices’ Lennox Building in Dublin

RIGHT TO DISCONNECT

Only one in five companies has a ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy in place, despite the introduction of the Code of Practice on this in April, a new report by Principal Connections has revealed.

SODEXO LAUNCHES FOODITUDE IN DUBLIN

Dean Kennett, Managing Director, Fooditude

4

004 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_News V1 REV.indd 4

Workplace services provider Sodexo Ireland has launched a funky new workplace catering concept called Fooditude to help employers entice their staff back to the office. Sodexo acquired a majority stake in the firm last December as part of its efforts to grow new digitally-enabled and customerfocused food services. Employees order food in advance via an app to provide a “seamless order-to-delivery experience”. Founded in 2005, Fooditude continues to be run by husbandand-wife team Dean and Samantha Kennett. A craft team will operate out of its new Dublin cloud kitchen in Santry preparing “sustainably-sourced, seasonal on-trend office catering”.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 10:29


BUSINESS NEWS

Recruitment push at McDonald’s McDonald’s is to hire 800 people in its restaurants across the Republic of Ireland this year. The move is driven by anticipation of crew capacity in restaurants increasing in the coming months, in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and public health guidelines. “Since we first opened our doors in Ireland in 1977, we’ve created over 6,000 jobs,” said Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK & Ireland (pictured). “Our 95 restaurants are run by 22 local franchisees, which means we have a personal stake in every one of our communities.”

BANK BRANCH DECLINE

According to research by Wellington IT, three out of every five Irish people expect the total banking experience to be digital or virtual, with no more physical branches, in 10 years’ time.

PICTURE

THIS

Pinergy is partnering with Dundalk firm Climote to provide smart immersion controllers to households with smart meters. Pictured are Eamon Conway, Managing Director, Climote, Enda Gunnell, CEO, Pinergy and Irish comedian Colm O’Regan, who is creating videos to explain the idea.

DIGITAL ANXIETY

41% of respondents in new EY study ‘Decoding the Digital Home’ are more concerned about the impact of the Internet on wellbeing than they were pre-pandemic, while 39% are very cautious about disclosing personal data online.

DATA DOWNLOADS

The average Pure Telecom customer downloaded more than twice the volume of data in February 2021 (555 GB worth) compared to February 2020. When restrictions tightened during the pandemic, data traffic volumes increased, its research confirms.

JOINT VENTURE TO RAMP UP RETROFITTING

Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, Electric Ireland, Seamus Hoyne, Chairperson, Tipperary Energy Agency and Minister Eamon Ryan

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

004 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_News V1 REV.indd 5

Electric Ireland and Tipperary Energy Agency have started a new joint venture, ‘Electric Ireland SuperHomes’, with the ambition of delivering 35,000 deep home energy upgrades by 2030. The partnership will directly create 200 jobs over the next five years as well as supporting the development of hundreds more jobs indirectly through building contractors and other partners. Tipperary Energy Agency launched the SuperHomes Retrofit programme in 2015 and since then has retrofitted hundreds of Irish homes and advised on 30% of the deep retrofits delivered to date. Partnering with Electric Ireland will allow it to dramatically scale up the delivery of this service across the country.

5

16/07/2021 10:29


BUSINESS NEWS

SUSTAINABLE TAXI INITIATIVE FROM BOLT

GREEN SENTIMENT IMPROVING Findings from SSE Airtricity’s latest Green Business Sentiment Index suggest progress in relation to businesses’ attitudes towards renewable energy and green recovery. The majority (71%) of those surveyed say sustainability and climate change have an impact on decision making when it comes to purchasing and partnerships, which is up 10 percentage points compared to July 2020. Meanwhile, 83% still consider the issue of climate change to be important while in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, up 10 percentage points. Most businesses surveyed (85%) consider themselves to be environmentally friendly, the same proportion as in last year’s index.

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

Luke Mackey, Ireland Country Manager, Bolt

European mobility platform Bolt has introduced ‘Bolt Driver Perks’ in Ireland, partnering with Circle K, Zego Insurance and Revolut for Business to offer discounts and various services to help reduce the costs of operating a taxi. Following the launch of its taxihailing service in Ireland in December 2020, Bolt has 1,000 active drivers on the system. “We’re teaming up with industry leaders to help lower the overheads that eat away at a driver’s profit, making driving a taxi more flexible and sustainable,” said Luke Mackey, Ireland Country Manager for Bolt. In Ireland, 33% of cars on the Bolt platform are hybrid or electric.

BORD GÁIS ENERGY SUPPORTS SOLAR VENTURE Bord Gáis Energy is to support Obton powered by Shannon Energy in the development of 11 solar farms that will be constructed here over the next two years. Among the first phase of utility-scale solar production in Ireland, these facilities will add to Bord Gáis Energy’s increasing sources of renewable supply. Obton powered by Shannon Energy is a joint venture between Obton, a Danish solar photovoltaic business, and its Irish partner Shannon Energy. It plans to double its investment in the Irish solar energy market and expand its portfolio and solar energy products here to reach a total capacity of 1 Gigawatt by 2026.

APC investing €25m in centre of excellence Irish pharmaceutical R&D company APC is investing €25m in a new global centre of excellence to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccines and other medicines. Creating 120 new jobs, the investment includes the construction of an additional 12,000 sq ft of lab space and associated infrastructure at APC’s existing 60,000 sq ft headquarters in Cherrywood, Dublin, where 140 people are already employed. The expanded facility will enable the rapid research and manufacture of vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, and other advanced therapeutics for rare diseases. The first such Irish-owned plant, it will be capable of producing hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines and other therapeutics each year. Dr Mark Barrett, Group Chief Executive, APC

6

004 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_News V1 REV.indd 6

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 10:30


FEATURE

“Households are connected to around 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, consuming around one third of the energy and 10% of the water used globally. Therefore, small actions taken within them can make a significant difference.”

Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, Ikea UK & Ireland

“Through Buy Back we hope to make circular consumption mainstream; making it easier for customers to acquire, care for and pass on products in circular ways.”

In June, Ikea launched ‘Buy Back’ in Ireland as part of its commitment to becoming fully circular and climate positive by 2030. The service encourages customers to sell back Ikea furniture they no longer need and in return receive a voucher.

Ikea’s new ‘Buy Back’ initiative, available at its Ballymun store in Dublin, aims to give thousands of pieces of furniture a second life, with customers able to earn up to €300 for a single item.

accessible and affordable; encouraging consumers to rethink their consumption habits and take positive action to help our planet. We will continue to take bold steps to ensure that by 2030 all Ikea products will be made from renewable, recyclable and/ or recycled materials; and they will be designed to be re-used, refurbished, remanufactured or recycled.

Ikea’s Dublin store recently received the Green Retailer Award at the 2021 Green Awards, which recognise the extraordinary contribution and commitment that companies make towards growing a greener future in Irish business today.

The furniture will be resold within our Circular Hubs (previously called Bargain Corner), helping to prevent perfectly useable materials from entering landfill unnecessarily. Customers can submit items for consideration on Ikea.ie and are invited to bring them to the Ballymun store. The refund cards issued for products accepted have no expiry date to encourage customers to only purchase new items when they really need something. The service is the latest in a succession of initiatives from Ikea to help make sustainable living more InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

007 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Snap Chat.indd 7

7

16/07/2021 10:36


START-UPS

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

8.9

%

The percentage increase in venture capital funding to Irish tech firms in the first quarter of 2021 (to reach €249.4m), according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

FIRST WINNER OF NEW AI ACCELERATOR SaaS-based digital health company Empeal won the top prize of €250,000 at the Alsessor artificial intelligence accelerator programme in June. Launched in February, Alsessor is hosted by Tangent, Trinity College Dublin’s ideas workspace, and supported by Altada Technology Solutions in Cork. Based in Dublin, Empeal has developed a platform that delivers health risk assessments, personalised health programmes and access to practitioners.

PHILIP DOWDS

FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, OKTO How did you fund your business initially?

Our business started in a very small way in 1992; our first sale was worth £28.50 (sterling). My grandfather gave me a set of his ladders and my Dad gave me an old van – that was us on the road.

What was the most important lesson you learned starting out?

Customer service is everything. It’s all about the customer, their experience and how we do things for them – never really about what we do.

Your biggest make or break moment?

For sure the opportunity to work with interior design firm Candy and Candy in London – I remember vividly where I was one Friday evening when that email came through – and we are still working on incredible projects for Christian Candy today.

Would you change anything in hindsight?

Maybe to move faster in expansion and have more confidence in ourselves.

Where does the business go from here?

Our focus today is on smart technology for wellness. We still provide the complete smart technology package for buildings but it’s now about smart and healthy buildings. We are excited about introducing our services to the Republic of Ireland and Dublin in particular, where we have just opened an office, and plan to create 20 new jobs.

Company: Okto Location: Lisburn, London and Dublin Staff: 62 Website: oktotechnologies.co.uk and oktoair.com

8

008 InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021_Start Ups_V1 REV.indd 8

Product: OKTOAir and OKTO Technologies, incorporating a full suite of products for smart and healthy buildings, from air quality management to audio visual technology.

ATLANTIC BRIDGE LAUNCHES €80M FUND Growth technology fund Altantic Bridge has launched University Bridge Fund II, an €80m fund focused on scaling and commercialising extensively validated research from Ireland’s third-level institutions into the next generation of deep-tech companies with global potential. The fund is a unique partnership between Atlantic Bridge and Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and University College Cork. Its goal is to maximise the benefit from research that takes place in the higher education sector.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 10:44


START-UPS

Aidan and Hilary O’Shea, Co-founders, Otonomee Mervyn O’Callaghan, Co-founder of CameraMatics, Kevin Foley, Partner, Grant Thornton and Jenny Melia, Divisional Manager, Enterprise Ireland

Mervyn O’Callaghan, Co-founder and CEO of CameraMatics, has been named the Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Founder of the Year for 2021. Providing cutting-edge SaaS technology for fleet and driver risk management, CameraMatics helps customers reduce accidents, improve operational efficiencies and manage compliance. Scaling fast, CameraMatics has close to 1,000 customers including global leading fleet operators and raised over €4m in a Series A investment round last January. The Founder of the Year Awards celebrate the commitment that entrepreneurs and start-ups have made to build world-class companies of the future. There were 12 nominees for the 2021 award.

Kontex growing international presence and jobs Cybersecurity firm Kontex is to create 75 new jobs to bring its workforce up to 130 in Dublin, Tipperary and remotely in other parts of Ireland. Founded in 2015 by Patrick O’Callaghan, Kontex operates in Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands providing cybersecurity services and solutions. It will soon expand its international presence further into the US and Europe. “Kontex is on track to become one of the leading providers of specialist security services in Europe,” said O’Callaghan. “We aim to expand our team to better meet a growing need to help enterprises solve complex cybersecurity challenges in a rapidly evolving threat landscape.”

An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD pictured with Patrick O’Callaghan (left) and Michael Perez (right) of Kontex

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

008 InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021_Start Ups_V1 REV.indd 9

NE TO WATCH: OTONOMEE

HPSU Founder of the Year 2021 revealed

Launched at the end of May, customer management company Otonomee was conceived during the Covid-19 pandemic with a view to doing something different in the outsourcing space. Its “geographically friendly” working model and cloud-based experience can be customised in days to provide a scaling solution to support customers across digital and voice channels. Former Managing Director of VoxPro Aidan O’Shea founded Otonomee with his wife Hilary O’Shea. They acquired Shockvoyce from the Founders of VoxPro and have relaunched it under the new name after six months of development. Currently employing 53 people throughout Ireland and the UK, existing clients include SISU aesthetic clinics, food delivery app VROMO and employee engagement specialists WorkVivo. “There is a growing recognition that a broad spectrum of work can now be delivered virtually and remotely to employers and by employees. From day one, Otonomee was purpose-built to support a fully distributed working model,” says O’Shea.

9

16/07/2021 10:44


ENTREPRENEUR

Package ENTREPRENEUR: BRIANFOUNDER, O’SULLIVAN ZEUS While working as a teacher in 1997, Brian O’Sullivan started his own business selling pallet wrapping. Since then he has transformed Dublin-headquartered Zeus into one of Europe’s largest privately-owned packaging and distribution companies with a keen focus on sustainability.

10

010 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Entrepreneur.indd 10

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 10:55


ENTREPRENEUR

Q: Would you say you always had a business head on your shoulders? BOS: Looking back, I must have had but didn’t know it. Nobody in my background was in business. In school and college I was always doing things on the side like selling mobile phones and giving tutorials. I started Zeus from zero and made my first acquisition in 2002 – a supplier of carrier bags to Spar and BWG in Dublin. There was no light-bulb moment; I just morphed into running and growing the business. We are targeting turnover of over €300m for next year [up from €210m in 2020] – this type of scale has never happened before with a first-generation packaging business in Europe. I took chances when I had nothing to lose because I started with nothing. Now of course, I am much more careful with bigger decisions as 600 employees in 26 countries are depending on Zeus. Q: What is the secret to the success and growth of Zeus? BOS: Complete and utter determination and a huge amount of common sense and cop on. I am not specifically brilliant at anything, but have always been able to read a situation and what customers want – even if they’re not sure they want it themselves. If a customer is buying a certain item, I will always tell them if there is something else better or more efficient. This attribute has stood to me and allowed me to grow the business. Zeus makes, stocks and supplies 9,000 different stock items to a wide range of industries. In the middle of that, we are constantly innovating and bringing solutions to issues customers may be having, such as a box being too small or the need to be more sustainable.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

010 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Entrepreneur.indd 11

After five years of research and development with a company in the US and in Sweden, we have now come up with a plastic-free coating for cups which prevents leakage.”

Brian O’Sullivan, Founder, Zeus

11

16/07/2021 10:55


ENTREPRENEUR

ACQUISITION TRAIL

Brian O’Sullivan, Founder, Zeus

In February, Zeus completed a €20m acquisition of Petruzalek, an Austrianbased food packaging business. Petruzalek’s product range utilises renewable, recyclable and compostable materials enabling Zeus to further deepen its focus on sustainability. The deal was the latest and largest purchase in Zeus’s three-year €40m acquisition strategy and the seventh business to be embedded into the group in the past two years. “The reason for this acquisition was to give us the biggest possible European footprint,” says Founder Brian O’Sullivan. “For Irish companies such as Insomnia, Camile Thai or Eddie Rockets going into European markets, we are there and can take the headache out of trying to sort out packaging requirements.”

Q: What lessons have you learned over the years? BOS: I have two. The first is to jump the fence that’s in front of you. Too many people start the race and are so focused on the end that they fall over the first fence. Secondly, it’s great to have a goal. But make it a difficult one and when you reach it, don’t celebrate too much – set another goal within the next hour. After completing the purchase of Petruzalek last February, I was already thinking about the next acquisition for this year before the last of the documentation came in. I wasn’t uncorking a bottle of Champagne. Q: Where do you aim to go from here with Zeus? BOS: The business is at a size now where it needs to be run differently, so I have created a board structure with Keith Ockenden as the new CEO. My focus now is on strategy, investment and innovation. The five-year plan for Zeus is to take the business to an annual turnover of €500m. My job is to make sure we have the funding and make the right decisions on mergers and acquisitions to fulfill that. I love selling and developing new products; I will still look for flair and innovations but with more concentration on the big picture.

Q: How has Zeus been innovative with sustainable offerings? BOS: We started selling fully compostable cups 15 years ago, which was way ahead of market demand. After five years of research and development with a company in the US and in Sweden, we have now come up with a plastic-free coating for cups which prevents leakage. This has allowed us to introduce a certified completely plastic-free cup, which can go into the paper recycling stream. We can extend this out to other items such as boxes or salad containers. McDonald’s recently became a client of ours and wanted to get rid of plastic lids. We have secured the contract to produce sustainable fiber lids for McDonald’s outlets in Hungary and are hoping to roll this out to other countries. We worked with our worldwide logistics partner Havi to carry out a trial of these lids in New South Wales in Australia. Q: What are Zeus’s own environmental credentials? BOS: Aside from implementing environmental policies across the company, we try to lead the way on sustainability issues. Zeus is one of only two companies in Ireland to be a member of Lean & Green, a European initiative to support sustainable transportation by helping companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing profitability. DHL was the first to join in the Netherlands three years ago and I knew it was something we had to be part of. The programme tackles all parts of the business, from making sure boxes and trucks are full to using battery power instead of diesel. It’s not just about turning off the lights.

12

010 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Entrepreneur.indd 12

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 10:55


JOB CREATION COMPANY: Varonis Systems

COMPANY: Kirby Group SECTOR: Engineering

SECTOR: Data security and analytics

LOCATION: Cork City

ANNOUNCEMENT: American pioneer in data security and analytics Varonis Systems has opened a new and expanded office in Cork City where it expects to double its headcount, creating around 60 jobs over the next three years in tech support, R&D, HR and sales.

COMPANY: Accenture SECTOR: Professional services LOCATIONS: Munster and Dublin

LOCATION: Limerick

ANNOUNCEMENT: Building on its existing workforce of over 5,000 people in Ireland, Accenture is to create 500 new roles over the next three years, mostly in Munster to support its work in the life sciences sector. It is also expanding its innovation capability in Dublin.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Kirby Group plans to create 300 new jobs as part of a significant expansion, including a €2m investment to upgrade its headquarters in Co Limerick. It is looking to attract around 100 apprentices and graduates.

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

COMPANY: Qorvo SECTOR: Radio frequency solutions

COMPANY: Horizon Therapeutics

LOCATIONS: Dublin and Cork

SECTOR: Biotechnology

ANNOUNCEMENT: Headquartered in North Carolina in the US, Qorvo plans to fill 100 new highly-skilled engineering positions to support its global ultra-wideband (UWB) R&D operations in Dublin and Cork. In 2020, Qorvo completed its acquisition of Irish company Decawave, a pioneer in UWB.

LOCATION: Waterford COMPANY: A-LIGN

SECTOR: Security & compliance solutions

LOCATION: Galway

ANNOUNCEMENT: Global security and compliance solutions provider A-LIGN is to establish its EMEA headquarters in Galway, which will mean the creation of around 40 roles over the next five years. The establishment of A-LIGN’s Ireland presence is a key step in furthering its international growth strategy.

Employees voting with their feet The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is, according to Director of Sigmar Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig. Findings released by the firm show that Q2 saw more people move jobs than in any other quarter over the past 20 years. The vast majority of Q2 hires were remote and IT accounted for one third of all job placements. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

013 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Opportunity Ireland_V1 REV2.indd 13

ANNOUNCEMENT: Dublin-headquartered Horizon Therapeutics is to establish a manufacturing facility in Waterford which will employ around 90 people. The new facility, which it is acquiring from EirGen Pharma, will produce drug products for Horizon’s rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory disease portfolio.

“If we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. Retaining workers rather than attracting them is now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.” Sigmar Director Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig.

13

16/07/2021 10:59


COVER STORY

DIGITAL COVER STORY One of the outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the acceleration in digital transformation among SMEs and Virgin Media Business has been there to empower them to make the most of this journey.

14

014 InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover Story_V1 REV.indd 14

While the overnight switch to home working was a shock to the system for Irish SMEs, they have been quickest to adapt and agile in their approach to digital transformation. This is the view held by Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing at Virgin Media Business, who has observed a real mindset shift among smaller companies. “Up until 18 months ago there were mixed views towards working from home and it wasn’t a priority for the majority of businesses. The adjustment to remote technologies was not without its struggles, however Irish businesses reacted swiftly,” she says. Aside from adapting to remote working, e-commerce has been the main other driver of accelerated digital transformation among Irish SMEs. According to the IE Tipping Point Report 2021, 30% of SMEs now claim to sell their products via an online store, up from 25% in 2020. An increasing proportion of businesses recognise that a digital channel is key to their survival while the pandemic continues. “E-commerce grew by a staggering 159% in 2020 and customers have the power. The increased demand for fast, easy-to-use websites with chat functionality to deal with issues, next-day delivery and with simple returns policies mean that retailers need to engage in technology or they will miss out on the opportunity,” notes Kelly.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:07


COVER STORY

“In today’s world, consumers have more choice and information than ever at their fingertips and they are making smarter decisions. Service providers and retailers alike need to be able to keep up with customer demand and make sure they stay relevant.”

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

014 InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover Story_V1 REV.indd 15

15

21/07/2021 10:20


COVER STORY

“SMEs are relying heavily on cloud-based solutions to help them adapt quickly and effectively to ever-changing demands. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses the flexibility to locate their operations anywhere and scale up and down as required.” INTO THE CLOUD Cloud-based solutions have been the answer for many SMEs striving to fast-forward their plans for digitisation over the course of the pandemic. The Central Statistics Office’s ‘Survey on E-Commerce and ICT 2020’ reveals that 51% of enterprises in Ireland purchased at least one type of cloud computing service in the first half of 2020, up from 48% in 2018. The most popular cloud computing services bought were the storage of files (44%), followed by email at 43% and the hosting of enterprise databases at 30%. “SMEs are relying heavily on cloud-based solutions to help them adapt quickly and effectively to ever-changing demands. Cloudbased solutions allow businesses the flexibility to locate their operations anywhere and scale up and down as required. The move to the cloud allows SMEs to access applications and solutions that enable them to be agile and grow at scale,” says Kelly. “Cloud-based storage solutions are giving SMEs access to AWS, Azure or Google Cloud via secure Internet or direct connections. This allows companies to access applications and storage with a monthly subscription rather than having to make a large investment upfront in onsite equipment and having to employ experts to manage it. “In our experience at Virgin Media Business, SMEs are increasingly using cloud-based solutions for voice

16

014 InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover Story_V1 REV.indd 16

integration, which make landlines available anywhere through an app on a laptop or mobile device. Retailers and hospitality businesses are using data capture and customer analytics through a WiFi capture portal, as well as using WiFi for ordering, payments, and safe data transfer.” SME is the fastest-growing sector for Virgin Media Business, with doubledigit growth in sales year-on-year in all sub-segments, including legal, fintech, insurance, retail and logistics. “Virgin Media Business provides the fastest broadband speeds and connectivity solutions for entrepreneurs, businesses, and the public sector. We invest in the infrastructure and platforms that empower our customers to make the most of the digital revolution,” says Kelly. To date, Virgin Media Business has invested over €1bn in its network and was the first provider to deliver 1 Gigabit speeds across 98% of the network.

FLEXIBLE PRODUCTS Committed to supporting SMEs on their digital journey, Virgin Media Business has a number of products available to give them the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they need. These include Virgin Cloud Voice, which offers flexible voice solutions through its fully cloud-based platform, and the mobile app Cloud IX, which gives direct connectivity to all the major cloud providers at four different locations. Next month (August), Virgin Media Business is launching its softwaredefined WAN (SD-WAN) solution, which Kelly says is a real step change in the market. “We are partnering with Versa Networks to bring nextgeneration networking and security solutions to the Irish market. This partnership will allow us to provide our customers with a host of SD-WAN services designed to integrate with the cloud,” she explains. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:07


COVER STORY

“Under the new partnership, Virgin Media Business will use Versa Networks’ award-winning Cloud IP platform to provide fully managed secure SD-WAN services. The multitenant software platform will enhance network performance, providing Virgin Media Business customers with a highly-automated service that improves their cloud and application connectivity and experience. This in turn will enable those customers to make changes at their discretion and define how they use their network.” “Being a Virgin Media Business customer doesn’t stop the day the service is delivered,” Kelly adds. As well as proactive account management, it produces quarterly newsletters, a blog and white papers to keep customers informed. Throughout the year, Virgin Media Business runs webinars with subject-matter experts on topics to help businesses to keep up to date with market trends. Examples so far have been ‘How to accelerate your digital sales’ and ‘How to win the EI online retail grant and what you should do with it’. “SMEs that don’t engage with technology and transform are in danger of being left behind. There are many examples of large corporate companies that failed to innovate and no longer exist such as Kodak and Nokia. In today’s world, consumers have more choice and information than ever at their fingertips and they are making smarter decisions. Service providers and retailers alike need to be able to keep up with customer demand and make sure they stay relevant,” notes Kelly.

BACKING BUSINESS INITIATIVE Last year, Virgin Media Business launched a €1m support fund as part of its #BackingBusiness initiative to boost Irish businesses nationwide. It involved over 400 businesses being promoted on Virgin Media Television and across its

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

014 InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover Story_V1 REV.indd 17

social media platforms. #BackingBusiness took to the road, and companies from Limerick, Cork and Kilkenny were featured on live broadcasts with Ireland AM, Elaine, The Six O’Clock Show and The Tonight Show. The campaign also incorporated webinars, mentoring and a dedicated blog. “Our support of Irish SMEs doesn’t stop there. This year, we have partnered with Digital Business Ireland, Milk Bottle Labs and Permanent TSB, supported by Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), to offer lucky businesses the opportunity to win a complete digital makeover,” says Kelly. “The first five winners have been selected and are currently under construction.” The Munster-based winners include Rivesci, a food company in Tipperary launched in 2019 which produces handmade condiments, and Dust + Rock from Waterford whose founder Susan Furniss designed the ‘Wrist Pocket’, a unique take on an everyday purse. Each of the winners gets a share of the overall €100,000 in support and will also benefit from the expertise and insights of each of the Virgin Media ‘Backing Business’ partners. This includes one year of free fibre business broadband with Virgin Media Business, an online Shopify store built by Milk Bottle Labs, and business development support as well as full membership of Digital Business Ireland’s extensive network. They will also receive mentoring in digital marketing from their LEO and the overall initiative is supported with funding from Permanent TSB. “Digital transformation is not a oneoff – it is a perpetual change that all businesses need to embrace to survive. It’s never too late to start your digital journey and Virgin Media Business is committed to being there every step of the way for our SME customers,” says Kelly.

WiFi for communities Virgin Media Business has activated its next-generation wireless infrastructure to deliver a major boost to 30 locations in Dublin with the rollout of a new, fast public WiFi service as part of WiFi4EU. Under a three-year partnership with Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin programme, this initiative is designed to enhance digital skills and accelerate innovation across the city. The new free-to-use public WiFi service offers speeds of up to 500Mbps, helping to supercharge mobile Internet browsing and data downloads for community centres and members of the public. “Our expertise in offering cutting-edge broadband speeds is playing a crucial role in enabling businesses, residents and visitors to stay connected, to keep trading and to build vibrant and digitally inclusive communities going forward,” said Aidan D’Arcy, Director of Business at Virgin Media Business.

17

16/07/2021 11:07


INDUSTRY FEATURE

Abreath

of

Irish start-ups are playing their part in the race to reach zero emissions by identifying gaps in the market and coming up with innovative, sustainable solutions for different industries, writes Eithne Dunne.

S

ustainability may have the dubious honour of being a ‘buzzword’, but unlike many buzzwords this one is here for the long haul. No one knows this better than the current crop of Irish start-ups making inroads in this space, boosting their clients’ bottom line while simultaneously reining in their carbon output. Cork-based scientific and engineering company Nexalus is a good example. It has been tackling head on a problem that is very relevant for Ireland given its popularity for data centres. It’s more of a twin problem, really – the excessive energy usage of these centres for the purposes of cooling, and the concurrent loss of the considerable thermal energy produced by the electronics they house. The brainchild of Dr Cathal Wilson, COO, Dr Anthony Robinson, CSO, and Kenneth O’Mahony, CEO, Nexalus is based in Cork but has research and development (R&D) arms in Trinity College Dublin and Co Westmeath. As Wilson explains, the idea for the start-up was born when an article appeared in The Economist four years ago referring to data centres as the “oil industry of the 21st century”. With a background in thermodynamics, he was

18

018 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Industry Feature_V1 REV.indd 18

“baffled” as to why data centres were using air as a coolant, given that air is not suited for that purpose. He also saw potential for data centres to be viewed not just as data centres but as “thermal power stations – outputting heat/hot water rather than electricity”. This is down to the fact that electronics produce large quantities of thermal energy, most of which is currently going to waste. Nexalus’ solution allows for water-based cooling (far more efficient than air) while also recapturing the excess thermal energy. There’s a strong financial as well as green argument here. “Typically, a switch from air to water cooling saves over 30% on energy costs even without recovering any energy at the back end,” says Wilson. The other advantage of switching to water is that it doesn’t mean having to scrap everything and start again – making it a fairly palatable option for riskaverse clients. The ultimate goal, says Wilson, is for data centres to produce enough hot water to sustain co-located businesses that require a lot of it; examples include grow farms, pharma and brewing. This would have the added benefit of, for example, reducing our need to import certain foods.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:10


INDUSTRY FEATURE

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

018 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Industry Feature_V1 REV.indd 19

19

16/07/2021 11:10


INDUSTRY FEATURE

I wanted to look at how diggers, dumpers, tractors and other non-road machinery were going to become clean; there was no solution for that” Dr Barry Flannery, founder, XeroTech

Nexalus Co-founders Kenneth O’Mahony (CEO), Prof Anthony Robinson (CSO) and Dr Cathal Wilson (COO)

This scenario would certainly address current angst about the fact that data centres are such high energy consumers and would, says Wilson, “plug data centres in” to the circular economy. “The amount of energy they are consuming is only gearing upwards, but if we could get them to produce thermal energy it would solve a lot of carbon problems.” Nexalus is in early-stage discussions with some very large potential clients, but can’t yet divulge details. However, the potential for its technology is clear, and not just in the data centre space, but also in the likes of gaming and Bitcoin. With this in mind, the startup has worked extensively with Ian Parry, aka ‘8Pack’, one of the world’s top hardware and computer designers, to help ensure that it is at the top of its game in terms of performance. BANKING ON BATTERIES Founded by Dr Barry Flannery in 2015, Galway-based Xerotech designs and manufactures advanced lithiumion battery systems for the industrial, marine, aerospace and defence sectors.

20

018 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Industry Feature_V1 REV.indd 20

Getting it off the ground was, in a sense, almost a natural progression for Flannery, who had long been fascinated with the electric vehicle industry. When he finished his PhD in NUI Galway it was, he says, “quite obvious” that he would do something in the battery space. However, he didn’t want to go down the electric car route, being far more interested in, as he terms it, “everything else”. “I wanted to look at how diggers, dumpers, tractors and other nonroad machinery were going to become clean; there was no solution for that,” he says. Until Xerotech came along, that is, with its battery systems designed precisely for these kinds of vehicles. The start-up is very much bucking the trend in Ireland by doing so much technical development in-house – building batteries and electronics at its Galway base. “There

are very few early-stage companies doing that in Ireland, which is more known for software,” says Flannery. With clients across various sectors, Xerotech has proven of particular interest to manufacturers of mining equipment. Mining obviously involves a lot of heavy-duty machinery such as utility vehicles, drilling machines, excavators and dumpers, which collectively throw out huge amounts of noise and heat. In fact, about 20% of the cost of running an underground mine is accounted for by ventilation. “So getting rid of diesel from those mines makes a huge difference,” says Flannery. It is also easier from a logistical perspective. “Very remote mines would have had to bring in tanks of diesel via helicopter; you can imagine how costly that would be.”

The amount of energy they are consuming is only gearing upwards, but if we could get them to produce thermal energy it would solve a lot of carbon problems.” InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:10


INDUSTRY FEATURE

Also, he adds, in some areas such as tunnelling and construction, environmental, social and governance factors are now included on contract tenders – making the financial imperative even more stark. “The big mine operators such as Rio Tinto will tell a manufacturer that if they want to put their equipment in their mines, it has to be electric.” Xerotech has just signed a deal to electrify 200 vehicles for Norwegian mining outfit Agder. It is also fresh from announcing a project with the European Space Agency, which will see it qualifying its battery technology for use on everything from human space flights to launcher systems. Currently employing 45 people, Xerotech is adding to its workforce at an impressive rate (two a week) and expects to be at 100 people by the end of summer. It is also working on preliminary designs for a new, largescale factory in its home county. VOLT FROM THE BLUE As CEO Kevin Maughan explains, the seeds of UrbanVolt were sown when its three founders – all wellestablished entrepreneurs – got together for a “quiet pint” in a Leeson Street pub in Dublin in 2015. Maughan, along with Graham Deane, COO, and Declan Barrett, CCO, soon latched on to the InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

018 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Industry Feature_V1 REV.indd 21

Declan Barrett (CCO), Stephen Vernon (Chairman), Kevin Maughan (CEO), and Graham Deane (COO) of UrbanVolt

potential they saw in the securitisation of long-term energy savings – by installing LED lighting – for industrial clients with large, energy-hungry warehouses or plants. “The savings gained on one big warehouse would be the same as taking 100 houses off the grid,” says Maughan – precisely the kind of high-impact changes UrbanVolt was after. Crucially though, Maughan et al did not want to use the time-honoured model of simply selling a system to a client. They wanted a solution that removed the upfront cost in favour of an ongoing subscription, in other words ‘light as a service’. Clients voted with their feet; in the ensuing years UrbanVolt made huge savings – both in terms of money and carbon – for its clients. Not content to sit still, the startup – which has since been joined by Chairman Stephen Vernon – took the next logical step: solar panels. Again, this is ‘solar as a service’, whereby UrbanVolt pays for the installation and the client pays a subscription. While plenty of companies were selling solar panels when UrbanVolt came along, it’s hard to overstate how radical this approach was, and how much sense it made to industry.

“With a factory, you could be looking at €300,000 for solar panels,” says Maughan. “We said why don’t we become the world’s first solar utility company by just selling the power? They give us the roof space and buy the power at a fixed price.” This notion of making it as easy as possible for a client to go green is the way of the future, says Maughan. Not all of its clients get LEDs and solar panels simultaneously (although those that do see the biggest payback, with up to 80% savings), but those who opt for one or the other often return later for the remaining element. Key to all this has been UrbanVolt’s software, which allows a building’s energy use to be assessed remotely. The result is infinitely quicker and more reliable than the traditional manual approach. “We can price buildings anywhere in the world without going near them; all we need is the square footage,” says Maughan. For one client, for example, UrbanVolt was able to give an analysis of 488 buildings across North America, allowing it to choose which plants to focus on.

We said why don’t we become the world’s first solar utility company by just selling the power? They give us the roof space and buy the power at a fixed price.” 21

16/07/2021 11:10


MENTORS

REVITALISING Having tapped into sustainability and leadership at a time when there was little expertise in this area in Ireland, Diana Geraghty’s latest role is at Brown Thomas Arnotts, which has been forthright as a retailer in its efforts to protect the environment, writes Eithne Dunne. 22

022 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Mentors_V1 REV.indd 22

RETAIL It’s not hard to see why Diana Geraghty has been tasked with driving Brown Thomas Arnotts’ (BTA) ambitious sustainability programme forward. An articulate advocate of all things sustainable, the former solicitor has extensive experience as well as determination – both of which she has been making use of since taking up her role as Head of Sustainability at the retailer in January.

Although Geraghty’s initial passion was food sustainability, she relishes the opportunity to roll up her sleeves in retail. “I am thrilled to have moved into the retail space. Being customer-facing keeps us nimble,” she says. In 2013, Geraghty was granted a scholarship via UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and Bord Bia to complete a two-year master’s in business sustainability. During this InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:12


MENTORS

MENTOR: DIANA GERAGHTY

products it stocks, as well as plasticcontaining cotton buds and wet wipes. BTA has removed single-use plastic straws, water bottles and cups from its restaurants and its new-hire induction pack features a branded reusable cup. Meanwhile, its iconic carrier bags are made from sustainable paper and recyclable, and last year saw it replace plastic bubble wrap with paper filler and become certified for zero waste to landfill. Eschewing vague or wishy-washy carbon goals in favour of clearly defined, science-based targets, BTA became the first retailer in Ireland to have its aims verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2020. “Between now and 2030 we will reduce our directly produced carbon emissions by 50%, and the emissions from our supply chain by 15%. To achieve this, we have made various shifts such as switching to LED lighting, as well as more efficient heating and cooling systems,” Geraghty explains. “According to the SBTi, BTA’s plans are in line with the international initiative to keep global warming at no more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” RESPONSIBLE SOURCING Not surprisingly, the sourcing of stock is a massive part of the retailer’s sustainability programme. It trains both buyers and suppliers on responsible sourcing, and continuously works with the latter to improve environmental, labour and animal welfare practices across the supply chain.

time she spent six months at CocaCola in Atlanta in the US and another six months at Mars in the UK. “This gave me invaluable expertise in the practical application of sustainable principles. I was then able to bring that skillset back to Ireland at a time – eight years ago – when knowledge or experience in the area was fairly thin on the ground,” she recalls. Among various subsequent roles was a stint heading up Google’s sustainable food programme across the EMEA region. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

022 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Mentors_V1 REV.indd 23

Geraghty will now spearhead BTA’s sustainability programme, which it has dubbed ‘Positive Change’. This is very much a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach that tackles all aspects of the business, from bricks-and-mortar and supply chains to customers and what happens to products after they have been sold. For starters, the retailer has tackled its approach to plastic and packaging, having recently banned plastic-based glitter and microbeads in the beauty

23

16/07/2021 11:12


MENTORS

“We are looking at what our products are made from and where they are coming from,” says Geraghty. “We want to ensure that we are buying responsibly.” Always keen to tie its sustainability ambitions to concrete, measurable goals, the retailer has set specific targets on six materials and given itself until 2025 to achieve them. “These targets are very far-reaching and will effectively mean that our priority materials – those we buy most of – will all be either certified recycled, certified organic or certified as meeting third-party responsibility criteria,” says Geraghty. “For example, while BTA already sells some cotton products that are certified sustainable, by 2025 all of our cottoncontaining products will be fully sustainable.” Right now, says Geraghty, it’s not always possible to get sufficient supply of certain sustainable materials, but the situation is improving all the time. “That’s why this has to be a medium-term target, but having that target in place helps us to frame our ambitions. We are actively working with brands to ensure we can get to a place where all these materials are certified. We are getting there.” Of course, buyers don’t have to wait until then to get their hands on sustainable goods. BTA already has a sizeable collection of sustainable fashion, beauty, home, food and Irish products on offer in the form of its ‘Sustainable Edit’. “The range is very visible on our website, and the description under each item explains clearly to the customer why it is sustainable,” says Geraghty. You don’t have to spend a fortune to support this sustainable collection (although you can if you wish). The Sustainable Edit runs the price gamut, with everything from a pack of plasticfree bamboo tissues for 85c to a low-impact production Mulberry bag for €1,395.

24

022 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Mentors_V1 REV.indd 24

DIANA GERAGHTY ON…. MAKING SUSTAINABILITY THE NORM “Sustainable fashion doesn’t usually cost any more than nonsustainable fashion, and it should be the default rather than the exception. That’s the way of the future.” KEEPING CUSTOMERS INFORMED “Customers have a real appetite for sustainability and want to do the right thing, but it can sometimes be confusing as to which products are truly sustainable, and why.” YOUNG SHOPPERS “They love the circular model, whether it’s renting, upcycling or customising outfits. We have a really great opportunity with this demographic to drive things forward.”

A CIRCULAR MODEL The company’s overall vision with sustainability is based on the development of a circular business model. Although it is early days, the company has big plans. At the heart of these, says Geraghty, is the question: “How can we develop services that would help prolong the life of clothes, shoes and other product categories so that people would get more use out of items?” For example, one of the possibilities the retailer is investigating is the provision of repair services. It has already featured repair pop-ups for certain brands; these ‘repair stations’ advised customers on how to take care of shoes and other items to ensure longevity. Before Christmas, Arnotts launched The Circular Room, where vintage enthusiasts could get pre-loved designer clothing and accessories. BTA already offers lines of restored and upcycled furniture. “These lines give furniture a second life while offering customers the opportunity to buy something new without using virgin materials,” notes Geraghty. Of course, sometimes circular fashion can be as simple as donating unwanted items. BTA facilitates this with its ‘Give Back With Style’ box, which puts a charitable spin on the sustainable theme. Customers who get a delivery can put pre-loved items back into the box it arrives in and post it straight to St Vincent de Paul free of charge. PEOPLE AND PROGRESS As Geraghty explains, buy-in from BTA employees is an important element of the journey towards a circular business model. “We are really proud of our people and we want to ensure that everyone is aware of what we’re doing on sustainability,” she says. For example, the retailer has created sustainability modules as part of a workbased learning programme, some of which are compulsory for new staff members. This ties in with its diversity and inclusion programme, which seeks to ensure that everyone feels involved in the company’s broader mission. The next 12 months will see this programme expanded further, something Geraghty warmly welcomes. “It is hugely important to us that we drive forward that sense of belonging,” she says. Over the coming year, Geraghty hopes to see BTA “continue to be part of the climate change movement, and ensure that we don’t just meet our science-based targets but exceed them”. The retailer will also be further promoting its Sustainable Edit range by increasing the number of products available while also protecting the robustness of its selection process. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

20/07/2021 10:08


EXPORT ADVICE

LOOK NORTH:

Exporting to Northern Ireland is Easier Than You Think Anne-Marie McAteer, Project Manager of InterTradeIreland’s Acumen programme, says cross-border trade has been remarkably robust, growing to a record high of €7.4bn in 2020.

W

Case Study

e No

hat is your business doing to make the most of the opportunities in Northern Ireland? Growing your business TANORGANIC in Northern Ireland should not be Irish self-tanning brand TanOrganic is now stocked on the shelves of Boots daunting. Sales are crucial to the success pharmacies across Great Britain and of any firm, and for small businesses lle Northern Ireland, with the assistance of with limited resources or first-time O’ Co InterTradeIreland. exporters, trading across the border is nno r, Fo Founder Noelle O’Connor says: the perfect place to begin. Northern under, TanOrganic “InterTradeIreland’s Acumen programme, with Ireland is the closest market, and there its expertise in cross-border sales, helped us to fill a is no language barrier. crucial role in business development focused on Northern Ireland. At InterTradeIreland we have a “This meant we have been able to really drive and grow our distribution number of programmes to assist you. with key retail accounts in the North. It has been a gateway into the rest of With our Elevate support up to 5,750 the United Kingdom for us.” funding is available for specialist sales TanOrganic was set up by Noelle in 2010. The former beauty therapist, and marketing assistance, which can based in Swords, collaborated with cosmetic scientists from Ireland and be used to help your business develop a the US, to develop one of the world’s first 100% organic self-tanning cross-border sales and marketing solutions. plan. Via our Acumen Anne-Marie McAteer, Project Manager for InterTradeIreland’s programme you can Acumen programme explains: “Noelle is a great example of an even access help to entrepreneur who can spot opportunity and forecast trends. fund the salary of InterTradeIreland is here to support companies that have a a sales person in strong offering and want to tap into a new market just across Northern Ireland. the border—like TanOrganic. The Acumen programme can even With two help fund a sales person in Northern Ireland.” decades of Noelle adds: “The second half of 2021 is set to be big. We’re a experience in pioneering beauty brand made from the highest quality organic the cross-border and active ingredients. We have a new purpose market, we believe Anne-Marie McAteer, and will be removing 1lb of plastic from in going forward, Project Manager Acumen programme, together with the ocean for every bottle we sell. We’re InterTradeIreland excited about what’s to come.’’ business. Contact the Acumen team on acumen@intertradeireland.com or phone 048 3083 4110 For more information see www.intertradeireland.com

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

000_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Intertrade_V1.indd 25

25

20/07/2021 10:14


SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS Q: How did you come up with the idea for FiltraCycle? HK: We came to realise that cigarette waste is a huge ecological and societal problem and there was no scalable solution in place to deal with it. Our motivation shifted from just starting a business using cigarette butts as raw materials to preventing the destruction of our oceans and our environment. We began to develop a new process for recycling cigarette butts, since the ones already in place had clearly failed to solve this problem. The first ‘lab tests’ were carried out in the garden behind my student flat. We managed to develop a workable method for converting cigarette butts into clean cellulose acetate plastic. This process is now the core of FiltraCycle’s business. Q: How have you developed and grown the business? HK: In 2020 we built and ran a pilot recycling facility to prove that our unique cigarette butt recycling

Co-founded in 2019 by college friends Harry Jankola, Marc Bollée and Liam Lysaght, FiltraCycle has developed a novel recycling process that can turn toxic cigarette waste into clean cellulose acetate plastic at industrial scales.

Harry Jankola, Marc Bollée and Liam Lysaght, Co-founders, FiltraCycle

process works at scale. This facility took several months and €38,000 to build. We ran the pilot while all of our team members were fulltime students. As recycling is an essential service, we were allowed to run the pilot safely and within public health guidelines. We partnered with World Cleanup Day (WCD) to

26

026 InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021_Small Business Profile_V1 REV.indd 26

supply the cigarette waste for the tests. Fortunately, we were able to work with WCD organisers and affiliate organisations to have 500,000 of these cigarette butts sent to our pilot recycling facility from Germany, England and Bulgaria. So far we have recycled 250,000 of these butts, safely destroying

the toxic chemicals they contained before they could pollute our environment. The FiltraPlastic we produced in this pilot must undergo extensive lab testing before it can be sold to the manufacturing industry. To date we have received expressions of interest in our plastic from multiple companies InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:18


SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

including: Ambr Eyewear, Crann Eyewear, plastics manufacturer Thormac and most recently Dunnes Stores. Ambr Eyewear has publicly pledged to be the first user of our plastic and asked to purchase all the surplus plastic from our pilot to make prototypes for its planned range of FiltraPlastic sunglasses. Q: What would you say is compelling about what you are doing? HK: Our unique recycling process produces clean cellulose acetate plastic suitable for use in highvalue consumer products such as sunglasses and surfboards. The relatively high price we charge brands for this material will allow us to cover our collection and recycling costs without subsidies. We are currently the only company in Ireland with a scalable cigarette waste recycling process, and one of only a handful globally. Our international competitors mostly produce low-value products such as plastic lumber, urban furniture and bricks from

cigarette waste, so they rely heavily on subsidies and tobacco industry supports to break even. The scalability of our process allows us to remain profitable with relatively low running costs. In terms of environmental impact, 1kg of our plastic takes around 10,000 recycled cigarette butts to make, saving up to 10 million litres of water from nicotine and microplastic pollution. Our smart sensor cigarette waste recycling bins (FiltraBins) will provide a scalable source of cigarette waste and data, while directly preventing litter. Q: What potential do you see for the business? HK: I see massive opportunities for FiltraCycle in the coming months and years. As we return to some semblance of normality, people will begin to flood the streets and bars, adding to the already insurmountable issue of cigarette litter. FiltraCycle will partner with bars and venues as

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

026 InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021_Small Business Profile_V1 REV.indd 27

well as county councils and Tidy Towns organisations to install FiltraBins across the country, reducing cigarette litter entering the environment and providing revenue and raw materials for FiltraCycle. If the large-scale recycling facility in Dublin is a commercial success, we will design a modular version of our recycling apparatus that fits in a shipping container. These will be used to deploy cigarette recycling facilities across the EU, supported by local FiltraBin networks and waste management partners. We aim to recycle at least 10% of the EU’s cigarette waste by 2030. This will involve recycling 35 billion cigarette butts into 3,500 tonnes of FiltraPlastic per year, potentially saving more than 20 trillion litres of water from nicotine and microplastic pollution annually. Q: What are your plans for the future with FiltraCycle? HK: Based on the learnings from our pilot, we now intend to build a larger facility with the capacity to recycle 1.6 million cigarette butts per day. We estimate that this will cost €2m to build and run, allowing us to recycle more than 10% of Ireland’s cigarette waste and producing 40 tonnes

of FiltraPlastic per year. We are currently conducting lab tests on our recycled plastic to ensure it is clean and safe for consumer use, and we’re looking for more business-to-business customers. We hope to begin raising our seed round at the start of 2022. We currently have seven team members with our CEO Liam Lysaght and myself (CFO and Head of Business Development) working full time. None of us are currently taking a salary, but we hope that will change after we raise our seed round. Once we have constructed our commercial recycling facility in Dublin, we plan to bring on three more fulltime employees to work onsite and have the founding team work full time.

The scalability of our process allows us to remain profitable with relatively low running costs. In terms of environmental impact, 1kg of our plastic takes around 10,000 recycled cigarette butts to make, saving up to 10 million litres of water from nicotine and microplastic pollution. 27

16/07/2021 11:18


MEDIA & MARKETING

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

How can local businesses in Ireland hope to take on the likes of Amazon in the burgeoning e-commerce landscape? GetLocal.ie could have the answer, writes Sorcha Corcoran.

28

028 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Media_Marketing.indd 28

The Covid-19 pandemic was the impetus Jade O’Connor and her team at Goldenpages.ie needed to double down on a project they had been mulling over for a while – a destination website for local businesses that allows consumers to search by product and location. “Quite early on, research and reports were coming out highlighting that consumers wanted to support local businesses during the crisis – 74% of those surveyed in the IE. Tipping Point report for example. We could also see that bigger platforms were further encroaching on local businesses as e-commerce accelerated,” says O’Connor, who is VP of Product & Marketing for both Goldenpages.ie and GetLocal.ie, which was launched in March. The last physical Golden Pages directory

was printed in 2017, but the business had already built up a significant digital presence by then – continuing to focus on connecting local businesses with customers as an increasing number transitioned to selling online. “Our heritage and everything we do is about local businesses and how they can attract customers. More and more people are changing their buying patterns now. In reality, shopping has inverted: online is now experiential while in-store quite often is transactional,” notes O’Connor. “Product search online also tends to be the first part of the modern customer shopping journey. On average, a local business stocks around 200 products, but there was no way it could compete with the giants in a product search.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:22


MEDIA & MARKETING

PRODUCT POTENTIAL Goldenpages.ie had 1.4 million URLs available, most of which were products. The first port of call in developing GetLocal.ie was to build out an artificial intelligence engine and machine learning to allow it to categorise and sort through all of these. So far, around 850,000 items have been categorised and the products and services of over 5,000 businesses are now featured. Arriving on the GetLocal.ie site, the online shopper can decide to search for a particular product in a specific location or they can browse businesses listed in their area. Using a slider, they can narrow search results to as close as 1km and up to nationwide. The GetLocal. ie “shop front” for each business will direct the interested buyer to that business’s own website where they can complete the transaction or browse further. “Irish consumers are demanding a smarter online shopping experience centred around where they live. Platforms such as Amazon, Facebook Shops and Google are part of our online shopping experiences and that isn’t going to change,” says O’Connor. “However, too often the purchase journey on these sites ends with a parcel being dispatched from a warehouse in the UK or being shipped from China when there are Irish businesses located close to the consumer with the very same product in stock, ready for online order today and local delivery tomorrow.” SECRET SAUCE While consumers had the desire to shop local during the pandemic, there were barriers to them doing this online, O’Connor adds. “You can’t blame consumers who went online and did a search to end up with an imported product. Searching for products in local businesses was like looking for a needle in a haystack. We believe we have the secret sauce because our heritage and size allow us to solve this problem on a large scale.” GetLocal.ie aims to have 1 million products featured on the site in the coming weeks. It is free for businesses to join the platform and there is a team in place to help them to connect their online store and display their inventory on it. “There is always going to be a free aspect to GetLocal.ie, but just like international platforms we plan to monetise some part of it in the future with ad spots and through partnerships – we will not be monetising ‘on

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

028 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Media_Marketing.indd 29

Jade O’Connor, VP Product & Marketing, GetLocal.ie and Goldenpages.ie

“More and more people are changing their buying patterns now. In reality, shopping has inverted: online is now experiential while in-store quite often is transactional.”

the click’ or taking a cut from local businesses. The most important thing for us is to deliver customers to local merchants,” says O’Connor. It is too early to provide figures on how successful GetLocal.ie is in this respect, but O’Connor says there are positive indications that it is being embraced as a concept. “We’re continually on-boarding businesses and are recording huge growth in products featured week on week. We are seeing buying signals and click-throughs to companies’ own websites. But we are still very much in a learning phase and are currently heavily focused on search engine optimisation and how to make sure customers get the best result first.”

LOCAL FASCINATION

From an early age, Jade O’Connor, VP of Product & Marketing for GetLocal.ie and Goldenpages.ie, had first-hand experience of the issues local businesses face. Her family owned a general store in Co Roscommon. As a self-employed water sports instructor, she developed her own website in 2002 and in 2011 was Co-founder of Redeem&Get, a start-up focused on taking the pain out of managing daily deals. Later, she helped to solve digital transformation challenges for larger organisations, including Dublin Airport and TV3, before joining FCR Media UK & Ireland – the company behind Goldenpages. ie – in 2018. “No matter what size a business is, the digital challenges are often the same. Consumers are continually trying to solve problems – whether it is when purchasing a product, turning on a TV channel or navigating through an airport. If a business can get into that mindset and solve problems better than competitors online it will succeed.”

29

16/07/2021 11:22


INNOVATION & TECH

COLOURFUL EXPERIENCE Roe & Co Distillery in the Liberties in Dublin is collaborating with local restaurants to bring flavours from around the world to its Cocktail Village outdoor space. Spitalfields, Pickle, Bahay, Nightmarket, Matsu and Lil Portie are the six restaurants to feature for a fortnight each as part of the D-8TE gastronomical experience.

INSIDE

Not a concept people used to automatically associate with Ireland, al fresco dining has become a necessity and signs of innovation and creativity in how to make the most of it are emerging, writes SORCHA CORCORAN.

OUT 30

030 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Innovation & Tech_V1 REV.indd 30

F

áilte Ireland is currently rolling out a new €17m scheme to enable hospitality businesses to create “European-style” outdoor dining experiences. Open until 30 September, the first part of the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Investment Scheme allows individual operators to apply to their local authority for grants of up to €4,000 towards the cost of equipment to provide additional outdoor seating. In advance of the scheme being introduced, Fáilte Ireland tasked international architectural practice BDP to contribute to a visionary report on the creation of safer outdoor spaces as Ireland enters the next phase of its Covid-19 recovery plans. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:25


INNOVATION & TECH

“Our inclusive design ideas include measures to increase biodiversity, enhance the identity of the area, facilitate spontaneous events and generate relaxing spaces that promote public safety and wellbeing.”

Roe & Co

DESIGNED FOR CAPACITY Before Covid-19, An Pucán already had an eye-catching outdoor space, which has been completely redesigned and renovated to double capacity while still offering space and comfort. Heineken branding has been stylishly integrated. The Galway bar has also implemented an online booking system to help improve the customer experience.

SHARING THE SCENE

Castle Green Market

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

030 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Innovation & Tech_V1 REV.indd 31

Castle Green Market is a street-food experience which has opened outside King John’s Castle in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Three local restaurants – 360 Cookhouse, The Tannery and Crews Restaurant – each have a wooden hut serving their own specialities, such as gourmet hotdogs and falafels. There is a festival vibe to the shared outdoor seating area with benches and festoon lighting.

An Púcan

The Outdoor Dining and Urban Animation report helps businesses to consider layout, character and effective use of existing areas such as parklets, temporary pedestrianised areas and public squares. It also provides guidance on seating, winter-proofing, lighting, planting, heating and signage as well as tips to attract people back into towns and install new public art. “This report is about ensuring the short- and longterm economic and social sustainability of local areas but also creating busy, animated and exciting outdoor spaces for people to enjoy,” says Mehron Kirk, Landscape Architect Associate Director at BDP. “Our inclusive design ideas include measures to increase biodiversity, enhance the identity of the area, facilitate spontaneous events and generate relaxing spaces that promote public safety and wellbeing.” Known for its innovative work in the public realm, BDP recently finished a project to transform London’s Regent Street with sustainable planting and greening solutions to deliver improvements in safety, accessibility and air quality – while further enhancing the street’s iconic design.

31

16/07/2021 11:26


INNOVATION & TECH

VARIETY OUTSIDE The Cot & Cobble bar and restaurant opened in Ballina, Co Mayo in 2018, luckily with enough space to accommodate outdoor dining. In an effort to cater for everyone’s needs this summer and provide different experiences, there is a balcony with views of the River Moy, a marquee and an orchard area.

The Cot & Cobble

PLANTING A SEED “Greening has become a huge factor and the realisation is there now that even main retail streets can be improved with the right green infrastructure. We are already seeing up and down the country in Ireland how trees, planters and flowers are being used to enhance the design of outdoor dining areas,” says Kirk. The report outlines that there are many forms of planting which can be used to create an attractive and welcoming dining experience. Options include linear plants to create a boundary for containment areas, pots for specimen planting, smaller plants for table arrangements and hanging baskets from overhead structures. “Heights and visibility should be carefully considered with clear sightlines maintained. When selecting plant types, those with long lifespans or evergreens should be prioritised to ensure the external environment remains lively and vibrant all year,” the report advises. “One of the best ways to address the element

32

030 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Innovation & Tech_V1 REV.indd 32

One of the best ways to address the element of enclosure with outdoor dining is through planting, which makes it softer and helps to create a miniature microenvironment.”

of enclosure with outdoor dining is through planting, which makes it softer and helps to create a miniature microenvironment,” notes Kirk. He highlights the importance of biophilic design, an architectural concept that weaves the patterns and forms of nature into the built environment to strengthen the human-nature connection. “This started in offices driven by studies over the years showing that people are more productive and happier in the work environment if they are surrounded by plants. There is a final realisation that streets and outdoor dining areas need to be the same.” Aside from planting, BDP was keen to promote the idea of sustainability in all aspects of outdoor dining. “Businesses need to look at the durability and robustness of the different components. The beauty is that seating doesn’t have to be something sophisticated that you buy from a manufacturer. Upcycled and ideally locally-sourced materials such as tyres, pallets, wood and hay bales can be InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:26


INNOVATION & TECH

used where possible as a fun, pop-up alternative to standard seating types,” says Kirk. In a general sense, Fáilte Ireland and BDP agreed there are two main things to focus on when it comes to creating outdoor dining areas – firstly, that anything directly outside a particular outlet should respond very much to that building and the business itself and secondly, any intervention on a street should respond in a much stronger way to the character of the street as a whole.

A Seat for You

A SEAT FOR YOU Dublin City Council has introduced four new public seating areas in an initiative called ‘A Seat for You’. Up to 30 people can be facilitated at any one time in each area, which features picnic benches and parasols. The locations are Dublin Castle, Mansion House Forecourt, Capel Street and Lower O’Connell Street. Lord Mayor Hazel Chu is pictured with Caoimhe O’Reilly.

UPCYCLED FURNITURE Known for its green initiatives, The Connacht Hotel in Galway City has created a brand new outdoor area featuring up-cycled furniture made from wooden pallets and spools previously used for storing electrical cables – items that were destined for the skip. The area has become very popular with both guests and local residents. The Connacht Hotel The Long Dock Image courtesy of Fáilte Ireland

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

030 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Innovation & Tech_V1 REV.indd 33

EMBRACING EVOLUTION One of the trends Kirk and the BDP team looked at when working on the report was the emergence of parklets – In Ireland this has usually involved turning a car parking space into a dining area. “Some businesses have done this in its most simplistic form, while others worldwide have been very sophisticated and beautifully designed sometimes incorporating a piece of art,” he says. “It’s all very well to want everything to be the best and most beautiful it can be, but given the times we’re in, we have to accept that parklets can evolve. A parklet set up in its simplest form may in time become something with more permanence about it that integrates in a positive way with the urban environment.” In the report, BDP demonstrates using sketches six different steps that can be taken to develop a parklet. This goes from a simple layout including a deck with coloured gazebos to a sophisticated area with planters, a diverse seating layout and different levels of lighting. “It’s about taking as much pride in what you put outside as you do inside to make it a far nicer place. Even businesses with less than a square metre of space can do something with a couple of barrels for example,” says Kirk. It remains to be seen what difference Fáilte Ireland’s scheme and the urban animation report will make to Ireland’s outdoor dining scene, but for Kirk, the main positive so far is that they have got people thinking about it. “The seed has been sewn among local authorities and individual businesses about what they should be doing. A utopian scenario won’t always work but a lot of discussions have taken place which hadn’t happened before. The process of getting people to think about new ways of trading and doing things is just as important as funding. Lots of ad hoc elements happened naturally and spontaneously and there are plenty of businesses that have gone a step further than purely having a few seats and tables outside.”

33

16/07/2021 11:26


MOVERS & SHAKERS

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

MICHEÁL O’CONNOR

LISA FINNEGAN

CORMAC O’KEEFFE

NEIL WISDOM

NEW TITLE: Managing Director

NEW TITLE: Vice President, International Human Resources

NEW TITLE: Chairman

NEW TITLE: Chief Revenue Officer

EMPLOYER: Carbery Group

EMPLOYER: Welltel

EXISTING ROLE: Chairman, Lisavaird ` Co-op

PREVIOUS ROLE: Founder and Managing Director, Intellicom

Ingredients, flavours and cheese producer Carbery Group has announced that Cormac O’Keeffe will succeed TJ Sullivan as Chairman of the company, which is based in West Cork. A dairy farmer and current Chairman of the Lisavaird Co-op, O’Keeffe is a member of the Carbery Greener Dairy Farms group. He was previously Vice Chairman of Shinagh Estates and a board member of Munster Bovine and the National Cattle Breeding Centre.

Neil Wisdom is joining business communications provider Welltel as its Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) from Intellicom, which was acquired by Welltel last year in a €5.5m deal. He brings 31 years’ experience in telecoms and technology to the role, having held leadership roles with industry-leading indigenous and international companies. As CRO, Wisdom will lead the commercial function of Welltel as it continues on its upward growth path.

EMPLOYER: Dornan Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Deputy Managing Director, Dornan Group

Irish-headquartered construction and engineering firm Dornan Group has appointed Micheál O’Connor to the position of Managing Director. A chartered quantity surveyor and past President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, O’Connor brings almost 30 years’ experience in the construction industry to the role. Prior to joining Dornan in 2020, he was Vice President and General Manager for Ireland and Northern Europe with Jacobs.

EMPLOYER: LinkedIn PREVIOUS ROLE: Senior Director of HR for EMEA and LATAM, LinkedIn Lisa Finnegan has been promoted to the position of Vice President of LinkedIn’s International Human Resources organisation. In her new role, Finnegan will be responsible for leading LinkedIn’s HR business partners across the EMEA, LATAM and APAC regions, which will now be consolidated under one single team. Having joined LinkedIn in 2016, Finnegan was named on the Financial Times HERoes: Champions of Women in Business list.

L-R: Michelle Kearns, Head of IT and Linda Nolan, Head of Marketing, Boots Ireland

34

034 InBusiness Summer 2021_Movers+Shakers_V1 REV.indd 34

NEW BLOOD AT BOOTS InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:28


MOVERS & SHAKERS

EMPLOYERS NEED TO GO THE EXTRA MILE

Almost nine in every 10 workers say benefits such as access to supports around health, wellbeing, and financial advice are an important consideration when it comes to choosing an employer, according to the latest in the Taxpayer Sentiment Survey Series 2021. “Wellbeing in the workplace is something that employees are increasingly placing greater attention on. The employers we work with realise, or are at least beginning to realise, that to be an attractive proposition to talented and qualified workers, they need to deliver more than just the traditional offering of pay and conditions,” said Marian Ryan, Consumer Tax Manager with Taxback.com.

WAYNE BYRNE

DERMOT ROCHE

YVANKA GILLIAM

ANDY MARSDEN

NEW TITLE: Chief Commercial Officer

NEW TITLE: Head of Dublin office

NEW TITLE: Managing Director, London

EMPLOYER: Sidero

EMPLOYER: Secerna LLP

NEW TITLE: Vice President of Operations, APAC

PREVIOUS ROLE: Regional Vice President, Sungard Availability Services

PREVIOUS ROLE: Patent Counsel, Accenture

Software, cloud and digital transformation specialist Sidero has appointed Wayne Byrne as Chief Commercial Officer, a newly created role. Byrne has over 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, having held senior technical and business development positions with a number of leading Irish and multinational companies. He was Data Protection Country Manager at EMC Ireland for four years, prior to his most recent role at Sungard Availability Services.

Intellectual property law firm Secerna LLP has opened a Dublin office headed by former Accenture In-house Counsel Dermot Roche. With more than 20 years’ experience in the patent profession across Europe, Roche specialises in computer-implemented inventions and medical technology. He spent 14 years working in private practice in Ireland and the UK and held the role as In-house Counsel for Dolby Laboratories in the Netherlands.

EMPLOYER: Diaceutics PREVIOUS ROLE: Senior Client Partner, Kantar Health Dundalk-based diagnostics firm Diaceutics has appointed Yvanka Gilliam as Vice President of Operations, APAC. Gilliam has worked with IQVIA Asia Pacific in the Real-World Insights Division and as a Senior Medical Science Liaison at AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Corporation. In her most recent role at Kantar Health in the Real World Evidence division, she developed and implemented global business planning strategies and conducted highquality research.

EMPLOYER: Duff & Phelps PREVIOUS ROLE: Associate Partner, Ernst & Young

Advisory firm Duff & Phelps in Ireland, which is becoming a Kroll business, has hired Andy Marsden as Managing Director to lead its business modelling and analytics team in London. Marsden brings more than 16 years of modelling experience to the role. Prior to joining the firm, he spent 20 years with Ernst & Young where he was an associate partner in the Strategy and Transactions practice.

Boots Ireland has recently appointed Linda Nolan as Head of Marketing and Michelle Kearns as Head of IT. Nolan joins Boots Ireland from a leading consumer technology company where she worked for 14 years, most recently as Director of Marketing while Kearns previously spent almost 17 years working for a GP co-operative providing healthcare services throughout Ireland, most recently as Chief Information Officer. In 2016, Kearns founded and still holds the role of Director at One HealthTech Ireland, a network that supports and promotes openness, inclusion, kindness and diversity in health innovation.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

034 InBusiness Summer 2021_Movers+Shakers_V1 REV.indd 35

35

16/07/2021 11:29


EXECUTIVE EDUCATION OVERVIEW

New World, New Wisdom

36

036 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Executive Education_V1.indd 36

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 11:39


EXECUTIVE EDUCATION OVERVIEW

As

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

036 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Executive Education_V1.indd 37

the challenges of leadership evolve, to take in pressing problems of climate change, the curveballs created by the global pandemic, and the new ways of working in remote and hybrid models, executive education is responding. TU Dublin has set out an ambitious vision to ‘create a better world, together’, with a strategy aligning to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a focus on sustainability topics right across the board, from supply chains to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Trinity Business School is drawing on TCD’s internal and global network to deep-dive into solutions to climate change, with collaborations across schools of Natural Sciences and the Psychology to create courses aimed at rewiring businesses to more sustainable models. Furthermore, a new model of micro-credentials being piloted in Trinity Business School will offer busy executives the option to build up credits, picking and choosing from a range of short courses to suit their needs. American College Dublin has also moved to offer more flexible options to students, with rolling starts to courses, rather than the traditional academic year. New ways of working and new pressures require measured responses, and Colm Murphy, Head of Coaching Programmes at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, advises on how leaders can best equip themselves, taking space to reflect and grow a network of supportive peers in executive education. Graduates of the NUI Galway MBA echo the importance of the network they gained during their studies, while those from a technical background underline the importance of learning the language of business and finance to work crossfunctionally, and to bring their careers to the next level.

IN THIS FEATURE

As the challenges of leadership evolve, executive education offers space for reflection, growth and learning.

39

UCD SMURFIT EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT Colm Murphy, Head of Coaching Programmes at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, explains how its offering can equip leaders to deal with the biggest challenges of moving to a hybrid work model.

40

TRINITY BUSINESS SCHOOL With cross-faculty collaboration, and an agile approach to meeting executive learning needs, Trinity Business School is equipping leaders to deal with the ever-increasing challenges of the modern business landscape.

42

TU DUBLIN As we rebuild the economy, TU Dublin sets out an ambitious vision to create a better world, together.

45

NUI GALWAY MBA Graduates of the NUI Galway MBA describe how it has accelerated their career progression and leadership potential.

47

KING’S INNS A practical understanding of domestic and EU legislation is invaluable across all sectors; King’s Inns offers a broad range of advanced Diploma courses catering to business professionals.

48

AMERICAN COLLEGE DUBLIN As a small, nimble institution, American College Dublin is uniquely placed to respond to the needs of its students with flexibility.

37

20/07/2021 10:18


CHANGE

STARTS HERE DRIVE YOUR CAREER FORWARD AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS IN AN INSPIRING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT As Ireland’s premier provider of executive development open programmes, we can help you master the right skills for the most complex global business challenges with our unique and flexible MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) pathway. If you are an experienced professional who wants to continue in your chosen career while undertaking part-time study, then our flexible MSc pathway option will offer you the very best learning experience and a world-class qualification. Our MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) is based on a framework of selected diploma programmes. By completing any three of the diplomas below, you will receive the qualification of MSc Business (Leadership & Management Practice) accredited and awarded by UCD.

DIPLOMA IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 6th September 2021

DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS & EXECUTIVE COACHING 19th October 2021

DIPLOMA IN ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION 28th October 2021

DIPLOMA IN ADVANCED MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE 4th November 2021

DIPLOMA IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT 18th November 2021

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE? For further information, please contact Caroline Kinsella on (01) 716 8050 or email caroline.kinsella@ucd.ie

DIPLOMA IN HIGH PERFORMANCE SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 18th November 2021

DIPLOMA IN STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION 25th November 2021

Executive Education Ranking 2020

DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS FINANCE 25th November 2021

www.smurfitschool.ie/executivedevelopment

Upcoming programmes1 advertQ2_V1.indd Better Business Advert template.indd 250854_1C_UCD_JM_InBus 1 2021.indd 1

14/07/2021 15:10 16/07/2021 15/07/2021 09:16 09:10


IB PARTNER PROFILE – EDUCATION

Equipping Leaders for Change Colm Murphy, Head of Coaching Programmes at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, explains how its offering can equip leaders to deal with the biggest challenges of moving to a hybrid work model.

A

s work life moves towards a hybrid model, managing teams will involve a whole new set of challenges. Our offering at UCD Smurfit Executive Development includes a number of courses which are particularly relevant to these challenges: the Diploma in Team

do we need to be a team for?’ This is very important so we know what our commitment to the team is and what’s expected of us. It won’t just happen by chance, you have to be intentional about the purpose of the team and clear on the interdependencies between team members.

Colm Murphy, Head of Coaching Programmes, UCD Smurfit Executive Development

WHEN YOU HAVE TO SCHEDULE OVERLAPPING DAYS TO MEET AS A TEAM, IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE VERY CLEAR ON WHAT THE EXPECTATIONS ARE. Coaching offers team leaders, coaches and consultants space to reflect, and grow their skills and confidence to work with teams, while the Diploma in Organisational Change & Transformation is geared towards change agents, driving a change agenda throughout a wider organisation, including through teams. At this time, there are five key challenges which teams and leaders can prepare for, making use of the core ideas I teach in team coaching—listening, asking questions, supporting people, challenging and raising awareness. 1. CLARITY OF PURPOSE Getting clarity on the purpose of the team will be essential as members are dispersed and working different hours. The key question is: ‘What

2. STRUCTURE When you have to schedule overlapping days to meet as a team, it’s important to be very clear on what the expectations are. How do you start having conversations with the team about when and how often you need to meet? How do you take into account team members in other time zones? There has been a move to make teams smaller, making it easier to connect with a smaller group of people. 3. OUTPUT FOCUS There is a shift in focus away from inputs to outputs. As a leader I don’t get to see if you are busy or not in the office, so I need to let go of that that measurement of performance. What I need to rely on is what output you are producing, not how you go about doing it.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

UCD_IB Education Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V3.indd 39

4. CONNECTION Well-being surveys from the past 12 months have shown people working from home have lost connection with the organisation and their colleagues. Leaders and teams need to figure out how to make time not just for the work but also to get connected to each other when work is no longer a place, but a way of working. 5. PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY The fifth challenge is the idea of creating psychological safety. What we mean by that is: ‘Is it safe to be me and to take risks sharing my ideas and making mistakes?’ We’ve all been in teams or groups where we didn’t feel safe to speak up, challenge, or share a crazy idea. What do you do now if you’re a member of a team and due to family circumstances you only want to be in the office once a week? Do you feel safe enough to bring that up? For more information on UCD Smurfit Executive Development see www.smurfitschool.ie/ executivedevelopment/

39

16/07/2021 12:09


EDUCATION – IB PARTNER PROFILE

The Challenges of Our Times With cross-faculty collaboration, and an agile approach to meeting executive learning needs, Trinity Business School is equipping leaders to deal with the ever-increasing challenges of the modern business landscape.

Campanile and Front Square at Trinity College

E

xecutive education needs to align with the challenges facing organisations today in order to develop leaders who are prepared for competitive, digital and organisational change. To facilitate this process, the building of leadership character is something Trinity looks to weave into all of its executive education programmes, according to Michael Flynn, Director of Executive Education, Trinity Business School. One of the key factors that sets its offering apart is the school’s location within the Trinity College campus: “By being a part of this bigger community, we’re able to draw upon not just the best research and thought leadership from the school itself and from our amazing faculty, but also from across the wider university community, as well as TCD’s network of subject matter experts and academic thought leaders from right across the world.” With Triple-Accreditation status, Trinity Business School is among the top 0.6% of business schools worldwide. BE THE CHANGE A key area of collaboration is with the School of Natural Sciences, around the topic of climate action. Flynn states: “I would argue personally that climate action is the single most important issue facing businesses today. “The school has, as a part of its own strategy, a really proactive approach to climate action. It’s very clear to us now that business as usual is not good enough. We need to be facilitators and proactive creators of momentum when it comes to climate action and climate adaption.” In order to create an ethos of responsible leadership and strategies focused particularly on climate action, the school has called upon its colleagues in the School of Natural Sciences and other areas of the college. “They have been

40

TBS_IB Education Partner Profile DPS Summer 2021_AMA_V2.indd 40

Staircase at Trinity Business School

absolutely wonderful in assisting us to tease out the push towards carbon neutrality and the rewiring of business models,” Flynn notes. In another example of collaboration, the newly-launched Sustainable Development for Business programme includes modules which have been developed in tandem with the Schools of Engineering and Psychology. The programme is a game changer for how businesses can transform responsible leadership into proactive climate action and sustainability. “The programme provides important tools for businesses to discover competitiveness and differentiation through sustainability as they move forward towards carbon neutrality,” says Flynn. HUMAN FUTURES The Trinity Centre for Digital Business and Analytics also sits within Trinity Business School and works closely with the Executive Education team on a range of specialised open enrolment and customised programmes in the areas of digital transformation, big data and business analytics. “Our approach is that digital transformation is essentially change management on steroids! Technology is evolving fast, opening up new capabilities and routes to competitive advantage. Organisations need to be constantly moving their digital transformation in the direction of contemporary excellence, connecting big data, AI and analytics with strategy and performance. “When we talk about transformation, be it digital or ecological, what we’re really talking about is the concept of change management and organisational evolution—hence that

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:00


IB PARTNER PROFILE – EDUCATION

word ‘transformation’. Digital has been very much at the heart of change management for the past decade but we’re now moving towards a more holistic approach to transformation of a business,” Flynn states. “Digital plays a role but it’s also about what we term ‘Human Futures’—how people work together, how we redefine productivity, how we interact across distributed workforces, with remote customers and so on. “Ideally, this all comes together in a way where we’re lessening our footprint on the planet, embedding digital excellence and innovation as part of our business model but also developing resilience and well-being among our people and maintaining a high level of customer-centricity .” This innovative approach to executive education bore fruit in 2020 with Trinity winning a global award in executive education with one of its custom education partners, daa. HUMAN RIGHTS & DIVERSITY Trinity Executive Education also works closely with the Trinity centre for Social Innovation, a research centre within Trinity Business School that focuses on issues including climate action, diversity and human rights. A recent research report by the Centre looked at where the Irish business community stands in relation to internationally agreed goals for human rights and commitment to meeting those goals. “It was the start of a very robust conversation, that’s been going on for much of the last 12 months, around how Irish businesses, facilitated by organisations such as ourselves, can move towards a better approach to human rights, equality, access and diversity,” says Flynn. A new short course, Creating Value with ESG, under the Executive Education umbrella speaks to this, with Flynn describing it as designed to “assist organisations in creating a culture and systems that are more amenable towards diversity and accessibility and mindful of human rights and equality”. Along with cultural and societal demands for corporate responsibility, he notes that, “The European Union is in the process of finalising new legislation and EU directives that are coming down the line which will make it mandatory for all organisations above a certain size to meet minimum levels of competency and excellence in human rights.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

TBS_IB Education Partner Profile DPS Summer 2021_AMA_V2.indd 41

Trinity Business School

MICRO-CREDENTIALS

An exciting new development in corporate learner-focused education. “Working in a global context, what we’ve found through our partnerships with organisations is that there’s a need for a more agile and a more flexible approach to executive development,” states Michael Flynn, Director of Executive Education, Trinity Business School. To respond to this need, in September of this year Trinity Business School is rolling out a suite of carefully crafted micro-credential (MC) courses across key areas of leadership and management. The business school is one of four schools within TCD involved, with TCD one of the lead institutions in a national micro-credentialing pilot programme under the HCI Human Capital Initiative, a government-supported initiative to create agile skill-sets for the workforce of the future. These open enrolment courses will allow participants to undertake short courses in a truly innovative and flexible way, receiving 5 ECTS credits for each, which can be stacked towards a future university award . The initial offering will see eight different courses, rising to at least 20 different options within 12 months. Flynn states: “Participants will synthesise the coursework back in their organisations. The workload is very much focused on action- learning. Everything on these short courses is designed to be impactful and applicable to your career and the organisation you are working in.”

41

20/07/2021 10:20


EDUCATION – IB PARTNER PROFILE

Dr. Colin Hughes, Head of the Graduate Business School, TU Dublin

Rebuilding a Sustainable Economy As we rebuild the economy, TU Dublin sets out an ambitious vision to create a better world, together.

A

s we rebuild the Irish economy there is an opportunity to do so in a sustainable manner, that is to say in a stronger, fairer and more ecological way, that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a charter of 17 interconnected objectives that have been designed to create a better world for all, by 2030. The achievement of the SDGs require all sectors of the economy and society to work together and educational providers play an important role in this regard. In an Irish context, TU Dublin has set out an ambitious vision to ‘create a better world, together’. The university developed its strategy

for 2030 through the lens of the UN SDGs. The strategy focuses on the three pillars of People, Planet and Partnership. Underpinned by SDG4 ‘Quality Education’, these three pillars inform the university’s approach to educational, research and engagement activities, ensuring TU Dublin delivers real change, innovation and impact for society. SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Within the College of Business at TU Dublin there has been a strong focus on sustainability and its role in business in recent years. Commenting on this work, Dr Colin Hughes, Head of the Graduate Business School, notes that, “We are in a position

42

TU Dublin_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V1_REV2.indd 42

to add value to organisations and society by taking a leadership position with regard to sustainability. We are signatories to UN PRME and our recent PRME Progress Report captures the hard work and innovation among our students and staff in making progress on the SDGs.” TU Dublin business students, from undergraduates to executive learners, have been increasingly focusing on sustainability in recent years, across various topics from sustainable supply chains to consumption; circular economy; environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). They are completing impactful projects and engaging with experts from within the college and externally to understand the challenges and opportunities we face as a society. IMPACT FOCUS Dr Lucia Walsh who leads modules on entrepreneurship and marketing notes: “We incorporate sustainability debates within all of our topics rather than as an add-on. As part of a TU Dublin-wide project over 1,000 business students have engaged with a sustainability literacy test called Sulitest and reflected on the key issues and their implications for their academic, personal and professional lives. Our executive MBAs, who are leaders in every sector, also engage with experts in sustainability and business and work with clients on their enterprise sustainability challenges.” According to Dr Hughes, TU Dublin is committed to ensuring that graduates are capable and motivated to drive change for a better world. Along with a range of exciting new sustainability modules, the College of Business has developed a new Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership which will launch in September and a new seminar series, ConnectEDPlanet, which will feature a wide array of expert speakers and is open to the public. See www.tudublin.ie/pgbusiness/ connected-business-seminar-series

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

20/07/2021 10:21


TU Dublin Graduate Business School

Infinite Possibilities

TU Dublin Graduate Business School is an internationally accredited, award winning business school. Our 30 plus programmes are designed in partnership with business and are proven to drive impact at both an individual and organisational level. We foster a dynamic and exciting learning environment, where our learners engage with expert faculty, peers from a variety of sectors and distinguished alumni. Join us and begin your journey towards personal transformation and career growth!

e: pgbusiness@tudublin.ie w: tudublin.ie/pgbusiness Advert template.indd 1 250880_1C_TU Dublin_JM_InBus 250348_1C_TU Dublin_JM_IB RecQ2_V1.indd Awards.indd 1 1

16/07/2021 15/07/2021 09:17 27/01/2021 09:20 12:59


NUI Galway MBA Developing Globally Talented Leaders of Vision, with Regional Edge

We define our NUI Galway MBA regional edge as: ‘The unique synergy of NUI Galway expertise, delivery and focus combined with exceptional regional business enterprise and talent’. We distinguish our MBA by offering an integrated learning experience characterised by our distinctive focus pillars of: • Transformational Leadership • Innovating Success • Business for Society

Key Features • New Hybrid Delivery Model • Innovative Curriculum of Immediate Value • Personal Development Journey in Leadership Transformation • Dynamic Peer-to-Peer Learning Environment • Led by Subject Matter Experts • MBA Guest Speakers and Masterclasses • International Leadership Gateway

Learn More: nuigalway.ie/mba

Advert template.indd 1 NUI Galway Ads_Final_V2.indd 1

16/07/2021 13/07/2021 12:36 12:52


IB PARTNER PROFILE – EDUCATION

Position Yourself for Success Graduates of the NUI Galway MBA describe how it has accelerated their career progression and leadership potential.

D

riven by an experienced, passionate and dedicated faculty, the NUI Galway MBA integrates an academically rigorous and challenging realworld business education with industry engagement and global learning. Our MBA provides you with the knowledge, transferable skills and confidence required to lead innovative success. As we soon celebrate 50 years of experience in MBA provision, and we are accredited by the global Association of MBAs (AMBA), choosing NUI Galway is a smart decision. NEW PERSPECTIVES For Deepak Jain, an Engineering Manager with Intel, the vertical leadership was one of the key points that attracted him to the MBA programme. “We had a great module where we did surveys to see what our blind spots were. I had honest interactions with my team and worked with a coach to address those issues. The way it was set up gave me time to work on the elements where I could improve.” Despite finishing the second year of the programme online during the pandemic, he credits the programme directors with helping students adapt to the challenge, and recreating the vital networking opportunities so crucial to MBA learning. Áine Ní Chualáin, Senior Director, R&D Counsel at Alkermes, graduated from the NUI Galway MBA in 2018 and has since been promoted

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

NUI Galway_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_JM_V2 REV3.indd 45

twice internally. As an in-house legal advisor, she says that “one of the most significant benefits of the MBA has been the method of engagement with the business. At times the MBA requires broad engagement across many disciplines and at other times demands deep understanding of a specific area. The MBA experience provided me with the skills and confidence to communicate cross-functionally from a business perspective, not just a technical legal perspective, which has been transformative for my career.”

Áine Ní Chualáin

Deepak Jain

Ross Doherty

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS “I had a pretty good idea about what kind of return on investment I wanted to get from the MBA when it came to my career development: I wanted a role that was more strategic, one or two levels higher within the organisation, and with more of a global focus,” says Ross Doherty, Strategy Principal at SAP and MBA class of 2019. Coming from an IT background, his key areas of focus were broadening his understanding of business, building leadership and interpersonal skills, and improving his understanding of finance and economics. “Looking back, it definitely fulfilled that beyond my expectations. In fact, about six months after graduation, I found the dream role for me, and was successful in getting it. The areas I developed on the MBA were critical for me to do my current job.” Given the financial, academic and personal commitments required, pursuing an MBA is an important decision. The NUI Galway MBA provides a proven, excellent return on investment resulting in a personal platform that will position you for accelerated career success. Developing globally talented leaders of vision with regional edge is our mission and we deliver. Choosing to undertake an MBA is a big decision, we understand that and we are here to help. Visit nuigalway.ie/mba or contact us at mba@nuigalway.ie for more information.

45

20/07/2021 10:24


Early morning, evening, or weekend classes Small group teaching Courses available to study online Open to lawyers and non-legal professionals Applications taken from April

BUSINESS AND THE LAW - DEVELOP A PRACTICAL UNDERSTANDING Law is for everyone. Amidst growing complexity, businesses now face unprecedented challenges in today’s market. To stay competitive, a practical understanding of the relevant domestic and EU legislation is essential.

Professional Development Courses (Advanced Diplomas) · Law and Education

· Public Procurement Law

· Lawyer-Linguistics and Legal Translation

· Social Media and Media Law

· Legal Translation

· Mediation new course

· Legal Practice through Irish

· Legal Innovation and Technology new course

· Corporate, White-Collar and Regulatory Crime

· Applied Employment Law

· Legislative Drafting

· Planning and Environmental Law · Data Protection Law · Quasi-Judicial Decision-Making · Medical Law · Immigration and Asylum Law King’s Inns is an independent educational institution renowned for professional legal education and training. The School of Law offers accessible part-time courses in specialist areas of the law.

@kingsinns

Advert template.indd 1 250824_1C_Kings Inn_AMA_InBus Q2_V2.indd 1

Henrietta Street Dublin D01 KF59

Early morning, evening, or weekend classes Courses available to study online Open to lawyers and non-legal professionals.

Now taking applications for 2021 / 2022 Early applications advised as places are limited on some courses.

Learn more at:

kingsinns.ie/advanceddiplomas

16/07/2021 28/06/2021 09:24 12:59


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Law: A Fundamental in Business Practice A practical understanding of domestic and EU legislation is invaluable across all sectors; King’s Inns offers a broad range of advanced diploma courses catering to business professionals.

“L

aw should not just be left to lawyers to understand. It is a fundamental part of any business practice today,” states Dr Eimear Brown, Dean of the King’s Inns School of Law. Established in 1541 as the training institution for barristers, King’s Inns today offers a broad range of highly sought-after legal courses which are open to nonlegal professionals and cater to the contemporary businessperson, assisting them in understanding and navigating the current legal issues that affect their day-today operations. “Amidst growing complexity, businesses now face unprecedented challenges in

today’s market; to stay competitive, a practical understanding of the relevant domestic and EU legislation is essential.” ALL WALKS OF LIFE “Many of our advanced diploma courses are suitable for people with a non–legal background, attracting a range of professionals from different industries in Ireland and

AMIDST GROWING COMPLEXITY, BUSINESSES NOW FACE UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGES IN TODAY’S MARKET; TO STAY COMPETITIVE, A PRACTICAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE RELEVANT DOMESTIC AND EU LEGISLATION IS ESSENTIAL.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Kings Inn_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V1 REV2.indd 47

internationally,” notes Dr Brown. “These dynamic and versatile courses are delivered from a practical point of view, which assists many employees, company directors, consultants and self–employed individuals in understanding and navigating the current legal issues that affect their day–to–day business operations.” Professional development courses on offer for the coming semester include topics such as Data Protection Law, Public Procurement Law and Social Media and Media Law. “Some advanced diploma courses are of importance regardless of the sector concerned. After all, Data Protection Law and Applied Employment Law are areas that affect almost every business,” says Dr Brown. “Social Media and Media Law is of increasing general importance in a society where nearly every business relies upon media for some aspect of its business, whether that be promotion or customer service or the direct provision of services.” ACCESSIBLE LEARNING King’s Inns has been at the forefront of digital learning, and prioritises ease of accessibility to its courses, which are currently offered through an easy-to-navigate online platform. For the self-employed or small business owner, it is possible to look for financial support from Skillnet Ireland to fund a course. Many of the advanced diploma courses at King’s Inns are designed with busy schedules in mind and offer classes either early in the morning, in the evenings or at weekends, with many sessions recorded for those unable to attend live. However, Dr Brown underlines that as soon as it is possible, the team hope to welcome students back on site. “King’s Inns is built on networking and engagement with your peers. Hopefully next academic year, we will invite students on the professional courses back in for social events, fireside chats and talks.” For more information see www.kingsinns.ie

47

15/07/2021 15:58


EDUCATION – IB PARTNER PROFILE

Agile Responsive Education As a small, nimble institution, American College Dublin is uniquely placed to respond to the needs of its students with flexibility.

W

ith a background in technology, Rowland Crawte, Director of Administration at American College Dublin, may have been more prepared than most for the challenges of transitioning education online during the pandemic. In fact, preparations had already been underway for some innovative ways of delivering courses. “We did have plans anyway, to apply to our American accreditation body for accreditation to deliver courses online, before the pandemic,” he reveals. With a different set of rules applying from the US college accreditation system, American College Dublin is uniquely placed to formulate flexible education models that are quite different to anything in the domestic market. “What we’ve found is that it’s not always suitable for people to start at a certain time of year, so it’s good to have a rolling start for some of these courses,” Crawte notes. With the global population now adjusted to operating in the digital world, it opens up new opportunities for flexible education models. “It can be done, where you do have that oneway delivery, and then maybe you have a weekend on site or a couple of meetings a week where you have that tutorial conversational element to it.” American College Dublin is already offering one of its courses

48

ACD_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V1.indd 48

WHAT WE’VE FOUND IS THAT IT’S NOT ALWAYS SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE TO START AT A CERTAIN TIME OF YEAR, SO IT’S GOOD TO HAVE A ROLLING START FOR SOME OF THESE COURSES.

One experiment was refining the policy around whether to have students’ cameras on during Zoom classes. “At first we didn’t enforce cameras being on, but what we found was that people’s grades started to dip off, and people’s attendance started to dip off. We had to do a complete 180 turnaround where we said you need to have a reason not to have your camera turned on. Things like that were very useful for us to have tested the waters with when submitting our application for accreditation to do online delivery. You know what works and what doesn’t work and how best to approach it.” Rowland Crawte, Director of Administration, American College Dublin fully online, with three cohorts already having started. “It was already in mind to do this, but what was on a two-year horizon planning-wise then got condensed down to six months due to the pandemic.” ENGAGEMENT With a digital focus here to stay, Crawte says the learnings around best practice continue. “We’ve implemented a lot of things that we didn’t know we’d have to implement, just through being forced to, and it helped us to understand things that we maybe didn’t realise beforehand.”

AGILE RESPONSE With a global network of students, responding to their needs with agility has been crucial to American College Dublin’s operations, including allowing students to pay tuition fees by monthly payments rather than per semester—it’s all about making education accessible. This September the next challenge will be welcoming students back, while remaining accessible to those who wish to continue remotely (made possible by the US accreditation which does not require residence in Ireland for an award). With the technology already in place, American College Dublin is ready with a flexible approach. For more information see iamu.edu

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

20/07/2021 10:26


Find out how 2,400 organisations are developing their talent with The Open University. Here at The Open University we’re experts in flexible, online, distance learning designed to adapt to you and your organisation. We work with over 2,400 organisations to attract and grow their own talent, helping employers to address skill gaps in areas such as digital, management and leadership to future-proof their workforce.

Find out more: open.ac.uk/business

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. © 2021 The Open University.

Advert template.indd 1 250578_1C_Open University_AMA_InBus Q2_V1.indd 1

16/07/2021 05/07/2021 09:26 11:46


ACCOUNTANCY OVERVIEW

Accountancy: Stategic Advice in Challenging Times 50

050 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Accountancy Opener_V1_Revised.indd 50

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

30/07/2021 14:07


ACCOUNTANCY OVERVIEW

At

t the end of the day, business relies on the bottom line, and in times of crisis, businesses rely on their accountants. The past year-and-a-half has been challenging in the extreme, and while some have thrived, many sectors have struggled. Clever management of debt and cash flow could be the deciding factor between a business remaining viable or not. At this time, accountants are crucial allies to help businesses chart a path forward with strategic advice. As Áine Collins, President of CPA Ireland, notes, “It will still take businesses of all sizes time to recover from the disruptions created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The absolute imperative during this time is securing cash flow for businesses.” David Gleeson, Managing Partner of RBK concurs, stating, “The difference between those who survive and those who won’t is having the proper resources on their balance sheet, so they don’t run out of cash when they run into some headwinds.” Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland, advises, “It’s not about predicting what the next disruption will be; it’s about being as well prepared as possible for the disruptions that will inevitably come.” The role of the accountant is certainly becoming more strategic, and with this evolution, opportunities in the accounting profession are becoming broader and broader. As Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland, points out, a training firm in Ireland today is as likely to be a pharmaceutical company as one of the traditional ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms. With companies like Sage leveraging powerful cloud-based technologies and wiping out hours of manual administrationand the strategic advisory role accountants are playing in many businesses, it’s certainly a challenging and fascinating time for the profession.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

050 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Accountancy Opener_V1_Revised.indd 51

IN THIS FEATURE

In a time of challenge to the survival of businesses, and as we look to rebuilding the economy, the role of accountants is crucial, and more strategic than ever before.

52 CPA IRELAND Providing members and students with the qualifications and support required to progress in their accountancy careers

58 SAGE IRELAND Barry Murphy, Managing Director, Sage Ireland, on supporting businesses to adapt and thrive throughout a challenging year.

62 CHARTERED

ACCOUNTANTS IRELAND With strong demand for chartered accountants from Ireland’s foreign direct investment companies, the qualification enables a global career, says Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

66 IRISH TAX INSTITUTE Having worked closely with businesses throughout the pandemic, Sandra Clarke, President of the Irish Tax Institute reflects on the opportunity for tax supports to assist viable businesses to survive.

68 DELOITTE IRELAND How can organisations focus on building resilience even further, in advance of the ‘next normal’? Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland, outlines three key areas that should be of focus.

70 RBK RBK works with businesses, from start-up throughout the life cycle, offering a personal service and strategic advice.

51

30/07/2021 14:15


Available in SMALL,

MENTORS SERIES

MEDIUM

SUMMER

2021

MENTORS SERIES

DIANA GERAGHTY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT BROWN THOMAS ARNOTTS ON BRINGING ABOUT ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’

and

2021

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Sustainability start-ups

LARGE

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Sustainability start-ups

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SUMMER

DIANA GERAGHTY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT BROWN THOMAS ARNOTTS ON BRINGING ABOUT ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’

THE WHOLE PACKAGE Zeus in growth and environmental mode

THE WHOLE PACKAGE

InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021

InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021

Zeus in growth and environmental mode

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS FiltraCycle’s solution to cigarette waste

FiltraCycle’s solution to cigarette waste

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

DIGITAL

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

DIGITAL

02

772009 393018

€2.70

9

OFC InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover.indd 1

16/07/2021 10:13

02

MENTORS SERIES SUMMER

2021

772009 393018

€2.70

9

OFC InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover.indd 1

16/07/2021 10:13

DIANA GERAGHTY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT BROWN THOMAS ARNOTTS ON BRINGING ABOUT ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’

CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Sustainability start-ups THE WHOLE PACKAGE Zeus in growth and environmental mode InBUSINESS SUMMER 2021

TURN UP FOR THE BUTTS FiltraCycle’s solution to cigarette waste

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Business, on empowering SMEs

DIGITAL 02

OFC InBusiness Summer 2021_Cover.indd 1

772009 393018

€2.70

9

16/07/2021 10:13

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

www.ashville.com/library Ashville ISSUU Full Page Advert.indd 1

16/07/2021 15:25


IB PARTNER PROFILE

PROVIDING MEMBERS AND STUDENTS WITH THE QUALIFICATIONS AND SUPPORT REQUIRED TO PROGRESS IN THEIR ACCOUNTANCY CAREERS

Áine Collins, President, CPA Ireland InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

051_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CPA Business Supplement_V2 REV2.indd 53

53

30/07/2021 14:12


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Strategic Support Áine Collins, President of CPA Ireland, on the role of the accountancy profession in supporting Ireland’s recovery after the pandemic.

the Covid-19 pandemic. The absolute imperative during this time is securing cash flow for businesses. Thankfully there are many generous grants available, though these are not always easy to navigate. A second priority for many businesses will be dealing with Brexit and the additional regulatory burdens it has brought. There remains a lot of confusion around Brexit and resolving this will be a key challenge.

Á

ine Collins was elected as President of CPA Ireland in April 2021. She qualified as a CPA in 1996 and is Director of Blueprint Consultancy, providing financial and strategic business advice across several sectors. She has vast expertise and experience in the SME sector from start-ups to growing established businesses internationally, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Collins has held a variety of roles prior to her election at CPA Ireland. She has a passion for and track record of supporting businesses to meet the challenges and opportunities in managing and developing new business as well as supporting business owners and management teams with financial effectiveness and strategic focus. From 2011 to 2016 Collins was a Public Representative for the constituency of Cork North West and a Member of the Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Member of the Committee of Public Accounts, and Chairperson on the SME group, contributing to the formation of Government policy in these areas.

Áine Collins, President, CPA Ireland

Q: What do you see as the biggest obstacles facing businesses in the next 12 months? A: Firstly, and very importantly, the overall outlook for business is positive. We can now reasonably expect the next 12 months will be much better, for most businesses, than the 12 we have just experienced. But it will still take businesses of all sizes time to recover from the disruptions created by

Q: As we emerge from the pandemic are there opportunities you see out there for business? A: The first reason to be optimistic is that we are getting closer to the end of the pandemic. Even nine months ago that didn’t look certain. The ending of Covid-19 restrictions will bring with it a resurgence in consumer demand. Many people are fortunate to have maintained employment over the last year and now have pent-up savings. So there will be opportunities for businesses in practically every sector to benefit from this consumer spending power. However, we can’t afford to assume everyone will benefit from a

“The world of work has also changed dramatically. There was an acceleration in remote working due to the pandemic, we now appreciate that remote working is here to stay. Businesses need to decide how to manage this. A clear preference among CPAs is for a hybrid model in future.”

Why Choose CPA Ireland? RECOGNITION

OPPORTUNITY

SUPPORT

FLEXIBILITY

An internationally recognised qualification enables you to take advantage of global career opportunities.

The career opportunities open to you with a CPA qualification are endless.

The CPA Ireland team are on hand to provide support and advice.

Choose between options to study part-time or online, to work around your schedule.

54

051_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CPA Business Supplement_V2 REV2.indd 54

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

30/07/2021 14:12


IB PARTNER PROFILE

TAKE YOUR BUSINESS post-pandemic boom. Businesses will need support and they will need it for a prolonged period of time. Q: What role do you see the accountancy profession playing in Ireland’s economic recovery? A: The Government acted swiftly and has maintained very good supports for businesses throughout this pandemic. However, these are not always being communicated clearly. Your CPA can advise you on what grants you qualify for and support you through the application process. Re-establishing cash flow, lines of credit and supplier networks are all going to be major challenges as the restrictions ease. Again, this is where using the skills and strategic knowledge of your CPA can be of very real benefit to your business. Q: What do you envisage will be the biggest change in the post-pandemic economy? A: What I’d like to see is a renewed focus on sustainability. The pandemic forced many businesses to pause or suspend sustainability programmes, but our planet cannot afford to wait. The world of work has also changed dramatically. There was an acceleration in remote working due to the pandemic, we now appreciate that remote working is here to stay. Businesses need to decide how to manage this. A clear preference among CPAs is for a hybrid model in future. Finally, digital transformation will become increasingly important. Businesses need to challenge themselves to take advantage of technology. This can seem a daunting task, but at the end of the day it’s about doing it better, or freeing up time, so you can focus on what you do best.

RESOURCES Technical and business resources to stay up-todate on the latest industry developments.

Anywhere with a CPA

As advisers to over 100,000 businesses in Ireland, CPAs provide accountancy and business advisory services for you to ‘Take your Business Anywhere’. BUSINESS DIRECTION ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS CPAs provide SMEs not only with accountancy, tax and audit services but with advisory services on how SMEs can grow. One of the challenges faced by businesses in Ireland is the lack of resources and time to analyse the business environment and assess conditions affecting the achievement of business objectives. CPAs provide a range of business and strategic advisory services. With an innate understanding of the business environment and based on your company’s position, the advice offered can help you grow your business. CPAs also offer advisory services on funding and the identification of options to both sustain and analyse future growth opportunities leading to increased profits. Some CPA firms offer advisory services on HR and system processes to aid the internal analysis of an SME’s organisation. NAVIGATING YOUR BUSINESS FINANCES If you are having trouble navigating your business finances during the Covid-19 pandemic, CPAs are trusted financial advisors and advise over 100,000 businesses in Ireland in a range of industries.  RED TAPE AND LEGAL JARGON  The regulatory requirements around running a business are challenging for SMEs, especially those that don’t have the resources, be it financial or human, to cut through the red tape. CPAs provide accountancy and advisory services, simplifying the legal jargon and cutting through the red tape, so you and your staff have the time to focus on business growth. REGISTERED AUDITORS CPA firms are regulated to ensure their services are delivered to a high standard. CPA audit firms can add value to your statutory audit process, so you can trust in their ability to ensure your company is compliant. Please visit www.cpaireland.ie/findacpa to find your local CPA.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

051_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CPA Business Supplement_V2 REV2.indd 55

55

30/07/2021 14:13


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Data Analytics

tin

C ore

Ac

g

Disruptive Technology

cou

n

Leadership & Strategy

Sustainability

Facing the Future of the Accountancy Profession CPA Ireland’s new syllabus is backed by thorough research and insights into the future needs of the profession.

I

n recent years, CPA Ireland undertook thorough and relevant research in a bid to gain insight into the future of the accountancy profession and most importantly understand the future needs of businesses and employers. In 2020 CPA Ireland launched a new syllabus ‘Ready to Face the Future of Accounting’. With the introduction of the new syllabus, CPA Ireland is ensuring that the knowledge and skills that our newly qualified CPA accountants will bring to the market

56

051_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CPA Business Supplement_V2 REV2.indd 56

will help to shape the future of the profession and that CPA members will continue to be well-equipped, future-fit and ready for the changing world of accountancy and the evolution of the profession. A range of post-qualification specialisms are also available including diplomas in Advanced VAT, Tax, Forensic Accounting, Data Analytics, US GAAP, Governance of Charitable Organisations and FRS102. Because of the ever-changing digital landscape that was amplified by the pandemic, CPA Ireland’s students

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

30/07/2021 14:13


IB PARTNER PROFILE

can now sit exams remotely. As technological developments in artificial intelligence in the examination and assessment areas are continuing to emerge, CPA Ireland will continue to enhance its platforms ensuring that the online exam experience will be leading edge and built around the needs of our CPA students. TECHNOLOGY, AUTOMATION AND DATA ANALYTICS As automation and technology continue to drive changing business models, the role of accountants and auditors is rapidly evolving and adapting. The new CPA Ireland syllabus addresses the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Fintech. The introduction of these topics across various subjects on the syllabus and through the introduction of a completely new elective subject at our final level—Data Analytics for Finance—allow CPA trainees bring the high-demand data analytics skills to the market, in conjunction with their professional accounting qualification. Newly qualified CPA Ireland accountants who take this elective will now have the opportunity to automatically be recognised as a Certified Business Data Analyst with the Analytics Institute. SUSTAINABILITY AND A GREENER FUTURE Sustainability Reporting has been introduced on two subjects on the CPA Ireland syllabus; Advanced Financial Reporting, and Strategy and Leadership. It is our ambition that our students will be pioneers in the drive to increase sustainability reporting.

“As automation and technology continue to drive changing business models, the role of accountants and auditors is rapidly evolving and adapting. The new CPA Ireland syllabus addresses the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Fintech. ” EMBRACING REMOTE WORK The Government plans to introduce a right to request to work remotely in the coming months and a recent survey of our members found that their preferences are hybrid working models as that will best suit their business needs. Our research found that postpandemic 76% of accountants intend to move to a hybrid working model, with the sentiment largely geared towards a three-day week in the office looking set to be the new normal. Out of those surveyed, 79% of respondents felt ready for the introduction of the new ‘right to work remotely’ legislation, planned for the autumn. CAREERS ADVISORY AND RECRUITMENT SERVICES To assist employers with their transition to remote working, CPA Ireland will provide a number of supports that will remain availble in the longer term. Accountancy is on the critical skills list and the postCovid-19 recovery will see the war for accountancy talent continue. CPA Ireland’s Career Service is working with remote working leaders and education partners to provide trainees with the skills and competencies required to work remotely. This includes IT skills for remote working, accountancy

76%

OF CPA ACCOUNTANTS INTEND TO MOVE TO A HYBRID WORKING MODEL POST-PANDEMIC

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

051_InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CPA Business Supplement_V2 REV2.indd 57

3

DAYS PER WEEK WORKING IN THE OFFICE LOOKS SET TO BE THE NEW NORMAL

software packages, time management and communications, among other areas. They also offer advice and support around managing the performance of trainees, digital skills and how to supervise and mentor remotely. Finding the right accountancy talent will also become a massive challenge in the coming weeks and months. Re-hiring and upskilling will be key for businesses in the recovery process from the Covid-19 pandemic. CPA Ireland can support businesses in sourcing top trainee talent through a complimentary recruitment and advisory service. The advantages and benefits of this CPA support include: eliminating costly recruitment advertising; access to high calibre trainee talent; decreasing your time to hire; boosting your employer brand; and access to a dedicated recruitment and careers team. In summary, as the profession looks to the future and as expectations change about what it means to be an ‘accountant’, at CPA Ireland through our syllabus and training regime for our students and members, we are ensuring that CPAs are equipped with the skills, behaviours and competencies required to be successful in the future business ecosystem.

79%

FEEL READY FOR THE NEW RIGHT TO WORK REMOTELY LEGISLATION DUE IN THE AUTUMN

57

30/07/2021 14:14


IB PARTNER PROFILE

with the financial support available from the Irish Government, as well as an interactive tool to help you identify the support you’re eligible for.”

Barry Murphy, Managing Director, Sage Ireland

Survive and Thrive Barry Murphy, Managing Director, Sage Ireland, on helping businesses to adapt and thrive throughout a challenging year.

W

ith 40 years of experience, Sage is the global market leader in cloud technology and support that empowers millions of SMEs worldwide with the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to manage finances, operations and people. Sage’s Dublin base has been supporting Irish firms for over 20 years, with over 30,000 customers benefitting from expert, native knowledge of Irish market conditions, compliance, and legislation. REACHING OUT While the company has been celebrating turning 40, it recognises that the past year has been a particularly challenging one and has reached out to respond to customer needs in other ways too.

58

Sage_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V1 REV2.indd 58

“We recognised that businesses were in uncharted territory and many were without revenue sources apart from the government supports. Therefore we implemented price freezes and payment holidays over the year,” notes Barry Murphy, Managing Director. “To help our customers prepare for Brexit we launched an online hub where they could find the latest information, guidance and deadlines. We also implemented new VAT functionality in our products so that our customers could be Brexit-ready. “We launched our Coronavirus Hub to give customers dedicated help and advice on the challenges they were facing in the past year. This resource includes straightforward guides and webinars to help you get to grips

SAGE MARKETPLACE Sage Marketplace was launched in April, to help SMEs leverage technology and streamline their processes where possible. “By providing a platform for SMEs to improve productivity and efficiency, Sage’s aim is to ultimately help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and help businesses survive and recover,” says Murphy. Sage also offers award-winning financial software for medium-sized businesses. “Organisations around the world recognise Sage as a leader in technology and innovation,” says Murphy. “Accelerate your productivity with powerful financial software; whether it’s accounting and finance, payments or business management, Sage’s time-saving solutions help you take your business to the next level, win new customers, reduce costs and increase revenues.” SURVIVE AND THRIVE “We’re on a mission to help firms,” says Murphy. “We have solutions that grow with you. They are easy to use and can help save valuable time that you can spend on other areas of your business. AutoEntry is one of these solutions—it allows you to scan, email, or snap your receipts and expenses, wiping out hours of manual administration. “Bank Feeds is another—a secure online connection between accounting and your bank, it can automatically import transaction details from your bank account, meaning customers can quickly and easily keep track of the money going in and out of their business bank account. “We’ve worked hard here in Sage to provide the supports needed. It’s been really amazing to see how businesses have adapted, survived and even thrived in adversity.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 16:38


Stay on it with Sage

Nail your new normal

Choose Sage business software and you choose the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to nail your numbers, boss operations and take great care of your team. As the global market leader in technology for small and medium-sized firms, we’re trusted by millions of customers worldwide to deliver the cloud control, connectivity and confidence that give them the edge.

Send and track invoices

Our practical solutions and award-winning support are designed to help businesses like yours automate to innovate through both the good and more challenging times. Join them and gain the insight you need to stay on it—anytime, anywhere.

Connect with your accountant

Snap and capture receipts Boss tax and compliance Forecast cash flow Pay your people

Sage provides trusted solutions for a modern world.

Sage was interested in how to improve our processes and also how to enhance the experience of the employee.

Thomas Kemp

Veronica van der Hoeven

Owner, Flare Accounting Solutions

Managing Director People Strategy, MUFG

Find out more at

sage.com

Advert template.indd 1 250722_1C_Sage_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

16/07/2021 29/06/2021 09:27 16:14


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Brought to you by Sage: Shaking Up the Right Ingredients for Business Growth New business Foxglove Cocktails increased productivity and gained room to grow with Sage Accounting.

D

uring the first lockdown, brother and sister team Rory and Tara Copplestone decided to set up their first business together, Foxglove Cocktails. The company operates through its online store, social media, partnerships with local businesses and at farmers’ markets around West Cork. At first Rory and Tara thought their company was too small to gain much value from a software solution such as Sage Accounting, but after initial conversations, saw that it is specifically designed to provide small businesses with the tools they need to accelerate growth. The duo realised Sage Accounting could provide Foxglove Cocktails with the ability to automate the processing of receipts, send and track invoices quickly and gain more visibility over its fledgling operations. “Before adopting Sage, I did everything in Excel,” says Rory. “But Sage has given me a lot more structure.”

Tara and Rory Copplestone, Foxglove Cocktails

60

Sage_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V1 REV2.indd 60

Neither Rory nor Tara had managed their own business before, so receiving tailored support was essential to get the most out of Sage Accounting. “It surprised me how easy it was to use,” says Rory. “Our dedicated business account manager has helped guide us from the start, and the Live Chat support online is great too. ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY For a two-person team, time is a valuable business asset. “We only really have one day a week to handle financial admin,” says Tara. “Before Sage, it took me over three weeks to go through six months’ of receipts. Now, with AutoEntry, I just take a photo and upload it to Sage every week using the app on my phone. The time we are saving is directly translating into more production and client time. It’s also allowing us to explore more ways that we can expand the business.” INSIGHTS AND EFFICIENCIES Being able to keep track of payments, as well as automatically generate invoices has been another important benefit from an efficiency standpoint, and this feature has been useful in other ways too. “The reminder emails for late payments helps remove the awkwardness and add more professionalism and formality to the way we communicate as a business,” says Tara. “For our clients, getting an email from Sage validates the communication a bit more.” The Sage Accounting dashboard also adds a level of visibility the team didn’t have before. “I love seeing the sales figures tick up,” says Rory. “Having the data all there acts as a motivator.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 15:47


Cisco Capital Advert - SFA Inside Cover_2.pdf

1

25/05/2021

17:52

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

1C_Exertis_JM_InBus Q2_V1.indd 1

21/07/2021 12:00


IB PARTNER PROFILE

A Chartered Accountancy Qualification: Practical and Portable With strong demand for Chartered Accountants from Ireland’s foreign direct investment companies, the qualification enables a global career, says Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

C

hartered Accountants Ireland is the professional body of Chartered Accountants on the island of Ireland, the provider of prequalification and lifelong education for Chartered Accountants, as well as being the professional regulator for the chartered profession, and a co-regulator with the statutory regulator. Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland, states that, despite these varied roles, the number one priority over the past year has been to support and assist members during the pandemic, primarily helping businesses to interpret and access government support schemes. “Most Chartered Accountants don’t work in practice,” he reveals. “The majority are employed by business, as for example, a chief financial officer or finance director.” Alongside the focus on business tactics required in various sectors, the parallel priority has been to support students, moving

assessments online and working with training organisations so that students could continue to progress their careers during the pandemic. EDUCATING ONLINE “That is evolving and we will stay with it because of the opportunities it gives us now, and will give us in the future, in terms of how and what we

62

Chartered Accountants_IB Partner Profile Double Page Spread_InBUSINESS Summer 21_JM_V2 REV2.indd 62

Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland

can examine. It will definitely give us the opportunity to assess students in more lifelike working settings through case studies and through other more varied approaches to assessment.” Along with global peers, it is examining best practice on how to develop this in the future. “It is likely that some aspects of education will come back as face-to-face education, maybe in tutorial groups or in small revision groups. We’re looking for the version that gives the best experience for students, and that works best for training organisations and employers. “Over the past decade the Chartered Accountancy qualification has evolved, drawing on advances in technology to optimise our delivery in areas such as financial management and business leadership. In this way we are ensuring that trainees and Chartered Accountants are equipped to be leaders in the years ahead.” FUTURE SKILLS Dempsey also notes a strong level of interest from previously qualified members returning to upskill on topics such as emerging technologies, robotic processes, cryptocurrencies and other payment formats, offered as part of CPD and the Institute’s professional development portfolio. While he maintains that Chartered Accountants were busier than ever over the past year with the demands placed on them during the pandemic, the numbers show an increase in bookings and engagement on CPD courses, with many availing of the opportunity to study online when the barriers of geography and time were removed. “We have introduced topics that are particularly relevant to the challenges that have come up during the pandemic and the rebuilding of the economy— business leadership and how to anticipate what might happen next and plan for changes. Overall the business management and people

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

30/07/2021 11:57


IB PARTNER PROFILE

management skills courses have been really well-attended.” Dempsey notes that the Institute has seen an increased investment in staff training by employers and attributes this to organisations ensuring they have the right skills to operate effectively and to continue to grow and evolve. Chartered Accountants Ireland is partner to the island’s top employers when it comes to the provision of training for the ACA qualification. The Institute also offers a variety of staff learning solutions including an inhouse delivery option spanning technical and non-technical subject matters – programmes can be tailored to business needs and delivered virtually to employees. Attracting new students is a core objective for the Institute and numbers in 2020 were very strong considering it was such a difficult year. Pathways to become a Chartered Accountant include the traditional training contract route (often attached to graduate schemes) and the flexible route, ideal for individuals considering a career change or who are self-funding. It is also an option for employers to support staff in a more flexible way. In both pathways students will experience the same education quality and obtain the same ACA designation on qualification. The Chartered Accountancy programme is open for enrolment this summer. A dedicated team is on hand to provide information and practical, hands-on support and advice to individuals and employers. INDUSTRY ADVOCACY Chartered Accountants Ireland also plays an advocacy role, making representations to Government, for example in recent times on Brexit, the shift to remote working, and in relation to Covid-19 support schemes. “We made representations on behalf of members to optimise the operation of support schemes, how they could be applied to be a better fit for companies and employers, helping

to sustain jobs while businesses were incurring a significant drop in revenue or activity.” Looking to the future, Dempsey applauds the recently announced government stimulus plan as supportive of the economy, of business, of jobs and of employers. “We are certainly enthusiastic that the Government achieved the balance of sustaining the supports for business and employment long enough to enable businesses to get back on their feet.” A GLOBAL CAREER Of course, not all sectors have struggled, and in particular Dempsey points to international pharmaceutical firms based in Ireland, segueing to the fact that this sector is not only a growth area, but also a major training ground for accountants. “Some of the biggest organisations training Chartered Accountants now in Ireland are not only accountancy firms, but in actual fact, pharmaceutical companies and

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Chartered Accountants_IB Partner Profile Double Page Spread_InBUSINESS Summer 21_JM_V2 REV2.indd 63

SOME OF THE BIGGEST ORGANISATIONS TRAINING CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS NOW IN IRELAND ARE NOT ONLY ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS, BUT IN ACTUAL FACT, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES. other international companies which have quite a lot of their financial and treasury management based in Ireland. What they have found is that the qualification that gives the best capabilities and competencies for being able to work in a global company is the Chartered Accountancy qualification.” He points to the mutual recognition agreements of the Charted Accountancy qualification in the UK, US, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa and many other parts of the world. “Not only does it position you at the forefront of the management leadership team within the business here, but the qualification is entirely portable to go to these key locations around the world.”

63

30/07/2021 11:57


Become a Chartered Accountant and transform your career Our globally recognised professional qualification enables you to make a real difference, giving you the business leadership skills and expertise to build the tomorrow you want.

Take the flexible route and study online while you work. Sign up today at charteredaccountants.ie

ADVERT v2.indd 1 1Accountants_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1 Advert template.indd 250739_1C_Chartered

31/05/2021 16:15 16/07/2021 01/06/2021 09:28 16:14


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Clean air is the game changer As more businesses re-open, the quality of indoor air is now as important as the clean water we want to drink.

T

he quality of air in indoor environments including offices and other workplace settings will be a hugely important factor as Ireland begins lifting Covid-19 restrictions. Employers must do everything they can to protect their staff and customers—starting with the air they are breathing. As global research continues to warn that airborne transmission of the virus poses a far greater risk than surface contamination, an Irish-designed and manufactured portable air disinfection device holds the key to a safe return to workspaces or as part of a hybrid working model.

The medical grade Novaerus air disinfection devices use patented

‘NanoStrike’ plasma technology to inactivate 99.997% of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. This standalone technology inactivates all airborne viruses and bacteria including mumps, measles, flu and TB, and is safe to use around staff and customers 24/7. IRISH TECHNOLOGY Novaerus NanoStrike technology is used in more than 65 countries, supporting industries with additional frontline protection, to continue operating safely. The science has been proven by over 30 independent lab tests and numerous case studies, including a recent study by the California-based Innovative Bioanalysis lab, using live coronavirus.

WITH AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION CONTINUING TO DRIVE THE PANDEMIC, THE QUALITY OF OUR INDOOR AIR IS NOW AS IMPORTANT AS THE CLEAN WATER WE WANT TO DRINK.

Novaerus NanoStrike technology inactivates airborne microorganisms without producing any harmful by-products. The devices are completely safe to use 24/7, even around vulnerable people

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Novaerus_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V2 REV3.indd 65

In Ireland, Novaerus supplies portable air disinfection devices to retail, business, education, healthcare and other sectors. The technology can be found in hospitals, senior living facilities, schools, residential and industrial facilities. Recently, Novaerus NanoStrike technology was used in a test event in Brussels as part of the safe re-opening of nightclubs. CLEAN AIR Deirdre Devitt, CEO of Novaerus at McGreals, which distributes the devices in Ireland, says: “With airborne transmission continuing to drive the pandemic, the quality of our indoor air is now as important as the clean water we want to drink. Novaerus NanoStrike technology inactivates viral particles at DNA level, preventing transmission of Covid-19 and other airborne viruses such as the flu, with no dangerous by-products. These devices are a way for employers to safely re-open offices and get fully back to business.” Niall Keaveney, TG4’s Director of Technology, says: “For TG4, the safety of our staff is paramount. Through these difficult days of Covid-19, the Novaerus air disinfection devices help us to be confident we are providing as safe an environment as possible, and give staff the reassurance that their health and wellbeing is prioritised.” To find out more visit www.novaerus.ie

65

30/07/2021 11:58


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Taxing Times Sandra Clarke, President of the Irish Tax Institute reflects on a difficult year for small businesses and how the tax system can support them as they recover.

viable businesses now owe a lot of money to the Exchequer. The best way for Revenue to collect that tax is to support them as they get back on their feet.”

T

hroughout the pandemic, Chartered Tax Advisers (CTAs) have been at the coalface working closely with businesses most affected by the crisis. Sandra Clarke, President of the Irish Tax Institute says: “In my working life, I’ve never seen so many government schemes requiring so much administration and compliance.” She says the working environment for tax practitioners has been highly pressurised. “Many small businesses had to close their doors and lost key staff. Site visits weren’t an option and, on top of that, many members had to manage their practices remotely. That made filing tax returns very difficult, but to access the supports, business owners had to be up to date with their taxes - it was a very stressful year,” she reflects. “However, we’re a resilient bunch, and I’m proud to say CTAs played a crucial role in collecting €56.2bn for the Exchequer and compliance was only marginally down on 2019, enabling a significant proportion of businesses to qualify for government supports. Where necessary, the Institute advocated to ensure vulnerable but viable small business owners didn’t fall between the cracks of the support schemes.” RECOVERY PLANS Clarke, a Partner in BCC Accountants, says the Government acted promptly to support

66

Tax institute_IB Partner Profile Full Page_2021_V2_REV.indd 66

Sandra Clarke, President, Irish Tax Institute businesses during the pandemic and she welcomes the recent extension of supports such as the wage subsidy and the enhanced payment under the Covid Restriciton Support Scheme. The new Business Resumption Support Scheme will support vulnerable but viable businesses in sectors where trading remains restricted. “The tax warehousing facility has kept cash flow going for businesses. Its extension gives businesses over a year to park their debt, interest free as they get up and running. They can then enter into an agreement with Revenue to make phased payments, beginning in 2023 at a reduced rate of 3%. “Revenue has said it will take account of individual circumstances and that’s important because many

BUDGET WISHLIST One of the issues Clarke would like to see addressed in the next Budget is the position of small businesses saddled with corporation tax laibilities from 2019 and Q1 2020 after a year of lockdowns. “These businesses were profitable before the pandemic and now, just as they’re getting back on their feet, they’re facing a penal interest charge of 8% per annum on a tax liability they can’t pay. The Institute wants these corporation tax liabilities to be included in the Debt Warehousing Scheme so that these businesses are charged the reduced 3% rate that applies to other tax heads under this scheme,” she states. Indeed, the Insititute wants the exisiting statutory rate of 8% and 10% to be reduced to 3%. “Given the prevailing market rate, the current rates are, frankly, penal. A 3% charge, which is higher than the UK rate, would recompense the Exchequer and act as a disincentive to late payments.Sometimes, opportunities emerge from a crisis— this is one of those opportunities and the Government should grab it.” The Institute will also be asking the Minister for a legislative amendment to address the difficulty facing directors and employees with a material interest in a company who cannot claim a credit for PAYE deducted that has been warehoused: “Unless they themselves qualify for income tax warehousing, these taxpayers face a tax liability that could erode all their income. It’s an anomaly that has emerged from the warehousing facility and it needs to be addressed.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 16:34


250715_2L_Irish Taxation Institute_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

15/06/2021 16:29

Organ Donation Works

IO N

EY IDN

A S S O CI

AT

IRISH K

IKA_GENERIC_HALF_PAGE.qxp_Layout 1 09/04/2018 10:58 Page 1

mäÉ~ëÉ=êÉãáåÇ óçìê=Ñ~ãáäó= íÜ~í=óçì=ëìééçêí= äáÑÉJë~îáåÖ= çêÖ~å=Ççå~íáçåÒ Ó `ä~áêÉ=_óêåÉ FOR ORGAN DONOR CARDS

DONOR TO 50050

FREE TEXT

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

Advert template.indd 1

16/07/2021 15:40


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Building Resilience for the Next Normal How can organisations focus on building resilience even further, in advance of the ‘next normal’? Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland, outlines three key areas that should be of focus.

B

usinesses of all shapes and sizes have had to adapt rapidly to the new challenges introduced by the pandemic. Switching from physical to digital channels to meet customer demand, reconfiguring supply chains and shifting to remote working are just a few of the changes that resilient businesses have made to get through this period. Deloitte’s recent Global Resilience Report reveals that 60% of global leaders believe the disruption seen in 2020 isn’t a one-off, and disruptions of similar scale could come with more regularity. Against this backdrop, maintaining and building resilience will be critical. It’s not about predicting what the next disruption will be; it’s about being as well prepared as possible for the disruptions that will inevitably come. At Deloitte, we’ve looked at this in some depth. I see three key areas that businesses can focus on at a practical level to support them in building and maintaining resilience: 1. STAY CLOSE TO YOUR CUSTOMER We should make no assumptions on how familiar we are with our customers’ expectations. These are likely to have changed over the course of the past year, and new behaviours that have been adopted will remain. Any internal bias around customer preferences should be eliminated. Determine how best you can listen and gain feedback

68

068 InBusiness Summer 2021_Deloitte_Profile.indd 68

Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland from your customers. This will be hugely important as you look to evolve the experience you offer them in a post-pandemic world. 2. BE AWARE OF MACRO TRENDS Covid-19 accelerated macro trends that had already taken shape in the market. Understanding the trends that influence your customers and marketplace and building the capability to respond to them is important. This doesn’t mean pivoting your business on every new trend – but it’s about how your business capability evolves in respect of new and emerging trends. A good example here is technology: despite what it can offer us, the Deloitte Resilience report shows that a cohort of CEOs believe pace of technology change is ‘not good’ for their business. A change of mindset is required here to use technologies to create a competitive advantage.

3. REFLECT ON YOUR PURPOSE It’s worth spending some time reflecting on what your organisation’s purpose is and what is core to delivering this to the customer. The product or service we offer is core to what we do, but now more than ever so too is the ‘why’. Pre-pandemic, our proposition might have been based on our high-street address but through Covid-19 this has lost meaning. Successful businesses that want to engage their customers, employees and suppliers and offer a differentiated product or service, are clear on their purpose —why they offer that product or service. Building resilience requires an active focus on it – it is deliberate. Reflecting on the above three areas can help identify where your organisation is not as resilient as it might be. And that is powerful knowledge when developing strategies to drive our businesses forward.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 15:45


IE_MBD_ChambersIrelandAdvert_210x297_0621_PRINT.indd 1 Advert template.indd 1 250744_1C_Deloitte_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

11/06/2021 13:17 16/07/2021 18/06/2021 09:30 15:53


IB PARTNER PROFILE

From Start-ups to Building Success RBK works with businesses, from start-up throughout the life cycle, offering a personal service and strategic advice.

F

ounded over 60 years ago in Athlone, RBK is Ireland’s largest independently branded accounting firm. It now employs around 200 staff nationally, providing the full range of traditional accounting and tax advisory services, along with complementary services including HR, payroll, back office bookkeeping, wealth management, and insolvency. With a client roster including everything from SMEs to multinationals across a wide range of industries, the firm has some specialised sectors it deals with, including credit unions, charities,

70

RBK_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V2_REV.indd 70

and family businesses. “Ownermanager businesses are a big focus for us, working with them from infancy, right through the business cycle, developing their businesses and bringing on their management teams,” says Managing Partner David Gleeson. SERVICES FOR SMES RBK’s specialists work with business owners to define their ultimate goals, be it succession planning to the next generation or selling the business: “We would mentor the business owner and work with the family. In that regard, our focus will be very much on the business

owner, rather than just working on the business,” Gleeson affirms. “The way RBK operates is to offer a highly personalised service, focusing on you, the business owner and your family, what your objectives are, how your income is generated and how your wealth is managed and can be grown,” says Gleeson. “We work with you on where you want to be and identify what is required to bring the business to the next level.” Within the SME sector the firm works with, clients are assured that they will benefit from RBK’s vast wealth of experience when it comes to mentoring and business support.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 16:26


IB PARTNER PROFILE

to mentoring and business support. “With dedicated partners and teams working on SMEs, we take their financial management information, interpret it and give practical business advisory services. We sit down with clients a couple of times a year to review where they’re at in terms of their overall strategic plans,” notes Gleeson. IN-HOUSE SPECIALISTS RBK’s SME AllServ solution bundles together tailored services to suit the unique demands, size and dynamic of their SME clients, with an offering that includes everything from accounting, payroll and technical support to corporate compliance, raising finance, tax and wealth management advice and, when necessary, assisting founders with an exit strategy. One service which Gleeson notes has been of particular interest to SME customers is the HR Helpdesk, an outsourced HR function which provides advice on legislative requirements and practical solutions for specific HR issues. For small businesses, access to a dedicated HR specialist can be invaluable, with any issues or challenges to be dealt with and navigating new legislation such as the temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions, the right to disconnect, the upcoming right to request to work remotely, new provisions around parent’s leave and adoptive leave. The firm is also responding to its clients needs with new services being offered, with growth in areas including management, risk strategy services and VAT. A recent addition to the team is VAT Director Lorraine Morrison, an AITI Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), who joined RBK in 2021 from a ‘Big Four’ firm, bringing with her 13 years of experience specialising in VAT. “With a dedicated team behind her, Morrison is leading on Irish VAT advice for Irish and

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

RBK_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V2_REV.indd 71

David Gleeson, Managing Partner, RBK. international businesses,” Gleeson says. The remit of the VAT team covers all aspects of VAT including VAT implications of domestic and cross-border transactions for goods and services, VAT on property, VAT ruling submissions, identifying opportunities to maximise VAT recoveries, VAT reporting requirements and Revenue checks and audits. LOOKING AHEAD Looking ahead, Gleeson maintains that viability will be the discerning factor in deciding which companies recover in a post-Covid-19 world. “Many companies have survived the past year with government assistance, but when those grants taper off and cease, some will struggle. We look at identifying fundamental viability issues and engage in restructuring options

where possible to help some firms survive,” he states. “Clients in some sectors are operating on a low margin and the fundamentals of the business aren’t right. The difference between those who survive and those who won’t is having the proper resources on their balance sheet, so they don’t run out of cash when they run into some headwinds.” For businesses that might be struggling at the moment, he advises them to reach out and get professional help and take advantage of the government supports on offer. “Cash is king, always was and always will be, so get your viability plan done. Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t wait; respond to whatever your changing circumstances are, and reach out to the likes of ourselves, we have plenty of experience and will be able to give you a steer through the crisis.”

71

20/07/2021 10:34


Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers

A Different Perspective....

Talk to the experts

There are many reasons why businesses experience challenges, either on a temporary or more sustained basis.

We have worked with many business owners and their stakeholders to provide clear and practical solutions.

Contact us Offices Dublin Athlone Roscommon

250781_1C_RBK_JM_InBus Q2_V2.indd 1

David Gleeson, Managing Partner E: dgleeson@rbk.ie T: (01) 6440100 / (090) 6480600 W: rbk.ie

20/07/2021 11:25


Page

78

80

82 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

Page

84 ULSTER

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

Page

CONNACHT

MUNSTER

LEINSTER

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

Page

CMY 83 /

HEX 40B3

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

RGB 64/1

Font

• Di • Di

80

SEA LOUTH SCENIC SEAFOOD TRAIL

83

YOUGHAL ECO BOARDWALK

85

SWAN PARK RESTORATION

Belfast businesses encouraged to join global green tourism industry award scheme Visit Belfast and Belfast City Council have launched a new initiative designed to rapidly advance sustainability within the city’s tourism sector and redefine the sector’s growth for a generation. Designed to help individual tourism businesses contribute to improving the environment, address climate change and lift the local economy, a new partnership with global sustainability experts Green Tourism will encourage eligible local businesses to boost their environmental credentials and be rewarded for their efforts through an international award. Offering Belfast businesses the chance to secure gold, silver or bronze accreditation for their efforts to meet best-practice standards in sustainability – with membership funded by Belfast City Council – the Green Tourism Award is the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world. The initiative will help tackle the climate emergency, improve Belfast’s sustainability credentials as a destination and help the industry compete within a changing and competitive marketplace. It also recognises changing consumer behaviour in favour of more sustainable and ethical visitor destinations. Belfast City Council declared a climate change emergency in October 2019 and unveiled the city’s first Climate Plan last year.

InBUSINESS | SPRING 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 73

In Association with

73

16/07/2021 12:10


In Association with

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

NEWS: LEINSTER RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

Student Christian Macaraeg and Mayor at Micro Forest

[ FINGAL COUNTY ]

Students of Blakestown Community School launched their Micro Forest of over 450 broadleaf trees on the school grounds. This beautiful concept of planting a forest outside of their art classroom was developed by artist Gareth Kennedy in partnership with woodwright Eoin Donnelly. The art project, initiated by Fingal County Council Arts Office and Superprojects, involved seasonal art and ecology activities led by Gareth and Eoin. It included tree planting, wood splitting and turning, mulching, and planting while learning about the ecology of our native woodlands and contemporary art practice in the open air.

[ FINGAL COUNTY ]

Bleeper bikes now available across Fingal

PHOTO BY SHANE O’NEILL/COALESCE.

T

he official opening of the recently upgraded Park Road in Rush has taken place with the Deputy Mayor of Fingal Cllr Robert O’Donoghue unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. The €1.7m project, which was completed earlier this year after 11 months of construction, involved approximately 470 metres of full road widening and reconstruction with fully segregated cycling and pedestrian infrastructure with toucan crossing. It also facilitated the upgrading of watermain, storm and foul sewer infrastructure. Pictured are Deputy Mayor of Fingal Cllr Robert O’Donoghue and Fingal County Council Chief Executive Annmarie Farrelly.

[ FINGAL COUNTY ]

€270,000 awarded to Fingal in 2021 Community Monuments Fund

From left: Cllr Karen Power; Marion O’Connor, Fingal County Council; Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy; David Storey, Fingal County Council; Annmarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council; Hugh Cooney, CEO of Bleeper; Cllr Tom O’Leary; and Gráinne Carroll, Fingal County Council.

Fingal County Council expanded its bike sharing scheme to five coastal towns in the north of the county: Balbriggan, Rush, Donabate, Portrane and Skerries, meaning Bleeper bikes are now available across Fingal with previous locations in Swords, Malahide, Howth, Blanchardstown, Portmarnock, Sutton, Baldoyle, Castleknock, Ongar, Clonsilla and throughout the Dublin 15 area. These GPS-enabled bikes are easy to use with no need for complicated docking procedures; users just download an app and register for the service. Once cyclists arrive in an area where Bleeper operates, they can park at any cycle parking stand near their destination and lock the bike using the provided bike lock.

74

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 74

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD announced the approval of 139 project grants across all 31 Local Authorities for a range of archaeological heritage projects under the Department’s Community Monuments Fund. Established in 2020, the fund was increased from just over €1m last year to €4.2m in 2021. All eight applications from Fingal County Council were successful, with a total of €270,000 awarded. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:10


In Association with

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: LEINSTER

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

[ COUNTY MEATH ]

Athboy becomes an Age Friendly Business Town

B

usinesses in Athboy came together to help launch the Age Friendly Business recognition scheme in the town. The launch coincided with the official opening of the new Medical Centre which is now home to the local doctor’s surgery, dentist, physiotherapist, opticians and more. Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council Cllr David Gilroy officially launched the scheme along with Sean Boylan, Meath Age Friendly Business Ambassador. The Age Friendly programme works with persons aged 55 years and upwards. With Ireland’s population growing, and people living longer, healthier lives this is putting a greater demand on our services. It is predicted that there will be more than 1.5 million people aged over 65 years by 2051 living in Ireland, and older people account for up to 50% of consumer spending. Becoming an Age Friendly Business is simple to achieve with little or no cost and it opens up new business by enticing more older persons to shop locally.

Cathaoirleach Cllr David Gilroy and Age Friendly Business Ambassador Sean Boylan launch the Athboy Age Friendly Business Initiative outside the new Medical Centre, Main Street, Athboy with owners Padraig and Brenda Staunton.

[ COUNTY LOUTH ]

L

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 75

awarded to Meath County Council for Women’s Caucus

outh County Council has launched a new scenic seafood trail: Sea Louth covers the entire 70km stretch of coast from Drogheda to Omeath, highlighting stunning scenery and the finest local seafood along the way. It will serve to attract visitors to the area and encourage locals to explore and enjoy all that the coast of Louth has to offer. “The trail has been designed to take visitors on a journey along the road less travelled, where they will meet local characters and breathe in the salty sea air. Our tagline ‘see, eat, admire’ captures the essence of Sea Louth – see where our proud seafood producers land their catch, eat fresh local dishes by the coast and admire the spectacular views,” says Colette Moss, Senior Executive Officer, Louth County Council. “The launch of the Sea Louth scenic seafood trail has been timed to support the hospitality industry as it prepares to reopen for indoor dining following an extremely tough year,” adds Boyne Valley Food Development Officer Grainne McKeown. “This new initiative provides a great platform for locals and visitors to support local seafood producers and the tourism and hospitality sector across County Louth.” The Sea Louth project was funded by Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) for the North East Region. To view the trail map, see points of interest and browse participating restaurants, visit sealouth.ie.

[ COUNTY MEATH ]

€4,000

Louth County Council Launches New “Sea Louth” Scenic Seafood Trail

Meath County Council has been awarded €4,000 to support Women’s Caucus, from a national package of €62,000 announced by Minister for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke TD. The Meath Caucus will be one of a number across the country. Its aim is to strengthen cooperation between women in political life across party and ideological lines, providing mentoring and support and promoting women’s equality in local government. 75

16/07/2021 12:11


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

NEWS: MUNSTER RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

In Association with

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

[ COUNTY CORK ]

€19m

in Climate Adaptation Allocation welcomed by Cork County Council Outgoing Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley has welcomed an allocation of €1,879,650 from the Department of Transport under the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Works 2021. This allocation provides funding for 70 projects, covering flood mitigation and drainage works, adaptations to reduce damage to roads caused by severe weather and enhancing coastal protections. “The changing global climate presents many challenges locally, which have had an adverse impact on Cork County’s inland and coastal roads. It is encouraging for residents to see support from the department for Cork County Council’s local adaptation measures which will be vital for connectivity and safety for our communities.The Climate Adaptation and Resilience Works 2021 allocation to Cork County Council is welcomed and will significantly contribute to the work of the Council in developing and maintaining vital infrastructure for communities throughout Cork County,” adds Chief Executive Tim Lucey. “The Council will continue to engage with the Department of Transport on other schemes proposed to ensure the safety of our communities and resilience of our roads network.”

76

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 76

Ireland’s longest seafront boardwalk, a 2-metre-wide and 7km accessibility friendly walkway between Youghal town centre and Redbarn beach, was opened by outgoing Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley and Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development. The official opening marks the completion of Phase 2, valued at €2.2m, with €1.7m provided by Cork County Council and €500,000 provided under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

[ COUNTY CORK ]

€450,000 cultural boost for West Cork islands

W

est Cork and its seven island communities are set to benefit from a three-year 450,000 programme to develop and sustain new creative opportunities for all age groups, through the Arts Council’s Creative Places Programme. The Creative Places, West Cork Islands programme is an innovative development and community engagement project that will be rolled out over a three-year period on Bere Island, Dursey Island, Whiddy Island, Heir Island, Long Island, Oilean Chleire and Sherkin Island. The programme aims to strengthen existing local contemporary and traditional arts practice and create long-term community-led engagement in the arts. “We are delighted to receive a Creative Places designation for West Cork and its inhabited Islands,” says Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan. “Our island communities are very important to us in Cork County Council. Although our Islands may be subject to certain economic pressures and are more remote in terms of geography, they are also innovative and resilient. The Arts Council’s commitment to sustain investment through the Creative Places Scheme over a three-year period will allow the necessary time to develop and deliver a range of initiatives to support sustainable artist and community engagement on each of these islands. Cork County Council has undertaken a considerable amount of arts development work in West Cork and on the islands and this award will enable us to work with our local partners to bring this work to an entirely new level.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:11


In Association with

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: MUNSTER

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

[ COUNTY LIMERICK ]

€10m Limerick Greenway opens to the public

Alan and Lisa Ruttle with their children Sarah (10), Emma Noreen (5) and Will (2) at Barnagh on the Limerick Greenway. Photo: Seán Curtin, True Media.

T

he Limerick Greenway, the newly renovated 40km scenic off-road walking and cycling route connecting the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, opened to the public on 1 July. Earmarked to be transformative for the region, the 10m visionary project is the biggest outdoor tourism amenity project ever undertaken in Limerick by Limerick City and County Council. Built along the former Limerick to Kerry train line, extensive works on Ireland’s newest tourism amenity include the restoration of two 19th century station houses at Ardagh and Barnagh, the renovation of the Barnagh Train Tunnel, and the complete resurfacing of the route. Weaving its way through West Limerick’s traditional agricultural landscape, the Greenway can be accessed from the towns and villages of Ardagh, Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Barnagh, Templeglantine and Abbeyfeale, with a wealth of shops, restaurants, cafés, public amenities and accommodation options. The Limerick Greenway project has been led by Limerick City and County Council with funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development, Department of Transport and Fáilte Ireland. Along the route, visitors can pass through the 115m Barnagh Train Tunnel and cross the cast-iron Ferguson’s Viaduct, both restored relics of the 19th century trainline. Visitors can also tour Desmond Castle in Newcastle West, visit the village of Ardagh where the iconic Ardagh Chalice was discovered, and explore the unique musical tradition of the Sliabh Luachra region in Abbeyfeale and Templeglantine. Activities across the region include fishing on the River Deel in Rathkeale, golf and horse riding in Newcastle West, and public parks and playgrounds, including a skatepark at Castle Demesne in Newcastle West.

Cork County Council commissioned a large-scale mural celebrating legendary pirate Anne Bonny on the iconic Stoney Steps in Kinsale. Following the presentation of the idea to paint the steps by the Kinsale Tourism and Business Association, the Council sought submissions of ideas from the public, from which the theme of Anne Bonny was chosen. The painting was funded through the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District Town Development Fund and artists “Splattervan’ were chosen to undertake the project.

€365,160 for sport and physical activity measures in Limerick Limerick Sports Partnership has secured €365,160 for a wide range of sport and physical activity measures in Limerick. The funds are part of an investment package of €5.9m in Dormant Accounts Funding announced by Sport Ireland. The investment aims to engage communities across Limerick, focusing on people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged and from disadvantaged communities.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 77

77

16/07/2021 12:11


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

NEWS: CONNACHT RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

In Association with

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

[ COUNTY SLIGO ]

St Fechin’s Church, Ballysadare, Co Sligo

Funding awarded to Sligo projects under Community Monuments Fund

M

inister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD announced the approval of 139 project grants across all 31 Local Authorities for a wide range of archaeological heritage projects under the Department’s Community Monuments Fund. Funding of €204,637 has been announced across seven projects in County Sligo. First established in 2020, the fund was increased from just over €1m last year to €4.2m in 2021. The core objective of the fund is to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites. It contains a number of different measures aimed at enabling conservation works to be carried out on archaeological monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support, encouraging access to archaeological monuments and improving their presentation and also building resilience in archaeological monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change. “The protection of our archaeological heritage is one of our most important functions, and this funding will enable us to work with communities to plan for the preservation and protection of some of the most significant archaeological monuments in the county,” says Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Cllr Dara Mulvey.

[ COUNTY MAYO ]

€187,000 allocated to Mayo Sports Partnership under 2021 Dormant Account Fund Sport Ireland announced an investment package of €5.9m in Dormant Accounts Funding for a wide range of sport and physical activity measures countrywide including €187,000 for County Mayo. A particular emphasis is placed on implementing programmes to promote physical activity, making sport and physical activity accessible to people with a disability and the development of programmes to address transitions and drop out from physical activity. In Mayo, supports are available for sports volunteers for training and upskilling which has just been advertised in the partnership’s ‘Return to Sport’ small grant scheme and also for disability sports equipment including items such as beach wheelchairs. Mayo currently has three community / outdoor sports hubs situated in Ballina, Ballinrobe and Castlebar. It is planned in the next phase 2022 to apply for an additional hub which the partnership will seek expressions of interest for in the near future.

78

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 78

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:12


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: CONNACHT

GMIT and Mayo County Council sign new agreement to work together

From left: Justin Kerr, VP, GMIT Mayo campus and Head of School of Health Science, Wellbeing & Society; Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council; Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT; John Magee, A/Director of Services, Mayo County Council. Photo by Conor McKeown.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 79

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

€276,154

Mayo County Council and Oweninny Power Designated Activity Company announced the allocation of approximately €162,400 to local community groups from North Mayo. The funding comes as a result of a benefit fund to the local communities from the Oweninny Windfarm (pictured). The allocations follow extensive engagement and collaboration with the local communities through many local structures such as the Mayo Public Participation Network, Oweninny Community Benefit Fund Evaluation Committee and Board. Funding is being awarded to a variety of projects ranging from Social Inclusion and Community Development to Local Health and Recreation Amenities.

[ COUNTY SLIGO ]

G

alway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and Mayo County Council recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out plans for the two organisations to work closely together on projects of strategic importance across a range of mutually beneficial areas and to promote sustainable partnerships. At the heart of the understanding is a determination and clear focus to collaborate on projects that promote Mayo as an attractive place in which to live, work, study, and visit. These collaborations may include: joint marketing and promotion of mutually beneficial initiatives; access to specific facilities and resources for GMIT students and staff of both organisations; collaboration on research, innovation and entrepreneurship projects; collaboration on joint conferences and other events of public interest; co-development of physical facilities on or adjacent to the GMIT Mayo campus; and collaboration on proposals under various national competitive funding calls including, inter alia, the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund and the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund. “GMIT’s Mayo campus has long been recognised as an incredibly important asset for the county and this formal agreement between Mayo County Council and GMIT commits both parties to working together into the future,” says John Magee, Director of Services at Mayo County Council. “The anticipated establishment of a Technological University involving GMIT, Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT will make Mayo a university county for the first time. This will present a range of opportunities for collaboration and we look forward to deepening our relationship for the good of the whole of the county.”

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

The Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD announced the allocation of €10.5m for repairs and improvement works on non-public roads in rural communities, of which Sligo will receive €276,154. The funding, announced under the Local Improvement Scheme, will improve access to rural homes and farms, as well as outdoor amenities such as lakes, rivers, mountains and beaches.

[ COUNTY MAYO ]

allocated to Sligo under Local Improvement Scheme

In Association with

79

16/07/2021 12:12


In Association with

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

NEWS: ULSTER RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

12.5

[ COUNTY CAVAN ]

M

investment for re-imagined Immersive Heritage and Cultural Visitor Attraction at Fort Dunree Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media announced a €9,251,000 investment for Fort Dunree, Co Donegal under Fáilte Ireland’s capital investment scheme Platform for Growth – A Programme for Tourism Investment, Platform 1: Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions. This will be supported by €3.2m match funding committed by Donegal County Council, providing a total project value of €12.5m.

The Marble Arch Caves Global UNESCO Geopark has the perfect solution for parents wondering how to keep children amused – the Geopark Activity Passport booklet lists 20 of Cavan and Fermanagh’s most wonderful woodlands, wild wetlands, and subterranean places all of which are waiting to be discovered and explored. Stretching from the northern shores of Lower Lough Erne to the northern shores of Lough Oughter in the west of Cavan, the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark covers a unique, fascinating, and ever-changing landscape. A map is placed at the front of the Geopark Activity Passport to help visitors plan their route. At each site, there are suggestions for fun, hands-on ideas to carry out with children that are educational, physical, or simply just to make memories, from peeking through the tree house at Ely Lodge Forest to cycling through Castle Archdale Forest, Co Fermanagh, or learning about the Giant’s Grave in Cavan Burren Park. Children can tick off each activity and site as they go, as well as draw a picture of something they saw or attach a photograph they took, until they have fully completed their trip around the Geopark.

[ COUNTY DONEGAL ]

Donegal County Council launches first Remote Working for Business Strategy

Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cathaoirleach, Donegal County Council and John McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council.

80

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 80

Donegal County Council is the first local authority in Ireland to launch a Remote Working for Business Strategy that will see the county making the most of the benefits that the growth in remote working is bringing to Donegal. Launching the strategy, Cllr Rena Donaghey explains that “whilst Covid-19 has created many challenges for us all, it has also provided an opportunity to test the concept of remote working. Throughout the last year, it has proven to be an effective solution that not only protects people during a pandemic, but is offering a new alternative for people looking for that work-life balance and an opportunity to relocate to places such as Donegal.” This strategy which has been developed by the Council’s Economic Development

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:13


In Association with

[ COUNTY DONEGAL ]

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: ULSTER

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/33

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

[ COUNTY DONEGAL ]

The new Meenamulligan Bridge The new Meenamulligan Bridge was officially opened in June by Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council with Cllr Albert Doherty, Cathaoirleach of Inishowen Municipal District in attendance. During the torrential flooding in Inishowen in August 2017, the Meenamulligan Bridge was destroyed. The new bridge is built to modern design standards, has a 125-year design life, and is a 7.1m wide bridge supported by a 24.3m single span concrete structure across the Crana River. It replaces the previous two span structure and so will bring added benefits to the local ecology.

Works progressing on restoration works at Swan Park, Buncrana Pictured are J McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council; Brendan O’Donnell, Director of Service Roads and Transportation; Cliodhna Campbell, Senior Engineer; Seamus Hopkins, Executive Engineer, Inishowen MD Roads Management; Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cathaoirleach, Donegal County Council; Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Eamonn Mahon, Executive Engineer, Inishowen MD Roads Management; Cllr Albert Doherty, Cathoirleach, Inishowen MD; and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD.

Division not only aims to promote Donegal both nationally and internationally as the ideal location for remote working but presents a new framework that will see future activities aligned to support the development of these emerging opportunities. “This strategy is aligned with the various programmes of activity currently being led by the Council, including initiatives such as Donegal Digital, the ambitious town and village regeneration programme, assistance with the rollout of the National Broadband Programme (NBP), development of a range of co-working spaces and other economic development activity as well as key infrastructural projects such as the development of the road network, water and waste water provision, planning development and control, housing provision, environmental activity and the provision of outdoor recreational facilities,” says Chief Executive of Donegal County Council John McLaughlin. The strategy presents five pillars or strategic objectives focusing on Workspace, Promotion, Support, Talent as well as Infrastructure and Connectivity and sets out commitments to deliver under each of these pillars.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 81

Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, and Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G McLaughlin, recently visited Swan Park in Buncrana to review progress on the 2.3m restoration project. The park was severely damaged by the devastating floods of August 2017. In November 2018, the project was awarded 1.7m in Rural Regeneration Development Funding, with co-funding of 500,000 being provided by the council. “I’m delighted at the excellent progress that has been made to restore the park to its former glory. The park has always been an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the heart of Buncrana, and today I can really begin to see the new park taking shape,” says Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Rena Donaghey. “Works within the park had been delayed due to the pandemic, but good progress is now being made. Joseph McMenamin & Sons have been appointed to undertake the restoration of the Eye of the Bridge and works are progressing well on site. While some of the specialised works, such as the bridge, have been tendered, the rest of the work has been undertaken by the Council’s direct labour staff. The Council is targeting having the park fully restored by the summer of 2022, with a limited reopening of the park to support the Halloween Festival,” adds Chief Executive John G McLaughlin.

81

16/07/2021 12:13


CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

CMYK: CMYK 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 /

HEX: 40B3DF

HEX: A8CB17

HEX: 1f1e21

RGB: 64/179/223

RGB: 168/203/23

RGB: 31/30/

Font:

• Din Medium • Din Regular

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

In Association with

073 IB Spring 2021_LGIB_News_V6_REV2.indd 82

16/07/2021 12:14


REMOTE WORKING OVERVIEW

Remote Working Strategy

Is remote working here to stay? The benefits are clear; now we need to find a balance that works.

Even

before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Irish Government’s ‘Remote Work in Ireland’ report, published in December 2019, highlighted the multiple benefits to be gained from increased focus on digital decentralisation: increasing participation in the labour market, attracting and retaining talent, enabling balanced regional development, alleviating accommodation pressures, improving work/life balance, improving child and family wellbeing, reducing the amount of time spent commuting, and reducing transportrelated carbon emissions and air pollution. After the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated and accelerated the move to employers facilitating employees to work from home, the Government published its remote working strategy, ‘‘Making Remote Work’ in January of this year, to ensure that remote working is a permanent feature in the Irish workplace in a way that maximises economic, social and environmental benefits. Remote working offers a chance to regenerate rural communities and the launch in May of the National Connected Hubs Network included 66 hubs across the country available to remote workers, with the number expected to rise to over 100 facilities by the end of the year. The plan includes an overall target of 400 hubs under the banner of Connectedhubs.ie. At the time of the launch, in Swinford, Co Mayo, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said: “Remote Working is a key commitment of ‘Our Rural Future’, the most ambitious policy for Rural Ireland in decades.” The benefits of remote working have already been felt by both employees and communities— reduced commutes (and the knock-on environmental effect of less traffic), more free time and family time, and increased footfall in rural towns. As we look towards a return to the workplace, the challenge will be finding the right balance of a blended working model, which allows for time in the office and working from home or from a hub.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

083 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Remote Working Opener_V1.indd 83

IN THIS FEATURE

84

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL With the recent growth in flexible and remote-working accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Clare is a destination of choice for many people looking for a better quality of life.

88

MAPLES GROUP Robust cybersecurity policies, defences and training are essential to viability of remote working, advises Claire Morrissey, Partner and Head of Data, Commercial and Technology practice at Maples Group.

83

16/07/2021 12:22


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Clare: A Destination of Choice for Remote Working With the recent growth in flexible and remote working accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Clare is a destination of choice for many people looking for a better quality of life.

A

ccording to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in May 2020, of the 47% of the population who had their employment impacted by Covid-19, just over a third (34%) had started remote working from home. With the Government planning to bring forward legislation to make the right to request remote working a legal right, what once seemed like an impossible dream is now looking like an achievable goal for people who wish to combine their career with the quality of life available in the West. Clare— with its dramatic coastline, the natural wonder of the Burren, thriving music scene, surfing, golf and reputation for great food—is fast cementing its status as a destination of choice, not just to visit, but to make a home. Liam Conneally, Director of Economic Development, Clare County Council, says: “The ability to work remotely has given people more options in terms of where they live. People are attracted to Clare

84

Clare CoCo_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V2 REV.indd 84

for the lifestyle. Clare boasts huge natural advantages with a better quality of life, cheaper housing including more living space, bigger gardens, access to amenities, sports and recreation, and a pristine natural environment.” STRATEGIC TASK FORCE In order to be ready for whatever new normal the shifting sands of these times may eventually settle into, the Clare Economic Taskforce was established last year to tackle reigniting growth in

the county in a strategic manner, including facilitating decentralised employment opportunities. The task force comprises senior business leaders from the private sector along with representatives from the local Chambers of Commerce, County Council, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, and is chaired by retired Ambassador Noel Kilkenny, former Consul General of Ireland in New York. Noel Kilkenny, Chair of the Clare Economic Taskforce, says: “In the current economic climate, it is important to take a coordinated approach to assist those sectors most impacted by Covid-19. Every effort must be made to ensure job retention and the future competitiveness of the local economy.” SKILLS MAPPING One initiative already endorsed by the task force is the idea of skills mapping, to better understand the skills and talent of those currently working in Clare or with a desire to relocate in Clare. This skills map is key to identifying future employment opportunities, attracting inward investment and determining strategic locations for digital and co-working innovation spaces. Clare County Council has engaged the services of remote working pioneers Abodoo to map the skills and talents of those currently working in the county or those considering relocating. Using the anonymised data from the talent mapping platform will enable Clare County Council to position Clare as an attractive location for enterprise, remote working and inward investment. DIGITAL FACILITIES With the trend for remote working accelerated by Covid-19, and with international businesses looking to establish a European presence post-Brexit, a key initiative, led by the Economic Directorate of Clare County Council and endorsed

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 15:54


IB PARTNER PROFILE

by the Clare Economic Taskforce and Clare Elected Members is the establishment of an Enterprise Innovation Centre offering a dynamic modern facility as a touchdown space for multinationals and their employees and a coworking space to build an ecosystem for start-ups in Ennis. The work on repurposing an office block at Ballymaley, Ennis, is currently underway and due for completion in early 2022 and is being delivered by the Ennis 2040 DAC. Separately, there are already a number of digital hubs in the county, operating under the umbrella of DigiClare.ie as part of Clare County Council’s Rural Development Strategy to support rural communities by providing flexible, affordable and local office facilities and high-speed broadband connectivity in rural locations. The rollout of digital hubs has seen facilities open across Ennistymon, Kilrush, Kilkee, Kilfenora, Feakle, Miltown Malbay, Corofin and at the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron. Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council, says: “We are seeing a lot of demand for our DigiClare.ie hubs among remote workers, who want access to hot desks, co-working spaces and conferencing facilities.” SUPPORTING START-UPS Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Clare is a one-stop shop providing support and services for new entrepreneurs and existing micro-enterprise and small business owners. This includes financial, mentoring, training and sector specific expertise to help guide businesses at any stage of their development. LEO Clare has been a leader in enabling businesses adapt and embrace the benefits of remote working. This is achieved through hosting various virtual network events including Women in Business, Tech Disrupt pilot programme, lunch and learn webinars amongst others, which

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Clare CoCo_IB Partner Profile DPS_2021_V2 REV.indd 85

enable many start-ups and entrepreneurs who work remotely to connect with like-minded business owners. ENNIS 2040 Looking to the future, Clare County Council has identified Ennis, its main county town and the largest town in Munster, as having further potential to diversify its economic offering and build on Clare’s reputation as a destination of choice for remote working. The council has developed an Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy to support growth and position Ennis and Clare as an attractive location for investment and enterprise, creating future jobs in the region, and realising sustainable economic, social and

environmental opportunities in Ennis and Clare over the next 20 years. As part of this strategy, Clare County Council has identified nine transformational projects which, when developed, will transform Ennis enabling the town to prosper as a successful, diverse and vibrant social, civic, commercial, cultural and residential centre. The strategy serves to ensure a clear action plan is in place to deliver diverse, inclusive and healthy communities through affordable, accessible residential accommodation, education, community and health facilities and access to amenity and recreation space to ultimately promote a high quality of life, health and well-being for those wishing to live and work in Clare.

85

15/07/2021 15:55


Creating Our

Future Jobs Clare – A great place to live, work and invest  Global Access  European Market Launchpad  Access to Diverse Talentpool  Strong Industry – R&D Collaboration  Remote Working Hubs

Get in touch! Web: www.clarecoco.ie Contact: economicdev@clarecoco.ie

250789_1C_Clare CoCo_JM_InBus Q2_V1_REV.indd 1

 Entrepreneurial Eco-System  Ireland’s First Future Mobility Campus  Excellent Quality of Life Offering 16/07/2021 15:20


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism New subsidised programmes are providing training in skills critical to rebuild the hospitality and tourism sector.

I

n February 2021, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, launched two national upskilling programmes for employees in the hospitality and tourism sector. Developed by SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in consultation with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), Failte Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora (RSF), the Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programmes will provide highly

L-R Simon Harris, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Tim Fenn, Andrew Brownlee, Niall Collins subsidised upskilling opportunities, delivering critical team leadership and supervisory management skills to enable business recovery and growth. Programme content includes operational skills, people management, finance, sustainability, and digital skills. Speaking about the initiative, Minister Harris said: “Covid-19 has hit the hospitality and tourism sectors, and those

working in them, extremely hard. These two programmes offer an opportunity for employees and employers to upskill and will help staff deal with the new business environment, its challenges and opportunities.” As restrictions ease and the hospitality and tourism sector re-opens, employees can continue to engage in these training programmes. Delivery is flexible to suit both business and employee needs and is online with tutor support or when feasible, a blend of online and in-person training. Training is paused over the summer months and will resume at the end of the busy season. Employers interested in learning more can find details for their local ETB at www.skillstoadvance.ie.

What’s on your

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

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

Solas_IB Partner Profile Half Page Summer 2021_JM_V1.indd 87

23/11/2011 15:08:19

20/07/2021 10:38


Advert template.indd 1 250706_1C_Maples_and_Calder_AMA_InBus Q2.indd 1

16/07/2021 08/06/2021 12:37 10:50


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Cybersecurity & Data Risks Associated with Remote Working Robust cybersecurity policies, defences and training are essential to the viability of remote working, advises Claire Morrissey, Head of Data, Commercial and Technology at Maples Group.

T

echnology has been both the biggest enabler and risk for all businesses in the response to Covid-19 over the past 16-18 months. The increased reliance on remote working and technology has provided more opportunities for scams and cyber attacks. At the outset of the pandemic, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) published brief guidance on protecting personal data when working remotely. This guidance supplements existing DPC security guidance and focuses on keeping devices, emails, cloud and network access and paper records secure. The National Cyber Security Centre also provided guidance on securing home offices against cyberrelated threats, including maximising home WiFi security, good practice when using personal or work devices and remote conferencing. Year-on-year, data security breach notifications to the DPC are increasing. In 2020, there were close to 7,000 valid security breach notifications. When a breach occurs, the 72 hours mandatory reporting timeline ticks by very quickly. In fact, the DPC’s first GDPR fine of a private organisation was a fine on Twitter for failing to report a breach within the requisite 72 hours of having become aware of it. The recent ransom attack targeting the HSE brought home the real-life impact of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks often start with phishing, smishing

Claire Morrissey, Partner and Head of Data, Commercial and Technology at Maples Group

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Maples and Calder_IB Partner Profile Full Page_2021_V1_REV.indd 89

or vishing: employees are tricked by fraudulent emails, text messages or phone calls claiming to be from a reputable organisation, leading them to open a malicious attachment or link and disclose sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details. This point of vulnerability reinforces the importance of staff awareness of IT security policies and cyber risks, staff training and phishing simulations. TECH EXPECTATIONS Cybersecurity risks are also a focus point for the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). Its 2021 Consumer Protection Report outlines its technology expectations for the firms which it regulates. These include firms having: board-approved comprehensive, documented, IT and cybersecurity strategies, aligned with overall business strategies, and supported by sufficient resources; well-defined and comprehensive IT and cybersecurity risk management frameworks to identify and manage different threats, recognising that these IT risks are continuously increasing and that cybersecurity models are the subject of increasing maturity and continuous improvement; documented cybersecurity incident response and recovery plans outlining actions to be taken during and after a security incident, including communication with relevant external stakeholders. Firms are also expected to prioritise the development of a strong organisational culture of cybersecurity at board and senior leadership level to support the effective identification, monitoring, reporting and mitigation of cyber risks. While these recommendations are specific to firms regulated by the CBI, they provide a useful roadmap for all businesses navigating technology challenges in a remote working environment. Post-pandemic, remote, blended and flexible working arrangements will be the new norm for many businesses. Robust cybersecurity policies, defences and training will be essential to the mitigation of cyber risk and the continued viability and success of remote working across all sectors.

89

15/07/2021 16:02


BACK TO BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Getting Back to Business

90

090 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Back to Business Opener_V1_REV.indd 90

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

20/07/2021 11:48


BACK TO BUSINESS OVERVIEW

The roadmap to recovery may be long, and at times painful, but with the right advice and restructuring, viable businesses will make it.

As

many businesses prepare to emerge from a period of flux and uncertainty, with breaks in trading and resultant financial pressures, the right advice and access to supports will make the difference between pulling themselves out of the quicksand or drowning in it. Careful planning around stock, revenue, cash flow, rent and staffing will be important to ensure that reopening runs smoothly. For those in the hospitality sector, the blows have been hard. Many businesses have been slow to reopen until they have more certainty and gave careful consideration before getting ahead of themselves. The inevitable tapering off of Government supports will have to be taken into account in roadmaps for going forward. Yet much has been done in terms of supporting viable businesses, from the work of Credit Review, to Restructuring and Insolvency Ireland (RII) advocating for a new out-of-court rescue process which will provide an alternative to examinership and allow companies to remain trading. Mark Woodcock, Chairman of RII, says the Summary Rescue Process (SRP) has been “specifically drafted to help as many companies as possible to survive the Covid-19 restrictions and trade into the future”. Insolvency practitioner PJ Lynch welcomes the new bill, saying, ““In introducing the SRP, the Department [of Enterprise, Trade and Employment] have acknowledged that small companies has challenges in availing of the State’s most common and most expensive rescue package, examinership, which poses a significant barrier to access due to its affordability.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

090 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Back to Business Opener_V1_REV.indd 91

IN THIS FEATURE

93

PJ LYNCH The introduction of the new Summary Rescue Process will provide a less expensive alternative to examinership and help viable companies to survive, says insolvency specialist PJ Lynch.

94

RESTRUCTURING & INSOLVENCY IRELAND As an experienced insolvency practitioner and Chair of Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland, Mark Woodcock is hopeful the Summary Rescue Process will be beneficial to businesses, creditors and the economy as a whole.

96

CREDIT REVIEW Credit Review is the friendly face of finance, supporting small businesses to appeal credit refusals from their banks and offer practical financial advice.

97

SOLAS The Further Education and Training sector and SOLAS are providing accessible education targeted to the needs of the SME sector.

91

20/07/2021 11:48


250799_2L_PJ Lynch_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

22/06/2021 12:29

“My Business

helped safely

deliver

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

Somalia”

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

Trocaire-ad-business-magazine.indd 1

Advert template.indd 1

09/12/2015 11:54 a.m.

21/07/2021 12:15


IB PARTNER PROFILE – BACK TO BUSINESS

To the Rescue The introduction of the new Summary Rescue Process will provide a less expensive alternative to examinership and help viable companies to survive, says insolvency specialist PJ Lynch.

“D

espite the easing of restrictions, Covid-19 continues to disrupt economic activity which may eventually lead to an increased number of companies in financial distress having to cease trading and be correctly wound up,” says PJ Lynch, founder of PJ Lynch and Company, specialists in accounting and liquidation. “However, there will also be companies which are reasonably viable and as such are capable of being rescued and allowed to continue to trade successfully.” EXAMINERSHIP

Traditionally, companies in this situation would undergo the process of examinership, whereby the company may restructure and protect its assets, with the approval of the Courts. “Examinership was first introduced in Ireland in the early 1990s when the Government rushed through legislation known as the Companies (Amendment) Act 1990,” explains Lynch. “The Act gave companies who were about to slip into insolvency an opportunity to restructure and survive. Expensive though it is, examinership provides a lifeline for companies, which otherwise would have gone into liquidation, to trade out of their difficulties and continue in business.” The updated Companies Act 2014 allowed new legislation to be introduced which allowed examinership applications to be taken before the Circuit Court to provide cost reduction for smaller businesses, however, Lynch notes that companies were slow to avail of the process.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

PJ Lynch_IB Partner Profile Full Page_2021_V2.indd 93

PJ Lynch, Founder, PJ Lynch and Company

SMALL COMPANIES HAVE CHALLENGES IN AVAILING OF THE STATE’S MOST COMMON AND MOST EXPENSIVE RESCUE PACKAGE, EXAMINERSHIP, WHICH POSES A SIGNIFICANT BARRIER TO ACCESS DUE TO ITS AFFORDABILITY. A NEW ALTERNATIVE With the inordinate number of businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has acted to bring in a new restructuring process suitable for small companies. “The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in its efforts to support small businesses, is introducing a rescue package known as the Summary Rescue Process (SRP),” Lynch elaborates. “In introducing the SRP, the Department has acknowledged that small companies have challenges in availing of the State’s most common and most expensive rescue package, examinership, which poses a significant barrier to access due to its affordability.” According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, small companies employ in the region of 788,000 people across the country and with the significant

contribution to the economy this makes, it is in the country’s economic interest that those companies which are fundamentally viable have an opportunity to restructure and access an appropriate rescue process. The SRP will be a standalone process, distinct from examinership, but which mirrors some aspects of it. It is envisaged that the SRP will reduce the associated costs and regulatory burden for small companies, while also maintaining appropriate safeguards for creditors, resulting in a more accessible process and greater uptake. The new framework will be tailored to the needs of micro businesses employing fewer than 10 and small companies with a work force of not more than 50 and a turnover of €12m a year. For more information, contact PJ Lynch on info@pjlynchco.ie

93

21/07/2021 12:17


BACK TO BUSINESS – IB PARTNER PROFILE

Restructure Debts and Remain Trading As an experienced insolvency practitioner and Chair of Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland, Mark Woodcock is hopeful the Summary Rescue Process will be beneficial to businesses, creditors and the economy as a whole.

M

ark Woodcock is a partner in Fieldfisher Ireland, heading up the insolvency and restructuring department. With 20 years’ experience as an insolvency practitioner, he has acted on many of Ireland’s most high-profile liquidations, receiverships and examinerships of recent years. He is also Chair of Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland (RII), formerly known as ISIP. The organisation was originally formed in 2004. Woodcock explains: “Given how closely accountants, solicitors and barristers have always worked together in the three principle insolvency procedures of receivership, liquidation and examinership, it was considered beneficial for the insolvency community as a whole for there to be an organisation or society of practitioners to ensure a consistent approach between the three professions. It was a super initiative and the society has grown from a relatively small membership of about 50 practitioners to the current organisation of over 300.” SUBMISSIONS TO GOVERNMENT At the moment the key area of RII’s focus is to ensure that the Summary Rescue Process (SRP) is as user-friendly as possible. “We have a former Chairman of RII as our personal representative on the insolvency sub committee of the Company Law Reform Group (CLRG) which was asked to assist

94

RII_IB Partner Profile Full Page_2021_V1.indd 94

appoint an insolvency practitioner to restructure the company’s debts while the company remains trading. The lack of court involvement is to avoid the expense associated with examinerships and should be concluded in 70 days (rather than the 150 days available in examinership).”

Mark Woodcock, Chair, Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland with the drafting of the SRP,” Woodcock notes. “In addition to his role on the CLRG, we also made formal submissions to the CLRG and separately to the Minister for Trade in relation to earlier drafts of the SRP draft legislation.” The RII is currently preparing further submissions on the recently published SRP bill to ensure that it can have the best practical application for practitioners. Woodcock elaborates: “The process envisages an out-of-court rescue process (like an informal examinership) whereby companies

SRP PROCESS The RII welcomes the introduction of the SRP as providing a simpler process that is ultimately more beneficial to all parties concerned. “The insolvency practitioner will draw up a scheme of arrangement whereby all creditors will get more of their debt returned to them than they would if the company was to go into liquidation, which is what is likely to happen if the creditors do not accept the scheme. Consequently there is no prejudice to any class of creditors and the company should survive, which will hopefully benefit all employees of the company and the economy as a whole.” The process is available to any company with a turnover of less than €12m, a balance sheet of less than €6m and fewer than 50 employees and so will apply to almost 95% of companies in the State. “The bill currently before the Dáil is the fruits of many months work by all the stakeholder groups and is specifically drafted to help as many companies as possible to survive the Covid-19 restrictions and trade into the future. We are all very excited to see it used for the benefit of as many businesses as possible.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 16:15


Expertise in Challenging Times

Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland (formerly the Irish Society of Insolvency Practitioners), an organisation comprising

Business water charges are changing

of accountants and solicitors working in the insolvency profession in Ireland, was established in 2004. From a small beginning membership has grown to several hundred. RII has a number of objectives, including: • Providing a forum for consideration and discussion of Insolvency matters. • Promoting best practice in the area of Insolvency. • Liaising with Government agencies and making recommendations on legislative reform governing Insolvency.

·

In line with direction from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Irish Water’s new business charges framework for customers goes live on the 1st October 2021.

·

A core principle of this new framework is to ensure that a national set of charges will be transparent, cost-reflective, and equitable for all of our business customers.

·

We will write to all customers in the coming weeks to explain what the changes mean for them.

·

Irish Water would like to ensure that all of our customers are clear on how they will be impacted. Customers can find out by using our online calculator at www.water.ie/business/

·

Businesses can also access training on how to lower water consumption and reduce operating costs while protecting the environment at www.water.ie/conservation/business/

• Promoting the study and learning of Insolvency practice.

For more information about

Safeguarding our water for our future.

what we do, please go to our website www.rii.ie

250832_4C_RII_JM_InBus Q2_V1.indd 1

250609_2L_Jack and Jill Foundation_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

Advert template.indd 1

07/07/2021250827_4C_OMD_Irish 11:22 Water_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

25/06/2021 14:38

12/05/2021 12:07

16/07/2021 15:28


BACK TO BUSINESS – IB PARTNER PROFILE

On the Frontline of SME Financing Credit Review is the friendly face of finance, supporting small businesses to appeal credit refusals from their banks and identify practical credit options.

N

ot just a faceless government agency,” is how Catherine Collins hopes that people see Credit Review. “We are friendly and approachable.” It’s an attitude that is welcoming to stressed-out business owners who may feel like they are at the end of their tether. Credit Review’s role is to provide a simple, effective and affordable appeals process for SME and farm businesses that have either been refused credit, or have had existing facilities up to a value of €3m reduced or withdrawn, from the four main banks in Ireland (AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB and Ulster Bank). “Most importantly with the impact of the pandemic, Credit Review can also review restructuring proposals, whether the restructuring has been sought by the borrower or the bank.” ACCESSIBLE SERVICE Credit Review appeals are successful in 90% of cases it supports, resulting in SME and farm businesses receiving a lending/credit solution from their bank. The Credit Review team includes a panel of expert professionals with frontline SME and farming finance experience. The majority of cases are handled for a fee of just €100. Larger value cases are charged more, up to a maximum of €250. Collins elaborates on the process: “When an SME or farm applies to Credit Review, a reviewer

Catherine Collins, Deputy Head, Credit Review is assigned to work with the borrower to understand their business and to consider and address the issues highlighted by the bank. Our reviewers are professional credit experts who know and understand the banking sector and how it works. They also understand what it takes to run a successful business; and are independent of the banking sector. 360 VIEW “The reviewer contacts the borrower to discuss the case and better understand the business – looking at its track record, existing debts, future potential, management and markets, as well as the reason

96

Credit Review_IB Back to Business Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_JM_V1 REV2.indd 96

for the new credit application or restructuring request.” The bank is also asked to provide details on how it views the business and why it has refused to lend. The reviewer then forms an opinion as to whether the business is viable and if it will make enough cash to pay back the loan. “The aim is always to achieve successful outcomes for the business owners,” Collins underlines. “In most cases that come to Credit Review, we are able to identify practical credit options that work for both the business and the bank. Where the reviewer is unable to recommend the credit facility requested, we will suggest a roadmap to make future bank applications more likely to succeed, and highlight other supports available,” she notes. Credit Review has a strong client focus and aims to be as responsive as possible to the needs of users. “Our helpline responds to calls promptly and can sometimes solve issues without the need for formal appeals. Our reviewers are happy to discuss cases with applicants at a time that suits them, often outside of traditional business hours.” Contact the Credit Review Helpline at 087-1217244 or Freephone 1850 211 789

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

20/07/2021 10:58


IB PARTNER PROFILE – BACK TO BUSINESS

Pathways to Learning The Further Education and Training sector and SOLAS are providing accessible education targeted to the needs of employers.

A

s Ireland emerges from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Further Education and Training (FET) sector can provide support to employers and businesses through SOLAS and Education and Training Boards nationwide. The current five-year strategy, ‘Future FET: Transforming Learning’, is built around three key strategic priorities—building skills, creating pathways and fostering inclusion. The strategy aims to build local FET structures to be a key resource for employers, helping them to understand their future skills needs requirements and provide both a pipeline of skilled and talented employees in the locality as well as providing much of the upskilling, professional and management development support required by existing employees.

APPRENTICESHIP Apprenticeship offers employers the opportunity to grow their business with talented, loyal employees. In 2020 there were over 17,000 apprentices completing training, on over 60 different programmes that included tech, property services, biopharma, engineering, construction, logistics and finance. The benefits for employers who employ apprentices are multiple— improving diversity of the talent pool, competitive advantage through bespoke skills development and a consistent pipeline of motivated, highly skilled employees. International research demonstrates that apprentices are more loyal to employers who have invested in their

SKILLS TO ADVANCE A Government of Ireland initiative, delivered by SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards, Skills to Advance has been established to enable targeted support for specific groups in the Irish workforce and to meet the challenges of rapid technological advances and the changing work environment. It offers upskilling and reskilling opportunities to employees and SMEs. Skills to Advance can assist SMEs in identifying their training needs and provide accessible training opportunities, which fit in and around their business and work schedules. Skills to Advance is currently developing a range of new training initiatives to support employees and employers in areas including hospitality, tourism, leadership and management. For more see ww.solas.ie/ programmes/skills-to-advance/

Future FET: Transforming Learning training, improving retention rates. In June 2021, it was announced that the Apprentice Employer Incentivisation Scheme is being extended until the end of 2021. The scheme provides financial support for apprenticeship employers who take on apprentices. Apprenticeship employers are eligible for a €3,000 payment for each new apprentice who is registered before 31 December 2021; €2,000 per apprentice is payable at the point of registration with a further €1,000 payable in 2022 for each eligible apprentice retained. For more see www.apprenticeship.ie

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

Solas_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V1 REV2.indd 97

ECOLLEGE In response to the onset of the pandemic, SOLAS’ online learning platform, eCollege, with its large portfolio of online courses was opened up, free of charge, to everybody in the country. There has already been a great response to this with over 30,000 people registering for courses last year. eCollege is also a vital resource for employers, and later this year there are plans to increase the portfolio of upskilling courses that will help employers respond to digital transformation, as well as the current crisis. For more see www.ecollege.ie

SKILLS TO ADVANCE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO ENABLE TARGETED SUPPORT FOR SPECIFIC GROUPS IN THE IRISH WORKFORCE AND TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AND THE CHANGING WORK ENVIRONMENT. 97

16/07/2021 11:54


IB PARTNER PROFILE

The Power of Thank You Eimear Redmond, Sales Manager for One4all Rewards, on how its research shows recognition and rewards are key to workforce motivation.

O

ne4all conducted a study focused on the power of ‘Thank You’ and the impact these words have on attitudes and emotions. Findings from this research suggest Covid-19 has transformed our outlook for the better, as 32% of those surveyed stated they now understand that showing their appreciation to someone can have great impact, while 29% are more thankful now for what other people do than they were pre-pandemic1. Another One4all study focused on the power that gratitude holds in the workplace. This research found that 68% of respondents would be loyal to their employer if they were

regularly thanked for their efforts with 34% stating that they would be unlikely to leave a position where they were shown regular appreciation and praise. A further 71% of employees surveyed stated that they would even sacrifice a higher wage if it meant they could work for an employer that regularly expressed gratitude2. EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION Eimear Redmond, Sales Manager for One4all Rewards, says: “It’s apparent consistent and proactive recognition and rewards motivates a workforce.” However, while working remotely, many workers have faced new challenges on top of their normal workload and are prone to feel more overwhelmed without a routine where there is no clear divide between work and home life. Redmond continues: “In a digital age where people are being forced to adapt to rapidly changing working environments due to the pandemic,

A ONE4ALL DIGITAL GIFT CARD IS THE PERFECT REWARDS SOLUTION AS IT INTEGRATES CONTACTLESS DELIVERY AND CONTACTLESS PAYMENT BOTH IN-STORE AND ONLINE.” now more than ever, it’s vital to encourage and acknowledge employees’ efforts and commitment. Acknowledging a team’s achievements helps boost productivity and contributes to company success.” CONTACTLESS FUTURE One4all Rewards has a digital offering which is aligned to the way people live now: contactless payments are at an all-time high, with RTE reporting recently that 1.6 million contactless payments were made every day in February 2021. A One4all Digital Gift Card is the perfect rewards solution as it integrates contactless delivery and contactless payment both in-store and online. It can be gifted virtually, sent directly to the recipient via SMS or email. Redmond suggests: “One4all Digital is the perfect solution to instantly recognise your staff and motivate them, anywhere and anytime. Personalise your digital card with imagery or video and give staff the choice and flexibility to

98

One4All_IB Partner Profile Double Page Spread 2021_JM_V3_REV3.indd 98

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 16:21


IB PARTNER PROFILE

spend their gift card in store or online.” Beyond employee appreciation and recognition, employees can benefit from digital rewards due to an engaging personalised delivery and ease of use as they can use their One4all Digital Gift Card to purchase goods and services from their phone at over 11,000 locations nationwide. All card details are stored securely on their personal account meaning the card cannot be lost or stolen and can be accessed at any time. If your business is looking to optimise its rewards solution, contact the One4All corporate sales team by email corpsales@one4all.ie or visit one4allrewards.ie/digital 1 One4all survey based on sample size of 2,013 in August 2020. 2 One4all survey based on sample size of 1,000 employees in July 2018.

ONE4ALL’S AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL GIFT CARD Recognised for its innovation and adaptation in the online marketing space, One4all was recently crowned the winners of the Online Channel Marketing Award at this year’s All Ireland Marketing Awards ceremony. The One4all Digital Gift Card was recognised for being the first of its kind in digital gifting, achieving shortlist status in both the Online Channel Marketing and Digital Marketing Campaign categories. The news comes after the One4all Digital Gift Card won the award for Best New Product, Service or Innovation at the GCVA Awards in November 2020, achieving highly commended status for both Best Lockdown Team and Best COVID Response Initiative at the event. The product was also shortlisted for Best Initiative in Digital Payments at the Card and Payment Awards in April 2021. In addition to its technological advancements, the One4all Digital Gift Card is favoured by customers as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic gift cards, with many choosing to include a video message since the rise in remote working and virtual celebrations. One4all is dedicated to continuously improving its product through conducting regular customer surveys and investing in product development and have most recently launched its new app with additional features to make it even more interactive, user-friendly, and innovative than ever before. Available to download now on Google Play and the App Store.

cyclescheme.ie

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021 2L_One4All_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

One4All_IB Partner Profile Double Page Spread 2021_JM_V3_REV3.indd 99

99 15/06/2021 16:33

20/07/2021 10:59


IB PARTNER PROFILE

B2B E-Commerce: The Next Wave of E-Commerce Growth The B2B revolution is here with Covid-19 accelerating the move online and transactions becoming more data-driven.

W

ith Covid-19 accelerating the move online, B2B transactions are becoming more datadriven and less dependent on oneto-one sales activity. The challenges of 2020 exposed the need for B2B supply chains to be more flexible and businesses have seen the impact and benefits of this. Millennial decisionmakers are further driving the digitalisation of the sector as they seek customer experiences more aligned with their B2C experiences. It’s a paradigm shift for the industry, and B2B businesses that want to make the most of cross-border opportunities will need to adapt to these changing buying behaviours. Our e-commerce experts at DHL have created five categories to guide businesses to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape, enhancing the value for your customers and ultimately increasing profitability. DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE You can enhance the customer experience across your end-to-end business processes by incorporating functionality and technologies—for example, digitalisation of your full product catalogue and the inclusion of a simple-to-use and powerful search engine to find those products are fundamental features. Additional features such as mobile/ tablet responsiveness, strong data protection, secure online payments

OMNI-CHANNEL The customer experience is not over after a B2B buyer clicks the ‘Buy Now’ button. To ensure a truly seamless end-to-end process, don’t neglect the delivery options you offer your customers. Based on the experience of the B2C sector, there is clear recognition that the customer experience can be damaged by poor management of the last mile delivery process, so invest to ensure that your final touchpoint with the customer is a positive one. and chat functionality have also become standard expectations for most users of e-commerce platforms, whether B2C or B2B. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Customer experience surpassed price as the key differentiator for B2B buyers in 2020. Now, 64% of buyers place more importance on experience than price, and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Whether it’s a complete digital transformation or just a refresh of your website, make the customer your focus for 2021. PERSONALISATION Today’s customers are looking to source globally, so your e-commerce platform should be able to handle payment in any currency. Improve customer satisfaction by providing clarity around the associated costs for a cross-border transaction, such as duties and taxes.

100

DHL_IB Partner Profile Full Page Summer 2021_AMA_V1 REV.indd 100

SYNCHRONISATION OF LOGISTICS Think about what you expect from a B2C e-commerce service – this should influence the build of your B2B platform. Speed, reliability, traceability, convenience and an effective returns and exchange policy should be top priorities. Even B2B players already established within their sectors will need to invest to optimise their cross-border e-commerce channels, but the payoff in growth opportunities is unlimited. As international shipping specialists, we at DHL have the knowledge and global presence to help you realise your cross-border e-commerce ambitions. Contact our Trusted Advisors at ie.ecommerce@dhl.com and begin the next chapter of your business growth today

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

15/07/2021 15:40


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Experience of the Past, Space for the Future Glandore marks 20 years in business as one of Ireland’s leading providers of flexible workspace.

O

ver the past 20 years, Glandore has been proud to provide a space to land and expand in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, for some of the most successful domestic and international businesses across the island. Founded by the Kelly family in 2001, Glandore is an Irish, family-owned and managed real estate business run by Michael Kelly and his three daughters—Directors Fiona, Clare and Rebecca—offering high-end, design-led serviced offices, flexible workspace, co-working space and virtual offices. Sharing the values that have been instilled by the Kelly Family throughout the years, Glandore’s mission is to create a dynamic, supportive and friendly community in which every individual and company can grow. The

Experience of the Past, Space for the Future This year marks Glandore’s 20th year in business as one of Ireland’s leading providers of flexible workspace. Throughout this time, we have provided a space to land and expand in Dublin, Cork and Belfast for some of the most successful domestic and International businesses across the island of Ireland, and we are extremely proud to have been a part of their success. We sincerely thank our members, alumni, business partners and suppliers for supporting Glandore’s growth over the past 20 years and look forward to prosperous times ahead for all.

everyday goal is simple: offer world-class support and show that they genuinely care every day. Bringing over 30 years of work experience with them, the Kelly sisters have helped their father to streamline Glandore’s continued growth and expansion. Since 2001, the Kelly family has seen the operation grow from one employee to nearly 80 employees, and from offering 75 desks to now offering over 3,500 desks in 9 buildings across Dublin, Belfast and Cork. Glandore would like to sincerely thank our members, alumni, business partners and suppliers for supporting our growth over the past 20 years and look forward to prosperous times ahead for all our members and the wider Glandore network. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Dublin

Cork

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

+353 (0)1 669 4700

250753_2L_Glandore_AMA_InBus Q2.indd 1

Glandore_IB Partner Profile Half Page Summer 2021_JM_V1.indd 101

Belfast

31/05/2021 14:16

16/07/2021 15:23


IB PARTNER PROFILE

County Champions: Making a Difference in Your Community Becoming a County Champion for the Jack & Jill Foundation means Logistics IT sees where it is making a difference directly in its local community.

W

hen we signed up to become a County Champion for the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, we didn’t realise that we were practically next door to them,” says Peter Grady of Kildare company Logistics IT. “It’s great to see the money we donate being used directly to fund care for local children,” he adds. The foundation funds care at home for children under six years of age with severe neurodevelopment delays, as well as end of life care for children at home, regardless of diagnosis, empowering parents of sick children to bring them home to live their remaining days amongst their own family, friends and community. CHAMPION CAUSE For a company, becoming one of Jack & Jill’s County Champions means that every cent it raises goes directly back into providing nursing care in its own county. There are currently 384 families across the country being supported by the foundation’s army of 700 nurses and carers. In a serendipitous turn of events, Grady even received his Covid-19 vaccine from a nurse who, he was delighted to learn, worked

Peter Grady, Logistics IT, takes on the Everest Challenge on Sorrell Hill

102

Jack and Jill Foundation_IB Partner Profile Full Page_2021_V1 REV2.indd 102

for the Jack & Jill Foundation, thanks to the funding from Logistics IT. “She told me that working for the Jack & Jill Foundation really allows her answer to always be a ‘yes’ to what the family needs.” Spurred on to add to their regular donations, Grady and a small group of cycling-mad friends recently took on an ‘Everest Challenge’ to raise more funds, cycling up and down Sorrell Hill in Blessington 34 times in a row (the equivalent of ascending and descending the 8,848m elevation of Mount Everest), taking between 18 and 24 hours to complete the gruelling non-stop challenge. COMMUNITY CARE With over 100,000 hours of home care visits funded every year, the Jack & Jill foundation needs to raise over €4m annually to keep its service going, and give exhausted parents of sick children the opportunity to do things that most of us take for granted, such as the weekly grocery shop, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, spending quality time with their other children or simply catching up on muchneeded sleep. It allows them to keep their child in the home and at the heart of the family. With a donation from as little as €900— which translates into 50 hours of home nursing care—your business, like Logistics IT, can make a real difference in your local community. 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 info on how to become a County Champion see www.jackandjill.ie or to donate to the Sorrell Hill fundraiser, see www. justgiving.com/team/JPC

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 12:19


IB PARTNER PROFILE

Credit Where It’s Due As lockdown restrictions ease, and SME owners plan for recovery and growth, Credit Review can help.

Catherine Collins, Deputy Head, Credit Review

W

ith lockdown restrictions starting to ease, SME business owners are now planning for recovery and growth and making changes to their business to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Some businesses will need external funding in the form of credit facilities from their bank. In order to improve your chances of making a successful credit application, you should have a business plan, and provide trading records, management accounts showing recent financial performance since your last set of accounts and creditable cash flow projections. If your financial accounts for the past three years show the business was profitable and viable pre-Covid-19, you will get a much better hearing from the bank. More detailed information is available in the information note

‘How to Apply for a Loan’ which can be found at www.creditreview.ie in the ‘Resources’ section. It is also important to keep a clean credit record—a bad credit rating can mean a credit refusal, even if the business can demonstrate ability to repay the loan. Check yours on www.centralcreditregister.ie The key message to businesses seeking credit is to be a prepared borrower, aware of financial and funding options available, with a clear business plan, upto-date financial information and realistic assumptions based on the new realities of the world we are in now. If you are refused business credit by your bank, Credit Review can help. For more information on our independent appeals process, visit www.creditreview.ie or call 087 121 7244.

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

250316_2L_Credit Review Office_JM_InBUSQ2 21.indd 1

Credit Review_IB Partner Profile Half Page Summer 2021_JM_V1_REV.indd 103

21/05/2021 14:10

15/07/2021 15:48


w

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

The pop-up picnic park in Dungarvan

Giant ice creams pop up in Dungarvan Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber have introduced a quirky pop-up picnic park concept as part of its ‘Dressing Dungarvan for Summer’ project supported by Waterford City & County Council. Touring Dungarvan for the summer, the pop-up space features giant ice creams crafted by local company EveryEvent. “Animation of space is so important these days,” said David Walsh, President, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber. “While we’re all spending more time outdoors, it’s meaningful to have imaginative spaces to enjoy.” This is one of the numerous outdoor programmes Waterford City & County Council has backed, particularly since Covid-19.

New President for Waterford Chamber

CHAMBER COMMENT

“By clearly communicating to staff that you support their vaccination and will be flexible in allowing them to take time off during working hours, you can reduce hesitancy and help the economy return to normal faster.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland on the vaccine rollout

104

104 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Chamber News_V1 REV.indd 104

John McSweeney, President, Waterford Chamber

John McSweeney was elected President of Waterford Chamber at its AGM, which took place online on 8 June. Originally from Cork, McSweeney moved to Waterford in 1996 with AIB and has held a number of different management roles at the bank in Waterford and the South East Region. He intends to deliver on the Chamber’s goals such as those outlined in its recent ‘Resurgence 25x’ initiative. “There is no reason why our position as the fifth-largest city should hold us back in being the first to market on many initiatives as we develop over the coming years,” he said.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

21/07/2021 10:13


CHAMBERS NEWS

Improving trade across the Irish Sea Cork Chamber has entered into a new partnership with Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange to support business growth between Cork, Scotland and Northern Ireland and facilitate opportunities for members to grow connections. As part of the partnership, both member organisations will work together in supporting each other’s activities for attracting investment and local business development. They will also collaborate on promoting local and international activities such as bilateral trade missions, cross-networking workshops and annual business awards.

Joint statement calls for urgent action On 21 May, the Chambers of Cork, Ennis, Galway, Limerick, Shannon and Tralee issued a joint statement calling on the Government to take urgent action to ensure regional air connectivity. “Government has already been presented with business cases and a financial model to enable the speedy restoration of connectivity to Ireland’s regional airports. The Aer Lingus decision on Shannon and Cork demonstrates the need for immediate implementation of these plans. National aviation policy should also require that a portion of all restored and new routes into the country are spread across the regional airports,” it said.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

104 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Chamber News_V1 REV.indd 105

Sean Farrell, President, Dundalk Chamber and Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise, LEO Louth

Record gift voucher sales for Dundalk Sales of Shop Local Gift Vouchers have hit the milestone of €4m in sales in Dundalk, Co Louth, five years since their launch in the town. The wide variety of businesses now redeeming the vouchers includes over 360 shops all around Dundalk and surrounding areas. “These sales would not have happened without the goodwill of the business community who see the value in keeping money in the locality. Stopping the flow of money from the town has been our priority,” said President of Dundalk Chamber Sean Farrell, who also thanked members of the public who bought the vouchers.

CHAMBER CAPTION

Kilkenny Chamber welcomed retailers as they re-opened in May promoting its Gift Voucher scheme. One of these was Anne Barber, Owner of gift shop Butterslip, pictured here with Róisín McQuillan, Administrator/Business Development Officer with Kilkenny Chamber.

105

21/07/2021 10:13


CHAMBERS NEWS

ANIMATION INITIATIVE Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Chamber is experimenting with the use of creative lighting to animate public spaces and encourage visitors to explore the town and stay longer. The Chamber is operating the tourist office for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

TUSE campus boost in Wexford

County Wexford Chamber has welcomed the commitment by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris to deliver a Wexford campus as part of the new Technological University of the South East (TUSE). According to the Chamber, it will bring people back to the local economy, communities and businesses in Co Wexford. “The new TUSE will also provide further support to industries, greater innovation and a wider variety of skills to businesses. This will build upon what has already been delivered to the region by Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow,” it said.

Willie Fitzharris and Brendan Crowley of County Wexford Chamber, Jim Moore of TUSE Steering Group and Emma Dunphy of County Wexford Chamber

106

042 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Chamber News_V1 REV.indd 106

‘Why Galway’ campaign gets underway Galway Chamber has launched an initiative called ‘Why Galway’, which is seeking to bring 40 investments to the area over the next five years and generate around 3,000 additional jobs. The new campaign will also promote Galway and the West as a location for domestic enterprises and entrepreneurs. It is seeking to grow the total number of active enterprises in Galway city and county to 16,500 by 2026, supporting 80,000 people. As well as the Irish market, ‘Why Galway’ will seek to connect with targeted audiences in China and Asia, the US, the UK and across Europe.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 13:46


CHAMBER CEO Q&A

Right now, the Chamber is focused on getting businesses reopened safely and sustainably.” Q: What is the latest on the Kilkenny Gift Voucher scheme? Kilkenny Chamber has been

John Hurley, Chief Executive Officer, Kilkenny Chamber

Medieval marvel InBusiness caught up with John Hurley, Chief Executive Officer of Kilkenny Chamber, to discuss the business sentiment in the town and highlight latest developments.

Q: How is the ‘outdoor summer’ in Kilkenny going so far? The shops are open, the sun is out, flowers are

blooming in hanging baskets and there is a definite buzz back in town again. Outdoor seating and dining spots have “popped up” wherever there is space. The Irish weather can be a challenge and many of the streets in medieval Kilkenny are quite narrow. Nonetheless the new outdoor seating areas such as in the Market Yard and on The Parade have become hugely popular. We look forward to even more of this, including plans to provide appropriate weatherproofing of some of these areas under the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

107 InBUSINESS Summery 2021_CS_Q_A_V1_REV4.indd 107

operating its gift voucher scheme for over 10 years now and last year our sales were over double that of previous years. The people of Kilkenny really got behind the Shop Local movement and, for many employers, the Kilkenny Gift Vouchers became the voucher of choice when rewarding staff at Christmas and year end. This has meant that many hundreds of thousands of euro have been ring-fenced for spending in local shops and businesses. The vibe among retailers generally is quite positive since reopening but they have a lot of catching up to do.

Q: What is your outlook for the recovery of tourism? As of the end of June, only a small

proportion of our hospitality has reopened in Kilkenny. Outdoor dining here accounts for less than 10% of overall capacity so we really won’t see how hospitality bounces back until after the restrictions on indoor dining are lifted. Hotels in Kilkenny are showing strong occupancy for the summer months but forecasts remain quite low for Q4. The expectation is that it will be 2024 before we see international tourism recover to 2019 levels so it is important that the short-term Government supports remain in place until the end of Q1 2022, if necessary, and then longerterm supports such as the 9% VAT rate, until at least 2023. Q: Are there any other developments to highlight? Right now, the Chamber is focused

on getting businesses reopened safely and sustainably. So we continue to drive the #ShopKilkenny message through collaboration with the Local Enterprise Office and others. Our local radio station KCLR 96FM is running a fantastic support local campaign. Kilkenny hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Mount Juliet recently. It was a super opportunity to showcase Kilkenny and the South East as a destination of choice to the whole world. Shortly, Kilkenny Chamber will hold its own annual Inter Company Golf Challenge on the same course on 25 August.

107

16/07/2021 14:02


CHAMBER FEATURE

OECD call to action Michaela Reilly, Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland looks at the OECD’s Environmental Review Ireland 2021 and the new measures it says are required on climate, biodiversity and water.

P

ublished in May of this year, the OECD’s third major review of Ireland’s environmental performance over the past decade found that environmental pressures remain too closely linked to strong economic growth.

Major environmental pressures, such as emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants, nitrogen balance, waste generation and material consumption declined during the 2007-2012 recession. However, significant underinvestment in the wake of the downturn affected the quality of infrastructure and slowed down environmental progress. Emissions then rose with the fast economic growth of 2014-2019 and it is estimated that they are likely to intensify with population growth and increasing urban sprawl, road traffic and livestock in the coming years. A headline finding is that the positive environmental effects of the pandemic are expected to be only temporary. TRANSPORT AS A PRIORITY This latest review centred on transport, which the OECD says will be a key area in reducing carbon emissions. Ireland has one of the highest levels of GHGs in the OECD and the organisation says that transport is a major component of that. The report specifically notes the heavy reliance on private cars in Ireland, which account for 74% of all passenger journeys. Given the likely shift to electric vehicles over the coming decade, government should prepare to shift the focus of road transport taxation from fuel use to road use through road-use pricing based on geographic information systems. It also calls for congestion charges, particularly in the greater Dublin area, and for the issue of workplace parking subsidies to be addressed. While it welcomed increased investment in green measures such as public transport, active travel and renewable energy, Ireland

On water, the OECD affirmed that massive investment is needed in services as the quality of groundwater supplies has deteriorated due to nitrate pollution.

108

046 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_OECD.indd 108

will need to mobilise private finance to achieve sustainable growth targets. This will enable follow-through on the commitment to twoto-one spending on public transport over roads and an allocation of 20% of the total transport capital budget for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure projects. WATER AND BIODIVERSITY Aside from transport, the study highlights the additional efforts required by Ireland to pursue the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to water and biodiversity. Ultimately, we must consolidate the good outcomes of air and waste management while working harder to halt biodiversity loss. On water, the OECD affirmed that massive investment is needed in services as the quality of groundwater supplies has deteriorated due to nitrate pollution. The report suggests that water charges should be reconsidered to fund this (as the population and demand grows) and upgrade the ageing infrastructure. This comes following the finding that only 60% of the Irish population is connected to advanced wastewater treatment facilities, the third lowest level among OECD countries. In addition, Ireland is one of the only OECD countries that does not charge households for water services. Meanwhile, in terms of biodiversity, Ireland has strengthened its policy framework, but most habitats remain in an unfavourable condition. This is mainly due to pressures from agriculture, resource extraction and housing and infrastructure development. Ambitious policy initiatives and large public investment plans need to be swiftly implemented to alleviate the growing pressures from intensification of agricultural practices, demographic development and urban sprawl. ENERGY AND EMISSIONS While Ireland’s renewable energy market is growing, progress has been uneven and there is currently not enough infrastructure to meet the overall climate change targets. Primarily, more investment in the renewable sector is needed. The OECD cited insufficient research and development (R&D) investment in the areas of environmental and energy research. To overcome this, Government must increase R&D spend, with Ireland

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:06


CHAMBER FEATURE

currently languishing near the bottom of the table of OECD members in this regard. Nonetheless, the report hails the Climate Action Plan as “a major step forward in Ireland’s climate mitigation policy” but says putting it into action will be costly. The Climate Action Plan – which includes around 200 targets largely focused on lowering household and transport emissions – should encompass more ways to tackle agriculture-led pollution and should be central to the National Development Plan (NDP) currently under review. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Ireland’s climate goals are ambitious, but the Government needs to follow through on them and more determined action is needed to tackle emissions from buildings, transport and agriculture and lower the dominance of fossil fuels in the energy mix. Encouraging businesses and households to act is key. This will require providing consistent price signals for the use of energy and natural resources. Taking affordability, employment impact and regional disparities into account will also be essential. To do so, the OECD has proposed the following: • Ensure the revised NDP continues to prioritise low-carbon transport, infrastructure and energy efficiency • Link support for businesses and households to meet climate requirements • Increase spending in R&D on climate and low-carbon energy solutions

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

046 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_OECD.indd 109

The Climate Action Plan – which includes around 200 targets largely focused on lowering household and transport emissions – should encompass more ways to tackle agriculture-led pollution and should be central to the National Development Plan (NDP) currently under review. • Continue to reallocate road space, giving more to cyclists, pedestrians and public transport • Accelerate investment in water supply and sanitation and assess whether introducing household water charges is appropriate • Fully implement the Climate Action Plan. Chambers Ireland has called for swift action to steer the pandemic recovery towards the green transition and thereby avoid a rebound of environmental pressures. The ongoing review of the NDP provides the perfect opportunity to address many of these problems. Furthermore, it strongly contends that the correct funding, infrastructure and supportive frameworks to enable businesses to make a coherent green transition will make a meaningful impact to Ireland’s climate, energy, transport, water and biodiversity targets.

109

16/07/2021 14:07


CHAMBER FEATURE

Businesses already committed to greater sustainability recognise that they cannot thrive in a world of poverty, inequality, unrest, and environmental stress. But many more businesses must raise their collective ambitions and join them – and if not just for the sake of the planet, then increasingly because sustainability also makes sound business sense. Pressure from policy makers, investors, customers and employees is growing for greater and more meaningful corporate sustainability action. The expectation is for business to become more ambitious, adopt more sustainable practices and play a leading role in building a safer and more meaningful future for people and the planet.

Uniting for a better world Representatives from UN Global Compact explain why businesses in Ireland should join in the voluntary initiative’s efforts to implement universal sustainability principles.

C

ovid-19 has forced many companies to reassess the way they do business. Most are studying how to prepare for the next global shock. This could be another pandemic, a devastating natural disaster or the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Building resilience makes a business more sustainable. And being a sustainable business makes it more resilient. Before the pandemic, more than 11,000 businesses alive to this threat had already committed to the United Nations Global Compact’s Ten Principles and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This meant aligning their day-to-day activities with these aims, for example, through commitments to renewable energy or committing to greater gender equality within their organisations.

110

110 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ UN Compact_V2.indd 110

UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE AND FRAMEWORK Research from the UN Global Compact showed businesses with a higher environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance saw cumulative relative returns 6.3% higher than the bottom performers during the first four months of last year. Evidence also shows that businesses taking a sustainable long-term view are better at overcoming shortterm challenges, too. Business now has an opportunity to realign its purpose towards a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable path and unite in the business of a better world. The UN Global Compact provides a universal language for corporate responsibility and provides a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location. To help companies in Ireland make this transition we are delighted to be launching a new Local Network for the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Our hope is that by working together we can help the business community in Ireland to embed sustainability into the DNA of their organisations and drive ambition on the SDGs. To learn more about the plans for a Global Compact Local Network Ireland, please contact Nessa Whelan at whelan@ unglobalcompact.org. For more information, follow @ globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:10


Going places The ‘Places Matter’ publication has been updated, including examples of best practice and top tips to create sustainable towns and cities, writes Michaela Reilly, Policy and Research Executive, Chambers Ireland.

A

s our cities and towns are filling with life again, we need to adapt our streets and public realm to create more space not just for businesses, but for people of all ages.

In putting people back at the heart of our towns and cities, we must be creative about how we reconfigure space, encourage dwell time and help people to congregate safely. In doing so, Chambers Ireland worked with our members to gather best practice examples of projects undertaken by local authorities to support our urban spaces to adapt and recover from the impact of the pandemic to create sustainable and people-centred towns and cities. This culminated in the launch of an updated ‘Places Matter’ publication highlighting some of the finest examples of innovations in placemaking, sustainable mobility, inclusion and dwell time. With over 23 illustrations from right across the country, a selection of these include the ‘Placemaking Fund’ by Cork City Council, ‘Happy to Chat Benches’ by Waterford City & County Council, the ‘Flight of the Bee’ by Donegal County Council, and ‘Parklets popping up to support social distancing’ by Clare County Council and Cork City Council.

space available to businesses and the wider community as we embrace the open-air in the coming months. This includes examining and auditing the town centre and streetscape, developing quality design solutions that are inclusive and accessible to all and putting sustainability first by incorporating solar panels and rain gardens. The pandemic has forced us to think differently about how we use space and how we spend our time. The goal of creating sustainable cities and communities is key to achieving this and we will continue to advocate for forward-thinking policies in this space.

EXPERT THINKING In preparing for an outdoor summer, we also wanted to support businesses to incorporate expert thinking into how they were planning for outdoor trading, and so we partnered with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland to publish the ‘10 Top Tips for Designing Outdoor Living Spaces’. The guide is packed with advice for how to make the most of the outdoor

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

111 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ Going PLaces_V1_REV2.indd 111

111

16/07/2021 14:27


CHAMBER FEATURE

Injection of positivity The return of social and economic stability requires an equitable global vaccine rollout, writes Jonathan Baxter, Communications and Media Executive at Chambers Ireland.

I

n Ireland and other countries where vaccinations are proceeding at pace, the positive impact of vaccines is evident. Here, with the most vulnerable largely protected and younger groups receiving access, the chains of transmission are now weaker. With that comes lower case numbers and hospitalisations. This is the picture now but, as protection wanes and new variants are identified, there are no guarantees it will be the case in the months to come.

Such a fluid situation requires a coordinated global deployment of vaccine supply and administration.That was why we joined with UNICEF Ireland in April to call for more action to deliver vaccines equitably and fairly across the world. Our call was based on research from our partners at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which found that the global economic cost of not achieving equitable vaccination could be as high as €7.6tr. For an open economy such as ours, the impact of disruption abroad can lead to serious economic consequences at home. This includes material shortages, delivery delays and cost inflation. We have also seen how domestic consumer demand and willingness to shop in person is severely impacted not only by public health restrictions but also confidence in personal safety. A stable return of our economy and society will only happen when the potential for Covid-19 and its spread has been diminished with worldwide vaccinations.

112

112 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Unicef Vaccines_V1 REV2.indd 112

INTRINSIC CONNECTION “The pandemic has proven the intrinsic connection between public health and economic growth. As an open economy that is strongly dependent on international trade and efficient supply chains, Ireland must make a vigorous case in support of fair and equitable access to vaccines across the world,” says Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot. “The research published by our partners in the ICC serves to underline the message that no-one is safe until we are all safe. If a global approach to ending the pandemic is not prioritised, then the recovery will falter, entrenching loss of life and disruptions to economies and supply chains for years to come.” Global vaccination is not just about limiting short-term harm – it’s the only current long-term solution to suppress the virus and restore economic and social stability. The alternative is the continued emergence of new variants which – in a worst-case scenario – could make our vaccine line-up largely redundant moving into the future. Recent political developments are encouraging. G7 leaders pledged in June to distribute one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to those with poor access to them. This will be boosted by UNICEF and the Global COVAX Facility which aims to procure and distribute two billion Covid-19 doses. However, with a world population nearing eight billion, more is likely to be needed.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:21


CHAMBER FEATURE

Progressing standards Jonathan Baxter, Communications and Media Executive at Chambers Ireland, discusses the latest development in Chambers Ireland’s work on customs and trade with the International Chamber of Commerce.

C

hambers Ireland has announced that it has formally joined the International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation (ICC WCF) International Certificate of Origin (CO) Accreditation Chain.

A global standard which seeks to recognise best practice in Chamber operations, this provides reassurance to businesses, traders, banks and customs administrations that Certificates of Origin are issued according to the most stringent and harmonised standards from trusted third parties. Chambers Ireland has worked closely with colleagues at the ICC on issues of trade and customs over many years in seeking to implement best practice in standards, quality and oversight in the issuance of export documentation. According to Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot, joining the new accreditation chain will reinforce the important role of Chambers of Commerce in facilitating trusted trade and exports. “Our team of trade experts in the Irish Chamber network have invested heavily over the past several years to ensure that we apply the highest standards across our international trade services. All export staff in our network complete a rigorous training process and are certified by the ICC,” he said. “The past year has demonstrated the importance of trade and exports to the Irish economy, supporting many businesses through the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. Trade will continue to be of huge significance to our economic recovery and our member Chambers look forward to continuing to support Irish businesses.

TRUSTED AUTHORITIES Talbot added: “As we look to the post-pandemic recovery, we are delighted to announce that we have been approved to join the ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Chain, reinforcing this important service provided by Chambers and signifying them as trusted and competent authorities in the issuance of export documentation.” The addition of Chambers Ireland was welcomed by Martin van der Weide, Chairperson of the ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Council (ICOC). “The ICOC is delighted to approve Chambers Ireland’s membership of the ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Chain. The commitment they have shown to training and standards is commendable. Their membership of the chain further strengthens our global network of Chambers and bolsters the credibility of Chambers of Commerce as ‘trusted third parties’ in the issuance of trade documentation,” he said. Ann Marie Slevin, Operations Manager with essCert, also welcomed the move: “As a trusted technology partner to the Irish Chamber network, the news that Irish Chambers are now part of the ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Chain is testament to the commitment of Chambers Ireland to excellence in governance and standards in the delivery of global trade.”

Our team of trade experts in the Irish Chamber network have invested heavily over the past several years to ensure that we apply the highest standards across our international trade services.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

113 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_ICC WCF.indd 113

113

16/07/2021 14:22


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Charging forward in the EV market In July, ESB officially opened its new eight-bay charging hub at Junction 14 Mayfield on the M7, marking the latest development in its €20m infrastructural programme to enhance the country’s electric vehicle charging network.

T

his decade will, in time, prove to be the most significant in the electrification of transport as car manufacturers and consumers continue to make the necessary transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

Reflecting this movement, the start of the decade has already seen considerable change in Ireland’s public charging network, following ESB’s €20m investment supported by the Government’s Climate Action Fund (CAF). More than 200 22kW standard chargers had been upgraded across Ireland by May of this year, with 21 standard chargers upgraded to 50kW fast chargers at key locations nationwide. These fast chargers allow users to get an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes. A number of high-power 150kW charging hubs have also been deployed at Kilcullen (M9, Co Kildare), Galway Plaza (Junction 6, M4), Portlaoise Plaza (M7/8, Junction 17), Kells (N3, Co Meath), Ballinalack (N4, Co Westmeath), Kilmartin Service Station (N6, Athlone), Lunney’s Service Station (N4, Carrick-on-Shannon) and Monasterevin (M7 Junction 14, Co Kildare). John Byrne, Head of ESB ecars, explains how consumers are benefitting from the technological advancements in EV charging: “As with all technologies, there have been significant improvements and upgrades in the EV market, such as the increase in battery size. As such, the infrastructure is completely different to when ESB started to roll out charge points more than 10 years ago. This €20m investment is not only completely overhauling our public charging network, but also our customers’ experience.” The next stage of the investment programme will be ‘Superhubs’ – the first of which is located at Junction 14 Mayfield on the M7. These strategically located, high-powered charging sites feature eight bays of charging stations with further sites set to be announced later this year.

114

114 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ PartnerProfile_ESB_V1 REV4.indd 114

ESB’s eight-bay fast-charging unit was opened in July RIGHT: An ESB ecar charging unit

UPTIME AND RELIABILITY Reliability and convenience are critical factors for EV drivers, and especially for those considering the move to electric driving. Before ESB commenced its upgrade work in October 2019, its standard network ‘uptime’ was 85% – representing the percentage of the network that is available to customers at any given time. As of May 2021, that figure stood at 98% – demonstrating the positive impact that the upgrade work is having on the network. “We are seeing the real benefits of our investment in the network with consistently higher uptimes. When issues are found on the network, our teams work hard to resolve these within the tightest possible timeframe. All of this work, in turn, leads to greater user confidence and helps to reassure current and future EV drivers,” notes Byrne. He also points to its Customer Charter programme where ESB outlines its commitment to providing a quality service. “Indeed, 86% of our customers surveyed said they have experienced and noticed an improvement in the network since the upgrade work commenced.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:33


The infrastructure is completely different to when ESB started to roll out charge points more than 10 years ago. This €20m investment is not only completely overhauling our public charging network, but also our customers’ experience.”

of pricing has not changed their usage habits with those remaining saying the move influenced their decision to charge at home or to purchase a home charger. Interestingly, more than 80% of customers agree with the implementation of an overstay fee as it “reduces charger hopping and encourages good charging etiquette”. “The introduction of pricing was essential to support ongoing upgrades and ensure that the network continues to operate at a high standard for an ever-increasing number of EV owners,” says Byrne, highlighting how ESB’s research showed high levels of satisfaction with its 24/7 customer care service. More than 90% of network users have downloaded the ecars connect app, further demonstrating the benefits of increased investment in associated customer support systems.

INVESTMENT AND PRICING While Covid-19 has impacted driving patterns, most EV drivers continue to primarily use their home charger and use the public network to ‘top up’ on longer journeys. In 2019, ESB outlined the necessity of implementing a payfor-use structure to ensure investment in and maintenance of the network. According to ESB’s own customer research, more than 50% of survey participants said the introduction

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

114 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ PartnerProfile_ESB_V1 REV4.indd 115

DRIVING FORWARD The Government's 2030 ambition to have more than one million EVs on Irish roads is still in sight. Range anxiety is no longer an obstacle thanks to technological advancements, with car manufacturers offering a range of vehicles to suit increasing market needs and budgets. The availability of public charge points is also increasing with local authorities, retail and the hospitality sector all recognising the importance of providing this essential offering. This greater visibility will further add to user confidence and uptake. This will also be enhanced by ESB’s continued roll-out of high-powered charging hubs on motorways and national road sites. Assessment for these new sites is based on current charge-point usage, traffic volume, accessibility, amenities and grid capacity. “For ESB, it is important for us to invest in and maintain infrastructure where it is needed most around the country. We continue to actively engage with all stakeholders, including the Irish EV Owners Association and local authorities, on our activities and plans,” says Byrne. “As with all aspects of the energy transition, including the electrification of transport, ESB recognises the importance of bringing the customer on this journey and making it work for them. This decade will be a defining one for the EV industry, and ESB is once again proud to lead that charge to a brighter future.” For more information on ESB ecars visit esb.ie/ecars.

115

16/07/2021 14:34


CHAMBER FEATURE

Room for improvement

Shane Conneely, Head of Research at Chambers Ireland, discusses the theme of ‘Building Back Better’, which has become a rallying cry for politicians both here and among our international peers following the Covid-19 pandemic.

T

hrough using the disaster response motif implicit in ‘Building Back Better’, the argument is that while we have come through one crisis, we must use the opportunity presented by Covid-19 to ensure that we are more prepared, more resilient, when the next shock occurs.

Building back better requires us to develop a clear view of what we want our country to be like at the end of that process. It obliges us to understand why what we have today is not as good as it should be and to use that understanding to make the changes we need to ensure that better, more resilient, future. To look at where we can do better, we need only look at the weaknesses in our economy highlighted by Covid-19. Throughout the crisis Chambers Ireland has repeatedly made that point that Covid-19 has been accelerating and amplifying the problems that existed pre-pandemic. Now, as we hopefully put the pandemic behind us, we have to face these problems again, and they will have gotten worse in the meantime. This is hugely important as quality of life has become one of the most important factors for employees, and as things stand, Ireland does not rank well against its peers.

and extensive urban sprawl that damages the environment while undermining quality of life. And, too often, our social services are second rate; failing to meet the standards that migrants from other jurisdictions are accustomed to. For years now, housing has been a challenge for firms trying to recruit from abroad, while at the same time acting as a push factor for our home-grown workers. The cores of our cities and towns are struggling with vacancies and underperform economically. On top of this, legacy social infrastructure in our town centres is underutilised while sprawl sees our social investments spread thinner, with less efficiency and much duplication of activities. Making our urban areas attractive places to live and work must be one of our most important national goals over the coming decade. One key action is to turn the vacant shells and empty lots that litter our town centres into homes. This will result in economies of scale for our social services and boost local economies. The active travel that should be the default in town centres promotes local economic growth and resilience while contributing to our climate action goal of reducing our CO2 outputs. No other policy agenda attacks these problems with such efficacy.

PERSISTENT PROBLEMS TO FACE Quality, affordable housing is lacking; this drives up the cost of living and erodes our competitiveness relative to competitor nations. Our transport system is too focused on cars. This creates expensive

NEED FOR VISION AND LEADERSHIP Why are we not doing this already? There are a few overlapping issues which have brought us to where we are now. Firstly, there is the institutional capacity of State bodies. There has been a total

116

054 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Vacancies_V1 REV.indd 116

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:18


CHAMBER FEATURE

lack of vision for how we should build our cities and towns. Within government departments the quality of our urban landscapes has never been someone’s responsibility – this has traditionally been delegated to local authorities, many of which have to improvise solutions when they encounter a problem new to them. Our cities and towns have not had the champions they need to understand how they are developing and what is going wrong. Thankfully, with the National Planning Framework and the revised Climate Action Plan, support from the European Green Deal and the soon-to-be-announced Town Centre First Initiative, we know what the direction needs to be. Co-ordinated action, grounded in good data, is now accepted as being the only way to make progress. Importantly, spending on our built environment is to become streamlined and goal-orientated instead of being spread thinly across dozens of schemes. State investment and vision are only part of the problem though. We need to also update and upgrade our planning system to ensure robust and fair decision-making while disincentivising the hoarding of land. PLANNING WITH PURPOSE To improve our planning system, we urgently need to institute an environmental court. Modelled on the commercial court, this should specialise in planning and environmental decision-making and be sufficiently resourced to ensure that challenges can be heard and decided upon quickly. Some people have been calling for an end to the judicial review process; Chambers Ireland’s concern is that such an approach will not only be unsuccessful, it will itself be subject to challenge at a supreme-court level, and through the European courts system. It InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

054 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Vacancies_V1 REV.indd 117

is likely therefore that this approach will create enormous delays in commencing and completing projects and will ultimately prove to be an unsuccessful legal tactic. It would be far better to focus on making the planning decision process robust enough to ensure that procedures are correctly followed to protect the decisions that are made, and that objections can be quickly dealt with when they arise. Aside from making it easier, quicker, and cheaper to develop properties and housing, it is also critical that we tackle land speculation and hoarding. It is often much more profitable to hold property to exploit increases in real-estate valuations than it is to put this land to use. It is vital therefore that vacant properties are taxed sufficiently, so that holding onto them becomes unprofitable. This needs to be combined with revised Compulsory Purchase Order legislation, the creation of a Compulsory Sales Order system and master planning at local authority level, if we are to see our cities and towns reach their full potential.

“Making our urban areas attractive places to live and work must be one of our most important national goals over the coming decade. One key action is to turn the vacant shells and empty lots that litter our town centres into homes.” 117

16/07/2021 14:18


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Making every drop count Sustainably generating water supplies for future generations while protecting the environment is at the heart of Irish Water's work and it has introduced concrete measures to ensure this continues, writes Karen Ferris, Public Affairs Manager, Irish Water.

E

ffective governance and management of freshwater supplies is one of the most fundamental public goods challenges of our time according to the World Economic Forum. This is against a backdrop where less than 1% of the world’s freshwater is readily available for human consumption and an expected increase in demand of 40% by 2030.

Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge. Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and, with the challenge of climate change, there is a greater onus of responsibility in how we conserve and manage our precious water resources here in Ireland and protect the wider environment. Irish Water is Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout the country, supplying drinking water to around 3.3 million people daily and collecting wastewater from over 1,000 separate communities. Ireland has a temperate climate with relatively high annual rainfall, so while it is easy to assume that there is plenty of water available for supply, this is not always the case. Rainfall is unevenly distributed across the country. In addition we face key challenges over the coming years, which have the potential to exacerbate problems with our water supplies: • The country’s population is expected to increase by 21% or 1.2 million people over the next 25 years • Changes in land use and emerging contaminants are increasing pressure on the quality of water in the natural environment • Changing weather patterns are reducing available supplies and increasing the frequency of droughts and other extreme weather events that can result in interruptions to supply. PROACTIVE STEPS FOR FUTURE SUPPLY Irish Water is taking proactive steps to ensure we have sufficient water for future generations, and that our supplies are safe, secure, reliable and sustainable. A significant programme of investment is underway to upgrade our existing water infrastructure and plan for our future needs but it will take a number of years before our infrastructure is upgraded to international standards. Over €4bn has been invested since the establishment of Irish Water in 2014, with a further projected spend of around €5bn

118

118 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ PartnerProfile_Eriva_V2 REV.indd 118

Karen Ferris, Public Affairs Manager, Irish Water

between now and 2024. The recently published framework for a National Water Resources Plan sets out a 25-year strategy to provide a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable water supply for now and into the future while safeguarding the environment. Irish Water is working with all of our stakeholders to promote water conservation measures, and is committed to building and managing its infrastructure so that ecosystems are protected and where possible enhanced as part of a National Biodiversity Strategy. The objective is to deliver a balanced portfolio of investment across the three themes of Quality, Conservation and Future Proofing. SUPPORTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY Irish businesses use around 510 million litres of water every day – to put that in context the city of Limerick requires about one-

The three-pillar approach of ‘Use Less, Lose Less and Supply Smarter’ is our commitment to not just supply the highest standard of drinking water across the country but to rethink how we use and engage with our water resources as we meet the challenges ahead.”

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:35


tenth of that; 51 million litres per day. Irish Water has been working closely with Chambers Ireland to raise awareness of the Three Steps to Sustainable Water Management to support businesses to lower water consumption and reduce operating costs while protecting the environment. Small changes such as identifying water waste on site, setting a baseline for water use, raising awareness amongst staff and customers or upgrading to water-efficient devices can make a big difference in water efficiency and also save money for businesses. One of the programmes developed by Irish Water has been the introduction of certified water stewardship training which is open to all businesses. The programme is the first of its kind globally and accredited internationally by the European Water Stewardship Standard. It has been made possible thanks to funding from Irish Water, Skillnet Ireland and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Over 320 water stewards have been trained to date with three sites being certified to international water stewardship standards. Overall, 70% of businesses are introducing Annual Water Stewardship Targets as a result of the programme. PROTECTING AND ENHANCING BIODIVERSITY Irish Water launched a Biodiversity Action Plan to promote biodiversity measures and support native flora and fauna at each of the individual 1,700 water and wastewater treatment sites across Ireland. The plan sets out a range of measures to conserve, enhance and work with the natural environment, as well as the strategic aims and actions which will be undertaken to achieve them. With assistance from a team of ecologists, site managers are able to tailor biodiversity enhancement measures which reduce site maintenance costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Species as diverse as the long-tailed tit, otter, pine marten and the bee orchid have already been spotted in several Irish Water sites where sustainable management practices have been put in place. And many communities around Ireland are continuing to benefit from the work that is taking place to protect ecosystems and enhance the local environment. Biodiversity enhancement work at the 12-hectare Waterford Wastewater Treatment Plant includes woodland management and wildflower meadows that complement the adjacent Lower River Suir Special Area of Conservation. In Ballymore Eustace, the site of Ireland’s largest water treatment plant occupying 56 hectares, biodiversity enhancement measures have been in place for several years, with habitats including wildflower meadows and native woodland, while 5.27 hectares of native woodland is being planted at Lough Guitane Water Treatment Plant in Co Kerry.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

118 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_ PartnerProfile_Eriva_V2 REV.indd 119

Water stewardship What’s the business risk?

Ireland

Summer drought

Climate Change Deteriorating ground and surface water

Water shortage

Global Water crises has been ranked as the third greatest risk to global economic growth according to the World Economic Forum

Water Stewardship - An opportunity

Online training

Pledge to conserve

Green credentials

Protecting the environment

Best practice certification

Reducing annual operating costs

Water Stewardship - Positive impact

70%

are introducing Annual Water Stewardship Target/KPIs on foot of the programme

320+

Water Stewards trained to date

825+

New water conservation projects to date

3 Graduating Sites have Certified to International Water Stewardship Standards

It is clear that further work will be required to respond and mitigate the effects of climate change. The three-pillar approach of ‘Use Less, Lose Less and Supply Smarter’ as set out in the National Water Resources Plan is our commitment to not just supply the highest standard of drinking water across the country but to rethink how we use and engage with our water resources as we meet the challenges ahead. For more information on our programmes and future plans visit water.ie

119

16/07/2021 14:36


CHAMBER OF EMBASSY PARTNER BRAZILPROFILE IN IRELAND PROFILE

At the forefront of the circular economy movement Brazil has played a prominent role in our collective efforts to make responsible use of the planet’s resources for the best part of 30 years and is a hotbed of innovation in this space.

A

s economic activity gears up in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to rethink how best to answer one of the major environmental challenges facing the planet: how to refashion the current industry model of production, which increases the use of natural resources and produces mountains of often toxic waste. It is worth recalling that 80% of products made in Europe get thrown away in the first six months of their existence. The answer lies in an old idea, but one that gains strength thanks to technological innovations which are revolutionising waste management: in contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, the circular economy is regenerative by science and design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. The current pandemic has reinforced the importance of public and private sector engagement in sustainable actions, as well as in investment in innovation and technology geared towards sustainable practices.

“Boomera was chosen to produce Dow’s first recycled climbing resin from post-consumer material and its innovative solutions include manufacturing plastic waste bins by recycling used nappies.” 120

120 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Embassy of Brazil_V3_REV4.indd 120

Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Brazil has played a prominent role in our collective efforts to make responsible use of the planet’s natural resources. Recycled materials have been collected in Brazil for over 50 years. In 2019, roughly 800,000 people worked and lived from garbage collection and recycling in Brazil. In 2020, Brazil was one of the worldleading recyclers of aluminum cans, with a reuse index of 97.4% of the 32 billion cans disposed of in the country annually. The impact of this initiative goes beyond waste management. Since aluminum production is energy-intensive, the demand for energy is reduced, as well as the pollution often generated in producing it, notably in the case of coal and oil. Another example is to be found in Brazil’s agricultural sector, which generates 45,000 tonnes of empty crop protection packaging a year, mostly plastic, of which 90% is recycled. This programme benefits from legislation requiring the collection and processing of all cardboard, metal and plastic containers used on farms. GOVERNMENT POLICIES ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE The Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy came into force in 2010 to eradicate sanitary landfills with new techniques of integrated waste management. In 2015, an agreement

on the reverse logistics of packaging brought the business sector and the collectors of recyclable materials together to establish progressive recycling targets for the production, distribution and marketing of paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminium, steel and glass packaging or a combination of those materials. In order to encourage recycling and help jump-start the circular economy, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment has brought together six major enterprises – Ambev, Heineken, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Tetrapak and Unilever, which, in 2018, injected 5 million tonnes of packaging into the market. The aim is to develop plastic packaging exclusively with materials that allow for recycling or composting by 2025 – today’s rate is at 80.4%. This initiative also foresees the implementation of reverse logistics in 52 Brazilian cities, as part of an urban environmental quality agenda geared towards combating garbage at sea, better waste management and developing urban green areas. In addition, a gradual increase is expected in the employment of postconsumer recycled raw materials in packaging. As the use of the recycled materials in new packaging expands, so too will the demand for post-consumer materials, reducing the need for nonrenewable resources. As the recycling chain becomes commercially sustainable, all those involved will benefit from a more stable and predictable market for recycling materials and services. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:37


BOOMERA – A CIRCULAR ECONOMY SUCCESS CASE IN BRAZIL One notable outgrowth of these policies is Boomera. It was set up in 2011 by the materials engineer Guilherme Brammer, who started carrying out academic and scientific research on the reuse of solid waste. Today, his company specialises in the circular economy and generates new business models through waste solutions that bring together private chemical companies, universities and research institutes. The aim is to help the industry transform waste into new products through sustainable economic processes. Boomera currently operates two factories, which develop and manufacture circular products attuned to sustainable waste management and recycling, as well as the Boomera Laboratory at Mauá University. With over 500 clients – including industry giants such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Nestlé – the company’s InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

120 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Embassy of Brazil_V3_REV4.indd 121

expertise covers waste which is difficult to recycle such as plastics with double or triple composition. Lately, Boomera was chosen to produce Dow’s first recycled climbing resin from post-consumer material and its innovative solutions include manufacturing plastic waste bins by recycling used nappies. It has also developed packaging for a line of cleaning products made from 100% recycled plastic collected from the beaches of the State of São Paulo. There can be no better proof that the circular economy makes sense. To illustrate how the circular economy can transform not only industries but also lives, Boomera has prospered while at the same time improving the work environment as well as the wages of waste collectors and processors. Over the past nine years, the company has set up recycling partnerships with hundreds

In 2020, Brazil was one of the world-leading recyclers of aluminum cans, with a reuse index of 97.4% of the 32 billion cans disposed of in the country annually. "

of cooperatives and is also active with over 100 recycling collection stations across Brazil run by Brazilian supermarket group GPA in partnership with Unilever. Boomera has recently merged with the Brazilian waste management group Ambipar, which is already active in 16 countries, including Ireland. Brammer, who was invited this year to speak at the Davos World Economic Forum, has expressed an interest in exploring partnerships in Ireland.

121

16/07/2021 14:37


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Genuine commitment Employment law and health and safety specialists at Peninsula Ireland discuss how corporate social responsibility needs to be interwoven with the human resources function in order to reap the benefits it can bring.

A

fter over a year of upheaval, one of the biggest challenges for employers in the year ahead will be attracting and retaining staff. Pre-pandemic, many employers offered remote or flexible work options to gain an advantage in the jobs market. With these work practices so prevalent now, how can employers stand out from the crowd? Research shows that demonstrating a commitment to social and environmental causes is an effective way to motivate staff as well as attract and retain workers. While traditional benefits remain priorities for employees, many also want their employers to support causes that matter to them. Younger cohorts of the workforce in particular examine their employer’s purpose as well as the benefits on offer when it comes to choosing a place to work. Studies also show that employers with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR) also have more engaged employees. With work and personal life overlapping to such an extent now, employers that focus on meeting their employees’ needs tend to enjoy greater engagement levels. However, it is important to avoid ‘greenwashing’, in other words using environmentalism simply as a way to sell your organisation. Staff will not respond well to an environmental policy that is more of a PR exercise than a genuine commitment to a cause.

122

122 InBUSINESS Spring 2021_CS_Penninsula_V1 REV2.indd 122

WIDE-RANGING BENEFITS If both staff and their employers share an interest in a common cause, the benefits can be wide-ranging. When staff have an opportunity to contribute to a cause they care about at work, the HR upsides include improved workplace attitudes, greater trust in leadership teams, increased pride in the organisation and better job satisfaction. A more engaged workforce tends to produce better work and deliver better outcomes for their organisation. As long as staff don’t suspect that an environmental goal is a greenwashing tactic, they will contribute more to an organisation that shares their values. So, if you want to be an employer of choice and stand out in a crowded jobs market, it's worth examining the role CSR plays in your organisation. As trust is a vital component in the employment relationship, the benefits of making a genuine commitment to further a social or environmental goal could far outweigh the costs. Chamber members can speak to specialists at Peninsula Ireland who will be happy to discuss your situation and offer insights into the best options available to you. Call the dedicated Chambers line on 1890 253 104 or visit our website at www.peninsula-ie.com. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:38


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

A hole in one Over the past five decades, Waterford Crystal has designed and manufactured a large array of trophies for major American and European sporting events and is synonymous with celebrating golfing excellence around the world.

W

aterford Crystal has a long-standing relationship with the Irish Open and this year it is celebrating 46 years of manufacturing the trophy. During this period, it has designed four distinct trophies for this major event on the PGA European Tour. In 2012, the

tour commissioned Waterford Crystal to design a new Irish Open trophy. This involved the development of a new concept, which was brought to life by our master craftsmen in our manufacturing facility in Waterford City. It took our team six weeks to blow, cut and sculpt what has turned out to be a spectacular piece of crystal. The finished trophy features a beautiful and unique design of both flat and wedge cutting, with an exquisitely crafted crystal sphere, which makes reference to a golf ball and showcases the expertise and skill of Waterford Crystal artisans. The many other golf tournaments Waterford Crystal produces the trophies for include the Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, The Barclays, the Memorial, the Tour Championship and the Honda Classic. CORPORATE GIFTS AND GOLF PRIZES If you require corporate gifts or golf prizes for your event, we would be delighted to assist. We can customise a piece from our core product range, with personalisation of a unique message or logo. Our worldwide shipping service allows you the flexibility to deliver 24/48 hours to Ireland, the UK or the US. Our Sales Manager Tom Walsh can be contacted at tom.walsh@fiskars.com or +353 (0)87 120 9143. VISIT THE HOME OF WATERFORD Why not visit our factory in the heart of Waterford City and take the opportunity to witness the manufacture of these and many other Waterford Crystal products? The guided factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The tour – which takes around an hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production. Visitors can witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from the initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. During your visit why not treat yourself to our Afternoon Tea Experience? Take the time to relax and indulge with luxurious treats and speciality teas or coffee, served in a beautiful Wedgwood ‘Butterfly Bloom’ tea set. For further details go to www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com or call 051 317000. InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

123 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_V2_CS_PartnerProfile_Waterford.indd 123

123

16/07/2021 14:39


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE

Talent for a new world of work Skillnet Ireland is ensuring that businesses can maximise the opportunities ahead by being equipped with the skills they need in the face of accelerating digital transformation and climate action.

A

fter 18 months of adversity in the wake of a pandemic which has engulfed all facets of life in Ireland, the rollout of the vaccination programme, coupled with the gradual reopening of society, has been the shot in the arm the business community has needed after a lengthy period of uncertainty. However, as Ireland gets back to business, companies are returning to a much-altered world of work. One of the most notable changes has been the pace of digital transformation, which has accelerated rapidly in the past 12 months. Many businesses – particularly SMEs that had been slower to embrace digitalisation in the past – have achieved more in a matter of months than they might have once considered possible. Companies quickly pivoted to new business models and reengineered existing ones to continue to trade, and are now increasingly reliant on increased automation and digitalisation to deliver business services, meet customer needs and support staff engagement.

At Skillnet Ireland, we’re working side by side with businesses and their people across Ireland, to prepare them for what that future holds in terms of skills and jobs. " 124

124 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Skillnet_V1 REV.indd 124

Fundamental to this transformation have been digital skills, which have helped companies adapt to the new realities shaped by the pandemic. As well as continuing to support SMEs in digitising their business models and processes, Skillnet Ireland is also focused on developing the talent that creates and delivers these technologies. Commenting on these changes, Mark Jordan, Chief Technologist, Skillnet Ireland, says: “The world of work will continue to fundamentally change even after the pandemic and with change comes opportunity. By re-evaluating the ways in which we work and ultimately reengineering existing models we can create a more sustainable, connected future. At Skillnet Ireland, we’re working side by side with businesses and their people across Ireland, to prepare them for what that future holds in terms of skills and jobs. We’re ensuring businesses have the talent they need to be competitive in this new world of work.” TRANSFORMING BUSINESS Digital transformation is not just about redefining existing roles; it’s also about creating new ones. This change is one Skillnet Ireland is working on behalf of government to address, ensuring that people whose jobs are impacted by new technologies have the support and opportunities to grow. Working in partnership with industry and the education and training sector, we are facilitating the design of new talent

initiatives that will deliver a good supply of qualified and experienced employees to meet demand. Providing support to people whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic and helping them to find new opportunities in growth sectors, particularly technology and the sustainable economy, has been a focus for Skillnet Ireland in recent months. One example of the progress being made in this area is the ‘Future In Tech’ programme from Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, which enhances the crosssector employability of jobseekers who are looking to begin or restart their career in tech. Since its rollout in October 2020, over 800 participants have been through its pathways, which cover cybersecurity, cloud services, digital marketing, IT networking and software and web development. Mentoring from many of Ireland’s leading technology companies has proved invaluable to both the professional and personal development journey for all of the participants on this programme, boosting their pathways to employment. Whilst developing talent pipelines is essential, so too is accelerating digital innovation among companies. One initiative achieving notable results in this area is the ‘Transform’ initiative from the Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet. A unique digital transformation and disruptive technologies programme, it was developed with input from IDA Ireland, Technology Ireland, InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:41


Technological University Dublin and Dell Technologies. It equips businesses and their people with the skills needed to harness the power of digital technologies, build a digital workforce, and accelerate innovation. Over 900 participants have graduated through the programme to date, developing 194 innovation projects for companies. LOOKING AHEAD As companies and economies get back to business, more change is inevitable. As the challenge of climate action begins to reassert itself on the global agenda and Ireland transitions to a low-carbon economy, businesses in Ireland will need to introduce sustainable business practices. However, opportunities are also abundant in terms of green jobs and new market opportunities for businesses – many of which will demand

digital skills driven by greater adoption of smart technologies. Discussing the importance of these megatrends, Jordan says: “To capitalise on the opportunities presented by digitalisation and climate adaptation, it is important to recognise where both forces intersect. Skillnet Ireland is continuing to work with industry to understand what businesses need and to enhance the delivery of leading-edge workforce development programmes that are agile and future-fit.” Our recently launched Climate Ready initiative plays a key role in developing talent and preparing businesses for the green economy. Developed in partnership with Chambers Ireland, Sustainable Finance Ireland and Wind Energy Ireland, the initiative seeks to equip businesses with the practical skills they need to prepare their businesses

for climate action. It provides free and subsidised training in a range of key areas such as energy management, water stewardship and waste management. As industries begin to rebuild for the post-pandemic era, maintaining progress and focusing on the challenges and trends of the future offer an immense opportunity to transform businesses. To achieve this, prioritising digital and the tech talent agenda is essential. Continuing to invest in developing unique upskilling programmes in partnership with industry will ensure we can meet the talent demands of companies in Ireland and that our economy can continue to compete and grow. To find out more about Skillnet Ireland, visit skillnetireland.ie.

To capitalise on the opportunities presented by digitalisation and climate adaptation, it is important to recognise where both forces intersect."

125

124 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_Skillnet_V1 REV.indd 125

16/07/2021 14:41


CHAMBER AWARDS

Waterford Chamber scoops top award On 25 June, Waterford Chamber of Commerce was named Chamber of the Year in the 2021 Chamber Awards hosted by Chambers Ireland and sponsored by Zurich.

S

hortlisted in six of the seven award categories in this year’s Chamber Awards, Waterford Chamber was recognised for its high level of activity throughout the year despite challenging operational conditions.

Waterford Chamber won the Local Authority Collaboration category for its partnership with Waterford City and County Council to showcase the seaside town of Tramore as part of a successful application to the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards. This resulted in Tramore receiving €20,000 towards community projects. “What truly impressed our judges was how much Waterford Chamber engaged with its community. This is a group of strong communicators, relationship builders and people who care deeply about their city and county,” said Chambers Ireland President Mags Brennan. “Despite the obstacles, the team produced a series of excellent projects which undoubtedly contributed positively to the economic resilience of Waterford and put it in a better position as we move towards recovery.” Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my team, Lynda Lawton, Michael Lynagh, Angela Jackman and Lisa Power, who all worked tirelessly throughout the year. To see their commitment and innovation recognised is fantastic. “Like every other business, we have had to adapt in what was one of the toughest years in living memory, but the team rose to the challenge with grit and determination and we are proud that the Waterford business community is stronger for it. This wouldn’t have been possible without our board, corporate partners and all our members who have shown such strength in times of adversity.”

126

126 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_CS_ Awards_V1 REV2.indd 126

Left to right: Colm Blake, Marketing Manager, Zurich; Gerald Hurley, Chief Executive Officer, Waterford Chamber; John McSweeney, President, Waterford Chamber and Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland

Category winners 2021 Chamber Awards • Best Digital Marketing Campaign: Tralee Chamber Xplore Tralee Digital Infrastructure • Virtual Event of the Year: Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber - Dungarvan Live • Local Authority Collaboration: Waterford Chamber - Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards • Most Innovative Project: Arklow & District Chamber - Cheers for Charity Campaign • Most Successful Policy Campaign: Cork Chamber Sustainable Cork Programme - Building Economic Resilience • Best Membership Initiative: Drogheda Chamber - Tapit CashBack & V.I.M (Very Important Member) Scheme • Partnership for Business: Galway Chamber - Mindfulness Month • Chamber of the Year: Waterford Chamber

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

16/07/2021 14:32


LIFESTYLE: books

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

AUTHOR: Brendan Kelly PUBLISHER: Gill Books AVAILABLE: easons.com

The Science of Happiness The six principles of a happy life and the seven strategies for achieving it

HOW CONFIDENCE WORKS

The New Science of self-belief, why some people learn it and others don’t If you have confidence, it can empower you to reach heights you never thought possible. But if you don’t, it can have a devastating effect on your future. Confidence lies at the core of what makes things happen. Probing the science and neuroscience behind confidence that has emerged over the last decade, clinical psychologist and neuroscientist Professor Ian Robertson tells us how confidence plays out in our minds, our brains and indeed our bodies. He explains where it comes from and how it spreads - with extraordinary economic and political consequences. And why it’s not necessarily something you are born with, but something that can be learned.

YOUR QUARANTINE COMPANION

Big Magic:

Creative Living Beyond Fear

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Gilbert PUBLISHER: Sandycove AVAILABLE: easons.com

If your pandemic project has stalled, if you’re struggling through a Covid creative block, then Elizabeth Gilbert, author of bestselling books City of Girls and Eat, Pray, Love, may have the answer. This positive, sunny book is full of great advice to reinvigorate your inner artist.

InBUSINESS | SUMMER 2021

127 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Books_V1 REV.indd 127

AUTHORS: Ian Robertson PUBLISHER: Bantam Press PRICE: €16.99

The science of happiness is a relatively new area of scientific research and in this timely book, leading psychiatrist Professor Brendan Kelly sifts through the most up-to-date findings to arrive at a comprehensive set of principles and strategies that are scientifically proven to increase happiness levels. Firstly, Professor Kelly examines the global research that reveals current trends in happiness: for example, those with right-wing political views are happier than those on the left; having a baby increases your happiness levels for two years; 47 is the age of greatest unhappiness; and Finland is the happiest country. He then explains the six over-arching principles of a happy life and seven strategies for achieving it – without having to switch political allegiance or move to Finland. Although happiness cannot be purposely built, we can create the circumstances in which happiness is more likely to flourish and allow us chart a happier path through our complex world.

The River of Consciousness Evolution and creativity. Memory, consciousness and experience. Dr. Oliver Sacks, renowned author and professor of neurology, tackles these themes and more in this collection of 10 essays. The book’s strength lies in Sacks’ ability to make unexpected connections that compel readers to stop and think deeply about the associations between a wide-ranging number of topics — from the mental lives of plants and invertebrates to the malleability of our speed perception. An ideal read for leaders who want to cleanse their mental palate.

AUTHOR: Oliver Sacks PUBLISHER: Vintage AVAILABLE: bookdepository .com

127

16/07/2021 14:45


EAR TO THE

THE IB

Could you tell us about PozVibe and why you created this podcast? I became acquainted with Veda Lady when we both filmed How To Tell A Secret, a documentary-style movie about navigating HIV disclosure in Ireland. We hit it off straight away and after my appearance on The Tommy Tiernan Show, Veda asked if I’d like to co-host a podcast with her to help platform voices of people living with HIV in Ireland. Why is talking about the topic of HIV so important? HIV rates have never been higher in this country. We get around one new diagnosis every 18 hours. Yet, very few people are talking about this. Stigma was rife. Poz Vibe are using our stories to take a sledgehammer to stigma and change the narrative of HIV in Ireland.

InBUSINESS SPOKE WITH ROBBIE LAWLOR, ONE OF HOSTS OF THE POZ VIBE PODCAST ABOUT GIVING A PLATFORM TO PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV IN IRELAND AND TAKING A SLEDGEHAMMER TO THE HIV STIGMA.

Veda Lady

Part of Poz Vibe’s message is to help people to talk openly about HIV, encourage allies to educate themselves and help overcome HIV stigma. Why is this message important? HIV affects everyone in this country, regardless of your status. We all have our part to play and you can do that by being an ally. Talk about HIV and scream it from the rooftops ‘people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV sexually. The risk is ZERO.’ What has been your most interesting discovery in the podcast so far? Many of our listeners do not live with HIV but learn so much personally, as overcoming shame and stigma that society places on each of us is felt universally. I’m learning from our guests all the time and I become a better person with each episode. Is there anyone you would love to appear on the podcast? Everyone we have wanted so far has said yes to our podcast such as Peppermint from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters and Nathaniel Hall from It’s A Sin. But the contrast of normal people living with HIV provides the relatable experience/ content. I’ll keep silent on who is in the pipeline but be prepared to have your Robbie mind blown. Lawlor What are the key ingredients that make a great podcast? We are mission based. We want to be sledgehammers to HIV stigma. It gives a different energy to our podcast. Our podcast team and guests have become a little family and it really translates to our listeners.

The Poz Vibe podcast is sponsored by Dublin Pride and is available to download online.

What can we expect from Poz Vibe in the future? Our podcast is a movement and the future is bright for all people living with HIV.

GROUND

InBUSINESS RECOMMENDS THREE PODCASTS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS QUARTER.

MADE IN IRELAND

MY THERAPIST GHOSTED ME Joanne McNally and Vogue Williams team up to give 100% unqualified, unsubstantiated but up-front and honest advice on the plethora of issues they and many others continue to grapple with.

NOT TO BE MISSED

THE WITNESS: IN HIS OWN WORDS In 2005, Joseph O’Callaghan became the youngest person ever to enter the Witness Protection Programme in Ireland. Now, as the men he put away agitate for release, he tells his extraordinary life story for the first time.

THE BUSINESS PICK

WHAT BITCOIN DID From developers to investors, journalists to Bitcoin company CEOs, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin about the many challenges the cryptocurrency has survived for over a decade.

128

128 InBUSINESS Summer 2021_Podcasts_V1 REV.indd 128

16/07/2021 14:51


Advert template.indd 1 250537_1C_Immedis_JM_InBus Q2.indd 1

16/07/2021 09/06/2021 09:38 12:44


NOTHING IN THE AIR BUT

The Novaerus effect:

Innovation.

Made in Ireland

We’re never going back. We’re going to be safer, we’re going to be smarter, we’re all going to work together. Our patented air dis-infection devices are helping Irish businesses restore normality to their offices, shop floors and work spaces by protecting their breathable indoor air 24/7. We want to restore peace of mind to all staff and customers to ensure there’s nothing in the air but innovation.

It’s not what we remove, it’s what we restore that counts.

250826_1C_Novaerus_AMA_InBus Q2_V4.indd 1

Visit: www.novaerus.ie Phone: 01 255 1536

Email: info@novaerus.ie

16/07/2021 15:46