Ireland’s Business Quarterly
Connecting irish business | Q1 2014
Chomping at the Bit
The future of bitcoin assessed
EI Chief Julie Sinnamon on increasing exports and creating jobs
The craft sector’s worth to the economy
03 08 11
Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.
Valerie Jordan looks at the fear of failing and how we can learn from failure in business.
Business News Movers & Shakers Job Creation
A Casual Encounter
Pat Phelan, CEO of Trustev, tells InBusiness about the company's prestigious awards and the similarities between his current role and his days as a butcher.
12 An Enterprising Role Model Enterprise Ireland's Julie Sinnamon speaks to Joseph O'Connor about the ageny's strategy for 2014 and the importance of female role models in business.
In with the Crowd
Valerie Jordan looks at crowdfunding as an alternative means of raising funds for businesses in need of capital.
The Hard Graft of Craft
Ireland's craft sector contributes almost a500 million each year to the Irish economy. However, its worth goes way beyond that, writes Joseph O'Connor.
Chomping at the Bit
Conor Forrest examines whether bitcoin, the controversial cryptocurrency, has any real future.
Lessons in Loyalty
Richard Love highlights how offering something unique to customers through your mobile app can help build a loyal customer base.
News and opinion from Chambers Ireland, Ireland’s largest business network.
The Last Word
Chef turned entrepreneur Niall Harbison tells Dean Van Nguyen about his latest venture PR Slides and becoming a first time author.
Conor Forrest took a spin in Audi's latest A8 to see if the hype is justified.
InBusiness profiles some of the latest business books on the market.
InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets available.
Hamburg offers a fascinating mix of old and new that will keep even the most seasoned traveller interested, writes Aoife Loy.
Editor (Ashville Media Group): Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant (Chambers Ireland): Amy Woods Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Editorial Contributors: Conor Forrest, Valerie Jordan, Richard Love, Aoife Loy, Dean Van Nguyen Design and Layout: Alan McArthur Advert Design: Alan McArthur, Séamus Neeson Photography: Thinkstock.com, istockphoto.com Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Diarmaid Lennon Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200, Fax: +353 1 676 7100, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.ashville.com On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300, Fax: +353 1 661 2811, Email: email@example.com, Web: www.chambers.ie All articles © Ashville Media Group 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934
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Business News A round up of all the news from the world of Irish business.
Irish network finds its place in India
yPlace Connect, Ireland’s largest free WiFi network has just announced its entry into the Indian market. MyPlace Connect currently has over 1,000 new users through the India expansion with more signing up every day. This expansion is the latest from MyPlace Connect, which has already made services available in Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, the USA and the Netherlands before the end of 2013. The MyPlace Connect WiFi network is solely funded by the venues in which the service is available. The service eliminates the need for codes to access the internet and to make it even more convenient customers are always remembered by the system through a one off registration. The service is always free and as a result, MyPlace Connect has already signed up over 400,000 users in Ireland alone. By allowing the venues to pay a monthly fee the cost of providing WiFi at such a high capacity is minimised for MyPlace Connect customers. This international expansion shows that businesses from all over are becoming more and more aware that free WiFi is a vital driver for business. Peadar Gormley, CEO and Founder of MyPlace Connect,
is confident the company’s wave of expansion will continue. “There is a growing Asian market and it is an area we hope to target in 2014,” he said. “Now that we have our first Indian customer, it has allowed us to understand the needs and wants of customers in that part in the world. The market intelligence gained has been invaluable and I believe the company can only go up from here.” Initially developed as an advertising platform, MyPlace Connect has grown to become a highly adaptable, mobile cloud based, hotspot solution.
Ireland Becoming a
'Nation of Home Warriors'
lmost half (44 per cent) of employees in Ireland work from home at least one day a month, according to an O2 survey. A second, complementary survey of those who already work remotely, found that one-third of respondents expect the trend of remote working to accelerate over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 45 per cent of workers, who currently work remotely at least one day a month, believe that over the next five years the majority of business communications will be from home or outside the office. Commenting on the findings, O2’s Business Director Alan Brown said: “It is clear that the way we work is changing radically. Today’s mobile technology is able to complement and in some cases replace the traditional office and the survey confirms that technology is making it easier for people to work outside the office. We are becoming a nation of not just road warriors but home warriors.”
Almost half of employees in Ireland work from home at least one day a month according to new research from O2. Pictured at the launch of the research is Irish model and businesswoman Aoife Cogan. InBusiness | Q1 2014 3
Minister Launches BioMarin Project
he Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, has launched the construction, validation and commissioning phase of manufacturing operations at BioMarin Manufacturing Ireland in Shanbally, Ringaskiddy, County Cork. This project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. The event highlighted the significant progress made since the global biotech company entered the region in August 2011 with exciting expansion plans for the 2013-2015 timeframe for the site which will manufacture products to treat rare genetic orphan diseases. The company announced the creation of 100 jobs in 2011 and is currently hiring for these positions with 50 people already in place. As a result of global demand for its products, the company
Michael O’Donnell, Site Director, BioMarin Manufacturing Ireland Ltd, JeanJacque Bienaime, CEO, BioMarin, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, and Dr. Robert Baffi, Executive Vice President, Technical Operations, BioMarin pictured at the official launch.
will create a further 40 positions by 2015 across a range of activities including manufacturing, manufacturing
sciences and technology, facilities and engineering, quality, information technology, finance and administration.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin TD with Dermot Griffin, CEO Designate, Premier Lotteries Ireland. 4 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
remier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) has signed the licence to operate the Irish National Lottery for the next 20 years. The new operator – whose investors are Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), owner of the Camelot Group, An Post and An Post pension funds – will take over the full operation of the National Lottery following transition. The award of the licence follows a competition which took place between May and October 2013. On October 3rd 2013, Minister Howlin announced that Premier Lotteries Ireland had been selected as the Preferred Applicant as it had met the essential requirements provided for under the terms of the competition and had submitted the highest licence fee proposal which was a405 million. Discussions on finalising the terms of the licence then took place between the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the preferred applicant. These discussions recently concluded. Premier Lotteries are due to take over the operation of the National Lottery within a year. At the signing of the licence Minister Howlin said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this process. We have a new operator that brings together valuable domestic experience together with international expertise. I believe Premier Lotteries will grow the business in a responsible manner and I look forward to a greater annual revenue stream for good causes.”
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Partnership Bids to Make a Positive Change
oehringer Ingelheim has announced a three-year partnership with Ashoka Ireland’s Change Nation. Change Nation brings together many of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to spread their solutions and help solve some of Ireland’s greatest challenges. The three-year partnership has selected proven Irish and international health solutions to help transform the health system in Ireland. The partnership will allow Ashoka Ireland and Boehringer Ingelheim to leverage each other’s expertise and networks to accelerate both organisations’ impact in Ireland. Globally, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka have built a strong relationship through the ‘Making More Health’ partnership. The Change Nation Health Cluster is an opportunity for Boehringer Ingelheim to collaborate with Ashoka Ireland to be part of a broader health
Rebecca Kilbane, Ashoka Ireland and Dr. Colin Edwards, General Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Ireland.
solution across the Irish healthcare system. Through co-creator sessions, leveraging staff engagement and established networks, it offers both organisations an
he Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has welcomed a new report which shows the significant contribution that the brewing sector makes to the Irish economy. The report ‘The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy’, drawn up by Ernst & Young and launched by the Brewers of Europe, highlights the economic impact of beer in Ireland. It found that beer production and sale is attributable to 40,800 jobs and a value add of a1.3 billion, contributing a1.2 billion to Government revenue through VAT, excise and income-related contributions. The report found that there was a fall in consumption by almost 10 per cent between 2008-2012, highlighting the high excise duty rates for beer in Ireland, compared to the rest of the EU, which has led to higher prices and has driven cash-strapped consumers to drink at home. Despite this, the greatest part of beer consumption is still located in the hospitality sector at 61.2 per cent and the report emphasises the significance of beer for this sector. The economic contribution of beer to the hospitality sector and in particular the Irish pub is again recognised in the context of beer related employment. In 2012, approximately 1,500 people were directly employed in Irish brewing companies, while beer production contributed to the indirect employment of 40,800 people.
6 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
opportunity to work with Ireland’s highest level decision-makers and the newest innovations to transform the health system for the better.
A Smarter Way
urys Inn Hotel Group has launched a scheme to pilot optional online check-in at its hotels in response to changing consumer behaviours and the growing use of mobile technology by its customers. The new online checkin technology has already been implemented in Jurys Inn Islington, with a view to rolling it out in its 31 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Prague. With revenues from mobile bookings at the Hotel Group having increased by 80 per cent between 2012 and 2013, the pilot has been developed in response to customer demand for greater flexibility and control of their stay. Business travellers in particular will benefit from checking in via smartphone prior to arrival, as well as quick and easy key retrieval at the hotel, which will allow them to bypass the front desk entirely if they prefer. Suzanne Cannon, Group Marketing Manager at Jurys Inn, said: “Our customers are increasingly using mobile devices to make bookings so it is important we adapt our services in line with this changing consumer behaviour. Convenience is key, particularly for business travellers, and online check-in will provide a seamless experience so that guests can choose to check-in by smartphone, laptop or tablet at a time that suits them, meaning they spend less time at the check-in desk and more time enjoying their stay at the hotel.”
Digicom Announces Print Deal with Mazars
igicom, a leading Irish specialist in print management, has announced the implementation of a new Ricoh managed print service for Mazars. The secure solution is transforming print and document processes for Mazars. The overall value of the deal is estimated at a200,000 over five years including equipment and managed services. The solution will provide a full return on investment before the lifetime of the deal due to significant cost efficiencies being introduced, including a 25 per cent saving on print costs. Mazars is one of the country’s leading professional services firms with more than 250 audit, consultancy, corporate finance, financial outsourcing, business restructuring, insolvency and tax employees in its Dublin and Galway offices. It serves a broad client base in Ireland and internationally, including corporate, Government and ownermanaged businesses.
Ray Byrne, Channel Manager, Ricoh Ireland, Trevor McCarron, Director of Finance & IT for Mazars Ireland and Greg Clarke, Managing Director, Digicom.
UPC adds Radio Nova to its digital offering
David Kent, Content Manager at UPC with Radio Nova presenters Joan Lea and Marty Miller and Kevin Branigan, CEO of Radio Nova.
PC has announced the inclusion of another popular radio station to its expanding Irish digital radio line up. Radio Nova now joins UPC’s digital radio platform on channel 937. The radio station broadcasts to Dublin city, county and commuter belt, including Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and key demographics include 25-44s, 15-34s
and housekeepers, as well as the number of women listening to the station. The schedule is made up of a strong mix of presenters such as Joan Lea and Marty Miller on the station's 'Morning Glory' breakfast show, Greg Gaughren, Pat Courtenay and Dee Woods, who covers Nova Nights. David Kent, Content Manager at UPC
said: “This is another example of UPC supporting Irish indigenous channels and our commitment to continue to promote everything that is Irish, such as Radio Nova. UPC customers can be assured that this is another move to expand our range of content and generate more listening hours to our customers menu.” InBusiness | Q1 2014 7
Movers & Shakers
New appointments in the business community nationwide.
Lorcan Harding Zurich Insurance
Kim Lombard CAMEO Communications
Áine Reidy Smith & Williamson
Zurich Insurance has appointed Lorcan Harding as Director of Sales & Distribution. In his role, Harding will lead Zurich’s broker division and the implementation of its underwriting, sales and business strategies through the company’s dedicated centres in Dublin and Wexford. With over 35 years’ experience in the insurance industry, Harding was previously Broker Manager with Zurich Insurance, where he was responsible for developing and strengthening relationships with the company’s broker partners and enhancing their product range and customer proposition, prior to which he held the position of sales manager within the company.
CAMEO Communications, a leading PR agency in Munster, has announced the appointment of Kim Lombard as PR Account Manager. An experienced and qualified PR professional, Lombard previously worked with Irish agency, Drury, on a number of leading consumer and healthcare accounts such as Vodafone, Kelloggs, GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth Ireland. She has also worked in-house with the Hayfield Manor Hotel and Home Instead Senior Care. Lombard holds a postgraduate qualification in PR and Event Management from the Fitzwilliam Institute, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Cork. She also holds a Digital Marketing Diploma from the Digital Marketing Institute.
Áine Reidy has been appointed a partner to Smith & Williamson audit and assurance department. She has over a decade of experience in audit, financial reporting and advisory. Reidy joined Smith & Williamson in 2007. She is a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland and also holds a diploma in International Financial Reporting Standards.
8 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Movers & Shakers
Dervilla Mullan Brandtone
Andrew Smyth Savills
Edward Stephenson Druids Glen
Irish mobile marketing company Brandtone, which works for leading brands in fast-growth markets, has appointed Dervilla Mullan to oversee the development of its proprietary technology. In her role as Chief Product Officer, Mullan will drive innovation to create increasingly sophisticated tools for personalised brand building and brand promotion in the developing and emerging markets. She will also be responsible for coordinating Brandtone’s presence at Mobile World Congress this year, where the company will be unveiling new technologies to fuel its work with major brands in 2014. Mullan joined Brandtone from eircom, where she was Director of Online & TV, leading their digital strategy. She brings with her 18 years of experience in the Internet and Communications sectors, specialising in digital content, e-commerce and selfservice operations.
Property consultants Savills Ireland have appointed Andrew Smyth as their PR and Online Media Manager. He will be responsible for developing the company’s traditional and online media presence. Smyth joins Savills from the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, where he worked with the organisation’s Public Affairs department, managing their media relations and communications activity. Andrew has over eight years of experience in the PR industry. He began his career with FleishmanHillard International Communications working with clients in the healthcare, financial services, construction and telecommunications sector.
Druids Glen Resort in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow has appointed Edward Stephenson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Stephenson has been working in the hospitality sector for the last 25 years and has extensive experience across all aspects of the hotel and leisure sector. Stephenson has managed several hotels for the Doyle Collection including a number of their Jurys Inn brand hotels, their Croke Park Hotel and most recently their flagship hotel, the Westbury. Commenting on his appointment, Stephenson said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team of one of Ireland’s leading resorts. This is a very exciting time for me.” A former Hotel Manager of the Year, he holds a Masters in International Business from the Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin.
InBusiness | Q1 2014 9
Job Creation InBusiness highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country. Westbourne IT Global Services Fifty new jobs have been announced at an IT global services company based in Cork. The positions will come on stream at Westbourne IT Global Services which operates from two facilities in the county. The company is recruiting to fill multilingual, technical positions which will see its workforce increase to almost 100 employees within the next 18 months.
SEKO MedTec Solutions SEKO MedTec Solutions, an operating company of Sutherland Global Logistics (SGL), a global logistics industry leader, has announced plans to establish a European Control Centre in Galway, with the creation of 30 jobs. These jobs will support several functions, including sales, information technology, finance
and supply chain management. SEKO MedTec/SGL is headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania, USA and is a strategic partner to SEKO Worldwide, offering a specialised suite of timedefinite supply chain services. The proposed SGL European Control Centre, will manage and deliver SEKO’s MedTec brand across Europe.
IBM IBM has announced 40 new jobs at its multilingual operations centre in Mulhuddart in Dublin. The roles will be in the areas of finance, project management and business operations, in addition to candidates with particular language skills. The new centre is expected to push the adoption of big data, cloud and collaboration to support clients around the world. It will support IBM’s software labs in rolling out services to new clients, and also support client engagement around the world.
Alexion Alexion Pharma Ireland Trading, a subsidiary of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has
announced that it has agreed to purchase a vialling facility in Athlone, Co Roscommon, Ireland. The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2014. Alexion expects to invest to purchase, fit and improve the facility for its operations. The investment is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. Forty jobs are to be created as a result of the deal. In July last year, Alexion announced plans to expand its global presence with the opening of a new office and laboratory facility in Dublin in conjunction with the company’s decision to establish a global supply chain facility in Ireland. The acquisition of the facility in Athlone is part of the plan to establish global supply chain operations in Ireland.
SouthWestern Cork-based outsourcing company SouthWestern has announced an expansion of its operations, which will see 40 jobs created in Cork. The company, which provides outsourced business process services to a wide range of clients, opened a London office in 2012. Last year SouthWestern won a five year contract to deliver a new livestock database for the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. SouthWestern employs 650 people at its headquarters in Clonakilty and at Lodz in Poland. InBusiness | Q1 2014 11
Enterprise Ireland | Cover Story
Enterprise Ireland's CEO Julie Sinnamon tells Joseph O'Connor about how she is finding her new role, the agency's strategy to increase exports and create jobs, and the importance of role models in business.
Role Model 12 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Enterprise Ireland | Cover Story
ulie Sinnamon is well placed to encourage the promotion of female role models in Irish business. After all, she could be considered one such role model herself. Having come from a family of thirteen children in County Down, today she holds the top position at the Government body tasked with growing and funding Irish businesses in world markets. Sinnamon was appointed the first female chief executive of Enterprise Ireland last August, taking over from Frank Ryan who was in the position for a decade. She is now bringing her own set of characteristics and visions to the table after ten years of working in Ryan's shadow. “I came in last November and I'm settling into it well. I’ve had a busy first few months,” says Sinnamon. She was certainly thrown in the deep end, having to attend a number of significant trade missions with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny right from the start; Japan and the Gulf among the destinations. She was also involved in a landmark visit to Singapore, in which Government ministers from Dublin, London and Stormont took part in their first international joint trade mission. The initiative, which emerged from discussions involving the Taoiseach and British Prime Minister David Cameron, provided an opportunity to pursue trade and investment in the Singaporean aviation sector. Hardly a honeymoon period in which to settle in, Sinnamon appears focused on the job at hand.
Figures to Build On Acting as the first port of call for many Irish entrepreneurs, Enterprise Ireland's focus remains on improving Ireland’s competitiveness and building links between indigenous Irish companies and foreign multinationals. In line with these ambitions, the agency aims to help scale up mid-sized companies, encourage more IPOs and address the problems with bank credit. The sanctioning of 20 new positions in foreign markets should help the agency achieve its goal of breaking into more emerging markets such as Nigeria, Russia, Brazil and Asia Pacific. In its end of year statement published in January, Enterprise Ireland reported that companies supported by the agency created 18,033 new jobs in 2013. This resulted in a net increase of 5,442 in
the number of people employed by Enterprise Ireland supported companies, the highest net gain for Irish companies in the last decade. Indicators suggest this was primarily due to the strong export performance of Enterprise Ireland client companies. This continuation of employment growth demonstrates the direct impact that increasing exports has on jobs in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland supported companies now, directly and indirectly, account for more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy, which equates to approximately 16 per cent of the total workforce. These positive numbers from last year have certainly set the bar high for 2014 but the momentum of new Enterprise Ireland initiatives and supports for entrepreneurship and business is not set to slow down under Sinnamon's watch. After all, she hasn't just come in from the cold. Her most recent role at the agency was Director for Global Business Development. “We’re keen to see more start-ups and mid-sized companies achieve scale,” she explains. “It's really about working with the startups, post-approval, to really help them to grow faster and develop a stronger position. What we need to do is have a bigger impact on all of the start-ups so the focus is on growing bigger start-up companies as opposed to necessarily growing more start-ups. “Another priority for us is to achieve greater regional balance in terms of business development and that's about really trying to maximise whatever different regions are good at. So if you take the Midlands and West which is very strong in medical technologies, how do we stimulate and develop similar clusters, around other sectors, elsewhere? It's really about working with key players in the sectors and the regions to
agree what will have the highest level of impact in each region.”
New Life with LEOs Regional development is something which will continue as a result of Enterprise Ireland championing the implementation of the new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across the country. The new network of LEOs is expected to be up and running this month along with an additional a3.5 million in funding and a new entrepreneurial fund aimed at under 25s. The new offices will replace County Enterprise Boards and there will be 31 across the State located in local authority offices. They will carry out the same work as the enterprise boards, advising and supporting micro-enterprises. Enterprise Ireland will have a strongly supportive relationship for the LEOs' work in local entrepreneurship which will be underpinned by a service level agreement between Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities. Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said they would “breathe new life” into many sectors of the economy. “This is about working to support all of the LEOs through our Centre of Excellence to make sure that best practice is shared, and to provide training and support to help local businesses,” says Sinnamon. “Rather than just a rebranding exercise, it's really about trying to make sure that it's a first-stop shop for every entrepreneur so that if you go in somebody there will be able to get you the information and point you in the right direction.” Some concern has been expressed at a local level however about how seamless the transition will be, whether the LEOs' remit will encroach areas already covered by the private sector and how Chambers throughout the country – with their
"It's really about working with the start-ups, post-approval, to really help them to grow faster and develop a stronger position. What we need to do is have a bigger impact on all of the start-ups so the focus is on growing bigger start-up companies as opposed to necessarily growing more start-ups." InBusiness | Q1 2014 13
Enterprise Ireland | Cover Story
expert knowledge on the local business environment – will be involved in the new system. Sinnamon stresses that it will be a collaborative approach. “It's not just the LEOs, it's the LEOs working with the Chambers and all of the local sources who can help. Working closely with Chambers Ireland is part of the approach by Government; to be in partnership with Chambers and other local bodies to be able to help people in the various locations.”
Investing in Potential One area very much on Enterprise Ireland's radar is supporting high potential start-ups. As Ireland makes efforts to achieve an economically viable recovery, start-up businesses are being recognised as the country's lifeblood. In 2013, Enterprise Ireland invested in 103 new 'High Potential Start-Up' companies and also provided critical funding to 85 early stage entrepreneurs under its Competitive Start Funds. These companies come from a wide range 14 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
of sectors including key areas that the Government has targeted for growth, including financial services, ICT, games, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Sinnamon sees these firms as a big driver in job creation. “If you look at developed economies, not just Ireland, there is an increasing number of jobs every year which are being created from young early stage companies. It's really important to see young blood coming in to new sectors all the time with the start-ups. Another positive feature of our start ups is the number of serial entrepreneurs who might have sold
off and are coming back in again and starting new companies which is great to see.”
Creating Role Models In her short time at the helm, Sinnamon has been quite vocal on the importance of helping business women achieve their full potential and how we can develop a strategy to support ambitious women grow scalable businesses and become inspirational leaders in their field. She reflects on how Enterprise Ireland's policy focus has been developing. “We have had a great year for female
"It's really important to see young blood coming in to new sectors all the time with the startups. Another positive feature of our start ups is the number of serial entrepreneurs who might have sold off and are coming back in again and starting new companies which is great to see."
Enterprise Ireland | Cover Story entrepreneurship which was a specific focus of the Action Plan for Jobs and we more than doubled the number of high potential start-ups for women last year. So that's great,” she says. “It shows that when there is a policy focus put on things and a lot of effort put into it that you can actually get the results. We have been working with women in terms of feasibility applications and helping them to develop their companies and their proposition; working with them on development programmes to build their confidence and build their ambition, with a view to coming out with more start-up companies at the end of the day.” So the challenge now is to continue that momentum. Sinnamon continues: “The research tells us that confidence can be a barrier to female entrepreneurship. Also that females are much more strongly influenced by role models than males are and therefore the lack of female entrepreneurs really has a big impact on more women seeing entrepreneurship as a real option for them.” One way of encouraging more women into entrepreneurship is through profiling role models in business, an area in which Sinnamon feels we need to up our game. She has been proactive in addressing the deficit. “I use every opportunity to raise awareness among successful business women of the important part they can play in encouraging other business women. When I have any platform, I use it to talk about some of the success stories of Irish business women, because when you do that people think, 'well if she can do that, maybe I can do it too' and there is a cause and effect in terms of putting a spotlight on them and getting a result.”
Unfazed Undoubtedly, Enterprise Ireland has its fingers in a lot of pies, all of which play an important role in an economic recovery. Assuming the role of chief executive of the agency at a time when job creation and the fostering of business is at the top of the Government's agenda must be a daunting task to say the least. But Sinnamon appears rather unfazed when she considers some of the challenges that may be ahead. “Funding and export credit is still an issue for a number of
"I think you are far more likely to be good at something, if you enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy this job it would be tough going because it is pretty much absorbing most of my time at this stage. When I'm not at work I have a large family so when I get back home, whenever that is and for whatever little time that is, the family is a great leveller." the companies in the portfolio and the development of leadership capability is probably one of the areas where we feel when you address it, it can have the biggest impact on the growth potential of the company. The challenge for us is to try and do more of it.” Currency fluctuation can have a major impact on the bottom line of agencysupported companies, many of which rely on exporting. Sinnamon sees this as an ongoing challenge for her and her team. “Obviously the world economy looks as though it's improving. In some cases there have been currencies which have been in our favour so that has been good for some of the exports. I think one of the challenges is obviously the exposure to some of those currencies and therefore a need to have a diverse
range of exports across different sectors.” Sinnamon appears excited about the year ahead even as she struggles to get to grips with a healthy work-life balance. “I'm not as good as I’d like to be at the balancing bit,” she says light-heartedly. “But I am really enjoying the job which helps a lot.” She is a great advocate of the importance of doing something you love. “I think you are far more likely to be good at something, if you enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy this job it would be tough going because it is pretty much absorbing most of my time at this stage. When I'm not at work I have a large family so when I get back home, whenever that is and for whatever little time that is, the family is a great leveller.” That will certainly keep her grounded in between trade missions to far-flung places.
CV: Julie Sinnamon Role: C hief Executive, Enterprise Ireland Lives: Glenageary, Dublin Family: Married to Clive. Two children, Rebecca (27) and Conor (17) Currently Reading: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts Favourite Film: La Vita è Bella Hobbies: Reading, walking, cooking
InBusiness | Q1 2014 15
Crowdfunding | Feature
In with the Crowd Crowdfunding is a contemporary concept of venture capital creation in Ireland, whereby businesses can bypass the banks and have their loans funded by members of the public. Valerie Jordan reports on how this relatively new model works.
s the availability of bank loans and other traditional sources of revenue becomes increasingly scarce in recent years, entrepreneurs have been searching for new ways to finance their ventures. Crowdfunding is a relatively new concept that has seen hundreds of small business owners and budding entrepreneurs turn to people power to successfully expand their businesses. A growing multitude of dedicated websites now exist to connect new and growing businesses with amateur investors and supporters throughout the world.
Linked Finance Peter O'Mahony is no stranger to pulling in crowds. The founder of Dublin's The Laughter Lounge, he established Linked Finance in March 2013 to match small businesses with individuals who are willing to lend money. Fittingly, funding for Linked Finance came not from banks but from angel investors and Enterprise Ireland. The premise of the business is simple: Businesses need capital to survive and thrive. However, bank lending is increasingly limited and investment rates increasingly weak. Linked Finance have developed a model that creates capital for small businesses and yields potentially high returns on investment for lenders. Businesses can request loans of between a5,000 to a50,000, repayable over three years. The criteria for borrowing is that the business has to be trading for at least two years, be tax compliant, have a turnover of a100,000 16 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
and be able to supply independent account records. “We're not for startups,” says O'Mahony. “There's quite a lot of money available for start-ups in Ireland but there's very little money for a business in its growth stage.” Loan capital is generated from a number of small lenders through the dedicated website. “The investors we're interested in are people like you and me,” O'Mahony says, “not big millionaire investors – people with maybe a100 or a500 to lend to businesses.” Typically businesses borrow from 180 people – 180 small time investors. Lenders select their own interest rate and Linked Finance run a real-time 14-day auction where lower rates are given priority to get the loan for the business at the best interest rate possible. Here in lies the key attraction for both borrowers
and lenders – interest rates that are preferential to the bank's, in terms of both borrowing and investing.
Risk Assessment So, is it a risky business? O'Mahony says “typically with business lending banks would expect five per cent to ten per cent of small businesses to fail. In our industry there's a company that do exactly what we do in the UK (Funding Circle) – they've been lending for three years. Their default rate is one per cent – a tenth of what the banks are experiencing.” Community and locale are important elements of this crowdfunding model – where a business might not feel guilty bouncing a payment to a corporate bank they feel a responsibility to their smaller lenders. “The reason we're called Linked
Peter O'Mahony, Founder of Linked Finance
Crowdfunding | Feature
Larry Kinsella, Laragh Strahan, John Sheridan
Finance is because we have a channel open where the borrower can communicate directly with their lenders. They can also use that channel to give updates like if they've opened a new shop or they've got a new range or something – to create the community,” says O'Mahony. “Hopefully the lenders get really attached to the company. The reverse also happens – the business is seeing the whites of the eyes of their investors – they feel indebted to them and they'll make sure that they get their payments back on time. “We've lent to businesses in 19 of the 26 counties so far. We find when we have, say a Tipp' business or a Cork business it tends to be really heavily supported by locals.” Kingsley Aikins, guru of global philanthropy, is the chairman of Linked Finance. Aikins is interested in attracting the wealthy Irish diaspora to lend to Irish businesses. “Take the Irish guy working in IT in San Francisco, making great money, he might be from a town like Clonmel and absolutely loves Tipperary so when he sees a Tipp' business up on the site he's going to support it,” says O'Mahony. Lending is straightforward: Investors must be over 18, have a valid passport or driver's license and an Irish bank account to lend money through the site.
The Global Crowd Crowdfunding, as a concept, is being embraced across a variety of industries and through various business models – from an equity investment share model, to a lending model, such as Linked Finance, to a donations or reward model for benevolent causes.
Launch of Linked Finance back in March 2013.
The concept is gathering phenomenal speed around the world. In the UK, Funding Circle operate similarly to Linked Finance. A year ago they were lending £1 million per week – then in March 2013 the British government acknowledged the effectiveness of this lending concept, easing the flow of capital to small businesses. The government gave £20 million of taxpayers' money to Funding Circle to lend. It instilled the market with confidence: Three months later the site was lending £3 million a week. Lending Club, in the US, have lent over $3 billion. Lending Club lend exclusively to consumers, rather than businesses, providing a preferential rate to banks and credit card companies. Similarly SoFi is a crowdfunded source of personal financing for US students to pay college fees. Student loans are financed through the university's alumni. In the US crowdfunding is starting to be taken seriously as an alternative form of funding for both businesses and individuals. Kickstarter is possibly the best known of the crowdfunding platforms for independent and creative start-ups looking for funding. Over $1 billion has been raised for various projects since its 2009 launch, with some projects raising over $1 million in funding. The other advantage of a project like Kickstarter for start-ups is businesses get some confirmation that their project is commercially viable, whereby achieving the target pledges validates the existence of a market for a new product or service. Zopa was the world’s first peer-to-peer lender. Since 2005 Zopa has helped
savers lend over more than £482 million in peer-to-peer loans. Its co-founder and crowdfunding expert Simon Deane-Johns has predicted the market for peer-to-business lending in Ireland could grow to 1100 million in the next three years: “Based on what’s happening in Britain, this is easily achievable. Peerto-business lending could, if anything, grow even faster in Ireland because of the greater sense of community between businesses and people here.”
Future of Crowd The potential for crowdfunding is still to be fully realised but some insiders have suggested that linking savers to credit-starved businesses and consumers could have the potential to break banks’ monopoly on small business lending and credit card companies' hold over consumers. “If you write this article now it'll probably be the first time maybe 80 per cent or 90 per cent of people have actually heard of crowdfunding but in a year or two we'll probably all have participated in something to do with it,” says O'Mahony. In 2013 global crowdfunding revenue doubled to around $6 billion from the 2012 figure. The figure is expected to more than double in 2014. In Ireland the move is still gathering momentum and O'Mahony is buoyant about its future. Linked Finance have lent money to 51 businesses so far – just under a1.5 million, with the average business borrowing a28,000. “We're nearly doing a loan a day, five a week. We've lent to a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker. The momentum is getting good now. Maybe this time next year it'll really have caught on.” InBusiness | Q1 2014 17
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Craft Sector | Feature
The Hard Graft
Ireland's craft sector contributes almost €500 million each year to the Irish economy. However, its worth goes way beyond that, writes Joseph O'Connor.
he crafts sector in Ireland today represents a diverse range of businesses across a wide spectrum of industries. From stained glass design to textile weaving and jewellery making, the sector incorporates all sorts of creative activities. The nature of crafts make it a challenging industry to accurately define and measure but according to a study carried out by Indecon International on behalf of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), the sector employs over 5,700 people and contributes almost a500 million to the economy each year. These are impressive figures for a sector which receives limited coverage and is often overlooked for more mainstream industries such as technology, food and drink, travel and tourism, when considering which sectors contribute greatly to the wider economy. The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland is one organisation championing the craft industry here, focussing its resources on fostering the sector's growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. Funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland, the DCCoI looks after around 2,800 client enterprises. The organisation's chief executive, Karen Hennessy, highlights the industry's potential. “It's a very significant sector,” she says. “There are a lot of people working in it and for us there is a real potential to grow. Around a125 million is generated in exports but that wouldn't take into account the amount of business
Anke Eckardt, Tiny Towns, at Showcase 2014. InBusiness | Q1 2014 19
Craft Sector | Feature throughout the year that is sold to tourists coming into the country. So a large percentage on top of that goes out of the country in terms of product.” The major sectors within the Irish craft industry are pottery, glass, jewellery, textiles (particularly knitwear) and furniture. Craft businesses are characteristically small in scale and are geographically widespread, forming an important part of many rural and local economies. The sector has the benefit of providing viable, sustainable enterprises in isolated rural communities considered unsuitable by other manufacturing sectors. Speaking earlier this year at the launch of two reports outlining recommendations for significantly developing the craft sector in Ireland, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, TD, said: “By supporting and developing our indigenous craft industry, talented designers and makers throughout the country can play a vital role in contributing to sustainable economic renewal. These reports provide a comprehensive evidence base for future actions and investment in Ireland’s innovative craft sector.”
Cultural Value Investment in the sector not only helps those working within it, but it also has a positive impact on the tourism industry. The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Fáilte Ireland recently joined forces to help holidaymakers find the best studio
Jewellery Designer Orla Barry at Showcase 2014 20 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
experiences in Ireland. The selected sites are either craft studios open to visitors on a full-time basis or craft galleries and retail spaces offering visitors the opportunity to meet or interact with the producer. “We know from research there are a lot of tourists coming to Ireland and they are looking for 'experience holidays' and that's what this craft and design sector offers them,” says Hennessy. On the Discover Ireland website, you can view the Irish Craft Studio Experience map which lists 86 studios providing holidaymakers the opportunity to see producers at work. “There's a lot going on in the sector,” affirms Hennessy. “It goes way beyond just the economic value in what it delivers to the country. It really is part of 'Brand Ireland' and showcasing the very best of what we do as a country.” Ireland's craft products have always generated great interest abroad, with buyers from all corners of the globe attending craft events organised throughout the year. Markets in the UK, US, Germany and Japan have been strong in the past with other markets such as France, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania and the United Arab Emirates growing exponentially.
Showcasing Their Wares Last January, Showcase Ireland, the country's annual international trade show, took place in the RDS, Dublin. Now in its 38th year, the event saw over 430 of Ireland’s leading designers, manufacturers
Orla Barry Art Brooches
Photos: Mark Quigley
and craft makers present thousands of high-quality products from their latest collections, many of which were unique to the show. The number of microenterprises exhibiting in the Enterprise Zone, which is coordinated by the County and City Enterprise Boards, almost tripled from 35 in 2010 to a record-breaking 93 businesses in 2014, many of which were exhibiting at Showcase for the first time. The value of domestic and international sales orders placed over the four days of the show is estimated to have been in the region of a20 million, making the show the most important annual event for the craft sector. While attendance by domestic buyers was on a par with last year, international attendance was up by over 12.5 per cent on 2013 overall, reflecting the success of a new direct marketing effort in partnership with Enterprise Ireland offices abroad. Buyer numbers increased significantly from the UK, France and Germany, with numbers remaining strong from North America and Japan.
Wearable Art Dundalk-based artist Orla Barry was among those exhibiting at Showcase 2014. Barry, who works primarily as a painter and who teaches part-time, has produced a collection of ‘Wearable Art’ jewellery which includes brooches and necklaces. Each piece is hand painted with acrylics on laser cut wood and is completely unique, decorated with paper decoupage and metal foils. Instantly noticeable with their vibrant design, 'Wearable Art' makes miniature paintings into statement pieces of jewellery which Barry says are “inspired by mysticism, surrealism, fairytales, patterns and a search for perfect colour combinations”. Barry managed to secure a stand at the Enterprise Zone at Showcase through the Louth County Enterprise Board which meant that the cost was subsidised and training was provided in the run up to the event. “It was a really interesting and positive experience,” she says. “Aside from meeting new retailers and making contacts, it was fascinating to be surrounded by so many different businesses selling such a variety of products.” Barry managed to secure four new customers at the event; no mean feat for someone more accustomed to the creative side of the process, rather
Craft Sector | Feature than the retail one. “As an artist, if you want to make an income it is really important to be able to talk about your work and promote yourself,” she says. “Sometimes as a creative person this can be difficult but necessary as no one will see your work or buy it unless you publicise yourself. If you are authentically happy about what you make and do, then hopefully the enthusiasm is infectious when you talk about it.”
Tiny Towns Another micro enterprise selling its wares at the RDS was Tiny Towns. Based in the West Cork village of Ballydehob, Tiny Towns is the brainchild of Anke Eckardt, an enthusiastic model builder and furniture maker by profession. She was making a miniature version of Ballydehob for her son's railway layout, when she came up with the idea of designing model making kits so that everyone could enjoy her work. Eckardt's fascination for paper modelling goes hand in hand with her woodwork. A chance encounter with her friend, David Scott, was the main catalyst in the enterprise's inception. After being shown the original Ballydehob models, Scott saw the potential and suggested to Eckardt that more villages would welcome her designs. His experience in digital printing and marketing helped Anke find the missing ingredients to launch her idea. The colourful and quaint paper designs displayed at Showcase earned Tiny Towns 20 new written orders from shops as well as many leads and connections. “We found it difficult to reach buyers of bigger outlets,” says Eckardt. “We also needed to do more market research and gather feedback from shopkeepers and peers. The best way to do this seemed to be Showcase. When we heard of the substantial support provided by Cork County Enterprise Board we seized the opportunity.” For Eckardt, her participation was well worthwhile. “It was very positive, very encouraging and inspiring,” she says. “It allowed us to present our product in a professional way to buyers and to meet them in person, which would require a lot more work and time without such an event.” She believes events like Showcase are presenting craft businesses with the perfect platform to market their products but other incentives are
Georgina Sweetnam, County and City Enterprise Boards, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore TD, Martin Kennedy of Ecomelts and Vincent Reynolds, Chair of Network of County and City Enterprise Boards, at the 'Enterprise Zone' at Showcase in the RDS.
required to maintain a stable bottom line. “One of the things I think the Government could do to help Irish crafts people more is to reduce or abolish VAT on Irish made crafts. It is very difficult to compete with cheap imports.”
Survival of the Fittest Given the nature of the craft sector, many enterprises face challenges specific to their actual work. However, mere survival itself can be the most common challenge of all. “Like many small businesses, these guys have to do everything for themselves,” says Hennessy. “A lot of our clients are very small. They have to do the designing, the making, the packaging, the website, their accounts – so there's a challenge within that.” Until recently many craft businesses could not avail of the Government's JobBridge internship scheme but that has changed. Last year the DCCoI ran a pilot programme with the Department of Social Protection where 100 JobBridge interns were hired to work in one of their member companies. Although often criticised for being abused by some employers, within the craft sector the JobBridge scheme appears to benefit both intern and employer alike. “It has been hugely successful,” says Hennessy. “What we're finding is that people who were nervous about taking on someone have now had a couple of months working
with an intern and see the benefit of having someone else on-site, helping them to grow their business. They are now taking on those people. The intern is not going to be sweeping the floor, it is going to be hands-on and they'll have the ability to really develop the company.” The recession has not been kind to parts of the craft sector either. Consumers' disposable income has become severely curtailed over the past number of years which means a cutback on luxury goods; items produced by homeware and giftware businesses. But it is a very resilient sector, according to Hennessy, and those who have been innovative in their offerings have ensured their survival. “They are adapting to the circumstances and the opportunities as they present themselves. I also feel that we are at a point in time where people's appreciation and awareness of Irish craft and design is at an all-time high in the sense that people want to buy locally, they want to support the small businesses in their area.” The DCCoI carries out Lansdowne market research every December and in 2010 one of the key questions was 'Are you interested in buying Irish craft and design?' Around 39 per cent said they were. That has now risen to 54 per cent which is quite a swing in such a short period of time. A positive sign that the crafts sector will remain resilient for some time to come. InBusiness | Q1 2014 21
Bitcoin | Feature
Chomping at the Bit Bitcoin, it seems, has rarely been out of the news in one way or another, with pervasive reports on price volatility and updates on its legal status across the world. Conor Forrest examines the so-called cryptocurrency and seeks out the views from either side of the playing field.
22 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
transferral of bitcoins at blockchain.info, a site well worth a visit.
Businesses on Board For businesses, Bitcoin is represented as a secure method of handling payments, a system which offers low fees, fraud protection, fast international payments and accounting transparency, amongst other things. There's a growing list of businesses across the globe which are using Bitcoin – many of them household names – including Virgin Galactic, Wordpress, Reddit, Tesla and Overstock. com, while eBay and its subsidiary PayPal are currently considering incorporating Bitcoin within their operations. Here in Ireland, companies accepting bitcoins include webworld.ie, vapourlights.com and one guesthouse in County Offaly. Meanwhile, Ireland's first Bitcoin ATM has found a home at GSM Solutions on Upper Abbey Street in Dublin, allowing users buy and sell bitcoins. Having more international and local businesses accept Bitcoin undoubtedly lends the cryptocurrency some much needed credibility. Alan Donohoe is one of the founders of the Irish Bitcoin Association, and is positive about the potential for Bitcoin's success in Ireland and further afield. “Ireland [is a] breeding ground for innovative startups, and Bitcoin brings a whole new dimension to business.
he brainchild of an unknown cryptographer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin began life in January 2009, slowly beginning to attract more and more followers, all the while increasing in value. Essentially a peer-to-peer system of payment, users have control of a personal bitcoin wallet, made available through a mobile app or computer programme, which allows them to send and receive bitcoins. All you need is an address and a secret key in order to send bitcoins, and simply an address to receive them. Every transaction is psuedonymous; each address is recorded in a digital ledger known as the blockchain, available to each Bitcoin user and which holds a record of every bitcoin transaction ever made, though addresses are simply random numbers, unassociated with any particular identity. Users make transactions directly with one another, transactions which are verified independently through cryptographic signatures. To prevent double-spending of bitcoins, specialised computers exercise a great deal of computing power to verify an agreed history of transactions, which has become known as mining, a side-result of which is the creation of new bitcoins, as a reward. There is a finite supply – the last bitcoin will be released around 2041, and anyone can view the realtime
Our foundation has been established to bring appropriate awareness about Bitcoin and what benefits it can give to both merchants and the public. We aim to ensure that businesses who accept or want to accept Bitcoin in Ireland are recognised and use good codes of practice. 2014 is the year that Bitcoin will become widespread and we urge the Irish public and enthusiastic entrepreneurs to get behind this global advancement of technology.” However, it hasn't all been plain sailing, and Bitcoin has been dogged by several issues in recent years. For one thing, certain criminal activity has been linked to Bitcoin in the past,
largely involving either the previous use of botnets (short for robot network i.e. a series of computers taken over and controlled remotely) for mining purposes, bitcoin theft or the use of bitcoins for illegal items/services, activity which has attracted the attention of law enforcement and financial regulators. In 2013, for example, the FBI shut down the infamous Silk Road online black market, seizing 144,000 bitcoins, with a then market value of around US$28.5 million. A report by the FBI in 2012 stated that “bitcoins will likely continue to attract cyber-criminals who view it as a means to move or steal funds,” though the US Department of Justice recognised their
potential as a legal means of exchange at a Senate hearing late last year. Questions also remain over Bitcoin's legal status around the world. Countries like Norway have rejected its status as a currency, but will still collect taxes on transactions. Others, like Australia, Germany and Canada, have simply stated that regular income regulations will apply. And in China, authorities last December banned financial institutions and payments companies from handling Bitcoin, though private citizens are still free to use it at their own risk. Here in Ireland, the situation hasn't been resolved either. In answer to a written question in the Dáil, Minister
for Finance Michael Noonan stated: “I am informed by the Central Bank that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not services regulated by the Central Bank and are not legal tender in the Euro area. Consumers using Bitcoin should be aware that it is not covered by any Irish regulatory protections and does not fall under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme or the Investor Compensation Fund, so consumers would be liable for all potential losses in full.”
Stability One of the major issues with bitcoins is that of their stability, or lack thereof. The value of bitcoins is prone to wild InBusiness | Q1 2014 23
Bitcoin | Feature swings – the banking crisis in Cyprus, for example, is thought to have been behind a surge to a high of US$266 in April 2013, before more than halving to US$105. Last November, Bitcoin prices had risen to US$1,250 but following an announcement of Chinese regulation in December, prices dropped as low as US$421. Stephen Kinsella, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick, is one of many economists around the world who have been impressed with the technology behind Bitcoin, yet remain skeptical of its viability. “Bitcoin is too volatile to serve as a currency in the sense the average person understands the word 'currency',” he says. “Right now you couldn't live your life through it. You couldn't get paid, pay your bills, pay your taxes, save a little, perhaps consume something, using Bitcoin. Bitcoin exploits a need some people feel for stateless, or unregulated, currency. The engineers behind Bitcoin have done a good job implementing the wallet software that powers the system, and the technology is cool, but in monetary economic terms, there's nothing new about Bitcoin.” The recent crash of Mt Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world controlling roughly 80 per cent of all transactions, only serves to highlight the instability which goes alongside Bitcoin, and the lack of any real backing for the cryptocurrency. The exchange filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo after admitting that it may have lost all of its investors' bitcoins - 850,000BTC has been stolen, or around f420 million. The official explanation is that of thieves taking advantage of a 'transaction malleability' flaw in Bitcoin, a flaw involving the alteration of transaction IDs so that transactions can be sent through again. There are other allegations however, from persons in the security community, which allege that bitcoins which had been kept by Mt Gox in 'cold storage' – outside of the exchange system in a secure location – had been stolen, perhaps as far back as 2011 with the theft having then been covered up. Whatever transpired, confidence is one of the main issues at play here, and these events will do nothing to bolster belief in the viability of Bitcoin. On the positive side for Bitcoin, other exchanges have since moved in, and the fall of Mt Gox does not spell the end for Bitcoin, not right away. 24 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Ireland's first bitcoin ATM machine at GSMSolutions in Dublin.
Betting On A Bubble? In terms of the future for Bitcoin, beliefs vary sharply. Figures within global finance have predicted that a crash is imminent, as they believe Bitcoin is only of speculative interest to traders betting on bitcoin prices, as opposed to a viable digital currency. Stephen Kinsella stresses that a crash is only a matter of time, but that it won't necessarily mean the end of Bitcoin. “The crash is inevitable but not Bitcoin's demise,” he says. “It might well survive, and perhaps even thrive, either as a speculative instrument or as a tool for exchange. Either way it won't replace the euro or the dollar.” Alan Donohoe, however, is more optimistic. “In 1995, the internet was considered a fad... the technological advancement of the Bitcoin framework is like the birth of the internet. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and not all bubbles burst. The volatility of the market is down to many external factors; as with any new currency these factors will determine the market. Government regulations will calm everything down to a steady pace.” It seems as if while the future of Bitcoin as a currency is uncertain, the technology behind it is where the possibilities lie. Speaking to International Business Times UK, Axel Merk, President and Chief
Information Officer of Merk Funds, said that bitcoin addresses the issues of international bank transfers being expensive and slow. “You can give banks a run for their money by deploying a technology that's based on bitcoin...[this technology could] provide competition to a banking system that is just incapable of innovating, I think that could be fantastic.” Merk added: “I don't think the value in bitcoin is in the coin, the value is in the technology and that you can do other things with it.” There are many conflicting theories as to Bitcoin's ultimate use, though many appear to agree that the cryptocurrency functions more as a medium of exchange as opposed to a fully functioning currency. As with many things, time will prove everything. Bitcoin has weathered many storms in a turbulent five years, which has led some to argue that it will continue to grow and evolve. “'Bitcoin' may become 'Bitcoin 2.0', but either way cryptocurrencies are here to stay,” says Donohoe. “Everything these days is going digital, why should currency be any different?” Though Bitcoin itself may fail, the technology behind it is strong, and perhaps something concrete will come out of a 'currency' surrounded in so much uncertainty.
Mobile apps | feature
Lessons in Loyalty T
he key to customer engagement via their mobiles is to offer something on your app which customers can’t get anywhere else. Start by thinking about how your customers use their mobile devices. Smartphones tend to be used on the go while people are killing time or travelling. They tend to be used by people to browse, gather or purchase short, focused information. Meanwhile, tablets are generally used for leisure shopping and browsing both at home and in more relaxing settings such as cafés. These differences can be seen in analysis on purchasing habits for specific devices. For example, according to recent research, people purchased about onethird more clothing on their tablets than on their smartphones and last Christmas the number of tablet-based purchases doubled. Interestingly, customers are still doing their 'heavy' shopping using their laptops and desktop computers — so it’s important to ensure your company website works well on all devices (using responsive design is a great way to do this while minimising costs). With all of this in mind, it’s important that your app performs at least as well as your website and ideally better. Customers who find your app buggy, hard-to-use, slow or missing key features (such as zooming in on products), will delete it. About one in four apps are deleted after only one use. And, with about one million apps in both the Apple and Android stores, there’s a lot of marketing work to be done to get your
app out of the stores and onto your customers’ devices. But if all your app does is replace your website, what’s the incentive for your customer to download and use it? If your business uses tickets, your customers could benefit from being able to use your app as their ticket at your venue. This is increasingly common, especially with airlines and cinemas and offers customers a handy and hard-to-lose way of keeping track of their tickets. Another option is to use your app to allow customers to track their loyalty points if you offer a free or discounted item after so many purchases. Coupons could be used to encourage customers to keep and check your app from time to time. However, coupons alone may attract only bargain-hunters, so this may only be a good strategy if your business is looking to cut costs by using app coupons or routinely increases sales with aggressive offers. A better option is to offer products or information only to app-users. For example, a particularly unique gift at Christmas that’s only available to a shopper with your app might be enough to bring some new customers into your fold. Alternatively, 'inside' information such as when new seasons or lines are available, 'secret' gigs, 'extra' music, information or videos could also make your app a must have for your most ardent fans. If you do go down this
route, make sure that this information is only available on your app or your app will just become a copy of your website. The key to building customer loyalty using your app is to give an experience so useful they’ll return each week, month or quarter to make that all-important purchase. This means your app needs to be quick, easy to use, bug free and offer something of value to your customer. If you can’t tick all these boxes, don’t create an app at all and instead spend your time and effort on making your website great. InBusiness | Q1 2014 25
Mobile apps can be a costly and time consuming channel for any business to establish. Richard Love highlights how offering something unique to customers through your mobile app can help build a loyal customer base.
Fear of Failure | Feature
Try Again. Fail Again.
Fail Better. Is the fear of failure an obstacle to business development? Or do we accept that certain failures are inevitable on the road to success? As a new exhibition opens on the subject of failure, Valerie Jordan looks at the fear of failing and how we can learn from failure in business.
n his novella Worstward Ho, Samuel Beckett wrote 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.' These words have inspired a new exhibition at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, which aims to open up a conversation about the role of failure in science, art, innovation and enterprise. “I've been very interested in failure in creativity and innovation and the Silicon Valley mantra of 'fail early, fail fast. fail often',” says Michael John Gorman, Director of Science Gallery. “In the Irish context there is a bit of a stigma around failure. For quite a while I was interested in Science Gallery exploring the role of failure in the generation of new ideas.” Fail Better has been co-curated by Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, inventor of Sugru. “Sugru was an accidental invention, like so many great inventions. While [Ni Dhulchaointigh] was failing as an art student she discovered a property of this silicon material that allowed her to create something which could be used to fix and enhance all sorts of objects. It's now a very successful product,” says Gorman. “The danger of a culture where you fear failure is you're never going to have those accidental discoveries.” The exhibition features fortunate and unfortunate failures from more 20 contributors – from explorer Ranulph 26 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Fiennes' wrong boots, in which he failed to climb Mount Everest, to inventor James Dyson's 2,000 plus prototypes of a bagless vacuum cleaner. “Our goal was to spark off a national conversation around failure. It isn't necessarily the end point but part of the journey to success. If you're going to do anything interesting you're going to take risks and you're likely to fail along the way, whether it's Dyson creating a vacuum cleaner or Edison creating a lightbulb.” Embracing the possibility of failing, learning from failure, being inventive and taking risks is an essential part of starting-up a business. Indeed developing an aptitude for failure and setbacks is necessary for any entrepreneur. “In the start-up community there is the word 'pivot', which is equivalent to failing and transforming yourself in the process. Within that community it's well understood,” says Gorman. “Putting something out there and getting user feedback is really valuable. It doesn't have to be perfect.” Though the word failure carries heavily negative connotations, opening up this conversation is helping to combat the fear of failure and fostering a openness to be adventurous and to take risks. Perhaps we're already on this path:
Recent research shows that the fear of failure is not a major deterrent to starting-up in Ireland. In the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Annual Report for Ireland 2012, by Paula Fitzsimons and Colm O'Gorman, research showed that in 2012, 230,000 individuals (eight per cent of the population) stated intention to set up a new business in the next three years. Relative to other countries this rate is low – half of the United States' 16.5 per cent; two thirds of the UK's 11.5 per cent. The report cited perception of opportunities for new enterprises and the poor perception of entrepreneurship as a career as deterrents (although successful entrepreneurs continued to be well considered). In terms of fear of failure deterring individuals from starting up a business, 41 per cent in Ireland expressed this view. While still relatively high, it's comparatively low when compared to the EU average of 47 per cent.
Celebrating Failure Accepting and understanding failure can also be beneficial to established businesses. Ralph Heath is the author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big. In a previous interview with Zane Safrit
Fear of Failure | Feature
The NeoNurture' selected by Timothy Prestero as part of 'Fail Better' at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.
he spoke about encouraging a culture where failure is not feared but celebrated. “You have to develop a culture that when you make a mistake, you quickly analyse it, that is what I mean by celebrating,” he says. “You have to set up a culture by where there is a process to go back and look and sometimes this can be painful. If you have this outlook, you will learn from it.” What advice does Heath give to an organisation looking to change their attitude to failure? “I'd invite them to look back and trace their history of when good things happen, then find the failures or learning experiences that helped them achieve those good things. There is a connection between failure and success.” “When we fail, we are not losers,” says Heath. “You tried something and it just didn’t work. It happens. Failure is a chance to learn and grow.” Fail Better at Science Gallery runs until 27 April. See Sciencegallery.com/failbetter or join the conversation #failbetter
Failure precedes Success Bill Gates Bill Gates' first foray into business was Traf-O-Data, a device designed to read traffic data. But it didn't work. Gates and his partner Paul Allen went on to use their experience with Traf-O-Data to inform the first Microsoft product. Microsoft became the largest PC software company in the world and Bill Gates the world's richest person. Steve Jobs Not all of Steve Jobs' developments knew the success we associate with Apple today. The Lisa was a major failure costing millions in development and selling just 175 units. Jobs was forced out of the unsuccessful project. He went on to set-up NeXT which also saw little success and was eventually acquired by Apple. This brought Jobs back to Apple where he returned the company to profitability and developed Mac, iTunes, iPod, iPad and iPhone. Richard Branson Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin and a self-made billionaire. He's also never been afraid of taking risks – even brushing with the law. However, in the '90s competition in the air was so great Branson had to sell his record companies to finance Virgin Atlantic. This experience created his strategy of 'branded venture capitalism'. Today, the Virgin Group is an empire of more than 200 companies. Brian Acton In 2009, Brian Acton was rejected for a job with Facebook. He had also been rejected by Twitter earlier on that year. He and friend Jan Koum decided to go it alone and set-up the messaging app WhatsApp. Five years later Facebook paid Acton $19 billion for his company. He now joins Facebook’s board and will continue to operate WhatsApp independently. InBusiness | Q1 2014 27
Trustev | SME Feature
A Casual Encounter Pat Phelan, CEO and co-founder of Trustev, tells InBusiness about the company's prestigious awards and the similarities between his current role and his days as a butcher.
rustev provides a modern approach to fraud prevention through realtime identity verification, focussed on validating the individual making the transaction, not just the payment method they're using. In 2013, the company was awarded the coveted title as Europe's Top Technology Start-up by the European Commission and in March 2014 Trustev took top prize at the world's most prestigious technology startup awards in Austin, Texas, the SXSW Accelerator competition. InBusiness first encountered the company's CEO and co-founder Pat Phelan at an EU conference on SMEs in Vilnius last November. It was there that Phelan was scolded by a group of officials for not wearing the proper attire for his presentation. Nonetheless, Phelan went on to deliver an insightful talk on the power of digital wearing a pair of jeans and a shirt. Not your average chief executive of a multi-million euro business, the affable Corkonian has a lot to say. We caught up with one of Ireland's top tech entrepreneurs – who was once again sporting a casual look – just after their big win at SXSW.
You started out as a butcher and now find yourself in the business of e-commerce fraud prevention? Could you join the dots? It might seem like a huge leap, but actually it's quite simple and straighforward. My entire career has 28 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Pat Phelan, CEO and co-founder of Trustev.
been predicated on one thing – I like spotting opportunities where I can solve real problems for real people. In my early career this went from being a butcher to owning restaurants so I could deliver quality food to people. In my restaurants I saw great foreign chefs that worked for me having huge problems staying in touch with their families overseas. That led to my first involvement with internet cafes and phone services which led to telecoms, international roaming and eventually to Trustev, because the telecoms industry is one of the worst hit when it comes to fraud. So every business I’ve been involved in is an
evolution of a problem that I came across in the one before.
Could you explain the service provided by Trustev in tackling online fraud? Trustev uses real time, online indentity verification to postively identify the customer prior to a transaction being made. By knowing exactly who your customer is, you eliminate the possibility of fraud. Our software connects easily into any existing e-commerce site and sits in the background monitoring how the transaction is proceeding and looking for suspicious behaviour.
Trustev | SME Feature To what extent is fraud holding back the e-commerce industry? Online commerce is all about customer relationships and trust and that’s pretty broken at the moment in terms of the huge amounts of information a customer is sometimes expected to provide just to close a purchase. One of the biggest problems with fraud is actually the panic it creates on both sides. We have figures that show, for one of the big global names that people would be familiar with, that they refused $25.5 billion worth of genuine orders last year because of fear of fraud. So on top of the actual $20 billion or so that’s being lost to actual fraud, you have these huge sums that are being lost due to uncertainty. Trustev changes all that. We let you start with the assumption your customers are good guys as we just keep an eye on them in the background. Until we observe some suspicious behaviour, we keep it that way, letting you concentrate on delivering a top notch customer experience to them online. If something looks suspicious about the digital information we’re collecting we’ll let you know before any transaction is concluded.
The way you seek to identity online fraud – in real time and through social media accounts, behaviours and transactions – is this a new approach or was it being done by other firms? No, what we’re doing is a completely new approach built on our belief that current solutions are just outdated and won’t work as the world changes. You still have identity solutions out there that are based on people scanning and faxing copies of their passports and utility bills. We ask the question as more and more companies move to paperless billing, what documents will people be expected to use?
Being named the Top Technology Startup in Europe by the European Commission must have been a significant turning point. What kind of doors did it open for Trustev? It was a huge honour for us. Dealing with companies in the USA, they often have a strange viewpoint on Europe and the companies based here so it’s a huge badge of honour for us and something that US companies instantly stand up and take
Trustev's HQ in Cork.
notice of. It’s led to some very interesting conversations and opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
You've just won the South by Southwest Accelerator Pitch Competition in Texas. Could you tell me about your participation in the event? It was three days of presenting to some of the toughest judges and biggest names in the global technology industry. Overall Ireland had an excellent presence this year. Our startup cousins, ViddyAd, put in an incredible performance in their category which was the talk of the event. The Irish pavilion organised by Enterprise Ireland was one of the centrepieces of the trade show. Once again Ireland boxed far above its weight in the global technology community. We've spoken to several companies who are planning to set up operations in Ireland as a result.
What is it about Ireland and the emergence of so many tech entrepreneurs here? Starting a business is incredibly hard, much more than most people percieve – I think Ireland has a great balance of people with clever ideas and then the will to fight for them. You go elsewhere and you see people with one or the other but Ireland seems to have plenty of people with both.
What staff numbers do you have and how do you find seeking talent in Ireland? Currently we have 15 staff in Cork
and four in Dublin. So far we’re been lucky and found some amazing people. I think our idea is so different and gamechanging that it has attracted the interest of people. We’ve had people join us from a lot of big companies based on the problem we’re solving. We have had to look elsewhere to fill certain roles especially in the big data space.
You claim to be one of the first people in Ireland to tweet. Could you tell me a bit about that? I don’t know if I was the first, it's hard to tell but I certainly was one of the first – it was a pretty quiet place back then. In general I’m a pretty early adoptor of technologies, you get exposed to a lot of new stuff when you’re travelling and meeting VCs and other technology companies and I like to both try them out and introduce them to other people who I know will get value out of them. Twitter is something I use to share a lot of this stuff and stay in touch with friends across the globe.
Any major plans for Trustev in the year ahead? We’ve just launched our first major extension to the platform, Trustev Retail Decisions, which allows retailers to use Trustev’s identity verification technologies in their bricks and mortar stores. We’ve also started recruiting for our first overseas office in New York, which should be up and running in a number of weeks. I’m moving over there full-time from April with my family. InBusiness | Q1 2014 29
Chamber Catch-Up A round up of all the news and events from Chamber Network nationwide.
Midwest Connects with Silicon Valley
imerick was the focus of a global business spotlight last January as technology leaders from Silicon Valley convened to participate in the ITLG Global Technology Forum 2014. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Limerick City and County Council, LIT, UL, Shannon Airport, Limerick Chamber and the Irish Technology and Leadership Group (ITLG) cements the relationship with ITLG, and officially establishes stronger commercial ties for Limerick and the
President Michael D. Higgins speaking at the ITLG Global Technology Forum
Midwest with Silicon Valley, California. It is anticipated that the region will benefit from this agreement in terms of fostering
Calls for Flood
Support for Business
hambers Ireland has called on the Government to follow suit with the UK Government and offer rates relief to those businesses affected by recent flood and storm damage. Speaking on the issue, Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Significant numbers of businesses around the country have suffered severe damage due to the recent weather conditions. They need all of the support that the Government can give them to help them get back on their feet and start trading normally again as soon as possible. This includes offering relief on commercial rates. Asking businesses to pay rates, essentially a property tax for business, on a property that is damaged or in need of repair is unjust.” “The Government has promised to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business by 2016. One way to do this is to provide additional supports to businesses in their time of need,” he concluded.
30 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
investment, job creation, collaboration on innovation and specialist facilities and strengthening education linkages. “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding with ITLG creates a gateway to Silicon Valley for Limerick by encouraging the exchange of ideas relating to innovation, technology, investment and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin. “The promotion of the Limerick region will enhance business opportunities in the US, which will inevitably drive employment and encourage entrepreneurship.” It is also envisaged that the closer collaboration established by the Memorandum signed with ITLG will also facilitate the twinning of Limerick with a city/town in California which would further drive reciprocal benefits for Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Chamber, Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and Shannon Airport.
Power to the People
Seminar addresses Energy Efficiency for SMEs
Jim Power, Chief Economist with Friends First, Benny Sheridan, Sheridan Insurances, Miriam Sheridan, Sheridan Insurances, Alan Kavanagh, Aviva, and Jack Fennel, DAS.
im Power, Chief Economist with Friends First was the keynote speaker at a seminar entitled 'The Truth about the Irish Economy Today', which was organised by Kells Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Sheridan Insurances. The seminar was held in the Headford Arms in Kells on 20 February and the other speakers were Alan Kavanagh from Aviva Health and Jack Fennel from DAS Insurance. Jim Power maintains that the Irish economy is rounding the bend but has not yet turned the corner. He stated that a global recovery is taking hold, but that the eurozone is still very fragile. He pointed out that there are over 700,000 family home mortgages in arrears in
Ireland with a108.5 billion in loans outstanding. Power warned that we must remain cautious: “There is much personal debt in the economy and the retail sector is still pressurised. Ireland does not have a functional banking system at the moment. The banks are not lending money and not providing credit.” The audience at the seminar included local SMEs and there was plenty of interaction between speakers and attendees. “It was a very successful evening,” said John V. Farrelly, President of Kells Chamber of Commerce. “Now that we know the current state of the Irish economy we are better placed to plan for the future.”
IB and Dundalk Chamber hosted an energy seminar for SMEs in the Louth area who want to drive down their energy costs and increase their competitiveness. Over 150 SMEs attended the seminar which was held in the Bellinghamcastle Hotel last March and speakers included AIB’s Head of Energy and Clean Technologies, Ray O’Neill and on behalf of SEAI, Declan Meally. The theme was helping businesses to reduce their energy costs and improve profitability. AIB research shows that energy accounts for approximately nine per cent of operating costs, averaging nearly t70,000 for the typical SME. To support SMEs invest in energy saving measures such as heating, lighting and cooling systems, AIB recently launched a r100 million fund for lending to allow SMEs to radically lower their energy bills. This fund is unique in that the bank will take into account the projected savings from energy efficiency projects when calculating the borrower’s repayment capacity. Qualifying SMEs can also avail of discounted funding supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB). President of the Dundalk Chamber, Paddy Matthews said: “We are delighted to host this event for our members as this is an area where SMEs can take small practical steps and make real savings. We welcome AIB’s announcement of a100 million fund and look forward to working with all our members in this regard.”
InBusiness | Q1 2014 31
Nursing Home Care •O ver 440 private and voluntary nursing homes are operating within the Irish healthcare sector, located in communities across Ireland •P rivate and voluntary nursing homes provide a ‘home from home’ and specialist care for 21,500 people • Private and Voluntary nursing homes provide direct employment to in excess of 22,000 staff • The specialist healthcare settings facilitate direct and indirect employment to approx. 44,000 persons • They provide care to more than 75% of the country’s long-term care residents •N ursing Homes Ireland members have collectively invested up to €2bn developing necessary capacity, undertaking infrastructural improvements, & transforming nursing home care •O lder persons accounted for the largest proportion of total bed days in acute hospitals in 2012 – 47.3% (ESRI, Activity in Acute Public Hospitals in Ireland 2012) • T he ESRI projects additional requirement for 888 long-term residential care places per annum to 2021 • T he Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) confirms ESRI projections and anticipates 59% increase in residential care requirements. “Even with greater emphasis on care at home and more resources provided to realise it, the demand for residential care is going to increase significantly in the next decade,” CARDI states. •B DO is projecting requirement for 4,200 nursing home beds by 2016 and 8,000 beds by 2021 (Health’s Ageing Crisis: Time for Action – A Future Strategy for Ireland’s Long-Term Residential Care Sector). Actions Required •A Department of Health led ‘Forum on Long Term Care’ to plan the ongoing and future residential care requirements of Ireland’s ageing population •A n enhanced framework that recognises and supports the increasing complex care requirements of nursing home residents •A ‘Fair Price for Care’ that recognises the true costs of providing specialist residential care to Ireland’s ageing population •A strategy that supports private and voluntary nursing homes to meet the significant growth in demand for nursing home care •A n appropriate model will create significant employment within our healthcare sector and support local economies in communities across Ireland •G iven the large numbers of people inappropriately placed in acute hospitals, it is critical that our sector is enabled to meet the care requirements of an increasing ageing population • Introduction of independent appeals mechanism to adequately address failure to agree necessary fee for nursing home care with National Treatment Purchase Fund • Introduction of independent appeals process to afford nursing homes opportunity to address HIQA’s judgements & conclusions Visit www.nhi.ie to download a copy of BDO report Health’s Ageing Crisis: Time for Action – A Future Strategy for Ireland’s Long-Term Residential Care Sector and to find out more about nursing home care.
Business Both Sides of the Border
Andrew McElhinney, co-owner of O’Donnell’s Craft Bakery in Donegal, a participant on the Gateways to Growth Programme.
eventy per cent of SMEs surveyed as part of the Gateways to Growth Programme have a better attitude to doing business on a cross border basis, according to figures published by Letterkenny Chamber. SMEs from the border counties and Northern Ireland were surveyed following their participation in the EU Gateways to Growth programme - a collaborative EU INTERREG IVA funded cross border project involving large scale 'Meet the Buyer' events and skills
development workshops targeted at SMEs keen to develop cross border trade. The project is delivered by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the COMET Councils in Northern Ireland, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Participants said that as a direct result of the programme they have more
confidence in doing cross border business with 70 per cent saying their attitude has improved. Participants were surveyed six months after completing the programme. Letterkenny Chamber CEO, Toni Forrester says, “The ultimate aim of the Gateways to Growth project is to encourage the target companies to supply, buy, network and assist in their growth and development by providing the opportunity to develop their skills set to export in what are viewed as nearby low risk markets.”
Shannon Seeks Business Ambassadors
hannon Chamber has teamed up with ConnectIreland and rugby legend Mick Galwey to encourage people and companies in the Shannon area to become actively involved in the ConnectIreland initiative and play their parts in creating new jobs in Ireland. The ConnectIreland concept was first mooted by Terry Clune during the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum as a mechanism for incentivising people to use their contacts to help find expanding companies that might locate and create jobs in Ireland. Following negotiation with the Irish Government and IDA Ireland, he founded the ConnectIreland initiative to help the Irish economic recovery. Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes believes this is a great way for Irish people to feel part of the economic recovery. “It’s a win-win for everyone: for Connectireland, for Irish jobs and for the person who makes the connection. It’s a formula that’s already reaping rewards, with 16,250 registered companies, 1,087 approved companies, 59 companies in negotiations and 2,035 potential jobs already recorded. We are delighted to play our part in getting a greater buy-in to the concept from companies and people in this area.”
InBusiness | Q1 2014 33
CHAMBERS CSR Awards IRELAND2014 | IB Survey
Mallen Baker Launches 2014 Awards Nominations for the 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards are now open.
hambers Ireland has announced that nominations for the 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards are open. Now in their eleventh year, the awards were launched by Mallen Baker, renowned UK-based speaker, writer and strategic advisor on CSR. The awards are run in association with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, partnered by Business in the Community Ireland and kindly sponsored by BAM. The launch was kindly hosted by eircom. Speaking at the launch, Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive said: “For many businesses, CSR is a chance to go the extra mile; to give back to the local community, staff and suppliers and ensure a more sustainable future for all. At Chambers Ireland, the CSR Awards are our chance to validate the work of these companies, highlight best practice and reward the hard work being undertaken by businesses across the country to engage in CSR.” Tina Roche, Business in the Community Ireland Chief Executive continued: “The awards continue to go from strength to strength and each year
Mallen Baker speaking at the event 34 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Padraig McManus, Chairman, eircom; Mike Jones, Business Development Director, BAM; Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community; Mallen Baker, Managing Director, Daisywheel Interactive and Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland.
we see how companies are enhancing and improving their CR strategies and embedding corporate responsibility at the heart of their business. By adopting this embedded and sustained approach to corporate responsibility, companies are yielding the noticeable advantages it can have on the bottom line. These awards champion this practice which is integral to Ireland’s business reputation.” Theo Cullinane, BAM Chief Executive said: “We are proud to once again sponsor the CSR Awards, which promote and acknowledge responsible business practices. We believe that CSR and sustainability create value and
efficiency for our industry clients, develop relationships and improve decision making processes. I’d like to wish everybody in Chambers Ireland, Business in the Community and all entrants the very best of luck with this year’s awards.” Also speaking at the launch, eircom chairman Padraig McManus said: “The Chambers Ireland CSR Awards offer a unique platform for organisations to gain recognition for the efforts that they make to make businesses more responsible and we are very proud to be a part of that. Our Special Olympics Ireland partnership celebrates its 29th year this year - making this the longest corporate sponsorship in Ireland.” Award categories include: Excellence in Environment, Community (divided into Charity, Volunteering and Community Programme), Workplace, Marketplace, International CSR, CSR Communication, Best SME and the overall Outstanding Achievement in CSR Award.
CHAMBERS Chamber IRELAND Week | IB Survey
Get Involved in Chamber Week 2014 With a wide range of events taking place, Chamber Week is an ideal time for your business to join its local Chamber.
oving into its fourth year, Chamber Week has become well established in the business calendar. Extending across our network of 48 Chambers throughout the county, it is a chance for businesses to experience at first hand what a Chamber does for them and the local economy. Each and every Chamber organises and runs at least one event during the week. There is a huge variety to the events reflecting the range and capacity of our local Chambers. You will see that Chambers play an active role in community and business development within their local area. The health of the local economy is crucial to the health of your business. Chamber Week will take place 15-19 September 2014. Join your Chamber for Chamber Week; here are some reasons why...
Networking and Events 60 per cent of members do business at events. Networking is the most costeffective way of marketing. By tapping into the resources, knowledge, expertise and the large and dynamic network of a Chamber, businesses can make valuable new business connections. For SMEs, attracting business is made easier with Chamber membership. Your Chamber offers unique networking opportunities enabling you to meet other business people, make new contacts and promote your business to a new audience. Chambers nationwide regularly host a number of important networking events, which enable businesses to meet other business owners and to generate new opportunities.
Business Advisor For all businesses, whether early stage start-ups or established enterprises, the Chamber is the first point of call
Members of the Chamber Network launch Chamber Week 2013, a week of events showcasing the benefits of joining a network of member businesses employing over 650,000 staff across Ireland.
regarding issues relating to business. Any business that needs information and guidance can turn to the Chamber for advice. Whether itâ€™s sourcing local business listings, finding out how much rates you should be paying, networking and marketing your business, Chambers offer support and guidance for all industry sectors for a modest annual subscription fee â€“ a real value for money offering for any type of business.
Products and Services At any point in time Chambers have a number of local and national products which can be used by members. Discounted business services are also available from member to member.
Lobbying and Representation Chambers lobby on a number of key business issues. No other organisation is equipped to fight this battle so well. This has given businesses the opportunity to not only survive, but to grow and develop
their business in the local economy in which they operate. One of Chamber's functions is to make the local area a great place to live, work and do business. Developing industrial and infrastructural services in the local area is a fundamental part of the Chambers work â€“ something that benefits not only Chamber members, but also the community at large. Lobbying reduces business costs. The Chamber is dedicated to campaigning for direct action on the key business issues that affect business and the long-term development of the area.
Free Promotion You can use the Chamber website to announce special offers or other business announcements. Businesses also get a membership directory listing and access. You can also access the social media aspects of the Chambers such as Chamber LinkedIn groups or Twitter. For more information, see www.chamberweek.ie InBusiness | Q1 2014 35
DHL Express | Profile
Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director of DHL Express in Ireland, poses the question on whether the time is right for more Irish businesses to look beyond these shores and enter the export marketplace.
o, you’ve managed to keep your business afloat through the worst of the recession. After years of hardship and cost-cutting you’re finally seeing a small increase in demand for your product or service and your sales line is showing some modest growth for the first time in years. It’s not exactly time to pop the champagne corks but some welcome relief nonetheless for hard-pressed Irish businesses. Indeed there is some consistency amongst commentators and across the majority of macroeconomic indicators that a recovery of sorts is taking root. The Department of Finance, in their Monthly Economic Bulletin for February, reported positively that real GDP increased by 1.7 per cent in Q3, total domestic demand increased by 0.5 per cent and investment recorded strong growth in the quarter at 8.3 per cent. Most significantly of all perhaps, labour market trends are better than they have been for quite some time. Unemployment at 12.3 per cent in January compares to the peak of 15.1 per cent in February 2012 and indeed the number of people in employment in Q3 at 1.899 million was 3.2 per cent or 58,000 up on the same quarter in 2012. So unquestionably a brighter picture is emerging. But that doesn’t mean that progressive and forward-thinking Irish companies shouldn’t be looking beyond these shores to grow their business internationally. Even the most optimistic commentators are suggesting no more than low single-digit growth prospects for the Irish economy, so the old simplistic notion that 'a rising-tide will lift all boats' really doesn’t apply. 36 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Moreover, there is a valid case to be made that if your business has survived the Irish economic downturn over the last few years, there is a strong likelihood that you have a sustainable product or service which has the potential to be successful outside of Ireland. Despite our recent difficulties, there is still a strong demand for 'Brand Ireland' and quality Irish-made or designed goods can compete effectively in international markets. The right foreign trade can therefore lead to a wealth of new opportunities and valuable experience for Irish companies. Most especially, given the recurring challenge to grow sales and increase profitability against a backdrop of still weak domestic demand, export sales can become a key driver of profitable growth. By developing business overseas, not only can a company tap in to significant new market opportunities but it can also reap many other benefits. In particular the opportunity to spread business risk and enable a business to achieve greater economies of scale has the potential to generate a more costcompetitive operation.
Bernard McCarthy, Managing Director of DHL Express in Ireland
In DHL Express we have seen this trend develop in recent times and it’s clear that more and more Irish businesses are taking their first steps into the export marketplace. These companies are disproving the notion that exporting is only for large enterprises with very
"In DHL Express we have seen this trend develop in recent times and it’s clear that more and more Irish businesses are taking their first steps into the export marketplace. These companies are disproving the notion that exporting is only for large enterprises with very significant financial resources."
DHL Express | Profile
significant financial resources. Our role in DHL Express is to facilitate international trade and we’re more than happy to provide advice and guidance to those companies which are new to exporting. It’s also equally apparent that those businesses that do embrace exporting are more likely to be successful in the longer term. DHL’s international research has shown that firms that export internationally are twice as likely to be successful than those that operate only in their domestic market. This is a very significant finding but in truth it’s hardly surprising and more and more progressive Irish businesses are proving the point that carefully managed and planned expansion into new export markets makes perfect business sense. The potential benefits of expanding a business into international markets are self-evident but it’s not something that a company should enter into lightly. Any company – large or small – needs to carry out the necessary research, planning and due diligence before entering a new export market. But neither should a business be put off by perceived obstacles or complexities, which with good preparation can be readily overcome. There is plenty of support available to new exporters or those companies considering taking that first step; in particular Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Get Export Ready’ programme provides a wealth of information and advice. Enterprise Ireland also run various
"Ireland is a small marketplace and for very many Irish companies it makes perfect sense to look beyond these shores for new customers and new opportunities." export workshops and support programmes which can be invaluable to new or prospective exporters. So whilst entering new export markets isn’t a guaranteed route to success for every business, there are undoubtedly big opportunities for companies with the right products and services. Ultimately, good research and thorough planning is critical for success. Thereafter it’s very important to know your sector and the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service within the new potential market. Make sure that you have the required working capital in place and be aware of exchange rate issues when dealing outside of the Euro area. And, of course, be sure to partner with a reputable logistics partner who will deliver your goods safely, securely and on time to your new export customer. For any company, taking the first steps into exporting can be exciting but also a little daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the process. No one is suggesting that it’s easy, and of course in addition to the good research and planning which is a must, you’ll also need plenty of drive, ambition and perseverance. That said, if your business has survived in Ireland over the last few years the likelihood is that you
already have these qualities in abundance! At DHL we’ll provide guidance and support in addition to an end-to-end service, including customs clearance if you’re exporting outside of the EU. We are the logistics experts so we can give you the peace of mind to concentrate on managing your customers, winning new orders and competing successfully internationally. Ireland is a small marketplace and for very many Irish companies it makes perfect sense to look beyond these shores for new customers and new opportunities. As with any new venture, it’s advisable to take small steps and find your way slowly, building confidence and expertise as you go. Look to the EU as a first-step, with the UK as a logical starting point. Exporting to any of the 28 countries which make up the EU couldn’t be easier – and easier still if it’s to one of the 18 Eurozone countries where there are no currency risks. Remember, the EU operates as a single market so for the vast majority of goods and services there are no customs or regulatory restrictions. That means that you have free access to the 500 million consumers that make up the EU. So ‘Get Ready to Export’ and prepare to take your business to the next level! InBusiness | Q1 2014 37
eircom | Profile
the Word eircom is keeping Chamber members informed about the development of its national broadband plan during a milestone year.
or the past 12 months, eircom has embarked on a series of open discussions with Chambers boards around the country, providing a unique opportunity to give members first-hand information on the development of its national broadband plan. eircom undertook the programme with Chambers Ireland during what was a milestone year for the company, following the launch of superfast fibre broadband, next generation 4G mobile broadband and a brand new TV service for customers, all within a five month period. The launch of eFibre in May prompted a wave of interest from businesses around the country. The combination of eFibre and 4G will be transformative for businesses, believes eircom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Paul Bradley. “When we talk about our Network for a Nation, it is more than a concept. It is the reality of the benefits that business owners can have by tapping into the largest network in Ireland to boost their business, make significant savings and avail of superfast speeds. eircom is very proud to play our part in supporting businesses in the community to connect them to a global stage.” Beginning last May, eircom started to spread the message, visiting Chambers in Wexford, Cork, Drogheda, Ennis, Castlebar, Westport, Kilkenny, Fingal, Letterkenny, Bray, and Kildare – to name a few. Bradley explains the rationale behind the Chambers Ireland partnership. “2013 was a vital year for eircom in terms of repositioning the company with a new vision. What we 38 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
David Walsh, Director of Commercial and SME Sales, eircom pictured with Donie Butler, President, Kilkenny Chamber following a briefing on eircom’s Next Generation Broadband.
found when we looked to our business customers was a similar drive and ambition – and we very much wanted to support economic growth in local communities through cutting edge technology. It is a strong belief of ours that enabling business owners to be empowered will have a big impact on the strategic growth of the whole country. In
that way, our objectives are very much in line with Chambers Ireland.”
Superfast is here The launch of eFibre just under a year ago was the first step as eircom delivers on its nationwide fibre broadband vision. Now, more than 750,000 homes and businesses can avail of superfast
eircom | Profile
broadband. eircom has become one of the first telecommunications companies in the world to deploy VDSL2 Vectoring technology in its Next Generation Fibre Access network, boosting broadband speeds up to 100 Mbps for its customers. How this impacts on a local level is crucial, says Bradley. “The key thing to understand about our rollout is that it’s not just the cities or larger towns that can access the network. Places like Carrickmacross, Gorey, Fermoy and Clonmel are all live on the network today. By the end of this summer, fibre will be available in 100 locations across Ireland – most notably in towns with approximately 4,000 in population, places like Skibereen, Birr and Bundoran. Upcoming phases of the rollout will see the fibre network brought to areas of under 1,000 in population. It is a huge commitment by the company to address the genuine need for high-speed broadband in towns of all sizes across Ireland.” When asked about those who suffer with little or no broadband in the more rural parts of the country, Bradley is adamant that this issue is being addressed. “High-speed broadband is a critical infrastructure, and it’s very important that a new digital divide is not created in rural areas”, he insists. “Through the National Broadband Plan, the Government intends to ensure that high-speed broadband is delivered to all parts of the country, in particular those areas where it’s not economically viable for eircom or other private sector operators to invest. The Minister for Communications is currently completing a mapping exercise to identify these underserved areas of the market and he intends then to tender for the supply of services to these areas under State Aid rules. We expect the tender to issue during 2014 and eircom
is deploying a significant amount of resources in an effort to win the tender.” He added, “We have the national network reach and the technical expertise. A significant benefit to our network is our open access wholesale model, so any operator can use the network. We believe we’re best placed to deploy fibre to rural locations quickly if successful in winning the tender. Highspeed broadband is just too important for any area of the country to have to wait for years to get it.”
Going Mobile As businesses move to mobile, eircom finds itself in the enviable position of being the first to launch 4G on its eMobile brand – offering mobile broadband up to 10 times faster than 3G. The purchase of 4G spectrum is part of a a1.5 billion strategic investment in infrastructure to offer a best in class mobile service, which also includes improvements to the 3G network. For business customers, this means mobile will become ever more important. 4G supports services that require higher capacity, such as video calls and cloud computing, as well as improving the performance of email and other mobile applications and enabling faster mobile uploads. There is also the potential savings and benefits in terms of travel time and cost when video conferencing is utilised. Crucially, faster data speeds also eliminate
"High-speed broadband is a critical infrastructure, and it’s very important that a new digital divide is not created in rural areas." delays in downloading large email files by supporting rapid file transfer, which further improve access to cloud computing applications (where the business only pays for the applications it uses) including commercially important data such as billing information that is backed-up offsite. For small enterprises, this will enable them to increase their online presence by allowing them to compete with larger competitors on a more equal basis and help them take advantage of faster data speeds to advertise their goods and services, fulfil orders and manage their supply chain more effectively. The final word is with Paul Bradley. “The way we do business in this country is changing – everything we do is based on speed and cost. eircom’s national network is the backbone of this, supporting the local and national economy and the businesses that are powering this.” For more information, see www.eircom.ie/ business.
Paul Bradley, Director of Corporate Affairs, eircom pictured with the board of Castlebar Chamber. InBusiness | Q1 2014 39
NetPay | Profile
More Revolution than Evolution With its new Irish operation opening in Blanchardstown, NetPay has expanded beyond the UK market and is seeking to make an immediate impact on the Irish payment processing landscape.
new player has entered the Irish payment processing market and promises to revolutionise the way SMEs do business. NetPay is a multi-channel, payment service provider that offers a range of online processing, payment terminal and merchant services to the wholesale, indirect reseller and corporate markets. With its new Irish operation opening in Blanchardstown, NetPay has expanded beyond the UK market and is seeking to make an immediate impact on the Irish payment processing landscape.
NetPay Services Every card processing service requires a merchant account with an acquiring bank. NetPay are what is known as a registered Independent Sales Organisation (ISO) and can supply competitive acquisition services through acquiring banks. Our ISO status effectively means NetPay is registered with Visa and Mastercard as an organisation able to process transactions on a wholesale basis through established acquiring banks. NetPay buys wholesale processing rates and provides the acquisition service to merchants through its partners. Merchants
will find the NetPay proposition more cost effective than alternatives available from their High Street bank or payment service provider with the added benefit of access to the NetPay Revolution platform for transaction management information and consumer intelligence.
Origins of NetPay NetPay is a privately-owned business founded and owned by two directors whose background was in wholesale telecommunications. Their previous venture is itself an amazing success story. Their business started from very modest beginnings and was initially operating from the side of a residential house in 2003. By 2010 the venture had grown to a £50 million business with an 8/9 per cent EBITDA margin, and employed over 140 people across three locations. The management team sold the business to an AIM-listed PLC in 2010 and were retained as part of an earn-out arrangement until 2012 when they left to found NetPay. Carl Churchill, Managing Director, explains what differentiates NetPay from its competitors: “The business has focused very heavily on the value
"Revolution provides the ability to procure merchants, manage the services in flight and provides merchants with detailed, meaningful reporting and analytics." 40 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
beyond simply the payment transaction; investing heavily in the innovative technology provided with the service as well as used to provision and manage merchants. ‘Revolution’ is the platform built by NetPay’s developers. Revolution provides the ability to procure merchants, manage the services in flight and provides merchants with detailed, meaningful reporting and analytics. NetPay is about service beyond the transaction. Whatever the size of business, large or small, there is a requirement to effectively manage and have visibility of cash generated by card transactions. NetPay delivers real transaction visibility, payment trends and consumer intelligence through the Revolution platform.”
Early Successes Although only launched in May 2013, the Revolution platform has already been shortlisted for two major awards; the Merchant Payments Ecosystem Data Information Award where it was in the final three for Europe, and the FS Tech Most Disruptive Technology award. In addition, NetPay have secured a number of high profile clients from a variety of industry sectors. These include: • A deal with Costco, the $100 billion cash and carry wholesaler, to support their own business and their members in the UK on an exclusive basis with further expansion opportunities in other global regions.
NetPay | Profile
Carl Churchill, Managing Director, NetPay
• A deal to become the exclusive and official payments partner for the UK Web Design Association (UKWDA) which represents the interests of more than 10,000 web designers in the UK. • Exclusive payment partner for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), an organisation that champions volunteering in civil society and represents 10,000 charities, not-forprofit companies and social enterprises. Given that NetPay can offer a lower price point than many of the dominant players in the Irish market, it’s likely this service will appeal to many SMEs which are struggling to keep their business costs down. Several Chambers of Commerce across Ireland are working with NetPay to make this service available to their members. If you would like to learn more about the NetPay service, contact Mark O’Mahoney, Products Manager, Chambers Ireland.
Revolution Management • View and manage merchant services through the Revolution login. • View and monitor both CNP and CHP orders as they progress, getting status updates at each key milestone. • Download pre-created, pre-rated transaction statements for onward billing. • Manage pricing profiles. • View and download invoices and statements. • Manage users for both your reseller Revolution instance and your merchants. Reporting A range of reports from basic transaction reports for both CNP and CHP through to more detailed consumer intelligence including; • Average transaction values • Best performing days •B est performing regions •P ayment trend analysis Support •F ully featured, integrated ticket system for reporting of reseller/merchant queries. The focus for Revolution is to deliver innovation over and above just the payment transaction by reducing the impact of what have been traditionally high maintenance, lengthy provisioning and management processes whilst providing resellers and merchants a high level of commercial and service flexibility and control. InBusiness | Q1 2014 41
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Women In Business Breaking barriers to women achieving success in business and entrepreneurship is key to having a fair, sustainable and prosperous society.
nsuring that businesswomen realise their full potential and increasing the number of women representing at senior level is not just a question of equality but is also essential for a growing economy. Recent research conducted by the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) with its members; directors â€“ both male and female â€“ identified the dominant number of men at board level as a barrier to women accessing the boardroom. As this male dominance still reflects many areas of business in Ireland today, it is important that we recognise how a well-functioning business is one that understands the benefits of diversity. In the following pages we speak to a number of successful women in business and politics and gauge their views on how we can develop a strategy to support ambitious women grow scalable businesses, break down the barriers to entrepreneurial success, and become inspirational leaders in their field.
InBusiness | Q1 2014 43
CHAMBERS IB Business Survey Ulster BankIRELAND | Women| In
Breaking Barriers The Ulster Bank's Business Women Can programme aims to help female entrepreneurs in Ireland overcome the barriers they may encounter in the business world. We spoke with Fiona Kingston, programme Director, to discover more.
usiness Women Can was originally launched in October 2012 – Ulster Bank's parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland, had been running a similar programme for five or six years previous, having seen the merit in supporting women in business in the UK. As a result, the organisation here in Ireland launched their own, similar, programme, with the primary objective of supporting female entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland. Business Woman Can encourages female entrepreneurs to profile themselves and to push their business, product or service through this forum. “It's a very good way of reaching a very wide audience, at no cost to themselves,” explains Fiona Kingston, the programme's Director. “There are 40 internal Business Women Can ambassadors scattered across the island,” many of whom are partnered with external ambassadors from the SME market, professional services or notfor-profit organisations, for example. “It's very much about local connectivity, local females supporting local females. We believe that we've got a lot of shared experience to offer.” In the past, Business Women Can has run masterclasses in Queen's University, Belfast, gave presentations across the country to organisations such as the North Cork Enterprise Boards, collaborated with 44 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
DCU's Ryan Academy for their High Fliers Female Propeller programme, and partnered with groups such as Certified Public Accountants, with whom they worked on the summer sessions the organisation runs for their female members.
Barriers Kingston recognises that while great strides have been made in recent years, barriers to women in business still remain. “One is confidence,” she explains. “It's unfortunate, but a fact of life that confidence certainly holds women back. As does the fear of failure – calculated risks need to be taken in business but if you're not prepared to take a calculated risk, it's very hard to move onwards. [In terms of] networking, women are certainly getting better at it, but up until recently, a lot of networking was done on the golf course or in the pub. That probably isn't ideally suited to women. We just need to be a bit more targeted, I think. And then there's the age-old issue, the juggle of the worklife balance, which can be very difficult.” Though things are certainly changing, with men becoming more supportive and taking an equal share of responsibilities at home, “nonetheless, it continues to be an issue for many women,” says Kingston. Kingston also mentions the importance of having suitable role models for female
entrepreneurs, people to which they can both aspire and learn from. “In terms of business in Ireland, we're not seeing enough women at senior executive levels in organisations. It depends on the research you read, but I've seen numbers ranging from 8 to 13 per cent in Ireland,” she says. “That's a very small number and it means there aren't many role models for women to aspire to at that particular level.” In the entrepreneurial field, statistics suggest that between 15-18 per cent in this country are women. “While we're making improvements here, we've still got a long way to go,” says Kingston. Meanwhile, last year was the first year that Ulster Bank introduced a category in their Business Achiever Awards for women-led business. “It was an absolute resounding success,” says Kingston. Clearly a signal to us in the bank that what we're doing in Business Women Can is resonating very tangibly with our public, with our female-led businesses.” Going forward, the organisation's aims remain the same. “We want to encourage more women to take the leap and establish business and we really want to get out into our local markets and support those who are there, and those who are coming forward. We do believe that more and more women will actually take the next step and start a business, which is exactly what this country needs,” Kingston concludes.
Enterprise Ireland | Women in Business
In Business Enterprise Ireland discuss the strategy they have developed with the aim of supporting and increasing women in business.
omen starting their own businesses in Ireland and internationally have always been in a minority compared to men. The Enterprise Ireland experience is similar, with low levels of female clients accessing high potential start up (HPSU) financial supports. The pipeline of HPSU female-led companies at the end of 2011 was weak, and significantly lower than their male counterparts. In 2012, femaleled enterprises accounted for seven per cent of HPSU investments. The strategy was developed to support Enterprise Ireland in achieving 15 per cent femaleled tech start ups in 2014, in line with best international benchmarks. In March 2012, the Enterprise Ireland Female Entrepreneurship Unit was established to support this goal, and conducted research with the aim of fully exploring the main challenges faced by female entrepreneurs.
Challenges Lack of role models, less access to finance and lower levels of risk taking, low self confidence, shortage of female networking opportunities and a lack of technical expertise all continue to be the main challenges which face female entrepreneurs in 2014. Addressing the under-representation of female-led businesses that start a business and achieve considerable scale requires a tailored, focussed approach, in terms of support, personal development and networking opportunities. A range of initiatives has resulted – dedicated competitive funds to support female-led business teams, including a female-only competitive start fund and a female-only feasibility fund. Identification and promotion of role models and sponsorship of events and awards have become part and parcel of the Unit's activities, as has supporting existing
and new networks, and the creation of a dedicated ambitious women section on the Enterprise Ireland corporate website. Enterprise Ireland have also developed and facilitated a web-based networking programme for Enterprise Ireland female clients, while co-funding of four development programmes focuses on optimising the business capabilities for women-led businesses.
Success There's no doubt that the targeted initiatives have had a positive impact, with the emergence of strong growthorientated female-led businesses receiving a range of supports from Enterprise Ireland. For example, investments in female-led businesses in 2013 stood at 14 per cent, double that of the previous year. Already in 2014 12 early stage female-led businesses have been approved Competitive Start Funding Funding of a50,000, including Maeve Kneafsey's Market Finder, which designs and develops software toolkits designed to help business and marketing managers increase online sales and lead conversions; and Sonya Lennon's Frockadvisor Limited, a social commerce platform for fashion that connects retailers and brands with targeted consumers. HPSU investments in 2013 included Eveo Solutions Ltd, based in Dublin and established by Theresa Keady, the only company in Europe that has developed a charging station that is 100 per cent compliant with ESB Ecars European technical specifcation. The company has identified target markets including Ireland, the UK, Norway, France, Italy and Germany, and has projected employment figures of ten by 2016. This year, female-led start-ups are also being supported by a range of
"Our aim is to harness the collective strengths of great Irish business women, to mobilise them into successful international businesses." development programmes co-funded by Enterprise Ireland's 'Business Women 4 International Growth' initiatives such as Going for Growth, the DCU Ryan Academy Propeller programme, programmes in conjunection with CIT in Cork and the NDRC Female Founders initiative. The organisation also recently announced the launch of Ireland's first peer-to-peer online networking platform for female-led companies; the platform will act as a conduit to facilitate greater communication and connectivity to exploit opportunities in international markets. Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, said: “The development of highpotential start-up businesses is core to Enterprise Ireland’s role in developing sustainable export-oriented companies, and initiatives that support female entrepreneurship are a major priority for Enterprise Ireland. Our aim is to harness the collective strengths of great Irish business women, to mobilise them into successful international businesses, and to achieve great outcomes for Ireland and women in business. The new Online Networking Platform will support female entrepreneurs to expand their business horizons and set up innovative international companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home.” InBusiness | Q1 2014 45
IRELAND | IB Survey Emer CHAMBERS Costello MEP | Women In Business
More to be Done on
Gender Equality Despite the emergence of a number of women in prominent executive positions in companies, women remain woefully under-represented in the boardroom, writes Emer Costello MEP.
here are approximately 5,000 listed private companies across the EU. In Ireland women comprise just 11 per cent of board members, lagging way behind the EU average of 16 per cent. Yet the decisions and activities of these companies tend to impact as much, if not sometimes more, on women as men. Hopefully this situation will change, albeit very gradually, as a result of a key directive proposed by the EU Commission and endorsed by the European Parliament in November last. This directive was necessary because the companies themselves were clearly not doing enough to promote gender equality in business. In March 2011, the EU urged European companies to commit to raising the number of women on their boards to 30 per cent by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. However, by March 2012 only 24 European firms – and none from Ireland – had committed to this target. A Commission report issued at the time showed that the number of women on boards was increasing at just a rate of 0.6 per cent annually, which would mean it would be at least 2050 before the 40 per cent target was reached. Under the terms of the directive there will be binding gender quotas of 40 per cent to be implemented by 2020 for listed companies and by 2018 for state companies. Listed companies with less than 250 employees will be exempt.
Emer Costello MEP.
The adoption of the directive by the European Parliament is only part of the process. If it is to become a reality, it will still have to be adopted by the Council of Ministers, which will require national governments supporting it. Improving the level of participation by women on company boards is not just a question of ethics and equality – it is also essential for growth: we simply cannot afford not to make full use of the talents of 50 per cent of the population. Research undertaken last year by the Irish Institute of Directors among existing female board members found that 70 per cent considered it to be more difficult for women to become
"Improving the level of participation by women on company boards is not just a question of ethics and equality – it is also essential for growth." 46 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
non-executive directors than men. A lack of transparency in the appointment process; lack of access to the same level of connections or networks as men; and over reliance on the existing ‘directors club’ were all cited as obstacles to the appointment of more women. Countering these obstacles will not be achieved by legislation alone. Clearly a change of attitude among the existing majority of male directors is required. Apart from promoting gender equality in the boardroom, the EU also needs to do more to make women in business and potential female entrepreneurs more aware of European-led business support programmes and funding opportunities for women. Particular attention should be given to women in business in the roll-out of the 32.3 billion new Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) programme. Increasingly in many areas of public life where the achievement of gender equality has not been possible by voluntary measures, quotas are now being introduced. For instance, the local and European elections that take place at the end of May will be the last elections in this country where political parties will not be required to meet gender quotas. At future elections any party that fails to nominate at least 30 per cent of male or female candidates will suffer a reduction in the funding they receive from the state. The Labour Party expects to meet the 30 per cent quota for the local elections and – uniquely – we will be running an all-female ticket for the European elections. If successful we will work to be a force for women at every level of society.
CHAMBERS |IRELAND Survey GloHealth Women |InIBBusiness
Diversity Matters As Legal Director at GloHealth, Teresa Kelly Oroz is well-placed to comment on challenges and barriers to women in business. Can you provide some background both on yourself and your current role? When I qualified as a barrister I went to work for a couple of years within the public service. While gaining invaluable insight into the workings of Government departments it soon became clear that I needed a different challenge and took a leap into the unknown, becoming employee number four of a new start-up health insurance company that went on to become VIVAS Health. I am now a repeat offender when it comes to health insurance start-ups, having been part of the team which founded and established GloHealth. Working for a start-up means that the role of Legal Director encompasses a range of activities, from human resources through to dealing with Government policies on health. We have seen a range of Government policies implemented in the market over the past year which have had a fundamental impact both on the company and the market, from increasing health levies causing younger members to leave the market, to the overnight imposition of a cap on tax relief and the charging of private patients for public beds.
What would you see as the main barriers to be overcome by women in the business field? Are there any which you have overcome yourself? The need for flexibility in the work place is key for women and men in business. The capacity to organise your day (and
work) in the optimum fashion without being tied to set working hours or location is critical. I have found working for start-up companies has allowed me huge scope to organise my time. However, it has also required flexibility on my behalf, for example, I remember travelling with my then CEO to Brussels with my three month old son (and a child minder) to attend meetings for the day because my son was breastfed and couldnâ€™t be left at home. Similarly, for women to advance in business, the default option in a company (and relationship) cannot always be that to organise the work-life balance in a family the woman must be the one to work part-time or take a couple of years out to raise the kids. It is still unheard of in most big businesses, or large legal or accountancy firms for men to be afforded the same 'family friendly' work options as their female colleagues, or for them to be encouraged to do so. Until a time comes when it is equally acceptable for either a man or a woman to work part time or to stay at home with the children then there will always be inequality within the workforce.
Why is inclusion and equality so important in Irish business in 2014? Inclusion and equality are key to any business because they bring fresh thinking and innovation into any organisation. The more diversity and differing voices that can be brought together within a business the more
"The more diversity and differing voices that can be brought together within a business the more capable and ready that business will be to cope with any challenges that may arise."
Teresa Kelly Oroz, Legal Director at GloHealth.
capable and ready that business will be to cope with any challenges that may arise. Key business leaders are those that listen to a wide range of opinions and views and then know how to implement these to resolve problems or to identify gaps in markets.
Is there anything else you would like to add, perhaps in terms of advice for businesswomen? Start-up companies are a great place for women to thrive while also maintaining some balance with their family lives. While start-ups are challenging and hard work, they also bring with them huge positive energy and an opportunity to shape how things will be done rather than trying to conform to a legacy role. Start-ups also provide women with a wealth of experience across every facet of a business which is practically impossible to find anywhere else, although it may also involve having to buy the company Christmas tree and set up the lights! InBusiness | Q1 2014 47
Accenture | Women in Business
Women Mary Moloney, Senior Executive at Accenture, outlines the importance of women being visible in the world of business and has advice for those in senior positions as to how they can maintain a healthy work-life balance. How important do you think women in business role models are and how can we encourage the creation of more of them in society?
- Men actively sponsoring and supporting women is also key; without the support of male bosses, sponsors and peers, women will struggle.
There are low percentages of women in either board or executive level positions so it can be a challenge to identify true female role models among these small numbers. For me role models for women can be either men or women. To me there are two aspects to women being more visible in the business world and workplace.
As my own career progressed, having visible women role models and mentors was important for me – it confirmed that my ambitions to make it to executive level were realistic and achievable. However, it was the men and women who saw my potential and encouraged me that made the real difference.
• Firstly, research has proven that having visible female role models is certainly a positive influencing factor in those organisations with higher than average numbers of women in management and executive positions. - However, to make a difference, senior women just being ‘passively visible’ isn’t enough - being active in mentoring, coaching, positively supporting, sponsoring and encouraging other women is equally important. - All of the 'leaning in' and 'banning bossy' campaigns may have their place – but for most of us, we’re just getting on with life and trying to support other women in real, practical and day to day ways – like showing less senior women that they have career options when they sometimes just can’t see them or how they can make filling senior roles compatible with enjoying family life.
• The other visibility challenge that I’ve observed is that women can be perceived as less confident, less assertive and less effective at 'selfpromotion' and weaker at personal brand management than their male counterparts. - Though as with all characteristics, some men can equally struggle with these areas. Techniques to overcome perceptions can be deployed to counter some of the biases which can act as a barrier to women in business. - Creating a diverse and inclusive working environment is what I personally believe makes the difference – giving all women and men the opportunity to develop and contribute equally is proven to deliver superior business results – diversity leads to creativity, innovation and measured and appropriate risk taking. As for ‘creating role models’, I’m not
48 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
sure that role models are created. I think we seek out and look up to people who display the attributes that we most admire and want to develop further in ourselves. For me, role models come from all parts of my life – and I seek out people who are constructive, optimistic, energetic, smart, innovative, ambitious and supportive of others. These can be C level execs, entrepreneurs, those in the arts and creative world or those amazing next generation leaders with whom I’ve worked in Accenture and at my clients.
What do you think are the main barriers facing women in business today? Visibility and access to senior women role models is just one of many factors. Other barriers include: • Unconscious bias – the ongoing perception that women are less confident, proactive and assertive. • The loss of career momentum that can be experienced by some women during maternity leave and organisational cultures which can create an environment where even though 'family friendly' policies exist, women can feel that they’re not truly available to them. • Need for active sponsorship of talented women, ensuring that they are helped to manage their own career paths and progression. However for me, there are other reasons specific to women which lead
Accenture | Women in Business
Mary Moloney, Senior Executive at Accenture
them to choosing themselves to opt out: • Simply evaluating the attractiveness of senior corporate careers versus other career and lifestyle choices. • Seeking to find more 'meaningful' careers or careers where they can have more control as entrepreneurs. • Finding that well-meaning 'HR and talent policies' don’t actually address the balancing challenges that women who are mothers face on a daily basis through corporate cultures and behaviours.
What experiences have you had in your career where being a female made your position more challenging? Returning to work from maternity leave was very difficult for me. I had done all the right things; kept in contact with the office and with clients, had a good role lined up for my return, kept up-to-date with business news and trends but simply leaving my first son in the mornings to go to work was heart wrenching. If there was separation anxiety, it was all mine not his! I got through this stage and it was a little easier with my second son, but the balancing was tough and it was at times a struggle to make things work both at home and in the office. Thankfully, the firstborn who’s now nine years old, and his younger brother who’s seven, are very happy well-adjusted boys who are more
than happy with how much time they spend with their mother! There’s a huge difference in attitudes to family and parenting from when I started out 23 years ago. Shared responsibilities and desires of both men and women to be actively involved in parenting means that it’s not just a challenge for women. In my experience, the men I work with can be very empathetic with the challenge of making time for family – whether that’s for children or for elderly parents.
Your company, Accenture, has a gender policy. How successful has this been? While Accenture does have a specific 'Accent on Women' initiative, it is just one of the many areas that we focus on under our Diversity & Inclusion programme. Having an overall goal of creating an inclusive environment for all is something I personally relate to and I sponsor this initiative across our UK & Ireland management consulting business. Our Accent on Women programme is multi-faceted, including mentoring, coaching, specific confidence and brand management training, policy management and succession planning. This multi dimension approach has helped to improve our statistics in some of our locations, including in Ireland where 30 per cent of our executive team are women.
What advice would you have for women in senior positions as to how they can maintain a healthy work-life balance? The things that make a difference for me are: • Work smart – manage time effectively, avoid 'meetingitis', determine efficient ways to manage your e-mail and social media feeds. • Avoid subscribing to or supporting any presenteeism behaviours. • Clever prioritisation of tasks. • Having a support network of great colleagues, family and friends – looking out for each other and looking after each other. • Appreciating that kids don’t stay kids forever and older family won’t live forever – making sure to make space for both. • Having a variety of interests, activities and commitments outside of the day job – for me this includes participating on the boards of the Dublin Fringe festival or European Professional Women’s network, catching up with friends, bikram sessions, keeping fit and hanging out with my boys. • Keeping perspective and prioritising what’s really important. • Making personal arrangements and sticking to them. • Delegating appropriately, giving up some control and ensuring that others get the opportunity to take on responsibilities. InBusiness | Q1 2014 49
National Cancer Screening Service | Women in Business
The Big Screen Majella Byrne, Head of Screening with the NCSS tells InBusiness about her career to date, the value of cancer screening and the importance of making some time to attend.
ajella Byrne has led a varied career beginning in the Health Service in Ireland and in the Middle East. She's also held various roles in the private sector and been involved with two start-ups. Byrne has been with the screening service since the first screening began with BreastCheck in 2000. “Two of my jobs were in start-ups, I really enjoyed seeing a concept come to fruition. Then I saw a role for BreastCheck as Administration Manager,” says Byrne. BreastCheck commenced in 2000 for women aged 50 to 64. Since then, more than 6,300 cancers have been detected through BreastCheck. “We have women this year who are being invited back for their eighth check. We have 16 mobile units that go around the country and screen women. We do try to make it as easy as possible because there are a lot of barriers to people coming to screening,” Byrne explains. In 2006 the National Cancer Strategy recommended that breast screening and cervical screening should be under the one umbrella. In 2008 CervicalCheck was launched for women aged 25 to 60. CervicalCheck is delivered through more than 4,000 GPs in 1,300 locations. “CervicalCheck also checks for precancerous abnormalities, so we catch things early. In the first four years we detected over 10,000 precancerous abnormalities in women and cervical cancer in 115. The precancerous abnormalities that are treated reduce the risk of cancer.” “With two screening programmes my role grew as well as the organisation,” says Byrne. “With two up and running we started to look at the third, which was BowelScreen.” BowelScreen, aimed at both men and women aged 60 to 69 was launched in 2012. “BowelScreen has 50 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Majella Byrne, Head of Screening, NCSS.
really good participation. If people agree to take part we send them the test which can be done at home,” advises Byrne. The Diabetic RetinaScreen programme for people with diabetes aged 12 and over launched in February 2013. “In a six month period we launched two national programmes. BowelScreen in October 2012 and Diabetic RetinaScreen in February 2013, both on target, two huge programmes. The amount of work was vast and needed a big effort from the team in the screening service who are committed and motivated.” There are almost two million people in Ireland eligible for at least one of the four screening programmes. According to Byrne: “It's all about participation and
participating time after time. Screening is for people with no symptoms – it's for the well population. We have to get it across to people that even though they're well right now they're at a slightly higher risk for the particular condition we're screening for so it's important they come along and have their free test.” To women in business Byrne advises openness and flexibility: “There are so many opportunities that you have to be open to. Even if you have a very good vision of where you want to go there is no harm in taking some side steps and coming at it from a different perspective. And we want people to take the time to have their screen and to look after their health.”
"We have to get it across to people that even though they're well right now they're at a slightly higher risk for the particular condition we're screening for so it's important they come along and have their free test."
Aer Rianta International | Women in Business
Succeed Nicola Wells, Director of Customer Strategy and Marketing for ARI, part of daa Group, reflects on the main barriers facing women in business and offers an inspirational quote on the topic. Firstly, can you tell me about your background in business? After graduation I worked for 11 years in the UK in sales and marketing roles in Mars and Britvic before moving back to Ireland to take up the role of Head of Marketing at Pepsico Ireland Food & Beverages. I first came to daa (ARI parent company) in a consultancy capacity working across various areas of the commercial business before moving to ARI and the global retail business.
What does your current role entail? As Director of Customer Strategy and Marketing my role is to ensure that the customer is at the heart of all we do and drives our retail and buying strategy. As a central support, the team and I work with all locations to deliver customer and category insights in order to build strategies which will drive revenue. Building a global customer, category and market insights hub has been critical along with building our competence in category management and retail marketing.
What do you see as the main barriers facing women in business? On a practical level a lack of flexible working sometimes means that women have to step out of the workplace or stand still and that is a loss to both the individual and the business as there is a lot of knowledge and expertise lost. On a behaviourial level, belief and confidence can be a barrier particularly in very male-dominated industries.
Industry attitude to women in certain roles can also have an impact if they are seen as not 'tough' enough to be credible or more suited to the traditional female roles in HR or marketing. Finally, women seem to get promoted based on having proven themselves versus men who are promoted based on future potential and this can be discouraging and frustrating for women in the workplace.
Do you feel there are enough female role models in more senior executive roles? I believe that it should be about the right person for the job regardless of gender and that the actual issue is that that talent pool of women for these roles is too shallow. This is because we lose these women at middle management level and more needs to be done by businesses to encourage, coach and retain these women.
Would you have any advice for women either currently involved in business in some capacity, or perhaps considering it? Perseverance and resilience are key skills, plus you should understand your strengths and play to them. From this will
Nicola Wells, Director of Customer Strategy and Marketing, ARI, part of daa Group.
come the belief and confidence to succeed. Women can bring much needed dynamics to a team in terms of culture, organisation and people skills and should not be underrated. Look for flexibility where you need it. Demonstrate how it can work for the business and the individual. There is a great quote – “You can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up instead of tearing each other down”. Basically if you are on the up, don’t pull the ladder up after you!
"Women can bring much needed dynamics to a team in terms of culture, organisation and people skills and should not be underrated. Look for flexibility where you need it. Demonstrate how it can work for the business and the individual." InBusiness | Q1 2014 51
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CHAMBERS KPMG IRELAND | IB Survey | IB Survey
Funding Your Business The last 12 months have suggested a significant improvement in access to funding for Irish business. Paul Hollway, Head of Corporate Finance in KPMG Ireland, outlines the sources of funding available and some of the key factors to consider when seeking capital.
ver the last number of years funding has moved up Irish business leadersâ€™ agenda from being an important item to being a critical one. We have experienced a long period of time when both the quantum and confidence in funding has been at an all-time low. These issues undermined the ability of companies to execute growth-orientated strategies as companies were focused on managing balance sheet or banking covenant risk. Over the last 12 months we have witnessed an improvement in both the availability and terms of financing. While there are certainly challenges in attracting satisfactory funding, the landscape has now improved and the level of deal flow has increased significantly.
Bank lending We are happy to report that over the past 12 months we have advised on significantly more new bank lending draw downs than at any time over the previous five years. Talking to the main players in the marketplace, it is clear that a more normal banking environment is beginning to emerge. It is no longer unusual to have some level of competition for new lending mandates and there appears to be an appetite within the banks to meet lending targets. The banksâ€™ requirements on new loan applications have changed significantly from the last decade. The banks are conducting detailed analysis focused on the ability to repay and the underlying refinancing risk in advance of offering terms. The level of diligence the banks and their advisors will undertake has increased
of the characteristics of both banks and private equity. While they are typically not the cheapest option, non-bank lenders can provide the bridge between the quantum of bank debt that might be available and the level of funds required.
Similar to the other sources of funding discussed, the level of equity available for Irish companies has increased significantly. This is partly down to the increasing attractiveness of Ireland as an investment destination and also as a result of the work of the NTPF (through its Ireland Strategic Investment Fund) and Enterprise Ireland. As a result we believe there is significant funding available not only for M&A but also for transactions such as the buyout of minority shareholders or cash release for founders. In conclusion, we believe that the funding landscape has improved significantly over the last 12 months. In our view the key to successful fundraising is to interact with the market, be properly prepared and to structure the funding proposition in an appropriate manner. While the economic recovery is still at an early stage, we are seeing good companies and good projects getting the funding required.
There are several debt and mezzanine funds providing additional liquidity to the Irish market. These funders have some
Paul Hollway is Head of Corporate Finance in KPMG Ireland.
significantly and as a result any business seeking new finance needs to conduct the necessary preparation in advance. Significant consideration is also given to the appropriate funding structure and the different debt instruments that could be utilised. For example, we have noticed an increase in bank appetite for asset-backed lending such as invoice discounting. Companies seeking funding need to consider how best to position themselves to achieve the optimum outcome.
"Talking to the main players in the marketplace, it is clear that a more normal banking environment is beginning to emerge." InBusiness | Q1 2014 53
s &REE BREAST X RAYS MAMMOGRAMS FOR WOMEN AGED TO EVERY TWO YEARS s !IM IS TO lND BREAST CANCER AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE STAGE WHEN IT IS EASIER TO TREAT
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CHAMBERS Dublin Port IRELAND | IB |Survey IB Survey
All Part of the
Masterplan A €200 million project proposed under Dublin Port's Masterplan could transform the city's channels and contribute significantly to the wider economy.
ublin Port Company has unveiled details of an ambitious a200 million development project as part of its Masterplan 2012-2040. In March, a planning application was lodged with An Bord Pleanála for the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project, seeking permission for phased redevelopment work on some of Dublin Port’s existing infrastructure, the largest engineering project undertaken in the port in 200 years. The application is being made under the Planning and Development Act and follows a twelve month consultation with industry, Government, customer and community stakeholders. Under the plan, some 42 per cent of Dublin Port’s berths (3km of the port’s 7km) will be lengthened and deepened along with the 10km channel from Dublin Bay to the East Link Bridge being deepened. It is the first large scale project under Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan 2012-2040, a framework for the future development of Dublin Port with reference to economic and trade developments set in the context of EU, national, regional and local development plan policies. The ABR Project will cost an estimated a200 million and the engineering works will take place on a phased basis. The development is expected to take five years to complete, supporting some 200 construction-related jobs in the process. But the real employment benefits will come from the resulting increased trade, as Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, explains. “For every million tonnes [of cargo] – and this is from
OECD figures – about 300 jobs are created directly in the supply chain and over the period of the Masterplan that averages out at around 320 jobs per year. So this project facilitates an extra 320 jobs per year associated with handling and movement of cargo. Beyond that there is all the other economysupporting features – having all of the trade coming through the right place.” The redevelopment of Dublin Port will leave Ireland well-positioned to capitalise on future export opportunities but it will also contribute to the tourism sector. The widening of the berths under the project plans will enable the biggest cruise ships in the world to sail all the way up to East Link Bridge. It is estimated that this could lead to three times the volume of cruise passengers coming through Dublin and also allow tourists to gain a more fruitful visitor experience of the capital. “By bringing the ships that far up to East Link Bridge some passengers will get off the ship, get on the coach and go for an organised tour but increasingly people are independent,” says O'Reilly. “So there is now an opportunity to stroll up the quays, to take the LUAS or a Dublin City
bike, for example, and it provides a very fertile way for cruise passengers to have multiple choices of what they want to do with their day in Dublin.” O'Reilly believes these 'sampler' visits to the capital will provide for repeat business from tourists coming back to Ireland for longer stays. A decision on the ABR Project by An Bord Pleanála is expected around September 2014 and O'Reilly is quick to stress that, if approved, Dublin Port Company will foot the estimated bill of a200 million. “We don't need any money from the Exchequer or the taxpayer,” he says. “That is something we can afford to do ourselves. So all in all we think it is a very good project, it is the right project for this moment in time. It delivers more than one-third of what the Masterplan is about and we can afford to do it.” Sounds like a plan. InBusiness | Q1 2014 55
CanavanByrne | IB Survey
Recognising Stress in the Workplace Angela Canavan of CanavanByrne explains the importance of differentiating stress and pressure in the workplace and the obligations for employers and employees.
t our HR training and solutions office, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of sick certificates employers are receiving which reference work-related stress. So what does this mean exactly? Stress is defined by the Health and Safety Authority as “a negative feeling associated with physical symptoms such as increased heartbeat, sweaty palms and after the long term, digestive upset and cramps”. Meanwhile, CIPD describe work-related stress as “excessive or sustained work-related pressure, causing people to have an adverse reaction”. The European Commission has stated that work-related stress can be caused by situations such as poor communication, poor working relationships, ill-defined working roles or dull repetitive tasks.
Pressure Versus Stress
56 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
An Employer's Obligation Eleni Moustaka wrote in the Health Science Journal that stress is a state and not an illness. Therefore, employers are not always liable for their employee’s stress, particularly as it may be caused from a variety of aspects of their life, such as home life or relationships which are not associated with work. As a result, reasonable work-related pressures are more stressful than they would otherwise be. However, employers of staff who are suffering from stress as a direct result of unreasonable pressure within work, or
"The European Commission has stated that workrelated stress can be caused by situations such as poor communication, poor working relationships, ill-defined working roles or dull repetitive tasks."
It is healthy for people to experience pressure and challenges, as this is often a contributor to improving employee performance. However, the difference between stress and pressure is important. It is prudent for employers to ensure that employees do not suffer from work related stress. This is to ensure that their employees are surrounded by a balanced working atmosphere which results in employees being happy in their work environment with their workload and the nature of their work. This will assist in ensuring that the organisation does not suffer from increased absence rates which cause disruption to the running of the business, and costs to the company in terms of staff turnover and financial loss such as the cost incurred by sending an employee to the company
doctor (provided the company has a policy to permit this), or if the company is liable to pay compensation to an employee for work-related stress where they were not compliant with health and safety legislation for instance.
CanavanByrne | IB Survey
An Employee's Obligation The Health and Safety Act 2005 requires employees to take reasonable care of their health and welfare, and to cooperate with the employer in discharging their duties under the legislation. An employee should take responsibility for their own coping skills to ensure that they are not easily subjected to work-related stress. The nature of stress and its triggers vary for every individual person. Therefore, every person should have some level of responsibility for being aware of their stress levels and to adopting preventative, coping and calming approaches.
What if My Employee Hands me a Work Related Stress Certificate? It is in every employerâ€™s interest to ensure that their employees are not suffering from work-related stress. When they are, it would be prudent to inform the employee that they are regretful that the employee is suffering from workrelated stress, and that on their return,
unreasonable working conditions, may be liable. There is no specific law governing work-related stress. However, an employer may be falling foul by being negligent in their work practices or of health and safety legislation. Employers have an obligation under the Health and Safety Act to their employees for their physical and psychological health. Therefore, it may be necessary for an employer to carry out a risk assessment to identify whether stress is reasonably caused, or made worse from work. This involves assessing whether there are excessive or sustained pressures at work, those people who may be affected by them, and whether there are sufficient measures in place to prevent them. In the event that the risk assessment concludes that work-related stress is an identified risk, safety and support measures to reduce the risk should be implemented. This may be in the form of a stress policy, or raising awareness to employees regarding identifying, coping and reporting mechanisms with a view to resolving it before an employee has to go out on sick absence. The risk assessment and the preventative measures should then be monitored and reviewed regularly.
"It is healthy for people to experience pressure and challenges, as this is often a contributor to improving employee performance. However, the difference between stress and pressure is important." or if they are comfortable before they return, that you would like to meet with the employee to discuss what exactly is causing the work-related stress. This should be done with a view to removing or adjusting the cause, where it is reasonably practicable for the employer to do so. The sooner that the cause of the workrelated stress is identified, and support measures are put in place to address it, the better the employee will feel in terms of being supported by the employer. It will also ensure that there is a balance of responsibility between employees and employers. This is important as employers should be cautious of being unduly accepting of responsibility, as it will set a precedent and could lead to liability at a later stage where the employer undertook to carry out something which is not possible to fulfil
in light of the needs of the business and the financial resources.
Prompt Action It is not in the best interests of any business or their employees to suffer from work-related stress. Whilst a certain amount of pressure can be advantageous, it should not develop into sustained or excessive work-related stress. When work-related stress is identified as an issue, employers should act quickly to develop a balanced approach in consultation with employees to resolving the cause of the problem. If you require any further guidance on any of the information outlined above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at CanavanByrne, Kingsfurze House, Old Lucan Road, Dublin 20. Telephone 01-620 9110, or email email@example.com. InBusiness | Q1 2014 57
s e c n e r e f n Co 4 1 0 2
22nd May 2014
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin
A full-day conference, the HR Directors Business Event will explore HR’s role in fostering innovation. Contributors will include leading HR experts and senior business leaders, giving you the ultimate bench marking experience and best practice insights.
11TH June 2014
HR Director’s Business Event
Retail Conference Camden Court Hotel, Dublin
This practical, informative full day event will focus on how the business sector and individual retailers can inspire and best connect with consumers. Delegates will be provided with a unique opportunity to listen and learn from industry gurus and experienced practitioners and to network with fellow retail colleagues.
In association with McDowell Purcell Solicitors
Supply Chain Management & Procurement Event Camden Court Hotel, Dublin
The Supply Chain Management & Procurement Event will unravel the issues facing modern supply chains and examine how firms can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its procurement processes.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin
The various amendments adopted at the Select Committee stage in the Oireachtas mean that many provisions of the Legal Services (Regulation) Bill 2011 are now significantly different to those initially proposed. With a strong likelihood that the Bill will come into force within the next twelve months, this half day conference will provide a comprehensive update on recent changes to the Bill and will be of interest to all practising solicitors and barristers, in-house counsel, regulatory bodies, judges, consumer rights groups, legal costs accountants, insurers, court and departmental officials and all other parties involved in the administration of justice in Ireland. 18TH June 2014
The Legal Services Regulatory Authority – What to Expect
Change to State Pension Age and Challenge to Mandatory Retirement Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin
This half day conference will examine how increases in State Pension Age will inevitably result in employees seeking to work beyond the age of 65 which, for many employers, has traditionally been the normal contractual retirement age. An expert panel will examine what employers should do when faced with such requests, or indeed, what happens if an employee challenges an employer’s entitlement to retire him/ her at age 65.
For more information on any of these conferences, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 432 2238
Nursing CHAMBERS Homes IRELAND Ireland | IB| Survey IB Survey
Planning for an Ageing Population The private and voluntary nursing home sector plays a critical role in supporting employment and the economy. Now, a clearly defined strategy for the sector is crucial, according to Nursing Homes Ireland.
reland’s private and voluntary nursing home sector offers certain opportunity to create thousands of jobs over the next decade with appropriate Government policy and support, Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) states. The sector’s 440+ dedicated healthcare settings provide direct employment to 22,000+ persons and facilitate direct and indirect employment to approximately 44,000 people. It accounts for 75 per cent of our long-term care beds and NHI is its representative body. “It can be underestimated just how critical our sector is in supporting employment and economy nationally and locally,” Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states. “It provides diverse, wide-ranging employment within urban and rural communities. In many instances the private or voluntary nursing home is the largest employer within the community. Our members play a key role in supporting local goods and service providers and act as economic dynamos within the Irish economic landscape. It is very important to emphasise over 22,000 people call private and voluntary nursing homes 'home' and we must put their care and social requirements to the fore in policy and planning for the sector.” NHI estimates the sector has invested up to a2 billion developing high quality specialist healthcare facilities that meet robust regulatory requirements. Employment is diverse; nurses, carers, caterers, admin staff and other professionals are employed and they play a key role in supporting community healthcare workers. Over a170 million is contributed to the Exchequer on an annual basis through direct taxation
paid, and residents supported by Fair Deal in private and voluntary nursing homes contribute over a200 million per annum to the State to support their care. A crisis in long-term residential care is emerging. The HSE’s 2013 National Operational Plan projected a significant national deficit of long-stay beds by 2016. The recently published BDO report Health’s Ageing Crisis: Time for Action – A Future Strategy for Ireland’s Long-Term Residential Care Sector is projecting a shortfall of approximately 8,000 nursing home beds by 2021. From a capital and operational funding perspective, the Government is not encouraging and supporting the private and voluntary nursing home sector to develop the bed capacity needed to meet the current and future requirements of Ireland’s ageing population. Barriers to investing in the nursing home sector in the form of uncertainty around the Fair Deal scheme and the absence of a formal cost model continue to erode the capacity to plan. Price negotiated between the State (National Treatment Purchase Fund) and nursing homes is not acknowledging increasingly complex care requirements or cost of capital. Availability of bank funding is critical to the development of capacity but the BDO report identified uncertainty surrounding the Fair Deal scheme as a key impediment to lending to the sector. The report reiterated NHI’s longstanding call for the Government, policy makers and key stakeholders to come together to map out the future of nursing home care and implement an appropriate framework and policy to meet the significant growing requirement for it.
Tadhg Daly, CEO, Nursing Homes Ireland
“We must plan now for the significant growth in our older population and the challenges it presents, with particular emphasis on the rapidly growing 85+ cohort - those most dependent upon the continuous, dedicated care of nursing homes,” Mr Daly states. “The challenges present opportunity. A clearly defined Department of Healthled strategy can ensure the significant growth in requirement for long-term residential care will be realised and enable the creation of up to 10,000 jobs for the local economy in every county. A clearly defined role for the nursing home sector, in the context of a new and emerging continuum of care model, should form a key element of future health care strategy in Ireland.” Download Health’s Ageing Crisis: Time for Action at www.nhi.ie InBusiness | Q1 2014 59
Dublin Port at the Heart of the City Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1 Phone: +353 1 887 6000 Email: email@example.com Fax: +353 1 855 7400
CHAMBERS Molson Coors IRELAND | IB| IB Survey Survey
A Canadian Twist 2013 was a landmark year for Molson Coors with the brewer experiencing a volume growth of 100 per cent and a sales force growth of 50 per cent.
uring 2013, Molson Coors invested millions into the Irish marketplace, purchasing the multiaward winning Franciscan Well Brewery launching Molson Canadian, the biggest premium lager launch in Ireland for over a decade. For 2014, Molson Coors is working on a game-changing programme of promotions and incentives for its brands which will soon be announced to the trade. “This suite of activity will greatly strengthen our proposition to the customer and will ensure that our offering is as good, if not better, than anything available to customers at present. We need our customers to champion our brands, be it Canadian, Carling or our craft beers”, said Robert Blythe, Molson Coors’ Head of Marketing Ireland, Scotland & Craft Beer (UK & Ireland). It’s now less than a year since Canadian launched in Ireland and Molson Coors is proud to say that they are currently in the number three position in the Irish beer market. “That said, we still have a way to go before we start challenging for that number two spot and that will take a few years of sustained growth to get challenge for second position”, added Blythe. For a brand that is only eleven months in the market Molson Canadian already enjoys awareness levels that you would expect from the bigger, more established brands in the trade. The theme of Canadian’s 2014 campaign, which launched in late March, is 'Make it Canadian'. The campaign is about celebrating ‘Irishness’ but with a Canadian twist. “Our aim is to make people think differently about their choice of beer. We will be investing
to make this campaign highly visible and the message will be integrated across multiple platforms - outdoor, online (including social media advertising), national and trade press, as well as experiential events, and there will be a strong emphasis on enhancing consumer interest and encouraging trial of Canadian’s refreshing taste inoutlet,” Blythe explains. Carling enjoyed unparalleled success in 2013 as the brand celebrated its 50th year in Ireland. Molson Coors has ambitious plans for Carling in 2014 aiming to increase the brand's distribution by more than 50 per cent in the on trade. “Now the number five lager in the market, Carling is a profitable and high volume product for publicans and one with massive growth potential in Ireland and we will be rolling out a remarkable suite of top class advertising for Carling in Ireland in 2014,” said Blythe. By 2017 the craft beer category in Ireland could be worth up to €91 million and in 2014 Molson Coors is focusing on generating consumer awareness of the three big brands in its craft beer offering - Blue Moon, Franciscan Well and Sharps. “There is an underlying evolution happening in the market, with men in
particular. People increasingly want to know more about what they are drinking so the authenticity of the story behind craft beer is really important” said Blythe. The Franciscan Well brand is a fantastic example of the world class beers that Irish brewers are capable of producing. Beers like Friar Weisse, Shandon Stout and Rebel Red have all come from Molson Coors newly acquired brewery in Cork. Blue Moon is a globally recognised and renowned craft beer, which is produced in the US and the Sharp's Brewery in Cornwall produces a number of craft beers and cask ales, including DoomBar, which is the number one cask ale in the UK. “2014 is set to be another blockbuster year for Molson Coors as we continue to invest heavily in our brands to deliver unrivalled service to the trade and meet the demands of our customers with our exciting range of award winning beers,” Blythe concludes. InBusiness | Q1 2014 61
CHAMBERS Punchestown IRELAND | IB| Survey IB Survey
A Venue that Packs A Punch Punchestown Racecourse plays host to a myriad of sporting, trade and recreational events and attracts over 400,000 people annually, as InBusiness discovered.
unchestown is not all about what happens on the track. There is plenty going on off it and the facilities the racecourse is now offering clients is second to none. From a variety of venue styles to excellent hospitality packages and accommodation, Punchestown will suit any occasion and can be tailored for all styles of event. The team at Punchestown has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the events industry which, combined with a diverse range of skills, will assist any organiser. Their service excellence was recognised in 2011 when Punchestown was honoured with the award for 'Best In-House Event Team' at the Event Industry Awards. Liam Holton is Director of Sales & Marketing at Punchestown and he says hospitality packages, particularly for business, are selling extremely well. “At the moment hospitality is twelve per cent ahead of where it was this time last year,” he says before outlining the key benefits it provides to companies looking to strengthen existing client relationships or indeed to win new business. “It helps you with existing clients and to recruit and reward new and potential ones. The main benefits of a race meeting is it allows for 7-8 hours of face-time with your client. We have a very suitable, interactive type of day as well. All the hospitality obviously happens on site as well so you don't have all the logistics of moving people around that you would have at a soccer match or a GAA match.” Punchestown also provides an excellent platform for businesses to communicate their brands. The racecourse currently has 37 sponsors in total and among them are big household names such as Ladbrokes,
62 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Ryanair, The Evening Herald, The K Club, AON and Bibby Financial Services. The key to sponsorship is around activation and how you make it commercially beneficial for the client, according to Holton. “What we try and do here is give a return on investment of about between eight and ten times what your investment is,” he says. “Obviously the packages are always bespoke packages and they're tailored to meet the client's needs.”
Festival Season The racing season at Punchestown runs from October through to May. However, events take place throughout the full calendar year with its most prestigious one, the Punchestown Festival, being held from Tuesday 29th April to Saturday 3rd May 2014. Regarded as one of the highlights of the Irish sporting and social calendar, the event brings together a special combination of thrilling sporting action, brilliant live entertainment, delicious food and drink, family fun with dazzling glamour or casual comfort. In the lead up to the event tickets are selling fast, according to Holton. “We've seen an exceptional increase, in particular in our overseas, UK sales,” he says. “At the
moment we have a new system in place and it helps us to generate a lot of extra online sales.” Speaking in mid March, Holton stated that Punchestown was about 37 per cent ahead of where they were at the same time last year. Punchestown is certainly a good place to do business and the figures are testament to that. Last year approximately 650 companies did business there and this year Punchestown expects to have around 720 to 730 companies doing business at the Punchestown Festival. Not only is the race festival giving companies an opportunity to do business but it is also making a significant contribution to the wider economy. “The festival generates about b60 million in economic activity around the local area. It's obviously beneficial to a lot of people, both inside and outside the track,” Holton concludes.
CHAMBERS DeCare Dental IRELAND | IB | IB Survey Survey
Make Your Team Smile An Employee Benefit That Will Put A Smile On Everyone's Face
eCare Dental, Ireland’s only dedicated dental insurer is offering employers a staff benefit that their team will really thank them for. Through its TeamCare corporate dental insurance range, DeCare Dental offers corporate groups a range of great value dental insurance products, backed up with a dedicated oral health wellness service.
A Tangible Staff Benefit Maureen Walsh, CEO of DeCare Dental comments: “We’ve seen a huge interest in our dental insurance services for corporate groups. It’s a very affordable benefit that is appreciated by staff and we see this evidenced in particular by the high levels of uptake when the product is offered as part of a Flex benefit programme. One of the core benefits of our TeamCare dental insurance plans is that they are not ‘sit on the shelf’ products; they are designed to encourage regular dental attendance so that means that members can visit their dentist and claim back for treatment straight away. It’s a tangible benefit.”
Oral Health Focused As part of the TeamCare service, DeCare provides a customised oral health wellness programme to corporate members. DeCare’s approach is to work closely with corporate clients to educate and inform employees on how to maintain good oral health, whilst encouraging those individuals to pass on the information to friends, colleagues and family. Not only does this benefit the employee, it benefits the employer by ensuring a healthier and happier workforce with less absenteeism. Dr. Ger Gavin, DeCare’s Chief Dental Officer, said “By providing oral health clinics in the workplace setting, we are
empowering members to make informed decisions about their oral health. Our clinics provide practical tips and advice on topical and important oral health topics, such as dental hygiene, diet and nutrition and mouth cancer prevention. The format of our workshops is extremely interactive so that people can engage in the process and therefore relate The DeCare Dental clinical team, led by Chief Dental to the content. Our Officer, Dr. Ger Gavin, provide specialist oral health clinics intention is to work at corporate sites. with companies to spread the word of good dental health dental insurer so offering our services which impacts on so many aspects of direct to the customer was a natural wider and more serious health conditions.” progression for the company. While the numbers taking out health insurance in A Dedicated Service Ireland have dropped, dental insurance As Ireland’s only dedicated dental insurer, membership has continued to increase. DeCare is committed to the highest We can now ensure that oral health levels of service and standards – its awareness gets the voice it deserves." future success depends on it. DeCare DeCare Dental is supported by the first began providing dental insurance systems and expertise of DeCare Dental in Ireland in 2004 when the company LLC, a global benefits management group formed a strategic alliance with VHI with over 40 years experience and more HealthCare, with DeCare providing the than four million customers worldwide, product, underwriting, customer service as well as its ultimate parent company and clinical oral health services for some WellPoint, one of the largest health 50,000 members. Ten years later, DeCare benefit companies in the United States. is now bringing its specialist dental insurance service direct to individual To find out more about DeCare Dental’s and corporate customers. CEO Maureen range of services, visit www.decaredental. Walsh explains "DeCare is an experienced ie or call 1890 130 017. InBusiness | Q1 2014 63
Ballymaloe | IB Survey
Recipe for Success This year marks Ballymaloe's 50th year in operation. Today, it is not only satisfying those in pursuit of pleasure but catering for its business customers too. InBusiness looks at how this country house, steeped in tradition, continues to deliver on its promise of excellence.
ituated only 35km from Cork City, Ballymaloe is an ideal location for companies to hold conferences and other corporate events. The historic dwelling and its pristine grounds are the perfect venue for anything from a half day meeting with a light lunch to a full conference with five course dining. If clients need to stay the night, it has 29 bedrooms in the house where experienced staff will ensure your event and stay goes as smooth as possible.
History To understand the family and food tradition that runs deep at Ballymaloe it is worth familiarising yourself with its past. Back in 1948, Myrtle and Ivan Allen bought Ballymaloe from the Simpson family. The Simpsons were known in the area for their parties and Myrtle and Ivan had in fact met at a dinner at Ballymaloe a few years previously. Ivan had wide farming interests, growing 64 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
tomatoes and cucumbers in glasshouses and mushrooms in dark wooden sheds at nearby Kinoith where he managed the orchards. However, he longed for a mixed farm and when Ballymaloe went on sale he decided to buy it. Myrtle and Ivan spent the next sixteen years farming and bringing up their children. The farm was a success, with production of milk, butter, cream, eggs, home raised pork and veal as well as fruit and vegetables. Myrtle became highly knowledgeable about cooking their produce and began writing a cookery column in the Irish Farmers Journal. In 1964, encouraged by Ivan, Myrtle decided to open Ballymaloe as a restaurant. The children were growing up and she could see a different future ahead of her. â€œOn a winter's day I sat by the fire alone and wondered what I would do in this big house when they were all gone - not just spend my life cleaning it I thought. Then I thought
about a restaurant,â€? she recalls. Her aim was to emulate the best Irish Country House cookery. It wasn't long after that Myrtle and Ivan placed an advert in the Cork Examiner: 'Dine in a Historic Country House. Open Tuesday to Saturday. Booking essential. Phone Cloyne 16.' So Myrtle scrubbed down the kitchen table and with the help of two local women she began. They cooked on an Aga at first and she was helped front of house by Ivan and their daughter Wendy. Their shepherd Joe Cronin ran the bar. The food was good and the restaurant flourished. They cooked using their own produce; unpasteurised milk and cream, veal, pork, homemade sausages and black pudding, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Ivan went to Ballycotton every day for the fresh catch. Local beef and lamb came from Mr Cuddigan, the butcher in Cloyne. Myrtle also encouraged local farmers' wives to bring
Ballymaloe | IB Survey in their surplus produce. Although times have changed at Ballymaloe, the essential spirit of the place is rooted in these improvised beginnings and in the relationship between the farm and the table which underlies the elegance of Irish country house cooking.
"Although times have changed at Ballymaloe, the essential spirit of the place is rooted in these improvised beginnings and in the relationship between the farm and the table which underlies the elegance of Irish country house cooking."
Back to Business
Today, Ballymaloe is attracting more and more business customers. Conferences are often held in the Long Room in the main house or in the newly converted Grainstore, the latest addition to the house. It is the perfect space to hold concerts, plays, live screenings and fairs with the ability to cater for up to 300 delegates. It provides a high quality PA system (dandb), HD projector and 4m x 6m screen, Roving and Lapel microphones, podium, hydraulic stage, along with complimentary wifi and complimentary parking. The accommodation at Ballymaloe is simple and elegant. It has a range of rooms in the main house; some large and airy with beautiful views over the fields as well as cosier rooms at the top of the house in the eaves. The newer, light filled garden rooms are at the back of the house and look on to the river and oak trees beyond. Charming rooms in a lime washed, rose-covered farm building in the courtyard are also available. All accommodation on offer has a calm and relaxing feel; be it for a weekend getaway or as a location to strike that sought after deal. The beds are comfortable and fresh flowers are brought in from the garden everyday; sweet peas and old roses in the summer, foliage and branches from the woods in the autumn and winter. On display throughout the house are paintings and drawings by Irish modern artists such as Pat Scott, Michael Farrell, Louis Le Brocquy and Norah McGuinness. The house also has some excellent examples of Irish studio pottery. You can have afternoon tea in the drawing room by the fire or in the conservatory filled with scented geraniums and winter jasmine which looks on to the gardens and river. There are benches dotted throughout the grounds where you can sit in summer and read or listen to the sounds of the farm. In winter the drawing room is warm and peaceful; the perfect place to relax after a long walk by the sea.
Meanwhile, the restaurant serves locally sourced and home grown food from the walled garden and farm. The joint headchefs, Jason Fahey and Gillian Hegarty, draw up the lunch and dinner menu every day depending on what comes in from the garden and the boats at Ballycotton. Fruit and vegetables are sent up every morning from the gardens. Herbs, edible flowers, soft fruits and apples come from the walled garden as well as onions, potatoes, kale, cabbage, salad leaves and many other vegetables. There are rhubarb plants which come originally from the walled garden of Mrs Allenâ€™s childhood home in Cork. Lemon verbena and mint are gathered to make unique herbal infusions. Brendaâ€™s fish van arrives at 4pm and it is not until then that the dinner menu is finally decided upon. JR, the pastry chef, might turn loganberries into a sorbet or make a pear tart depending on the fruits
that are available. The gardening team at Ballymaloe are central to what goes on in the kitchen. This year the Ballymaloe staff have planted more borlotti beans, swiss chard, peas and broad beans, Chioggia beetroot, Castelfranco and Tardivo Treviso radicchio, Romanesco courgettes and red onion squash. Quantities of flatleaf parsley, basil, sweet marjoram and mint are also grown. So whether a foodie looking for a fix, a business person hoping to impress a client or a couple seeking a relaxing and romantic getaway, Ballymaloe has something for all and continues its tradition of service excellence which has been at the heart of everything the Allens do since taking over half a century ago. Ballymaloe House is a member of Irelandâ€™s Blue Book For more information: www.irelandsbluebook.com
Roisin Allen, Myrtle Allen and Hazel Allen.
About the Allen Family Many of Myrtle and Ivan Allen's children and grandchildren live and work near Ballymaloe. Sadly Ivan died in 1998 but Myrtle continues to live at Ballymaloe surrounded by her family. She has twenty two grandchildren many of whom have gone on to develop their own enterprises, all inspired by her vision and philosophy.
InBusiness | Q1 2014 65
eircom | IB Survey
Leaders in Cloud InBusiness spoke with Enda Doyle, Director of Cloud and Managed Services, eircom Business. What benefits are businesses seeing from investing in cloud services? The benefits are many, including faster time to market and cost efficiencies. With cloud computing, businesses can avail of lower costs for comparable services. For some customers it means cost-effective access to solutions that were traditionally reserved for large corporate IT budgets. Cloud-based solutions for traditional software applications save companies huge amounts of money, because they can pay for and use software only when they need it, without big license or maintenance fees. Cloud-based solutions for hardware mean companies no longer need to invest in servers and processing power throughout the year. This is ideal, for example, for online retailers like our cloud customer, Smyths Toys, who only really need that computing muscle during the busy Christmas period.
Could you tell me a bit about your strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in offering cloud-based services to your customers? Our partnership with Amazon Web Services is a key part of eircom’s delivery of IT services, enabling businesses to more easily take advantage of the significant benefits that cloud computing offers. eircom has tightly integrated the AWS platform, network and support services into our overall service catalogue to provide our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of ICT offering, from private data centres to public cloud. AWS is the world's leading cloud services organisation and eircom is 66 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
the only AWS partner in Ireland with the combination of AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and Direct Connect Partner. Direct Connect means our customers are connecting straight into the AWS infrastructure, right here from a dedicated node in Ireland. If you're working with eircom, you're not only working with the global market leader in cloud, you can do so in a managed way, with the benefits of eircom's full enterprise-class service wrap.
eircom announced a partnership with the Irish Greyhound Board last year to provide them with cloud services. Could you tell us about this and why they chose eircom? The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) wanted to do more international streaming of greyhound racing and race analysis worldwide to desktop and mobile devices, and they chose eircom because our AWS cloud computing and network services will help them do exactly that. Working with eircom, the IGB was able to migrate legacy technology and deploy the latest applications. Using the elasticity of the cloud they are now able to scale their infrastructure to cope with busy race nights and scale back during less busy periods. We're also working with ePub Direct because they saw us as a partner who can help them become the world's largest e-book supplier to the book publishing and online retailing industry. We're providing the cloud computing and network services that will help manage their web portal and back-end business, and deliver the 24 x 7 x 365 availability that their services need. Those are the levels of uptime that cloud services were
Enda Doyle, Director of Cloud and Managed Services, eircom Business.
born to deliver. As a start-up with a niche capability, ePubDirect needed to be able to focus their resources on developing the tools and processes that differentiate their business, while being able to reassure their blue chip customers that their infrastructure was secure, thanks to eircom’s robust operational model.
Finally, how do you see cloud developing in the next few years? It's difficult to overstate the scale of change being created in enterprise IT because of the cloud. In my opinion, within two years, there will be no IT organisation that's not using cloud infrastructure of some sort. While the cloud attracts a lot of buzz at present we see that for many organisations it’s already becoming the norm; just another tool in an IT organisation’s kit bag to enable them to meet the ever-changing demands of their business.
The Convention Centre Dublin | IB Survey
Space for all, big or small! Since opening in 2010, The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD), Ireland’s national conference centre, has built a worldwide reputation for excellence and is now widely considered one of Europe’s most esteemed conference venues.
ost to over 900 events and winners of 26 industry awards to date, the calibre of The CCD’s international client base speaks volumes about the venue’s capabilities. Last year alone the venue welcomed over 200 events including eHealth Week (2,500 delegates) and the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (3,300 delegates). This year The CCD has already welcomed back a number of repeat clients, including Hostelworld.com’s annual conference and Alltech’s International Craft Brews and Food Fair. Career Zoo also returned to the venue with its largest event to date with over 10,000 advance registrations. It’s clear that the building lends itself perfectly to host large conferences and congresses, with halls for exhibitions, a 2,000 seat auditorium for plenary sessions and banqueting facilities for up to 3,000 guests. However, a common oversight is its suitability to host smaller meetings, events and banquets. Despite its large stature on the banks of the River Liffey, the venue’s four boardrooms and 11 meeting rooms, with capacities ranging from 6 to 140, have wonderful views of the Dublin skyline and feel remarkably private. Classic theatre-style, boardroom, classroom and banqueting layouts are most commonly used, but these rooms can also facilitate bespoke set-ups including lounge furniture, bars and dancefloors. In addition, six foyers flooded with natural light offer a breath of fresh air between meeting sessions and are perfect for registration, receptions and hospitality. The CCD is also becoming wellestablished as Ireland’s premier
banqueting venue. 2013 was a particularly good year for the venue, which hosted a number of high-profile banquets including the Brian O’Driscoll Testimonial Charity Banquet, Breast Cancer Ireland’s Strictly Against Cancer event, and RCSI’s Gathering Celebration. In fact, by August last year the venue had exceeded its banqueting target for 2013, and it was almost entirely booked out for Christmas banquets by September.
High Standards The venue’s growing popularity for banqueting events can largely be attributed to its exceptional food and high standards of service. However, its flexibility and versatility as a ‘blankcanvas’ venue with full in-house production capabilities, really makes The CCD stand out from the crowd. This unique approach enables repeat clients
such as the Eircom Spider Awards, the Samsung Digital Media Awards and KPMG Business and Finance Awards, to return to The CCD year-on-year and feel like they are in a different venue each time. Furthermore, the fact that all equipment and expertise is on-site can also greatly aid clients on a budget, as it eliminates the need to outsource and manage the logistics of third party suppliers. The CCD experienced strong demand for short lead-in meetings, banquets and smaller events throughout 2013, and this demand looks set to continue for 2014 with a number of repeat bookings already in the diary and spaces booking up quickly. To enquire about hosting your next meeting or event at The CCD, contact the venue’s sales team on +353 1 856 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Client Testimonials “I have to say I am blown away by all the staff at The CCD and the service that you provide. It really is a world-class facility with a team of staff that provide a world-class service level.” Olivia Slevin, Global Sustainability Conference Coordinator on behalf of Bord Bia, September 2013 “I’ve attended many conferences before and never experienced the kind of service that your team provided. Everyone I met during the event was extremely attentive to all our needs and went above and beyond to take care of us.” Pamela Logan, Director of Pharmacy Services, Irish Pharmacy Union, Choice European Conference, September 2013 “This was one of the best conference experiences we’ve ever had. Thank you so much for your outstanding efforts!” Associations Direct, XBRL26 Conference, April 2013. InBusiness | Q1 2014 67
Event | IB Survey CHAMBERS IRELAND
HR Directors Business Event An upcoming seminar will assess best practice in HR and focus on how firms can foster a culture of innovation within the workplace.
nnovation in business is about doing things better; making it happen requires HR leadership that aligns business with people strategy and pairs diverse thinking with leaders, thereby building trust and engagement across a connected organisation. The HR Directors Business Event, to be held on the 22nd of May in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin will explore HR's role in fostering innovation. Contributors will include leading HR experts and senior business leaders, giving you the ultimate benchmarking experience and best practice insights. Date: 22/05/14 Time: 9am - 4pm Venue: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8
Whoâ€™s speaking on the day? Mary Moloney Managing Director, Management Consulting at Accenture UK & Ireland Top ten trends shaping how HR needs to operate, now and in the future; the rise of the extended workforce; talent management meets the science of human behaviour; and social media driving the democratisation of work? Deirdre Cronnelly Director, AFRESH Managing Presenteeism and Absenteeism - the role of physical, mental and emotional wellness. Carmel O'Brien HR Director, Boots Ireland Why Boots provides one of the best breeding grounds for HR innovation. 68 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Seamus Given Partner, Arthur Cox Penalisation under the Criminal Justice Act 2011; Penalisation under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005; and Constructive dismissals action. Chris Gilmore Head of Business Operations, EAP Consultants Employee Assistance Programmes - the business case for providing an EAP; reducing your chance of litigation; developing a more productive workforce; freeing up management time; and enhanced employee retention. Marc Lowry Executive Manager, Corporate Business, Aviva Health Why is health insurance such an important benefit? Trends you need to know in health insurance and top five tips for evaluating your health insurance provider. Mary Byrne Director, Canavan & Byrne (HR Management and Training Solutions) Top 10 most common HR mistakes made by companies including performance management, grievances, discipline, health and safety and workplace stress.
Directors Business Event may 22nd
2014 To book your place at this seminar, please contact denise.maguire@ ashvillemediagroup.com
CHAMBERS IRELAND | IB Survey Motoring | Lifestyle
A Lesson in Class Audi's latest A8 was launched earlier this year, and response has been overwhelmingly positive. Conor Forrest took it for a drive to see if the hype is justified.
ike the Mercedes S-Class, Audi’s flagship A8 is undoubtedly a big car. But, as is often the case, it’s the little things that make it. Though at first glance you mightn’t notice much difference from the previous model, as the proportions haven’t actually changed, extra lines down the bonnet add a sleeker, sportier look, as do new rear lights and a more sculpted boot. New chrome lines through the rear
lights and above the redesigned twin rhomboid exhaust pipes add to the new, more sporty A8 design. Just like the S-Class, the A8 is the first in the Audi stable to benefit from the latest in technological advances which eventually trickle down through the range to the rest of the fleet. Most remarkable is the new MatrixBeam headlight system, which is astonishingly impressive, though optional (standard
on the new S8). Other car brands such as VW have made attempts at similar designs but with the A8, Audi have perfected it. The 25 individual LED high-beam system can use the car’s navigation system to quickly detect when the car is leaving urban areas – the highbeam lights are deployed automatically when you leave the town behind and speed up beyond 30 km/h. It can also use data from the navigation system to focus
InBusiness | Q1 2014 69
Motoring | Lifestyle the headlines into corners and bends, long before the car will reach them. And, when the on-board camera detects other vehicles ahead, the headlights mask the relevant section, making sure the other driver isn’t blinded by shutting down several of the LEDs, while the rest remain lighted. Inside the cabin, it’s all comfort and technology – lavish trim, comfortable upholstery and acres of room (including a 520L boot) are married with heated seats, adaptive air suspension and the MMI Infotainment system which now includes Audi Connect, meaning if your passengers don’t manage to fall asleep in the spacious cocoon that is the rear seats, they can always while away the hours on the internet via a WLAN hotspot. New additions to the A8 range also include a park-assist system, a nifty head-up display which can project your current speed alongside the local speed limit and a night vision assistant which can detect and distinguish humans and animals from 300 metres. You might think you’d be overwhelmed with all of these technological gizmos, and at the very beginning, you’d be forgiven for being right. But very quickly all of these additions fade, doing their job in the background, letting you just sit back and enjoy driving the beast. ‘Beast’ mightn’t be the best word to describe it; though the new A8 has taken on something of a sportier persona, what with its sleeker lines and chrome additions, it’s still very much a luxury car – and a big one at that – something you’d associate with ferrying around important people in the back. It’s comfortable no matter what the surface and even on the back roads around Kildare, which aren’t exactly the best example of Irish road engineering, you might well have been gliding along a freshly-laid motorway, courtesy of the smooth-shifting eight speed automatic transmission, the quattro all-wheel drive system (standard on the 4.2 TDI and up), the lightweight frame and electromechanical steering. Even the surge of power you get when you put your foot down is refined – it pauses for a moment, almost as if to say ‘really? That’s how you’re going to drive me?’ and then duly obliges, launching forward at a speed which is almost unbelievable; 0-100 happens in just 5.9 seconds. And 70 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
while – both inside and outside – it is a big car, out on the road it just doesn't feel that huge (unless you meet a truck on a back road, it's fairly large then). Our particular test model was aided by a new 3.0L TDI engine producing 260bhp, the version Audi believe will be the most popular, though five petrol and diesel engines will be available to the world. For the Irish market, there will also be a 4.2 TDI option, with 385bhp and 850Nm of torque on tap. Audi are quite proud of the fact that despite increasing power output, they’ve actually managed to reduce CO2 emissions. The new 3.0L TDI has ten more horsepowers yet drops 14g of emissions (to 155g) which will leave you with an annual road tax bill of e390 and combined fuel figures of around 47mpg. In the coming months, there’ll also be two A8 variants coming to Irish roads, though undoubtedly in smaller numbers than the standard A8. The S8, the sports version, will house a 4.0L TFSI 520bhp engine with a top speed of 250 km/h, which is capable of catapulting you from 0-60 in just 4.1 seconds, should you wish to experience hyperspeed in comfortable surroundings. In addition,
the mouth-watering LWB-only W12 will be available from April, pre-ordering having begun in January, with lucky drivers sitting on a 6.0L W12 engine and 625 Nm of torque – all yours for just a155,160. While the standard 3.0L TDI does seem affordable in comparison to its more powerful relations, unfortunately for the majority of us it still costs from r93,280. Let’s be clear here – it’s a car for visiting dignitaries and wealthy businessmen, as likely to be driven as they are to drive it, as opposed to a run-around for getting you down to the shops and back. That being said, if you’ve got d100,000 or more to spare (the A8 comes with an impressive array of extras as standard this year, including heated seats, hidden compartments, assisted hill start and a brilliant media centre, but there’s always room to improve), and you’re not sure what to spend it on, spend it on this. You won’t be disappointed. Because the Audi A8 isn't just any old car. It's unearthly comfortable, luxuriously beautiful and very, very fast. Most importantly, it's a car that puts a smile on your face.
Motoring | Lifestyle
Skoda's Bright New Vision
f, by some chance, you’re in the market for a lime-green, Audi/VW-inspired saloon car, with massive alloys and a Skoda badge, you’re in luck. That’s because Skoda have just announced their VisionC concept model, “the next stage in the development of Skoda design language,” as Skoda themselves put it, in that form of English known only to marketing executives. So far we’ve learned that it’s a five door coupé with room for four people and (unsurprising in a Skoda) plenty of space for luggage in the boot. Under the bonnet is a 1.4 TSI turbo engine with 108bhp running on either petrol or natural gas, with estimated fuel-efficiency figures of around 70mpg. According to CEO Winfried Vahland, the launch of the VisionC concept highlights “the dawn of the brand”. In fairness, it’s not exactly a brand new dawn for Skoda, considering the designers appear to have taken some of their cues from the Audi range (it’s hard to design a great car from scratch, we suppose, and this one seems like a close relation to the Audi A7 Sportback). Still, if this is the beginning of a new range for Skoda, we can’t wait to see the rest.
Classic Cars On Show
Drone Wars Let the
Renault's new Kwid offers a surprise addition.
s many drivers will know, there are few things more painful than the sight of brake lights lighting up, as all the cars around you gradually slow to a complete and frustrating halt. You guessed it, you’re right in the middle of yet another traffic jam, something which can turn even the most patient driver into a roiling hurricane of hatred. Presumably some of the designers at Renault have to brave the traffic on their way into work, giving rise to the new Kwid concept, which includes a small drone which can be deployed from the roof. The worst thing about traffic is often the fact that you don't know what's causing it, and this is actually a great idea – the drone can be released at the press of a button and will either follow the car or buzz ahead on a pre-determined route, all the while beaming back images to a dashboard-mounted tablet. The only problem is that the drone also comes in manual mode. And we all know how nosy people can be.
The RIAC Classic Car show raised and dashed car lovers' dreams.
ar enthusiasts and their unwilling friends, partners and children descended on the RDS on the first weekend in March, travelling in hordes to see more than 250 vintage, classic and modern cars and motorbikes, not to mention a few surprises. Chief among these surprises was the Bloodhound SSC Car, a 1,000mph, 135,000bhp (not a typo) world land speed challenger, which should be placed firmly in the category of 'madness'. Also on display was a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the world's first supercar – the Lamborghini Miura – a Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazard and a Peel P50, beloved of Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson. The next show won't be on for another two years, but already we can't wait.
RIAC Classic Car show, RDS, Dublin. Photo: Andreea Iosip InBusiness | Q1 2014 71
Books | Lifestyle
Books on Biz InBusiness looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge. In Your Brand, Canning shows us how to build our personal brand in just eight simple steps, from building self-knowldge to developing our skills and behaviours. Whether you are a senior executive, managing director or a board member, this book has advice for people at all stages of their career. Your Brand is published by the Chartered Accountants Ireland and retails at a17.99, available in all good book shops nationwide and online at www. veronicacanning.com.
Excel at Business
Your Brand By Veronica Canning Every New Year we promise ourselves that we will do better this year, we will get that promotion, change job but by March all those New Year’s resolutions are distant memories. If you really want to succeed you need to look at your personal brand. That's according to Veronica Canning and what she outlines in her new book Your Brand. She says people do not realise that everyone has a personal brand; it’s not something you can opt out of. It is a definer of success in your career as it is the most visible marker of you and what you stand for. Canning’s definition of a personal brand is 'what they say about you when you leave the room'. In her new book, Canning shows you how to create your personal brand and how to develop it into a killer brand that ensures you can build a fantastic career that will bring you to the top. 72 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
By Jimmy Petruzzi Olympic athletes and Premiership footballers are at the top of their field, showing pure dedication to their chosen sport and performing at levels that most people can only dream of. So what insights can be gleaned from these sporting heroes that can be applied in the business world? That's what Jimmy Petruzzi, a worldrenowned performance coach and NLP expert with more than 15 years experience, sets out to explain in his new book, Excel at Business: Essential NLP & Coaching Skills for Business Success. After years working with the very best athletes in a range of sports from athletics to rugby, Petruzzi understands that with some simple and easy-to-follow techniques anyone can perform at the top of their game. “It's all about the right mental attitude and self-belief,” he says. Stress, anxiety, self-doubt, fear of the unknown and pressure from opposition are problems that face everyone from sports stars to company directors. They are as real in the boardroom as they are on the playing field. By using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming),
a technique for clearing your mind, focussing solely on the job at hand, and creating models of excellence, anyone can achieve their potential, get that promotion or close that big deal. Excel at Business covers building rapport with customers, clients and colleagues, goal setting to achieve the desired outcome, anchoring your emotions in a pressured situation, and knowing when to ask the perfect question at the perfect time. Excel at Business is published by DragonRising, the personal development specialists, and is available from all good bookshops, online and off, in both quality paperback and ebook formats.
Zero to Superhero By Graham Jules Zero to Superhero: How to Start and Grow Your Business with Zero Cash is not your regular business title. Running alongside the text is a comic book story,
Books | Lifestyle utilised his many years in business to write this book. He also seeks expert advice from successful entrepreneurs such as Ted Nash, who sold £1m apple downloads, Fraser Doherty, who started a jam business aged 14, and Zandra Johnson, who started a kids furniture business aged 67. Topics covered include how to start a business with no capital, how to improve your credit, marketing your business, how to find and deal with angel investors and how to make your website visible.
Soft Skills for Strong Leaders
a modern-day allegory that graphically relates to the narrative. The author imparts his considerable business experience to the reader in an innovative and visually entertaining way and more importantly shows you how to start up and grow your business with zero cash! Jules, an author, entrepreneur, company director and music producer, B. Card - M Holmes JOHN landsca
By Helen Isacke Your first role in management can be lonely and daunting. When you are good at what you do, the natural reward is promotion. Having once been part of a team, you are now in charge of it. Those in transition to a management role require a new set of skills, yet newlypromoted managers are often left to just ‘get on with it'. It is the lack of these 'soft skills' that can de-rail even the most technically knowledgeable of leaders.
REEFER TECH Michael J. Holmes Managing Director
REEFER TECH (IRL) LTD.
Bond Drive Extension Dublin Port Dublin 3 T: 353-1-836 6794 F: 353-1-855 5408 M: 087-255 2690 E: email@example.com
REEFER TECH (IRL) LTD. Specialist Services • Specialist in Marine Reefer Maintenance • 24hr service in Dublin, Cork, Belfast • ISO 9002 approved since 1992 • We are approved warranty and service centres for Carrier, Thermo King, Starcool, Daikin • Reefer Units PTI, Monitoring and Shipping • Quayside repairs, Qualified Engineers • Portable Reefer Units for Rental/Purchase If your company requires a Dependable Round-The-Clock-Service... Contact: Michael Holmes Bond Drive Extension, Dublin Port, Dublin 3 T: 00353 1-836 6794 • F: 00353 1 8555408 After Hours: 087 8363574 E: firstname.lastname@example.org • W: www.reefertech.ie
Ironically, the first time struggling managers often receive any help, is when it's too late, at the outplacement stage. Helen Isacke is a Leadership Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner, with 10 years' coaching experience. In her new book, Isacke addresses the importance of developing the soft skills required to manage and lead. Soft Skills for Strong Leaders: Ten Steps to Management Success is split into three sections to help aspiring managers prepare for leadership, embark on their first 100 days in management, and finally, to develop strategies to tackle the day-to-day challenges of leading a team. The book is an invaluable resource for any aspiring individuals, HR departments, leadership trainers, and companies who value the wellbeing of their most important resource - their staff. Soft Skills for Strong Leaders: Ten Steps to Management Success is published by New Generation Publishing and available online at Amazon and Waterstones.
Gadgets | Lifestyle
nation InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets on the market. Creative ZiiSound D5x Wireless Speaker This is Creativeâ€™s flagship wireless speaker system and uses Bluetooth technology to stream audio from any Stereo Bluetooth enabled device in the home such as your iPod, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Itâ€™s a modular system so you can add up to three units to expand the sound suiting any sized room. You can further enhance the sound with the inclusion of an additional wireless subwoofer although there is pretty decent bass in the main speaker unit as is, delivering quality audio for both music and movies. It is very easy to pair enabled devices to the D5x and the sound is surprisingly rich and detailed for a wireless system. It also looks great combining a beautifully sleek minimalist design with an eye-catching touch panel volume control. Available for a299 from www.creative.com
Nokia Lumia 1320 Continuing to redefine smartphone innovation following the launch of the Lumia 1520, Nokia introduces the next in the large screen Lumia smartphone series, the Lumia 1320. With a six inch screen and the latest software advancements for Windows Phone, the Lumia 1320 is perfectly suited for entertainment and productivity. A new third column of tiles on the home screen means people can see and do more on a larger screen. Bringing larger displays to the award-winning Lumia design, the new format is coupled with some of the most advanced camera innovations so people can capture and share the world around them. Windows Phone 8 makes for a slick, attractive operating system, but it still lacks the freedom of Android. Nonetheless, Microsoft and Nokia are certainly giving their competitors a run for their money. The Nokia Lumia 1320 has been available since the beginning of March 2014, initially from O2 stores only from free on billpay. 74 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Gadgets | Lifestyle Hands-free & music system with 2.4’’ colour screen r The Parrot MKi9200 is a Bluetooth® hands-free system with a 2.4" highresolution TFT colour screen and wireless remote control. Once connected to your Bluetooth® mobile phone, you can make a call with the Parrot MKi in just a few seconds from inside your vehicle, without the need to pick up or operate your phone. Calls are transmitted directly through your vehicle’s speakers for perfect comfort and a high quality call sound. Using the included ‘music’ cable, the Parrot MKi can play songs from your iPod®/ iPhone®, MP3 player, USB flash drive and any other analogue audio player through your vehicle's speakers. As for audio effects, the Virtual SuperBass feature boosts your stereo and produces powerful, deep sound. Its colour screen displays the users contact list, caller ID and photo, phone information and userdefined settings. When using the system to play music, album and song artwork can also be displayed on the screen.Available through Parrot Certified Installers listed here: www.parrot.com/cip and from Vodafone and O2.
Doro PhoneEasy 621 Doro's phones are aimed at seniors, but not the type that are comfortable using the latest iPhone or Android smartphones. Instead they're targeted at people who struggle to use those types of phones either because they find them too complicated or they have limited dexterity in their fingers, suffer from poor eyesight or are hard of hearing. As such, Doro's latest offering is the PhoneEasy 621. There are plenty of other phones on the market aimed at seniors but Doro's models arguably offer a better balance between features and ease of use and this model doesn't disappoint in this department. The PhoneEasy 621 includes a 2MP camera, Bluetooth, FM Radio and also comes with an easy-to-use charging dock. There's not much more you can ask for from a phone designed to keep things simple. Available on O2 from free on billpay and from a89.99 on prepay.
ChargeCard How many times have you been stuck with a drained device or had multiple people vying for a single charging cable? The answer to your problem might just be ChargeCard by Nomad. ChargeCard is a thin smartphone cable that's designed to fit into even the slimmest wallet. It works like your normal cable for charging and syncing your phone - plug one end into a USB port and the other end into your mobile device. ChargeCard measures 3.25 by 2 by 0.13 inches (HWD), which is smaller than a standard credit card, but more than twice as thick. The USB strip bends out in either direction, and easily pops back into place. San Francisco-based Nomad said they were sick of their phones dying on a daily basis, so they designed a cable to be as mobile as people are. It's a simple solution that makes sense. ChargeCard retails at around a30. InBusiness | Q1 2014 75
Travel | Lifestyle
Germany's wealthiest city offers a fascinating mix of old and new that will keep even the most seasoned traveller interested, writes Aoife Loy.
76 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
ith more canals than Venice, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and its busiest port. Characterised by its maritime history, the city’s trade links have made it a cosmopolitan, multicultural metropolis. It has the unusual distinction of being both a city and a state, with an assortment of neighbourhoods ranging from the chicness of the city centre with its glistening 160-hectare inner and outer Alster lakes lined with shops and hotels, to the funky, alternative scenes of Schanzenviertel and Karolinenviertel. Despite its glossy exterior, Hamburg is no stranger to turmoil. It has been a site of significant destruction with the Great Fire of 1842 along with Allied bombs demolishing much of the historic architecture in World War II. Today, the cityscape is a mix of impressive
new buildings, with the tall steeples of surviving old churches and the palatial town hall drawing the eye. Hamburg bursts with quirks and character that will fascinate and surprise its visitors.
HISTORY From its prime location situated on the river Elbe, Hamburg has boomed since Emperor Barbarossa granted a customs exemption in 1189 AD. The city was once a member of the medieval superpower and trading bloc, the Hanseatic League. Despite having wound up four centuries ago, Hamburg continues to boast its membership. Notably, the city's official name is the ‘Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’ and the letters 'HH', which stand for 'Hansestadt Hamburg', are found stamped on everything from touristy merchandise to official licence plates.
Travel | Lifestyle
Exhibits of Hamburgâ€™s maritime history are numerous, with the opportunity for tourists to board museum ships. In the district of OevelgĂśnne, a museum harbour has been established on the Elbe beach. It is home to some twenty restored vintage ships anchored and open to the public free of charge. Speicherstadt is Hamburgâ€™s warehouse district and has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its red-brick architecture, cobbled streets and gables harking back to its Hanseatic past, many of the warehouses here have been converted into museums, which include the Hamburg Dungeon and the popular Minatur Wunderland. The district can also be toured from the canals. Since 2002, Hamburg has participated in the nationwide Stolpersteine project. Stolpersteine or 'stumbling stones' are InBusiness | Q1 2014 77
small, concrete blocks which have had bronze plaques attached to them with engraved biographical details. They have been poignantly and eye-catchingly placed on the pavement outside the former homes and workplaces of victims of Nazism.
CITY CENTRE Central Hamburg is made up of Altstadt and Neustadt, which today blend seamlessly together. Jungfernstieg is the heart of the city centre. A broad promenade, it bridges the inner Alster and the surrounding shops, hotels and cafés. Historically, families came here on Sundays to parade their unmarried daughters ('Jungfern'). On sunny days, it is packed with locals and tourists strolling or sitting beside the lake, enjoying ice-cream or feeding the resident swans. Steamboat tours of the lake are plentiful in all weather conditions, and on clear days, residents venture out on the lake in canoes, kayaks, rowing boats and paddle boats. A short walk from Jungfernstieg, Hamburg’s magnificent town hall is still used by the state Parliament and offers regular tours. An elaborate, neo-baroque construction, the final stone was laid in 1897. The exterior of the building is adorned with statues of emperors and tradesmen who all contributed to the making of what is today an affluent city, while the interior houses three massive chandeliers, each weighing 1,500kg. Hamburg is home to some spectacular old churches. St. Nikolai, St. Petri and St. Jakobi are all close to the town hall and Jungfernstieg. However, the most wellknown is St. Michaelis, nicknamed ‘the Michel’, which is located nearer to the port in St. Pauli. Having been razed three times between 1641 and 1912, once as a result of being struck by lightning, the present-day church is a reconstruction. One of its most appealing traits is its 132 metre-high platform, which offers breathtaking views of the city, the port and surrounding countryside and can also be accessed at night.
FOOD In keeping with its cosmopolitan, maritime heritage, Hamburg’s cuisine is dominated by multicultural influences. Unsurprisingly, fresh seafood and waterside eateries are popular here as are restaurants specialising in German 78 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
classics such as Flammkuchen (a dough-based dish resembling a pizza, topped with crème fraiche, chopped onions and lardons) and that perennial German fast-food favourite, Currywurst. With twelve Michelin stars for its Stuttgart Wine Village restaurants in 2014, dining out in Hamburg can be luxurious the streets to enjoy culinary delicacies, live music, funfairs and events. and sumptuous, and while traditional With a thriving theatre and art scene, Old Hamburg cuisine is thin on the Hamburg also has an affinity with music ground by comparison, traditional and will host its first International dishes such as crab soup and labskaus Music Festival beginning on May 9th can be found on menus. also. Running until the 15th of June, the ENTERTAINMENT festival will present a series of classical, Hamburg is perhaps best known for opera, jazz and international music its tradition as a nightlife centre. The concerts taking place in a variety of Beetles came to St. Pauli as a rookie band venues, including open-air stages and in the early 1960s to perform in the the traditional, concert hall setting. seedy bars on its once infamous red-light With so much to offer, Hamburg has district, Reeperbahn. However, there is something for any kind of traveller. more to St. Pauli than animated neon Regardless of the commercial character signs, and today you can find an exciting which dominates the city’s international array of pubs, restaurants, dance clubs reputation, in many places it is and music venues. architecturally rich and full of personality. From May 9th to 11th 2014, Hamburg An undiscovered gem of a city at the will commemorate its 825th port birthday, heart of Europe, Hamburg is a beguiling an event celebrated annually with a festival mix of old and new, mainstream and of ship parades, launches and fireworks. countercultural that will keep even the It is a lively affair, where crowds throng most seasoned globetrotter on their toes.
TRAVEL INFO Getting There Aer Lingus fly daily from Dublin to Hamburg. Prices start at €59.99 oneway. For more information log onto www.aerlingus.com Accommodation The Madison Hotel Hamburg is ideally located close to Hamburg’s historic port and two underground stops from the city centre. Offering views of the Michel and Speicherstadt, it is known for its great service. With prices starting at €153 per room, bookings can be made on www. madisonhotel.de/en Getting Around Hamburg’s public transport system is top notch and easily negotiated. Alternatively, bike rentals with the city’s hire system, StadtRAD can be accessed with a €5 registration free. The bright red bicycles can be found at over 120 hire stations around the city for €12 a day or €1.20 an hour. Further information can be found on www.stadtrad.hamburg.de.
Travel | Lifestyle
The Last Word
Niall Harbison pictured with Emma-Jayne Power, PR Slides Founder.
Renaissance N Man Chef turned entrepreneur Niall Harbison tells Dean Van Nguyen about his latest venture PR Slides, becoming a first time author and why he continues to add to his already diverse career portfolio.
iall Harbison almost never does the same thing twice. His career thus far has been an endless series of twists and turns that has seen the young entrepreneur try his hand at a near superhuman range of projects. From beginning his career as a noted head chef and celebrated foodie, to becoming a tech and social media guru and angel investor, there are no signs that Harbison will soon stop diversifying his unique portfolio. For him, there’s a thrill in making a difference, regardless of the sector. “I guess I just get bored quite quickly,” says the Dubliner. “I like companies that are like zero to 20 people and then after that it’s very processed-driven, you have to have lots more line managers and
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The Last Word checks in place and stuff like that. That’s not where I add value; it’s more at the start. So as soon as a company would grow and get bigger it’s probably time for me to step out.”
Latest project Harbison’s latest project is PR Slides, a website that makes sourcing images easier for journalists, designers and editors. Essentially an online database of pics, PR companies can also use the site to help promote their brands. Founded by model Emma-Jayne Power, the company came to Harbison’s attention when the budding businesswoman impressed him during a pitch. “I actually invested in the company first of all and then it was going so well that I jumped in full time with them,” explains Harbison. “[Power] pitched it and I couldn’t believe that no one had done it before. The idea was so obvious but I hadn’t seen it before. So I invested myself and then I sort of mentored her and helped her through it. But then as I grew closer to her I saw the global potential of it.” As well as being drawn to the concept of PR Slides, Harbison asserts that it was as much Power as the business that attracted him to the project. “I don’t know anything about investing even after doing a couple but I would never look at a business plan or anything like that. It’s always about the founder or the person behind the business and who is going to drive it forward. You could just tell she was massively passionate herself and she was the main reason to be investing to be honest.” Harbison became involved with PR Slides at a time when he was actively seeking companies to serve as an angel investor. While he’s since gone on to be more hands on with Power’s firm, he has had some other successes, though admits it’s not an easy racket. “I was talking to somebody who was a professional investor and they said, ‘It’s very tough to be an angel investor’,” he remembers. “I [invested in] a couple last year and they're average, they’re not blowing anything out of the water, but the investor said, ‘Find something you really like yourself and you can put your own time in to. Invest in that and add value by working there’. So I’ve kind of taken his advice pretty literally.” 80 Q1 2014 | InBusiness
Niall Harbison and Emma-Jayne Power pictured with the PR Slides team.
A life in business It’s a far cry from where Harbison began his career, working in the kitchens of some of Dublin’s most heralded eateries. In 2001 the then 21-year-old became the youngest head chef of a fine dining restaurant in Ireland, working for noted restaurateur Conrad Gallagher. He later travelled the world cooking for high profile events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes film festival, and it would be marrying his love of food and travel with the internet that led to his next venture – co-founding iFoods, a website that teaches people how to cook using online videos, as well as offering foodies a social media outlet. Harbison would go on to produce a whopping 500 cooking videos for iFoods, but he distinctly remembers the first time he attempted a recording: “In 2006 I was on a boat and I just tried to make a video. I didn’t know what I was doing but I had a little picture camera and I made a video and uploaded it to YouTube. It got about 150,000 views really, really quickly. So that just opened my eyes to it. I was like, 'Jesus, this is something’.” That “eureka” moment would eventually lead to iFoods. “This was before social media had been invented, or no one realy knew the term and I was like ‘God, that’s powerful’. That video is still there today online.” Harbison’s first major move away from the world of food came in 2009 when, along with Lauren Fisher, he founded Simply Zesty, an agency that advises brands on their social media and online
activity. Having grown his business from scratch, Harbison sold the company to UTV but agreed to stay on, working to grow the business across Europe, Asia and the USA. He departed Simply Zesty permanently in July of last year.
Future plans Inevitable, PR Slides is not Harbison’s only current project. He’ll soon be able to add “author” to his long list of credentials. Published by Penguin, his first book Get Sh*t Done asserts it can help readers get “from the spare room to the boardroom in 1,000 days”, though writing a long-form piece has proved a challenge. “I didn’t realise how hard it was to write a book. Next thing will be trying to promote that and get that to number 1 best seller. That’s a completely different challenge.” With PR Slides, meanwhile, the rest of 2014 is all about expansion into other countries. “We're looking at going into the UK, a couple of other countries in Europe. Ireland is about testing the model and see if it works and we think it does, so it’s going to be about growing into different markets and scaling it up.” Beyond that, Harbison does not know what the future holds, nor has he any idea what his next career twist might be. “I’d love to say I’ve a big meticulous plan but I don’t to be honest. At the moment, I’m just doing stuff that’s fun. At the moment it’s really good fun. It’s a company growing really fast and it’s exciting coming to work every day. So as soon as it stops being exciting I might think about changing.”
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