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BUSINESS

Third Global Irish Economic Forum

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he third Global Irish Economic Forum took place in Dublin Castle on 4-5 October 2013. In May 2013, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste had issued invitations to members of the Global Irish Network which consists of 300 of the most influential Irish and Irish-connected individuals abroad, all of whom have demonstrated a strong affiliation with Ireland and have a record of high achievement in international business or in assisting in the promotion of Ireland. The Forum was attended by Global Irish Network members, members of the Government, Ministers of State, senior officials, presidents of third level institutions, members of the opposition, and domestic business leaders for two days of intensive discussions. The format of the Forum consisted of a mixture of plenary sessions, panel discussions, and working groups. Two new initiatives for the 2013 Forum were the hosting of regional roundtables in Cork, Galway and Belfast and a major networking event during which a number of Network The Forum in Session members held a series of round table meetings with over 70 Irish SMEs. Participants were asked to consider how the Forum can make significant contributions towards Government, Irish business and diaspora working together to deliver jobs and recovery and growing exports. Working groups were the central element

of the Forum with 18 working groups meeting for a combined 90 hours over the two days. Under the chairmanship of a Global Irish Network member, each group was asked to produce 2-3 specific proposals for innovative ideas linked to priority challenges in t h e G o v e r n m e n t ’s A c t i o n Pictured Left to Right: Plan for Job. In total Robert Kearns and Tánaiste 63 recommendations arose Eamon Gilmore from the working groups. In closing the Forum, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste undertook to examine by the end of November all the outcomes that came out of the Forum and to report back to participants on those deliberations. A full report on the third Global Irish Economic Forum was issued on 17 December Tim McTiernan moderating 2013. The report and further a panel discussion information on the Forum is available on the website: www.globalirishforum.ie Membership of the Global Irish Network is by invitation from the Taoiseach. ICC

Crowdfunding for Success By Lorna Sixsmith ave you got a creative business idea? Would you like to self publish a book, produce an album, create a community space, film a documentary or produce a play? Are you lacking the funds and perhaps the self confidence too? Crowdfunding could be your answer. Crowdfunding is when you ask potentially interested people to pledge an amount of money for a choice of rewards, essentially, they are preordering copies of your book, theatre tickets, DVDs or similar. Rewards can be more creative too but the majority of people will engage with your product and use the crowdfunding to preorder your product or service. The most popular crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the Irish site Fundit. Although only 44% of Kickstarter’s campaigns are successful, a well prepared and executed campaign has so many advantages; it is well worth the time and effort.

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Advantages of Crowdfunding Financial – The obvious advantage is that of raising capital. A successful campaign will provide you with enough money to finance your dream project. Test the Market – Even if the campaign is unsuccessful, it is an effective way to test the market to see if there is demand for your product or service. It is better to spend some time on a campaign than invest money in something that is not ready for the marketplace. 38

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Brand Ambassadors – Your backers become your advocates and will spread the word about your campaign and your finished product if they feel excited and proud to be part of the journey. Free Press Coverage – Running a crowdfunding campaign can hold news values create a ‘feel good’ story particularly if the product is a novel one or if the campaign becomes extremely successful. Any press coverage received during the campaign also raises brand awareness for your product. Speed – Most crowdfunding campaigns have a duration of approximately one month, therefore although it is a busy few weeks, it is an effective way to raise funds in such a short time. Raises Your Self Confidence – Many of us feel nervous about putting our book or play or product out there and creating a crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of bravery. However, knowing that so many people believe in your product and wish to enjoy it gives your self esteem a wonderful boost. Credibility – Running a successful campaign is harder than it looks but once you have achieved it, it gives you and your product so much more credibility. Being a successful crowdfunder is something to be proud of and will stand you in good stead. Lorna Sixsmith ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for her book ‘Would You Marry a Farmer?’ and now includes a course on running crowdfunding campaigns amongst their online social media courses at www.WeTeachSocial.com ICC www.irishconnected.com


LIFESTYLE

What To Expect When You Marry a Farmer By Lorna Sixsmith

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armers are now seen as a good catch and it’s not all about the road frontage or the number of acres. Farming is viewed as a lovely environment in which to raise a family and farmers are seen to be fit, healthy, optimistic, kind, eco-friendly and in touch with nature. Living with a farmer can have its surprising moments. Here are some tips to ensure you can understand the farming lingo and are always prepared for the unexpected. 1. Stopping a Gap – standing in a gateway to prevent cows or sheep from escaping into a field becomes an important and frequent job for every farmer’s wife. Sometimes the gaps can be quite wide and you end up dancing the full width of them to persuade the enquiring animals that they should definitely move on. 2. ‘The Black One’ – You may be called upon to help your beloved to divide some cattle into two groups. You will be standing at the ‘gap’ and your task is to let some through and turn the unsuitable ones back. When he shouts ‘the black one’ when there are three or four coming towards you, you need to be able to understand whether the blackest one is to be turned back or let through. Unfortunately, that phrase doesn’t mean that one of the animals is totally black; it simply means it is slightly blacker than its comrades. The same goes for ‘the white one’ and ‘the biggest one’. 3. ‘Hand me that yoke’ – He isn’t referring to a yoke that can guide two oxen or to the yolk of an egg. A ‘yoke’ can be any implement that he can’t think of the name of but you are instantly expected to be able to interpret. 4. Herding – Being asked to go and count the stock if he is busy is a task that is often handed to a farmer’s wife. It’s just a case of counting them and making sure that all animals look healthy – sounds

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easy doesn’t it? It’s not so easy when they all clump together and you are trying to work out if there are four or five in various batches. They deliberately seem to band together and snigger ‘Look, it’s her again, let’s confuse her, haha’. They will follow you back to the gate, getting ominously close as you wonder if they are thinking of taking a bite out of your shoulder. 5. Synchronizing heifers – This doesn’t mean that he is training his female bovines to dance and swim in unison. It means that they have all been treated so they are on heat at the same time and can be inseminated. 6. You become a chauffeur – Looking forward to a long chat as you are driving along becomes rare. If he was driving, he will ask you to take over. He finds that the car motion sends him to sleep. He may wake up at intervals to marvel at how quickly the journey is going or to look over the hedges so he can comment on what is happening in the adjoining fields. 7. Telepathy is a handy skill – You are expected to be intuitive and realise that when he says he will be in for dinner in five minutes that he really meant 30. If he says he will be in at 1pm and arrives in at 12:55 and it’s not ready, he feels he is wasting valuable time waiting for his meal. 8. Illness is not recommended – Farmers never suffer from man ‘flu – that is the good news. The bad news is they aren’t that sympathetic as they will have calved cows and lambed ewes while struggling with illness at some time so they expect you to be able to rally too. 9. Domestic goddess – It will invariably happen that you will receive a call telling you that contractors are on their way and will be in for their tea shortly. You are overdue for a grocery trip and know there’s only half a loaf of bread, six eggs and half a packet of rashers in the fridge. You have to create your own version of the ‘five loaves and two fish’. 10. Lost a quarter – When the farmer tells you that one of his best cows has ‘lost a quarter’, it doesn’t mean she has lost some money. Mastitis had infected one of the four quarters of her udder and she can’t produce milk from that ‘quarter’ any more. Lorna Sixsmith, author of ‘Would You Marry A Farmer’, was inspired to write her book after a session of ‘The black one’ when sorting cattle. You can follow her farming adventures on www.irishfarmerette.com ICC www.irishconnected.com

Would You Marry A Farmer?  

On the second page, you will find my fun article about 'Would You Marry A Farmer?' and the ten signs of what you need to expect when you get...