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Future job creators get leg-up from west’s entrepreneurs



Pictured at the Entrepreneur Exchange were (from left) Wayne Allen, Embo Medical; John O’Shaughnessy, Chairman & Co Founder Neuravi, Marc Ganley, Contego Sports Ltd; Sinead Kenny, DiaNia Technologies Ltd; Gillian Buckley, WDC; Michael Mahoney, Itronic Interconnect Ltd; Ian Brannigan, WDC; and Remi Barbaste and Rassol Dia, both of Godfounders.

The recovery of the economy in West is being turbo-charged by collaboration between new entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneur Exchange is a new mentoring and networking opportunity for ambitious businesses ready to grow their companies.

Business leaders from all over the country gave their time to mentor and advise ambitious entrepreneurs at a unique event which took place in Sligo recently.

Ian Brannigan, CEO of the Western Development Commission said “The WDC is delighted to collaborate on this event for the second year running. Entrepreneurship is fundamental to our economic development in the Western Region and this event enables us to foster and promote entrepreneurship in a very meaningful and impactful way”

Some of the business leaders participating included John O’Shaughnessy, Chairman & Co Founder Neuravi , Liam Griffin, Managing Director of the Griffin Hotel Group;  David Walsh, Group CEO and co-founder Netwatch and John Purdy, co-founder and CEO of Ergo (who recently won the EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year award).

Paul Keyes, CEO of Sligo Chamber added: we are delighted to lead out on this event for the second year. It was a massive success with great speakers, great ideas and great interaction. It’s so humbling to see such successful, established business owners giving their knowledge and expertise to the next generation which in turn will create employment and lead to more rapid economic recovery,” said.

Wayne Allen, CEO Embo Medical Galway said “I am delighted to participate in this hugely valuable initiative, the support and advice from experienced business leaders is invaluable to companies like mine”

Participants also received presentations on various topics including: security for your business by David Walsh of Netwatch; applying the rules of sport to your business by Liam Griffin of the Griffin Hotel Group and online domain names by Tommy Higgins of Access Media.

Speaking about the importance of cash flow was George Mullan, whose company SIS works with some of the world’s biggest football clubs including Manchester United and Real Madrid.“If you don’t understand what cash is coming in, then you are in real trouble. ‘’

The Entrepreneur Exchange, gives new entrepreneurs the invaluable experience of real exposure to trailblazers in their field. All of the business leaders who took part volunteered their time and expertise in order to ‘give back’ to small and medium-sized businesses who are following in their footsteps.

The event, which was held in the Radisson Hotel in Sligo, was run by Sligo Chamber, The Western Development Commission (WDC) and The Enterprise Europe Network in association with IT Sligo and Westbic to stimulate entrepreneurship and business.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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