The Business RTE Radio 1

David Walsh (founder and CEO of Netwatch) and I joined George Lee on RTE Radio 1’s.

The Business RTE Radio 1

On the program we discuss the cross boarder trade within the EU and David Walsh tells a fascinating story of how they took the first steps to crack the US market and how Ireland should be tapping one of our most valuable natural resources – The gift of the gab, by starting a center excellence in sales training.

Also on the program we discuss how 27 different Vat regimes cause small businesses extra burden to tax collect for 27 different goverments and adhere to 27 different sets of rules – for example a Wheelchair in the Republic of Ireland has an exemption that no Vat is charged, but if we drive up the road to Northern Ireland there is no such exemption so Vat must be appraised on each unit sold relative to it’s delivery address. With such administrative burdens, cross boarder trade can seem unappealing.

Ernst And Young Entrepreneur of the Year

One of the highlights of 2012 was reaching the finals of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. It was an experience i’d recommend to anyone who is creating jobs in Ireland, being part of the competition was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made. Here’s some clips from the TV show as they visit my fancy dress business:

When I started the process that surrounds this awards, everyone told me it was all about the journey and the network. I’ve never really been one for aggressive networking, so I was a little slow to believe them if I’m honest. But I have to say they we’re all right, the inspiration I have got from mingling with business people with years more experience and achievements far greater than mine really added rocket fuel to my business goal and we’re a better company today for it.

Single Market Debate on EU legislation

Google and the European Parliament arranged a debate regarding the Single Market Opportunity the exists and the legislation around it.

I wasn’t able to attend on the day but I dialed in on Google Hangout to take part.

High Level Group on EU Administration Burdens

I had the pleasure recently of speaking in Lisbon, Portugal, at the European Parliaments High Level Group of Administration Burdens regarding Job creation and Distant Selling Legislation.

It was a two day event when people including high level government officials and industry experts gathered to discuss the pro’s and con’s of cross boarder trade and what legislative issues and restrictions hold back progress within the EU economy.

One of the things that was a real eye opener is the pace and cost of such governmental events. With less than twenty people on the panel and lots of formalities, the pace was a lot slower than that of corporate environments were conclusions and decisions are made. There were interpreters to translate into several languages – which must have cost massively. While I loved the experience public service pace is definitely not for me.

The highlight of the trip was lunch with Maria da Assunção Andrade Esteves, President of the Assembly of the Republic. An invitation was brought to me after my speech, inviting me to lunch in Official Residence. Maria was extremely insightful, unlike some other politicians I’ve met, she had strong opinions and the arguments to back up and convince those who didn’t see her point of view. When she enters a room she completely owned the room, it’s a skill I’d aspire to emulate.

Inspirational Talk – Neil Gaiman

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year finalists 2012

2012’s Top Irish Entrepreneurs we’re announced today and I’m on the list. Here’s the list of the finalists, we’ll all meet up in Silicon Valley, San Francisco for the EOY CEO retreat and the TV program which air’s in October.



Zatori Results – Ronan OBrien

Aspen Grove – Seán Ryan– Paul Kenny

Connect Telecom – Matthew Brown

Glenilen – Alan and Valerie Kingston

Optivia Biotechnology – Peter Milner

Simply Zesty – Niall Harbison

Voya – Mark and Kira Walton


Barry Fitzwilliam – Michael Barry

Decora Blind Systems – Stuart and Russell Dickson

Digiweb Group – Colm Piercy

Finnebrogue – Denis Lynn

Genesis Crafty – Brian McErlain

Keltech – Ray Breen

Nightline Logistics Group – John Tuohy and

David Field

Willowbrook Foods – John McCann


Apex Fund Services – John Bohan

Cove Energy Plc – John Craven

Dairymaster – Edmond Harty

Excelsys Technologies – Gary Duffy

Kenmare Resources plc – Michael Carvill

OSG Group – Malcolm Hughes

Oxygen8 Communications Ltd – Shane Leahy

Rigney Dolphin – Frank Adrienne Dolphin

European Small Business Alliance – 28th June

I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at the European Small Business Alliance Seminar in Brussels on the 28th of June 2012.


The conference will be based around how to increase employment across Europe, in particular the stats that 85% of employment nowadays is created by SME’s and that 92% of all EU businesses are Micro-Businesses with less than 10 employees.

The conference takes place at The Hotel – Brussels, Boulevard de Waterloo 38, Brussels. Keynote Speach is The Vice President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani (TBC) and Mr Marko Curavić, Head of Unit, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission will also be speaking.

Good Things Come to Those Who Work

Saw this and it made me smile.
Good Things Come To Those Who Work...

Business Person of the Year 2012 Finalist

Really chuffed to have been announced as finalist for the 2012 Business Person of the Year Award Category in the Best in Business Awards. The Final takes place, on Thursday 21st June 2012 in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, County Westmeath.

Trophies and Medals business –

April 2012 sees the launch of my latest venture, – An online fully integrated Trophies and Medals business. Using the internet to allow customers in Ireland for the first time the ability to select, engrave and fully customise their Trophies, Medals and Awards.

Trophies and Medals

My favourite part of this was making our first sale within 4 hours of going live – a major improvement on any business i’ve launched before. With the up and coming Summer and Sports day, the timing seems just right – exciting times.