Archive for Business

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.

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.

The master sales approach

I think everyone can learn a thing or two from sales man Kenny Brooks.

European Single Market Opportunity

Yesterday I was in Brussels representing Ireland at the Google organised Single Market Opportunity conference. The conference consisted of European Commission officials, European parliamentarians and internet businesses with the purpose of discussing how the Internet can create jobs and be play a key role in getting Europe back on it’s feet.

The Keynote speaker was the European Commission’s Vice President – Antonio Tajani, who stated that the “goal is to double the amount of commerce online by 2015”.

(Yes that’s me at 2.20)

“The Internet Economy contributes 10 – 20% of GBP” According to Matt Brittin (VP of Sales and Operations in Google). Just think how fast that will increase in the coming three years!!

On the agenda were taxation issues about cross boarder selling within the EU and the difficulties that arise based on outdated systems for dealing with VAT on exports. Another topic raised was delivery and I was really surprised / unimpressed with some of the businesses that we purposely turning away sales and profit because they we’re willing to get their business systems in place to export.

One of the major area’s of concerns I raised is the new European Distant Selling legislation rewrites, which are due to come into effect in the coming weeks. It’s one of those legislation moves that has been written without real input from those at the coal face and while trying to encourage small business is it’s goal, it has the adverse effect in some areas.

At the event a new initiative by the Lisbon Council was announced called the S1ngle Market Entrepreneurs aimed at supporting digital entrepreneurs, which is a very worthwhile project as it’s widely agreed new markets are going to be the next big employers.