New Bank of Ireland community hub in Wexford Town

Bank of Ireland has officially opened the doors to its new community hub in Wexford Town.
The branch underwent a major refurbishment. As part of this, a new events room has been added and will be available to local clubs, charities, societies and business organisations to host meetings or events free of charge. The space can cater for up to 50 people and has state of the art technology facilities that can be used for presentations.
“The people of Wexford Town have a new facility to host meetings and events free of charge.”
How people want to bank
“Serving customers brilliantly is a key priority for Bank of Ireland. We want to offer services and products in line with how people want to bank – both now and into the future,” says JJ Keyes, Head of Bank of Ireland, Wexford.
“With more than 250 branches nationwide, we are proud to have the largest branch network of any bank in Ireland. We are delighted to be able to provide the people of Wexford Town with this new facility to enable them to host meetings and events free of charge.”
Make contact
For more details on how to book an event or meeting in the space, please contact:
Andrew Owen (branch manager) Wexford Town, andrew.owen@boi.com .
Karen Edwards (customer service manager) Wexford Town, karen.edwards@boi.com.
 

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What’s it like moving from Moscow to Dublin?

Ekaterina Voznesenskaia was an English teacher in Moscow until one day she decided to change career and move to Dublin. This is her story of spontaneous change and how she experienced Ireland for the first time.
Nothing can be more natural and spontaneous than changing your life in just three months.
After working as a children’s teacher of English and German and as a lecturer of English at the University in Moscow, I suddenly realised that I really want to do something different.
I decided to study marketing and wanted to get an international education in an English-speaking country.
“Moving to Ireland is the most significant and spontaneous decision I have ever made in my life.”
Having visited Ireland as a tourist, before moving here, I was impressed by Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university and one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. And this was my choice – the Trinity College, MSc in Marketing.
In September 2017 I moved to Ireland to begin my studies.
My year at the university was exhilarating and challenging. I was in a minority of students who did not have a business background. For me everything was new. This, however, made it even more exciting, and the whole year of study was a huge challenge.
Even though it was difficult at first, I now realise how important every step of your life is. Every small step leads to more significant results.
Currently, I am working as a consulting analyst at Accenture, conducting research and analysis of customer services and providing recommendations for our high tech software client.
“Life here is not as hectic as in Moscow.”
What was your experience like moving from Russia to Ireland?
Moving to Ireland is the most significant and spontaneous decision I have ever made in my life.
I have never regretted this decision, despite the challenges it brings. I

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What is GirlCrew?

Having started out as a journalist with The Irish Times, Paula Newenham created GirlCrew, a support and advice platform for women all over the world. 
I studied law in Ireland and the United States, before completing a master’s degree in journalism. I began my career as a general news reporter with The Irish Times mostly covering the courts but it got depressing after a while as there were never really any positive stories. When I made the move to business reporting, I wanted to write about more positive things, so I focussed on technology, startups, innovation and entrepreneurship. Interviewing entrepreneurs every day made me realise I wanted to start my own business. GirlCrew was the perfect opportunity to do so.
“We are not truly global yet, but we plan to be.”
We’re all about supporting women. Our principle guideline as a company is one of respect, and that feeds into our community and the support we offer each other. This can be something small like people just chatting through problems online. Or something bigger like helping each other find suitable housing, find a job that’s good for them, or helping them to settle into a new city. We’d like to build on this principle and become a community for women all over the world. We want no woman to ever feel alone. No matter where they are, they can join us and chat to other women for support. Even if we haven’t launched in their city, they can do this.
“Interviewing entrepreneurs every day made me realise I wanted to get back to that.”
Unlike other social networking sites, GirlCrew immediately connects women with others in their city for nights out, hikes, brunches, holidays and more. It also has in-built careers, entrepreneurship, and personal interest groups, where women can share knowledge and advice on everything from getting

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/what-is-girlcrew/ on thinkbusiness

The product solving the shower crisis

The ShowerGem might just be the perfect present this Christmas. We caught up with the company founder Sean McGarry to discuss the product.
I believe you had trouble naming the company?
Choosing the name ShowerGem was a pretty laboursome task. Originally, the product was to be called The ShowerBoss Shower Caddy but when we applied for a trademark we ran into difficulty from Hugo Boss, who in their cease and desist letters stated that they “are a company with a turnover of four billion dollars annuall”, not exactly someone a startup wants to be messing with. After seven months arguing with their German legal team, an agreement was reached where we could use ShowerBoss, but it left some red tape over the company which was less than ideal if we were to begin selling internationally in the future. So we parked ShowerBoss and began looking for something different. I met with Graham Clarke from Bank of Ireland and after a few cups of coffee I found myself staring at a bag of ‘GEM’ sugar. I looked up the domain www.ShowerGem.com, it was available so hey presto, The ShowerGem Shower Caddy was born.  
Why was the company started?
ShowerGem was created pretty much by accident back in 2015. I have two teenage sisters which meant razors were left on the shower floor, soaps thrown everywhere and bottles were balanced on top of the Mira shower unit. I tried using the metal caddies but the suction always failed leading to everything crashing to the ground. My dad thought there must be a better way so he went out to his workshop and created the ShowerGem. He made it just for our own shower but when I saw it I thought it was genius so I began turning it into a proper business.

What need is your

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-product-solving-the-shower-crisis/ on thinkbusiness

Some of Ireland’s most inspiring entrepreneurs

Fionn Crombie Angus – Fionnathan

Fionn suffers with Down Syndrome and (with the help of his dad Johnathan) has set up his own production company Fionnathan. Fionn has been on a mission to interview as many people as he can and ask them ‘what do you love about your life, or what do you love about your job’. Fionn’s YouTube channel has more than 280,000 views, and has featured people like President Michael D Higgins.
Nikki Bradley – The Motivation Factory

Diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) at the age of 16, Nikki moved into business in 2013 by setting up a motivational speaking company The Motivation Factory.  She also set up a fitness-based awareness campaign called Fighting Fit For Ewing’s where she regularly partakes in physical challenges to highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation.
Niall Breslin – Lust For Life

Singer, TV presenter and author Bressie (as he is better known) is one of the leading voices on anxiety disorders and mental health issues in the workplace in Ireland. Bressie co-founded a not-for-profit organisation A Lust for Life, with their mission to ‘support, inspire and empower people to take care of their own minds, change societal norms around mental health, humanising the conversation, change societal infrastructure, so that we always catch people when they fall’.
Sinead Burke – sinead-burke.com

Sinead was born with achondroplasia and is now a writer, fashionista and academic. Sinead has a clear vision ‘to educate designers on how to be fully inclusive in fashion and beyond’. Aged 16, Sinead felt excluded from fashion conversations, so she decided to create her own blog saying “people didn’t take me seriously because of my physical aesthetic, so I started blogging”. Her blog is one of the most popular fashion blogs in the UK and Ireland.
Caroline Casey – Various

Caroline was born with ocular albinism

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Will insects fuel the future of fish farming?

Hexafly is an Irish firm that makes fish food from insect protein. The problem they are trying to solve is huge but so is the business potential. 

Hexafly, a biotech startup based in Ashbourne, Co. Meath has taken advantage of recent amendments to EU legislation, which permits the use of insect meal as a feed for aquaculture. Buoyed by this change, Hexafly has developed advanced insect-farming technology as an alternative to fishmeal and soy-derived protein, which from an EU view is neither sustainable nor environmentally responsible, in the long term.
Our oceans are tapped out, the global population is exploding, and aquaculture production has now surpassed the output from the world’s natural fisheries. Fishmeal is also a limited natural resource with global demand far exceeding supply. CEO, Alvan Hunt outlines Hexafly’s innovative blue economy thinking – and their plans to expand the business beyond these shores.
“Using insect feed means you can reduce the dependency on fishmeal and in turn reduce over-fishing.”
Inspiration
My co-founder John Lynam and I had been friends in college and in our final year began researching different business ideas. John has a background in chemistry, and my experience is in business and finance. I would consider myself and my co-founder as futurists – that’s just the way we think. Huge problems require you to think differently, basically requiring paradigm shifts in modes of thinking.
“If you delve a little deeper into it, the whole food security system is a lot more fragile than it looks.”
Fishmeal and soya limitations – a problem to solve
Sourcing fishmeal means going to the ocean; catching and processing fish, selling the fish by-product to a feed company who manufacture it back into a pellet, for fish in the fish farm. Significantly from a sustainability perspective, it takes twice as much wild-caught fish, to produce the same quantity

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Designing an effective CSR strategy

There is a new movement looking at how CSR budgets can be spent more effectively.
It seems like businesses today are getting better and better at tracking return on investment. This is especially true when it comes to investing in IT infrastructure, training, or sales and marketing spend.
What is still largely unexplored territory, however, is tracking return on investment around corporate social responsibility spend, or CSR.
But there is a new movement toward looking at how this budget could be spent more effectively.
To be clear, CSR involves more than donations. It can encompass everything from employee safety, training, childcare, education and healthcare to environmental efforts and even taking stances on political and social issues.
The 2018 Deloitte Millennials Survey shows a new generation of workers with a different expectation of their employer. They expect businesses they work for to have a more significant social impact, and this has an effect on loyalty and productivity.
So building trust with employees through CSR efforts is an increasing area of focus but also requires a delicate balance. These efforts can often be criticised as either insincere or not going far enough.
“It makes sense to give where you can help the highest number of people, to the greatest degree with your money.”
Effective CSR
One Irish company recently set up with the mission to make improvements in this area, is ‘Effective CSR’.
The business concept of Effective CSR is based on the model of Effective Altruism, a philosophy which has grown out of think tanks in Oxford University and in essence is about applying an investment mindset to the world of doing good. If you are going to donate some money to charity, then according to Effective Altruism at least, it makes sense to give where you can help the highest number of people, to the greatest degree with your money.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/designing-an-effective-csr-strategy/ on
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Letterkenny wins National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

Letterkenny has been announced as the overall winner of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018.

Letterkenny has been announced as the overall winner of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards for 2018.
Representatives from Letterkenny’s National Enterprise Town Awards committee were presented with a trophy and a €33,000 cash prize fund by special guest, the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Bank of Ireland, at a gala reception in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Co. Kilkenny. The prize fund is for investment in the further development of enterprise activity in the town.
“People from right across our country are represented at these awards; ranging from city centre urban communities to pretty seaside towns, bustling western cities and rapidly growing suburbs.”
The spirit of enterprise
The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards recognises and rewards towns and urban villages, where businesses and the community have come together, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area. This year 83 towns and urban villages from almost every county nationwide were represented on the night and 35 received awards.
The town of Kells, in Co. Meath walked away with the Rising Star Award for the work it has done to date in restoring the ‘Kells Old Printworks’, which had lain derelict for over 35 years. The €20,000 cash prize fund will be used to complete the restoration project of the antique printworks in 2019 in order to make Kells a more attractive tourist destination.
Other special category winners on the night included Galway City, Dunleer, Co. Louth and Kinsale, Co. Cork who were awarded €10,000 each for the continued development of enterprise in their communities.
“These awards are the culmination of Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Programme for 2018, for which it is to be commended,”

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/letterkenny-wins-the-bank-of-ireland-national-enterprise-town-awards-2018/ on
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Letterkenny wins National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

Letterkenny has been announced as the overall winner of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018.

Letterkenny has been announced as the overall winner of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards for 2018.

Representatives from Letterkenny’s National Enterprise Town Awards committee were presented with a trophy and a €33,000 cash prize fund by special guest, the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Bank of Ireland, at a gala reception in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Co. Kilkenny. The prize fund is for investment in the further development of enterprise activity in the town.

“People from right across our country are represented at these awards; ranging from city centre urban communities to pretty seaside towns, bustling western cities and rapidly growing suburbs.”

The spirit of enterprise

The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards recognises and rewards towns and urban villages, where businesses and the community have come together, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area. This year 83 towns and urban villages from almost every county nationwide were represented on the night and 35 received awards.

The town of Kells, in Co. Meath walked away with the Rising Star Award for the work it has done to date in restoring the ‘Kells Old Printworks’, which had lain derelict for over 35 years. The €20,000 cash prize fund will be used to complete the restoration project of the antique printworks in 2019 in order to make Kells a more attractive tourist destination.

Other special category winners on the night included Galway City, Dunleer, Co. Louth and Kinsale, Co. Cork who were awarded €10,000 each for the continued development of enterprise in their communities.

“These awards are the culmination of Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Programme for 2018, for which it is to be commended,” said Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD.The wellbeing of SMEs is absolutely critical to the wellbeing of our economy, our communities and broader society. Any initiative which recognises and champions innovation and enterprise, such as this, is of immense value and has my full support.”

letterkenny neta 2018

“People from right across our country are represented at these awards; ranging from city centre urban communities to pretty seaside towns, bustling western cities and rapidly growing suburbs. The diversity of entrants, and that which brings everyone together, with their unique set of historical, geographical, infrastructural, economic and social opportunities and challenges, is a cause for celebration. It is encouraging to see the way in which these communities and businesses come together in this way and I congratulate all those who have taken part for their efforts”.

Francesca McDonagh, CEO, Bank of Ireland added, “These awards are about recognising the enterprising activity being undertaken by towns and communities all over Ireland. I have been impressed with the energy, commitment and sheer hard work that we have seen from the awards entrants across the length and breadth of the country.

“At Bank of Ireland our purpose is to enable our customers and communities across Ireland to thrive – and as Ireland’s largest lender, enterprise is at the heart of everything we do.  We are proud to have a presence in over 250 communities across Ireland and we are passionate about supporting enterprise in these communities. I want to thank the city and County Councils for their support of these awards, and congratulate Letterkenny on being crowned overall winner.”

This year 83 towns and urban villages were nominated for the competition.

Overall and Category Winners and Runners Up

Category Prize Winners
Regional Runner-Up Framed Cert + €2,000 Howth Dublin
    Balbriggan Dublin
    Kilmacthomas, Waterford
    Shannon, Clare
    Clonmel, Tipperary
    Castlecomer, Kilkenny
    Kells, Meath
    Mullingar, Westmeath
    Donegal Town
    Westport, Mayo
    Sligo
Regional runners-up (2nd) Framed Cert + €1,000 Castleisland, Kerry
    Bree, Wexford
    Bray, Wicklow
    Clones, Monaghan
Regional Winners Trophy + €3,000 Mulhuddart, Dublin
    Sandyford, Dublin
    Tallaght, Dublin
    Cashel, Tipperary
    Kinsale, Cork
    Ennis, Clare
    Dunleer, Louth
    Kildare town
    Kilkenny
    Claremorris, Mayo
    Monaghan Town
    Letterkenny, Donegal
National Category Winners Trophy + €10,000 Dunleer, Louth
    Kinsale, Cork
    Letterkenny, Donegal
Town Initiatives of the Year Framed Certificate + €5,000 Myshall, Carlow
    South Regeneration Limerick
    Arklow, Co Wicklow
Runners Up Framed Certificate +€1,000 Clonakilty, Cork
  Framed Certificate +€2,500 Mountmellick, Laois
  Framed Certificate + €1,500 Thurles, Tipperary
City Award Runner-Up Framed Certificate + €2,000 Liberties, Dublin
City Award Winner Trophy + €10,000 Galway City
Overall National Winner Trophy + €20,000 Letterkenny, Donegal
Rising Star €20,000 Kells, Co Meath

 

Become a high-performance business leader

What type of business leader are you? Do you feel you could ‘up your game’ with the right guidance? Here, we speak to Enda Lynch, head of the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme about the importance of resilience and authenticity in leadership.

If you are a business leader or business owner, you will be interested in the art and the science of leadership. But how much time do you allow yourself to focus on ‘you’ the leader?

“A lot of business leaders will focus on the management side of things, the managerial aspects of leadership such as one-on-ones and workflows,” says Enda Lynch. “What they don’t focus on is themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, which is worrying because they’re the ones taking responsibility for others, for their staff for their families and for their business.”

The Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme is aptly named. It focuses on high performance. “Just as our senior rugby team members have to make serious decisions in very high-pressure environments every time they play a competitive game, business leaders, c-suite executives and entrepreneurs face tough decisions in high-pressure situations every day they go to work.”

The programme was designed and built by Munster Rugby and the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School. It takes place over two and a half days at Munster Rugby’s senior team’s world-class high-performance centre in Limerick.

“75% of what we cover on the programme is about decision making. 25% is about helping people understand their strengths and weaknesses,” says Lynch.

What do people find out about themselves when they take the programme?

“Some have called it life-changing,” says Flynn. “We look at each person in the whole – their physical being, their personal being, their work being and their emotional being. We want to empower people with long-term decision-making skills.”

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session.”

The tools of resilience

Flynn says the programme gives attendees the tools to be a more resilient and capable leader. “Leaders need to be able to manage the rapidly changing daily environment around them. We equip people with the skills we work on with our players each and every day, growing them into internationally recognised high performing leaders through the pillars of The Fitness to Perform, Balance and Alignment in the Workplace and Personally and Energy Management.”

The programme is led by senior staff including Dr Patrick Ryan, University of Limerick’s doctor of psychology, Dr Catherine Norton, the doctor of nutrition in UL’s Physical Education and Sports Science department and Prof. John Fahy who oversees a number of interactive sessions on authentic leadership.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader.”

munster high performance leaders

Authentic leadership

Jerry Flannery, the Munster forward’s coach also discusses the authentic leadership theme in depth with the group.

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session, and people always talk about it afterwards. Jerry is on his own journey as an authentic leader. He’s one of the fittest people I know, but he’s also a very successful businessman,” says Flynn.

What makes an authentic leader? “An authentic leader will listen to feedback, they seek feedback from their work colleagues, their family and friends, so they can understand their weaknesses and build on their strengths,” says Flynn.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader. Management is about workflow and process. To be a leader you have to be able to understand people and communicate with them at a different level. Leaders look holistically at a much bigger picture, and they can look at themselves. They always seek to understand more about themselves.”

To find out more about the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme, go here.

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