Avine McNally

Small business sentiment in Ireland is improving, with four out of 10 small firms rating their business as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ over the next three months, according to a new survey. In the Spring Business Sentiment Survey from the Small Firms Association (SFA), 30pc of respondents rate the current overall business environment as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, a drop of 20pc when compared to 12 months ago.  Some 23pc of respondent companies rate the overall business environment to be either ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Nearly four in ten companies (39pc) rate their own business currently as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.  While 20pc rate it currently as ‘poor’ or ‘very…

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Fibreglass headstone invented in Co Clare a first for Europe

Co Clare company New Age Memorials founder Barry Spearman has come up with a new product concept – fiberglass headstones – which he says is a first in Western Europe. “These fibreglass headstones offer many advantages over traditional stone headstones: they are maintenance free, as unlike stone, they are not porous and thus discourage the growth of algae and other discolourants. “They are strong but light and can be installed immediately. In fact they can be installed by anyone without special tools, and uniquely, they can be repaired if vandalised or damaged. All of this means major savings for the consumer.” The idea came about two years when Spearman was…

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Reform Pilates launches apps for busy mothers

Anna Frankland of Reform Pilates in south Dublin has created ‘Postnatal Pilates by Reform Apps’, a number of short workouts that will help build self-esteem and increase energy levels for new mothers. Speaking about the launch of the new products Frankland said: “I know many of our clients take 15 minutes and lie beside the baby’s cot while they are going to sleep in order to have some ‘me’ time.  This isn’t about mums getting bikini-ready; it is about re-building body confidence and re-gaining a strong body to copy with the physical demands of looking after a baby.” In total there are three apps: the first is recommended for those…

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Phantom founder launches new radio station

Simon Maher, the founder of Phantom FM, is launching a new radio station, 8Radio.com, at midnight this evening. The station has a licence to broadcast on FM in Dublin, Cork and Limerick for 15 weekends until 7 July, and online every day. The frequencies are 106.7 in Cork, 105.5 in Limerick and 94.3 in Dublin. Maher set Phantom 105.2 up as a pirate station in 1996. The station won a licence for an alternative rock station for Dublin in 2004 and, following a legal challenge, went live on 31 October 2006. Maher left his position as general manager in 2011 after Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp bought a 30pc stake in the…

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Frank O'Keeffe, Partner in Charge of the EoY Programme pictured with sponsors Liam Kavanagh, Irish Times, Terri O'Donnell, Invest NI and Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland

The closing date for nominations for the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year is this coming Sunday, 31 March. Frank O’Keeffe, Ernst & Young’s partner-in-charge of the programme, said that this year it wanted entrepreneurs from across the island of Ireland to “truly test their horizons”. “Even in these most challenging times, entrepreneurs are constantly looking for opportunities to grow through innovation and technology, and it is their unparalleled vision and capacity to adapt to the ever-changing global business environment that continues to drive economic recovery, create jobs for the region and boost investor and consumer confidence going forward.” Following the announcement of the 24 finalists from across…

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Peter O'Mahony, CEO Linked Finance, Conor Mc Aleese, COO, Linked Finance, Bobby Kerr, Senator

An online crowd funding initiative called Linked Finance has been launched in Dublin with the backing of Irish entrepreneurs and international investors. The new Linked Finance technology facilitates person to person lending, or ‘crowd funding’ for Irish business. Business borrowers, vetted as part of the Linked Finance registration process, can access cashflow from a pool of potential lenders, who, in turn, can request and earn good returns on their investment, and engage with the businesses they invest in, both as customers and backers. Linked Finance CEO Peter O’Mahony explains: “Linked Finance is technology offering a new and painless way for Irish businesses to borrow money from a large group of…

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Techforce offers Polish HR solution to Irish firms Founders of Techforce Patrick Leddy and Kevin Greene

A new company founded by tech entrepreneurs Patrick Leddy and Kevin Greene, Techforce, is recruiting software developers for Irish firms and managing them remotely in Krakow. Specialising in Android, iPhone, PHP, Microsoft and Java developers, Leddy said they started Techforce to “offer a simple solution to a recurring recruitment problem.” Along with software development, work in offering add-ons including top quality wood iPhone cases, is being looked at seriously. “The more prominent tech firms often snap up the best developers. That tightens the supply and ticks up the cost for everyone else. We solve the problem by designing, supporting and managing skilled, English-speaking software developers, remotely, in low-cost Poland. “Our model…

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Irish media company Sheology, owner of Mummypages.ie and MummyPages.co.uk, said today that it’s planning to create at least 30 new jobs over the next three years, quadrupling its existing workforce. The company said the new jobs will be editorial, marketing and technical roles. The female-focused firm was set up by husband and wife team Cormac and Sandra McKenna in 2009 with the launch of MummyPages.ie, which was originally a blog.  The website was later relaunched in Ireland as a full service interactive media site, while a British version (www.mummypages.co.uk) followed in 2011. The McKennas said today that they are launching a new digital offering under the Sheology banner with the…

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procurementguide-2

A best practice guide designed to address the issues that inhibit SME procurement from the public sector was launched by Minister of State Brian Hayes TD at an event in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce today. In Ireland and the UK alone, the public sector procures about €190bn in goods and services every year. But although SMEs account for 99pc of total companies, they deliver less than half of the requirements of contracting authorities “Research has shown that, given the right conditions and assistance, SMEs can become more effective in winning and retaining supply contracts to Government and other authorities,” said Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber chief executive. “This is a…

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Best Mobile Health Product or Service at Global Mobile Awards

Irish connected health start-up Sensormind has been shortlisted in partnership with Vodafone for the Best Mobile Health Product or Service award at the 18th Global Mobile Awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Global Mobile Awards, which recognise excellence and innovation within the mobile communications industry, will be presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 26 February. “Sensormind has created a unique and innovative product which provides a critical service to our elderly and vulnerable customers every day and we are looking forward to taking our product awareness to a global audience through this award,” said Siobhan King-Hughes, CEO, Sensormind. The Best Mobile Health Product or…

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