Summit on how to “Build Your Business”

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City will host a ‘Build Your Business’ summit on Thursday 14th May in the Dublin City Council, Wood Quay Venue from 9am to 4pm.

It is timely that this summit comes on the back of the publication of the “Dublin Economic Monitor”, launched on 23rd April. The Monitor shows Dublin emerging strongly from the economic recession and performing well across 15 key economic performance indicators. It also reflects the enhanced roles of the Dublin Local Authorities in the area of Economic Development and Enterprise support.

The summit includes key expert speakers that will advise emerging Dublin businesses currently operating in the Irish market, how best to grow their business and increase their sales online and through exports. There will be opportunities throughout the day at this one-stop shop to network with the speakers and learn from their first hand experience in growing their businesses and presenting them to the international market.

European Commission research suggests that businesses that develop a meaningful online presence grow twice as fast, export twice as much and employ twice as many people.

Eibhlin Curley, Assistant Head of Enterprise for LEO Dublin City said, “the aim of the day is to offer entrepreneurs a one-stop-shop to inspire, inform and network with the key players who can help build their business and capitalise on the positive economic growth. Businesses established over 12 months can avail of grants from the LEO including a Trading Online Voucher of up to €2,500 and export grants for exhibiting at overseas trade fairs of up to €3,500”.

“Treat your website as your shop window and make it easy for your customers to buy from you online”, said Yinka Martin, HairWeavon, one of the speakers at the event.

Daniel Plewman, Happythreads advice for first time exporter is,

“Exporting requires four things:

  1. Belief, you must be confident that your product will sell in the target market (do your homework first);
  2. Patience, it will take a while, Ireland is small you may be known here and have quick traction, it is a longer game on the export side;
  3. Courage, you will feel like giving up, don’t!
  4. Investment, assistance may be available from Local Enterprise office and Enterprise Ireland, you will need some of your own too.”

For further details on the “Build Your Business” summit and to book online please log onto:

For further information contact:

Notes to the Editor:

Topics at the Summit

Who, why, what is selling online

How small businesses can use Google SEO and Google Analytics to increase their online sales

Issues to consider in relation to online payments

Financial Incentives to help you boost your online sales

Communicating Brand in eCommerce

Top Tips for First Time Exporters

Practicalities of doing business in Northern Ireland

How Exporters Can Avoid Payment Risks

Case Studies

Business Owners share their experience of increasing their sales online and through exports.

Speakers include;

Dave McGeady, Wyldsson

Dave McGeady is the founder of Wyldsson, a online food startup that specialises in selling premium healthy food products. Wyldsson has achieved considerable success with its online model, allowing it to scale to profitability without going down the traditional retail channels. Dave has an MBA from Tel Aviv University, an MSc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Helsinki University of Technology and a first class honours degree in Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.

Yinka Martin, HairWeavon

Yinka Martin worked as a Project Manager prior to setting up HairWeavon in 2011. Initially launched as a hair extensions company, HairWeavon progressed to manufacturing wig and hair pieces for women and men experiencing hair loss. With customers here in Ireland which includes the HSE and abroad in several countries through HairWeavon's Ecommerce website.

Daniel Plewman, Happythreads

Happythreads supply modern healthcare uniforms, we started trading in 2009 from a spare room in Stoneybatter, (I was kicked out in 2010 as the office became a nursery). We are different because of the unique product that we sell and the focus on digital marketing. We are now based in a two story unit in KCR. Employing 7 people, over 50% of our sales are to the UK, we grew by 65% in 2014 and are projecting a turnover of €1,000,000 in 2015. We have received support from LEO (DCEB) all along the way.

Dr. Stephen Brennan, Chief Digital Advisor to the Irish Government

Stephen is a successful technology entrepreneur and government advisor. He authored Ireland’s National Digital Strategy. He is the creator of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme which is currently helping thousands of small Irish businesses to trade online. He is a member of the EU Commission Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship and the Irish Governments Retail Consultation Forum.

Joan Mulvihill, Irish Internet Association

Was appointed CEO of the Irish Internet Association in November 2009 and is privileged to work with the best and brightest of technology start-ups as well as supporting more traditional businesses in the adoption of web-based technologies. Over the past five years, the IIA has led national campaigns and initiatives such as “Digitise the Nation” to bridge the digital divide, as well developing national policy on Digital Skills and Open-Data and driving business growth through Digital Marketing, eCommerce and Cloud Computing. Prior to joining the IIA, spent 8 years working in retail within the Kingfisher Group in London and Amsterdam before returning to Ireland in 2002 to work with Becton Dickinson's global sourcing team with procurement responsibilities across Europe and the US. From there moved to a senior consulting role within leading international professional services firm, BDO International.

Niall O' Maonaigh, Google

Niall is a graduate of Dublin City University with a BA degree in Economics, Politics, and Law, and a Masters of Science in E-Commerce. His career as an international media consultant has resulted in him working within four continents globally, liaising with various Government Ministers in identifying advertising solutions for SMB's countrywide. He was accredited as a key figure behind the success of socio economic reports on Ghana ('Beacon of Democracy') and Nigeria ('The Great Financial Fightback). The aforementioned reports featured within esteemed international publications 'USA Today' and 'Financial Times Deutschland'. It was when compiling these socio economic reports on developing economies that Niall's passion for modernising the way SMB's tackle the issues of today's marketplace became apparent. Shortly after returning to Ireland, Niall was invited to join Google and become more involved in tailoring advertising solutions for SMB's at a regional level. He is now responsible for new top tier SMB advertisers (within the UK and Ireland) and constructing a digital strategy to best suit their needs across Google's advertising suite.

Paul Dunne, Realex Payments

Paul Dunne is Head of Business Development in Ireland for Realex Payments; one of Europe’s leading online payment companies. Realex process payments valued in excess of €28bn per annum for over 12,500 merchants including Aer Lingus, Paddy Power and Virgin Atlantic. Prior to joining Realex, Paul worked as Sales Director for boxPAY; a mobile payments company which processed payments in over 60 countries. He has also been involved in a number of successful start-ups and has extensive experience in the mobile industry . Paul is a regular speaker at ecommerce and payments events and lectures for the Irish Times as part of their eCommerce Diploma.

Jade O'Connor, Hibeam

Jade is a Dublin based User Experience Expert and Frontend Developer. She both mentors and speaks regularly in the startup community in programmes such as Startup Weekend, NDRC Launchpad, and Startup Next. Over recent years she has collaborated with world leading design agency Image Now, eComm pureplay grocery startup, and cofounded a SAAS product for the daily deal market. Currently she handles UX for FCR Media across their product suite which includes, and Sayhi WiFi. She is also a professional kiteboarder, ranked inside the world top 5th and representing Ireland at ISAF Olympic class sailing events.

Enda McDonnell, Enterprise Ireland

Enda Mc Donnell was recently appointed manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Potential Exporters Division . Previously, he was Enterprise Ireland’s Region for the South/South East Region based in Cork. As Regional Director, his responsibilities include driving start-up activity locally, developing and implementing EI strategy within the region and contributing to the development of regional business infrastructure, skills and innovation. An economist by background, he worked as EI's Senior Policy Advisor, coordinating the Agency’s inputs into national enterprise policy as well as a Senior Development Adviser working closely with a range of internationally traded services companies. He worked on secondment in the Department of Foreign Affairs as acting First Secretary in the Economic Relations Division and worked as an economist with the National Competitiveness Council and Forfas.

Brian Colgan, Irish Exporters Association

Brian Colgan is newly appointed Head of the IEA Hub, part of the National Export campaign, a new export initiative set up in March to increase the number of Irish businesses exporting for the first time and to assist Irish businesses to enter new export markets and support Irish exporters to grow their exports in existing markets. Brian joined AIB in 1979 and was the former head of customer Treasury in AIB Capital markets. Brian has extensive experience dealing with SME’s both in Ireland and the UK and is actively involved in assisting businesses in their export journey.

Paddy Savage, InterTrade Ireland

Paddy Savage has been with InterTradeIreland since its inception in 1999 and is currently responsible for the management of InterTradeIreland’s suite of trade programmes including Acumen and Elevate, which are aimed at helping SMEs identify new market opportunities on the island of Ireland. He also has joint responsibility for the InterTradeIreland First Stop Shop initiative, which offers practical advice, guidance and funding to small companies seeking assistance with cross border legal, taxation and marketing issues. Paddy is a graduate of the University of Ulster and has been working in economic development since 1987 when he joined the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board. During this time, his main responsibilities were in relation to helping companies develop new export markets.

Simon Devlin, Full Circle Management Solutions Ltd

Simon is founder and managing director of Full Circle Management Solutions Ltd, one of NI’s leading management consultancy and business development practices. Prior to moving into consultancy 17 years ago, Simon worked in a number of senior export sales management roles, most notably in Sperrin Metal Products Ltd where he was responsible for sales to over 90 countries worldwide. Since moving into consultancy, Simon has worked with over 2,000 businesses across Ireland and much of this work is focused on assisting clients to penetrate new markets. Since 2013, Simon has been programme director of the InterTradeIreland Acumen Programme and has overall responsibility for the successful delivery of all aspects of this Programme.

Laurence Bacon, Export Bureaux, Dublin

As a National Committee Director of ICC Ireland, Laurence founded the Irish Committee on Banking Techniques and Practice and has represented Ireland at worldwide meetings of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Commission on Banking Techniques and Practice. He is a registered letter of credit expert and export consultant. His Banking experience managing a Letter of Credit Dept. is coupled with 30 years experience in major importing/exporting companies in Ireland and abroad. He is the only person from Ireland appointed by the ICC to the worldwide UCP 600 Consulting Group and is a Visiting Professor at several universities in Europe.

Eibhlin Curley, LEO Dublin City

Eibhlin Curley, Assistant Head of Enterprise for LEO Dublin City has assessed and supported hundreds of Entrepreneurs and Business Plans.  She has  20 years of experience working with Entrepreneurs and SMEs in start ups and business development.  She previously worked in enterprise an export development for Enterprise Ireland, Stockholm office, Fingal County Council and Fingal County Enterprise Board.  Previous marketing roles include working for VHI and Air France.  A Business Economics and Social Studies graduate from Trinity with a B.B.S. and a Master in Business Studies  from D.C.U. she has lectured in D.I.T., the National College of Ireland, the Centre for Talented Youth in D.C.U. She graduated with a Diploma in Personal and Business Coaching and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Digital Marketing.