One year ago, Suzanne Rigby and Mark Hooper’s business, which focused on display advertising in pubs, evaporated overnight. Within one month, they turned around and launched Clickandcollection.com, a service allowing restaurants to manage online orders for meal kits and takeaway menus. Now joined by John O’Connor, they want to expand beyond their customer base of 250 businesses – including internationally. The three entrepreneurs join Thomas Hubert to discuss their experience and their plans.
When the economy went into lockdown last March, Kasia Gaborec-McEvoy was concerned Covid-19 could devastate My Name is Ted, the luxury leather accessories brand she established with her husband Brendan McEvoy four years ago. Instead, sales increased by 400% last year with consumers drawn to their high-end leather bags and wallets during 2020. In this podcast with Cáit Caden, Gaborec McEvoy, a law graduate, talks about the decision to leave a senior role at Ryanair to launch a luxury fashion brand in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, and explains how the company has built up a loyal clientele of lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs. Gaborec-McEvoy also talks about sustainable fashion, landing a coveted spot on the Brown Thomas annual Create showcase and the various supports available for female entrepreneurs. Having pivoted My Name is Ted fully online as a result of the crisis. She also reveals that the company is now preparing to raise external funding to drive future expansion.
What do you do when you have already built one global company? For David Walsh, the answer was straightforward: do it again. Walsh made his name and his money with Netwatch, the phenomenally successfully security monitoring company that employed 550 people monitoring 300,000 sites around the world. Having stepped back from day-to-day management of the business a year ago, he has now launched HaloCare, a health security business that aims to keep elderly people living independently in their homes for longer. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Walsh talks about his ambition of building another major business in his adopted home in Carlow, and why he expedited the roll-out of the business as a result of Covid-19. He also talks about the importance of innovation and culture within any business, how regional towns provide a competitive advantage, and why the government should change the rules around CGT and personal guarantees to promote entrepreneurship.
With Ticketshop, Tommy Higgins was a pioneer of the Irish ticket selling industry and an original backer of Riverdance. When he sold his business to global giant Ticketmaster, he became boss of their European operations. In this podcast with Sam Smyth, he talks about the “torture” of the various competition probes into the industry, the economics of entertainment and the so-called black market in tickets. He also speaks about building his business from scratch, explains why Croke Park is underutilised as a venue, and reveals what acts are guaranteed to draw the biggest crowds. Now retired, he talks about his new role chairing Sligo Rovers.
Oliver Callan is a comedian, a satirist, a voice-over artist, a columnist, a radio presenter and a Patrick Kavanagh enthusiast. But he is also a businessman who has built his own brand and negotiates his own deals. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, he explains why he is his own best agency, and why his diversification into multiple areas meant he was well buffered for the Covid crisis. Callan also speaks about why he focused on the niche of political satire, the role of comedy in a functioning democracy, and the impact of Ireland’s draconian libel laws on his content. Ahead of his end of the year TV show, he also speaks about the rise of Sinn Féin, the enigma of Leo Varadkar and why he will never bow to keyboard warriors.
We like to think of Ireland as a generous nation and most charities are now raising the bulk of their donations during the Christmas period. But new analysis by Benefacts shows that contributions from private individuals have been in decline for decades, while the exhaustion of Chuck Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies' funds has caused institutional giving to fall off a cliff. The organisation's managing director Patricia Quinn joins Thomas Hubert to discuss the findings with research co-authors Dr Oonagh Breen of UCD and Dr James Carroll of Trinity College.
In the middle of the pandemic, former journalist and twice start-up entrepreneur Mark Little raised another €1.6 million for his business Kinzen. In conversation with Sean Keyes, he explains the importance of combining machine learning with human editorial skills to tackle disinformation as it pops up in the most unexpected corners of the internet. They explore how his involvement in Kinzen resulted from a career in public service journalism, at his first company Storyful and as a senior manager at Twitter, where he learned the true meaning of leadership: "A manager walks into a room and everybody knows that person knows what they're doing. A leader walks into a room and everybody walks out going, 'I know what I'm doing'."
It's easier than ever to invest your own money. There's more information out there (like The Currency's new weekly investing email), and more products to help you do it. The promise of investing for yourself is that you can match the professionals, and save on fees. But what are the pitfalls? In this podcast, investing columnist John Looby and Sean Keyes, who writes our weekly investment email, talk about the most common categories of mistakes made by ordinary investors. They discuss investors' most common biases and blind spots, and show how to avoid them.
Chupi Sweetman founded her eponymous jewellery business Chupi at her kitchen table in 2013. Today, it has 45 staff, a flagship store in Dublin, and is exporting to 67 countries through its growing online platform. Within five years, Sweetman wants to double her staff numbers to 100 and open outlets in New York and London. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Sweetman talks about how she is creating a global brand from Dublin, and why Brexit prompted the company to pivot away from wholesale to a direct-to-consumer model. Sweetman argues that the future of retail is digital and that this has been accelerated by Covid-19. Having invested heavily in technology, she outlines how the company is embracing augmented reality and virtual reality to help provide customers with a better online shopping experience.
During his 14 years as editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber transformed the title from a niche printed publication to a global media organisation with digital at its core. Having stepped down last year, he has now published The Powerful and the Damned, an account of his tenure in charge. In this podcast with Sam Smyth, he talks about meeting the world’s most powerful leaders, transitioning the FT to a global audience and the future of media. He also reflects on Ireland’s boom and bust, Brexit and the rise of China.
What do Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Van Morrison, Michael O’Leary, Paddy McKillen, Gerry Adams and Peter Robinson all have in common? Answer: They have all been represented in libel cases by the Belfast lawyer Paul Tweed. In a podcast with Sam Smyth, Tweed talks about how he built his practice and his work defending the reputations of some the most famous and wealthy people in the world. Arguing that Irish defamation laws favour the rich, he says the system needs to be changed so that people without means defend their reputations. He also reveals how smear campaigns can often be designed to discredit a celebrity, and why he does not believe in the concept of libel tourism. Looking to the future, Tweed says the state needs to deal with the biggest threat of them all: social media giants.