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DSO News

Increase of 6pc in number of start-ups on 2016

July 11th, 2017

Almost 1,900 start-up companies were established on average each month in the first six months of 2017, an increase of 6pc compared to the same period in 2016.

The most popular sector for company start-ups was professional services, with almost 20pc of new companies operating in this area, according to research from business and credit risk analyst Vision-net.ie

This was followed by finance which saw an 18pc rise in start-ups in the six months to June 2017. Other sectors that performed well include social and personal services, construction, real estate, and agriculture.

In terms of the geographic location of the start-ups, Dublin proved to be the dominant area with almost one in two start-ups established in the capital region.

DC helping to inspire potential business owners to start-up

July 7th, 2017

STARTUP hub Republic of Work is running a 10-week video series of tips and advice from business owners in order to help inspire potential business owners to achieve their dreams.

The series will have a wide mix of individuals, from a range of backgrounds and businesses, talking about how they set up, kept going and persevered through rough patches.

The series will start with Ronan Murphy, CEO of Smarttech, followed by Jason Woodard, owner of Huckleberry Doughnuts, Jayne Ronayne, co-founder of KonnectAgain, Aidan Duke, owner of Dukes Coffee Company, Paul Prendergast, co-founder of Blink Innovation, Brendan Keary, dealer at Keary’s motor group, Jonathan Healy, broadcaster, Paul Moore, managing director of Rebel Chilli and Raluca Saceanu, marketing manager of Smarttech.

The series will culminate with Donal (DC) Cahalane speaking about why he set up Republic of Work and what he hopes to achieve.

Each clip is under six minutes long and will go live every Tuesday evening at 9pm.

Republic of Work Community Associate Linda Wright said they decided to run the series after meeting a range of passionate and determined individuals who were setting up their own businesses.

“The idea is to give these people the best information possible from people with experience in order to be well educated in how to succeed in business.

“It is all about sharing the knowledge and offering a helping hand.” Speaking about Republic of Work, Ms Wright said business is going well. “Things are great, we are very busy.

“We are hosting a lot of events here and workshops.

“We are not at full capacity yet, we are still taking in people, so it is worth mentioning the unlimited free coffee in the office!”

The video clips can be found on Republic of Work’s Facebook, Twitter social media accounts and their YouTube channel.

The start-ups that help start-ups get business going

July 3rd, 2017

More than 20,000 new companies were registered in Ireland last year.

While there’s no doubt that the new firms have a huge potential, many start-ups struggle with challenges around time, staffing and costs. Small business owners can certainly identify with these problems. Now some Irish startups are providing help for their fellow entrepreneurs and other small business owners.

Jenny Reynolds founded Topper with the aim of helping new sole traders.

The Topper app aims to simplify payments, bookings and management of customers. Ms Reynolds says the Hailo-style app is “like a mini system for a small business without the cost” because “when you’re a startup you’re very limited on resources and money and everything else.”

Ms Reynolds, who reached the national final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition earlier this year, says the transaction fee is less than that charged by PayPal. “They don’t have the time to be sitting at a desk making up invoices.

Topper will allow them to invoice people. All their marketing will be done because they’re gathering all their customer data as they pay. It just makes the sole trader really professional,” she says.

Getting their product or service in front of their target customer is a challenge for businesses. Popertee makes it simple for small firms to avail of “pop-ups”.

Founded by Lucinda Kelly, it has helped 60 pop-ups for a range of big brands and small businesses, including Volvo and Citroen, Irish accessories brand My Shining Armour, coeliac pop-up Un-Glued and Sweet Churro.

“The advantage of using a service like Popertee is that they can have a physical location without huge overheads,” says Ms Kelly, who likens Popertee to an Airbnb platform, matching brands with their ideal pop-up audience.

Popertee looks after the licencing agreement, estate agent, insurance and payments mans “makes it much easier than ever before for businesses to connect businesses directly with landlords,” Ms Kelly says.

Having an online presence is another challenge for small businesses. According to a recent survey, almost 20% of SMEs don’t have a website.

Another study by the IE Domain Registry found that SMEs without a website are missing out on €24,000 in annual sales, while three-quarters of consumers find it frustrating when they can’t find details about a local business online.

Mark Cummins, who is a co-founder of Pointy, which helps local businesses get found online, says there are barriers to a retailer getting online.

“You lay out a couple of grand on getting a web designer to make a website, but that’s just the start because then you have to list all your products and a retailer might have thousands of products, and they change all the time,” Mr Cummins says.

Pointy aims to get rid of that barrier, by helping small local businesses to maximise sales without having to spend a lot of money or time.

Retailers pay Pointy a once-off fee for a device that connects to the shop’s barcode scanner. It creates a web page for the store and automatically lists its products.

Customers can search using the Pointy app to show the nearest stores with the product they want in stock.

Mr Cummins, who previously worked for Google as a software engineer, says: “Our whole philosophy is to keep it very low effort for the retailer.” Pointy, which has 1,250 retailers on board, in every county in Ireland and 45 states in the US, employs 15 people at its Dublin office.

“It’s very easy for us to relate to the small businesses because we’re facing a lot of the same challenges,” Mr Cummins says.

“We’re small, and we’re trying to do everything with a limited number of people. We really understand the value of time and making some things more automated.”

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