Boss of firm with €35m sales to pitch in at entrepreneur event
All eyes will be on the skills of the world's best footballers this week when the World Cup kicks off, except for one entrepreneur.
Sligo-born George Mullan, founder of the SIS Group which has installed surfaces for some of the most renowned sports clubs worldwide, is more likely to be focused on the pitches.
The 52-year-old – whose manufacturing and construction firm is on target to hit a record €35m turnover this year – is among the key speakers at the four-day ICSB World Conference on Entrepreneurship which opens tomorrow in Dublin.
More than 800 delegates from over 60 countries will attend the event – co-hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology and Conference Partners – which will focus on entrepreneurship and sustainability.
"My message will be that we need indigenous entrepreneurs," he said, calling for entrepreneurship to be added as a Leaving Certificate subject.
"We are producing lots of reasonably educated people in subjects that really have no validity to business. If you want to create entrepreneurs you have to start young," he said.
"We need to be running parallel our own entrepreneurship programmes. I want entrepreneurship to be accepted in Ireland and the fact that if you fail it's not the end of the work."
Mr Mullan, who has offices in Europe, Asia and Africa, has just completed a pitch for Ajax Football Club in the Netherlands and for Spartak Moscow.
DIT Professor in Entrepreneurship, Thomas Cooney, said the conference in the Burlington Hotel includes a dedicated Entrepreneurs Day which has been "designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs" as well as cultural and tourism events for visitors and spouses.
The European Commission's deputy director general for education and training, Xavier Prats Monne, serial entrepreneur Raomal Perera, and Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey of Barefoot Wines, who co-authored a bestselling business paperback, are also among the conference key speakers.