Sunday 23 October 2016

Ditching the corporate life for African safaris - from West Cork

Published 10/08/2016 | 12:34

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What's it like to ditch the corporate life to strike out on your own? Mark Stratfold did just that when he decided to leave his job behind to set up Team Africa specialising in African safari trips.

Not only that, but he's doing it all from Skibbereen in west Cork where the opening of the gigabit digital hub, the Ludgate centre, is enticing entrepreneurs from all over the world to set up business in this rural part of Ireland.

“I was inspired by a somone who gave a talk in my work and they had up a coffee shop chain.  They had made that leap and did it,” explains Stratfold. 

“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.  There is always the corporate world to go back to but I wouldn’t change a thing.  It is difficult but that’s life, it’s worse to say you’ve never tried it.  There’s no such thing as instant success but if you work hard enough you can do it.”

Also on the show, an extended interview with Sean O'Driscoll, President of the Glen Dimplex Group, a west Cork native, and a key driver behind the introduction of gigabit broadband speeds to Skibbereen.

“There are 200,000 jobs to be created by 2020 with 135,000 of those in rural Ireland and Skibbereen and Ludgate is the template for how it can be done and we did it without one euro of state funding,” says O’Driscoll. 

“We have done our part and can now turn to the government and say, ‘there’s the model and template’.  There’s no reason why the IDA can’t have Skibbereen on their list for investors in Ireland in the digital world.  There is no reason why the next Google can’t be based in Skibbereen.”

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available every Thursday via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and Or subscribe to the RSS feed of the Ready Business Podcast using your favourite podcatcher.

You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.

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