Boutique estate agent becomes hot property with 'the Three Ps - preparation, presentation and price'
Set up in 2012 by Rowena Quinn and Stephen McCarthy, Hunters Estate Agents is now one of the fastest-growing estate agencies in the country.
Set up in 2012 by Rowena Quinn and Stephen McCarthy, Hunters Estate Agents is now one of the fastest-growing estate agencies in the country.
The Dooley Insurance Group was set up by Tim Dooley in 2002, who has gone on to acquire a number of similar broker firms - putting him among the top 3pc of brokers in the country. Located in Millennium Park, in Naas, Co Kildare, and with 12 full-time staff, the company has an annual...
'We enable our client companies to scale their businesses by harnessing the power of technology."
This year Paul Dromgoole, his wife Angie and his brother Richard will celebrate 25 years in the hairdressing business. With three salons in Dublin - South William Street, Sandymount Road, and...
Located near the village of Caragh in Co Kildare, Caragh Nurseries is run by husband and wife team Ian and Jo McGarry. Set up in 2004 and spanning 55 acres, the company employs six staff and has an annual turnover of €1.5m.
TerminalFour is a specialist digital marketing and web content management company used by some of the top universities and third level colleges around the world. Set up in 1997 by Dublin man, Piero Tintori while still in college, the business is headquartered on Amiens Street in Dublin and has offices in the UK, USA and Australia. Today the company employs 72 staff and has an annual turnover of more than €10m.
Cora Systems is a global software company set up in 1999 by Philip Martin and wife AnnMarie Burke. Headquartered in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, and with regional offices in London and Boston, the company employs 57 staff and has an annual turnover of €5.5m.
Set up by Niall Reck in 2000 and with offices in Wexford and Kildare, leading digital design company Graphedia employs four staff and has annual revenues of almost €500,000. While it's in a competitive environment where technology is constantly developing, the company has managed to carve out a successful niche for itself in the areas of web design, graphic design, app development and digital animation.
Orca Financial was set up in 2004 by John Molloy and Stephen Byrne. Headquartered in The Grange Offices, on the Stillorgan Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin and with a second office in Portlaoise, Co Laois, the company employs 11 staff and this year will see their turnover reach close to €1.5m
Earth's Edge is Ireland's only fully-licensed adventure travel company and specialises in taking clients on adventure holidays and expeditions across the globe. Set up in 2007 by experienced adventurer James McManus and his wife Rosie and located in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, the company employs six staff and has an annual turnover of €1.5m.
Dental Tech was set up by Brian Mahon and his wife Mary in 1993 and today is run by their daughter Bevin Mahon. Headquartered in Terenure, Dublin and with clinics in Waterford, Wexford, Kildare, Cork, Galway and Carlow, the company employs 24 staff and six contractors and this year turnover will reach €2m.
In an age of social media and selfies, the pressure on women to look their best has never been greater. Advances in surgical and cosmetic procedures makes access to treatments more available to women of all ages. Mother and daughter Ailish Kelly and Niamh Murdock have...
Ovvo co-founder and CEO Brendan Phillips explains it simply: "The OVVO Connection system is a unique, patented solution that allows two pieces of material, mostly furniture, to join together invisibly without the use of tools, glues or screws."
Our physical environments "really do affect our moods and how we live and work," says Roisin Lafferty, co-founder and managing director of Kingston Lafferty Design. Set up in 2010 and based in Eastmoreland Lane, Dublin 4, the company provides professional interior architecture and interior design services to both the commercial and residential sectors.
Located in the Greenogue Business Park in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, Sprint Print was set up by Gerry Kelly and David O'Neill in 2012 after the printing company where they both worked, closed down. Today they employ three staff and have an annual turnover of €700,000.
Deciding to launch a new business can be daunting, let alone launching one in a sector dominated by large global competitors. Project management software and consulting firm Aspira has done just that and is now on its own journey towards internationalisation.
The downturn in the construction sector from 2007 onwards led to the demise of many businesses involved in the area of interior design and furniture manufacture. However, Ventura - led by Arlene McIntyre and Juergen Riedel - developed a business model that has seen them continue to grow and thrive.
Set up in 2011 by pharmacist Brian O'Donoghue, Virginia Medical Supplies manufactures and distributes blister packs that make it easy for patients to take the right doses of the right medicines at the right time. Located in Virginia in Co Cavan, the company employs 15 staff and has an annual turnover of more than €2.8m.
Pure Telecom is a wholly owned Irish telecoms company that provides fixed line, broadband and cloud telecoms to the business and consumer markets. Set up in 2002 by Paul Connell and Alan McGonnell and located in City West Business Campus, the company employs 100 staff and has annual revenues of more than €20m.
Anyone who has ever had a requirement to work at height will be familiar with Height for Hire. Set up by Harry McArdle in 1978, Height for Hire has been to the fore in its sector for almost 40 years. Today the business is run by Harry's children, managing director Fergus and operations director Frances.
The Smart Group is a specialist in providing marketing services to firms involved in everything from retail and pharma to technology and government services. Set up in 2009 by Tipperary man Tom Ryan, the company - which is headquartered in Nenagh but has offices in Dublin - employs 18 staff and has an annual turnover of more than €3m.
Most entrepreneurs around the world set up their businesses not just to make money but to make a difference. That's certainly what motivated Dr Mark Barrett and Professor Brian Glennon to set up pharmaceutical and biotech research and development firm APC Ltd.
Pax Financial Planning was set up by Dubliner Paul Merriman in 2011 to provide a fresh approach to financial planning products and services. Headquartered in Sandyford and with offices in Limerick and Cork, he now employs 18 staff and this year, will see his company's annual turnover reach €1.4m.
Set up in 1995 by husband-and-wife team, Paul and Aisling Connolly, Motivation Weight Management operates 26 weight-management clinics throughout Ireland. Ten of the clinics are owned and run by the company while the remainder are run by franchisees. Together, they employ 110 staff and have an annual turnover of more than €6m.
Home fragrance specialist Max Benjamin was set up in 2007 by siblings Orla, David and Mark Van den Bergh. Located in the picturesque Wicklow Mountains just outside the village of Enniskerry, the company employs 12 staff and is on target to see annual revenues reach €5m this year.
Irish medtech company Diaceutics was set up in 2005 by Peter Keeling. Based in the Regional Development Centre on the campus of the Institute of Technology in Dundalk, Co Louth and with offices in Belfast and New Jersey in the US, the company employs 55 staff and has an annual turnover of €9m.
Broghies Ireland, based in Kildare town and Rathcoole, produces an eponymous low-calorie health food snack. Set up in 2016 by Martin Walsh, Damien Carroll and Ronan Keher, the company employs 15 staff and with sales on the rise, annual turnover looks set to hit €2.7m over the next 12 months.
Ireland has a great reputation for the quality and friendliness of our hotels and none more so than the iconic Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel located in Killiney, in South Dublin. Sitting on a hill overlooking the picturesque heritage village of Dalkey, it is a wonderful example of traditional Irish hospitality mixed with all the charm of an original castle setting.
Parents of young children in particular, will be familiar with the Irish Fairy Door Company. Set up in 2013, by two couples - Niamh Sherwin Barry and Oisin Barry and Aoife and Gavin Lawler - the company employs 15 staff and has an annual turnover of more than €3m.
Set up in 2010 by beauty therapist and salon owner Noelle O'Connor, TanOrganic manufactures the only eco-certified organic self-tanning brand in the world. Based in Newbridge, Co Kildare, the company employs 12 staff and this year is on target to reach sales of €2m. "Our suite of products includes a self-tanning oil, mousse and lotion as well as a facial serum and dry oil moisturiser.
Set up in 2014 by Colm Daly, Simon Murphy and Richard Boland, HomeSecure is a relative newcomer to the home alarm monitoring sector. On track to reach 10,000 customers this year, they are already making their mark in a sector that has long been dominated by one large player. Based in Rathfarnham they employ 26 staff and have an annual turnover of more than €4.5m.
Set up in 2001 by Michael Kelly, Glandore has grown to become a leading provider of flexible workspace solutions. With six locations, four in Dublin and two in Belfast, the company now provides over 1,600 desk spaces - 1,000 in Dublin and 600 in Belfast - employs 60 staff and has an annual turnover of more than €12m.
Garry McMahon set up his own business in 2004 to service the linen needs of the hospitality sector. Today, his company, Linen Direct, based in the M1 Business Park, Balbriggan, in North Co Dublin, employs nine staff and has an annual turnover of more than €5m.
Siobhan Byrne Learat and her husband, Kasao, run Adams & Butler, a privately-owned travel company that organises high-end customised travel for the super rich and those looking for unique cultural experiences worldwide. Set up in 2003, the company employs 12 full-time staff and this year turnover will reach €5m.
Having set up Bear Market Coffee in 2014, former architects and husband and wife team Stephen and Ruth Deasy have already established themselves as a recognised brand in what is a growing yet highly competitive coffee marketplace. With shops in Blackrock Village, the IFSC and George's Court on Townsend Street, they now employ 14 staff and have an annual turnover in excess of €1m.
Anne Fanthom is managing director of RecruitmentPlus - a specialist recruitment company which she founded in 1999.
Michael O'Dwyer set up SwiftComply in 2016 along with co-founders, Lindsey Nguyen and David Gibbons. With eight full-time staff and an expected annual turnover this year of more than €1m, their online compliance business is creating quite a stir both here and in the US.
The challenge for most people wishing to set up their own business is coming up with an idea they feel passionate about and enjoy doing. For many, the ideal would be to turn their hobby into a business. This week I met Terenure-based, Sonya Murphy-Lyons who has succeeded in doing just that. Today, she runs Mezzo Music Academy and makes a living from her love of playing and teaching music.
Samuel Dennigan may only have set up his frozen food company, Strong Roots, in 2015 but already he has succeeded in breaking into the Irish, Northern Ireland, UK and Middle Eastern markets.
Most companies insist that their staff are their most important asset. However, for employers, paying staff has become more complex than ever before due to a lengthening increasing list of employer obligations and ever-changing entitlements for employees. In such circumstances, remaining compliant is a constant challenge for many businesses. This week, I talk to Anne Reilly of PaycheckPlus, one of Ireland’s most successful payroll outsourcing companies.
Ash Technologies in Naas, Co Kildare was co-founded in 1994 by Hugh Maguire to design and manufacture a range of electronic magnifiers for people with visual impairment. When that market became overly competitive, Hugh decided to pivot the business.
Kildare businesswomen Sue Dempsey and Fiona Craul make it easy for clients to source products from international factories by offering a fully-managed service that includes everything from initial product design to identifying the most suitable manufacturers.
The challenge: Looking to markets outside of Ireland has never been more important for Irish companies. However, firms often don't know where to begin when making that all-important first step into a new market. It may be worth investing even a small amount of capital in a new location in order to fully assess potential. I spoke to David Douglas from digital agency Ebow about how...
Former home economics teacher Eileen O'Connor left her teaching job and now runs a unique business providing catering to private jets and bespoke corporate events. Set up in 2000 and located in Ballycoolin in Dublin 15, Café Riva now employs 12 staff and has an annual turnover of over €1.5m.
In recent years, the growing demand for fun ways to get fit and stay active has led to an explosion in the number of people taking part in running and cycling activities as well as duathons, triathlons and even extreme adventure sports. This week I caught up with Peadar Niland, co-founder and managing director of Alive Outside, Ireland's largest outdoor sports events company. Set up in 2010, by Peadar and co-founders Aidan Walsh, Simon Bewley and Craig Bewley, the business employs 10 staff, five full-time and five part-time and has an annual turnover of more than €1m.
If you are one of those people who love stories about heroes and heroines who put setbacks behind them in order to push through to success, then you'll be inspired by Sara Mitchell and her husband, Gavin McCarthy. Finding themselves out of work in 2008, this enterprising couple spent what little savings they had starting a new business roasting free-range meats.
Our face and particularly our smile, is usually what others notice when meeting us for the first time. This includes the shape, colour and straightness of our teeth.
Between indigenous Irish firms in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech sectors and those international companies that have chosen to locate here, Ireland has now become recognised as a global centre of excellence for life sciences. For a small country like ours, it is hard to believe that 18 of the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies now have substantial operations here and that six of the world's top 10 best-selling pharmaceutical products are exclusively produced here. With 50,000 people employed directly in the sector and exports of over €45bn each year, Ireland has now...
The world of work has changed dramatically in recent years, driven in no small measure by advances in technology and the rise in globalisation. Traditional hierarchical structures have also changed. Once dominated by now outdated control and command regimes, these have largely been replaced with flatter, more flexible, structures where managers seek to maximise employee engagement and retention.
We often assume that to be successful in business, a person has to come up with a totally new idea -something that has never been tried before. The truth, however, is that many great businesses are built on taking existing ideas and adding some new or innovative twist.
Most successful entrepreneurs endeavour to set up businesses in markets where the opportunities are extensive and where there exists the possibility of disrupting the status quo. This week's entrepreneur, John Moore, whose company, 3D4Medical, develops revolutionary medical software applications, has succeeded in accomplishing both of these objectives.
Flahavan's porridge oats have been a favourite among Irish consumers for generations. In business for over 230 years, the company's reputation today is stronger than ever with more than two million servings consumed each week around the world.
After entrepreneur Robert Hallam was forced to close his previous business, following the collapse of Ireland's construction sector, he reinvented himself - and this time he's on a personal mission.
One of the most challenging aspects of running any business is understanding how best to promote your company's brand and clearly communicate your message to your target audience. In today's fast-moving world of social and digital media, this has become more complex than ever before.
One of my fondest memories as a child was spending my summer holidays visiting my uncles' farm near Ballybofey, in Co Donegal. Our Saturday evening treat was fish and chips in the local Navenny Grill washed down by a bottle of Mulrines orange. So it was with great delight I returned to Ballybofey recently to meet the Chairman of Mulrines, Peter Mulrine. The third generation of Mulrines to run the family business.
The start of New Year is a time when many people take stock of their lives and, in particular, their career choices. They ask important questions as to whether they are in the right job or even the right sector. For those who feel unfulfilled, it's the perfect time to set new objectives and hatch new plans for moving into a new career that better matches their true potential.
Not very long ago, having a fax machine was seen as being ahead of the curve when it came to using technology in business. Today, faxes have largely been replaced by photocopiers with integrated scanners that speed up the transfer of documents while eliminating waste and reducing costs.
Its official, Donegal is now the coolest place on the planet. That's according to National Geographic Traveller. Earlier this week, the iconic magazine put Co Donegal at the top of its annual roll call of the top 17 places to visit in the world during 2017. It's a well-deserved accolade, the beauty of the county - with its rolling green hills, rugged coastline and unspoilt beaches - is dwarfed only by the warmth and friendliness of its people.
Modern commercial and industrial buildings have become more intelligent than ever with computer-based systems now controlling everything from heating and cooling to hot water and ventilation. Not only do these complex systems require expertise in their design and installation, they also require highly skilled staff to maintain and service them. Such advances have given rise to a range of engineering firms that specialise in this area. Among them is Dublin-based Masterair. With its office in Whitestown Business Park, in Tallaght, the company employs 40 staff and has an annual turnover...
The Irish mushroom industry is now a major contributor to the Irish economy, employing more than 3,000 people. Earlier this week, I caught up with Leslie Codd, managing director of Codd Mushrooms in Carlow to learn about his business. Set up in 1989 and located on the family's farm outside Tullow, the company employs 225 staff and has an annual turnover of approximately €20m.
The cry regularly heard from homeowners these days is that there is never enough storage space. Irrespective of the size, or the type of houses we live in, there just never seems to be enough space to store the volume of stuff we accumulate. From clothes and shoes, to books and DIY tools, we all long for somewhere to put them that is accessible yet out of sight.
The buzzword in business these days is undoubtedly Big Data. From our PCs and laptops to mobile phones, social media messages and digital pictures, each of us is generating huge amounts of data on a daily basis. So much so it is estimated that 90pc of all the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone. The challenge facing most businesses is how to capture the data that is being generated by their customers and analyse it in such a way as to help predict market trends, spot emerging opportunities and find new and better ways of doing business.
The healthcare sector is constantly in the news and very often for the wrong reasons. From long waiting lists and chronic bed shortages, to trolleys in corridors, the demand for more and better services in our hospitals continues.
From sending and receiving emails to storing and protecting information, IT is now at the heart of almost everything we do. IT equipment, systems and services now underpin almost every modern business function.
From the way we learn to the way we communicate, technology is redefining life as we know it. In business too, entire industries are being disrupted and reshaped. And it appears that no sector is safe. This week I met up with serial entrepreneur Brendan Kavanagh, whose company is about to become the next big disruptor, this time in the recruitment and training sector.
A smile is a type of universal language we all understand no matter where in the world we come from. By simply smiling, we can light up our entire demeanour and quickly convey a sense of confidence to those around us. However, for some people who have lost teeth or have ill-fitting dentures, smiling can be difficult. Self-conscious, they try hard not to smile or cover their mouths with hands when they do. That is until now. Advances in dentistry and particularly the development of implants has now made it possible for almost anyone, irrespective of how long their teeth are...
Getting your first bicycle as a child is one of those wonderful milestones in life that most of us never forget.
For generations, the humble egg has served us well. While in the past, the production of eggs was seen as supplementary to a farm's main source of income, today it has developed in a sophisticated and highly regulated industry.
Most entrepreneurs have a curious mind. While most people tend to complain about everyday problems, entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have a tendency to view these as opportunities or challenges that merely require solutions. Such ingenuity is at the heart of many successful businesses and this week's entrepreneurs certainly meet that criteria.
Most businesses, irrespective of the sector they operate in, have one challenge in common; how best to build and communicate their brand to existing and potential customers. In the past, such branding focused largely on coming up with a catchy name and a recognisable logo.
In recent years, the growing trend to eat healthily has led retail stores and restaurants everywhere to offer more choice and versatility when it comes to healthy food options. In turn, this has led to an increased demand for freshly grown greens and vegetables - welcome news for farmers and those involved in growing and processing such crops.
The success of almost every business in the world depends on their ability to attract the right staff. And while finding good staff can be challenging, holding on to them can often be equally as difficult.
Every week I get to meet amazing entrepreneurs. I get to hear their stories, their triumphs - and often, more importantly, their challenges. Through these articles, I get to share the lessons these brave and inspiring individuals have learned in the hope that their stories will serve as a beacon of encouragement to other business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.
Given the wide range of chemical-type products on the market today, many businesses and organisations find themselves being required to handle a variety of potentially hazardous materials on a daily basis.
Located in the heart of Kerry, the market town of Castleisland is renowned for the width of its main street. In fact, it has the second widest main street of any town or city in Ireland - second only to Dublin's O'Connell Street.
The custom of sending greeting cards dates to ancient China where people first began to exchange messages of good will to celebrate the New Year.
Last week I took the N11 south to Wexford and met one of Ireland's most enterprising families. Located in Camolin, Co Wexford, Michael Nolan and two of his daughters run not just one, but two successful businesses.
Improved living conditions and advances in medicine mean we now see many more birthdays than our ancestors could ever have imagined.
The tradition where married couples receive particular types of gifts, depending on the length of their time together, is a practice that first began in Central Europe as far back as the Middle Ages.
Managing waste has become an ongoing challenge for most businesses today, partic- ularly those in the food, retail and hospitality sectors.
Most business owners and managers will tell you that staff training and development are essential to achieving success in their businesses. Most will also acknowledge that in tough times, these are often the very first budgets that are cut.
At this time of year, with so many people gearing up to go on their summer holidays, I decided to visit Cork based, travel and tour organiser, Michael Doorley, of Shandon Travel, to see what life is like on the other side of the travel counter.
To most of us who live here - and to the millions of tourists who visit us each year - Ireland is most definitely a country of great natural beauty. From our towns and villages, to our rolling green hills and beautiful sandy beaches, there's something natural and unspoilt about this land we live in. Add to this the quality of our food, the uniqueness of our culture, and the warmth and friendliness of our people and it's easy to see why tourism plays such an important role in Ireland's economic future.
The issue of how products are labelled has become increasingly important and more sophisticated in recent years. Not just because good labelling helps with branding and encouraging consumers to buy one product over another, but because a whole raft of legislation now requires that manufacturers provide information to potential customers on everything from ingredients and the 'best before' dates, to how to use a product properly. Professional labelling, therefore, is no longer a luxury but an essential part of any production or marketing process.
It's almost impossible nowadays to turn on your TV without coming across a programme about building or remodelling your home. We can now watch as great design ideas come to life before our eyes. Each stage of the process layers upon the last - culminating in the creation of the most attractive of living environments. Central to each, is a blend of carefully selected colours. Neither too bland nor too stark, these come together to create just the right mood to match each space.
The long-standing model of car ownership has always seemed fairly straightforward. You buy or lease a new or used car. You own it, tax it and insure it. You are responsible for servicing it, repairing it and making sure it remains roadworthy.
Today's emergency services play a critical role in our communities. Whether the ambulance service, fire brigade or the coastguard, these organisations act as the first responders in all manner of accidents and emergencies.
From exotic spas and professional hair and beauty salons to dedicated beauty counters in department stores, it has never been easier to look and feel good.
Ireland's meat and livestock sector now accounts for close to 40pc of our gross agricultural output and nearly 30pc of all food and drink exports. With some 10,000 people employed directly in the sector and as many more in indirect employment, the industry is one of the most important for our economy.
Once the preserve of large corporations, Enterprise Resource Planning - or ERP software - has now become an important tool for many small and medium-sized enterprises.
During the early to mid-2000s, the boom in the construction sector brought many welcome benefits - particularly to the thousands of people seeking houses for themselves and their families. Similarly, the explosion in the availability of new office, production and retail space helped support the growth in the number of indigenous and foreign owned companies setting up around the country.
Whiskey, which takes its name from the Gaelic uisce beatha - or 'water of life' - has been produced in Ireland since at least the sixth century.
If you have ever received a bill from your mobile-phone provider or utility company which you didn't fully understand, then this week's story will help make you feel like you are not alone.
Tucked away in a small manufacturing facility in the Kylemore Park North industrial estate of west Dublin is a company that few members of the general public will ever have heard off. Yet most of us will see or touch their products on a daily basis.
In recent years, the prevalence of counterfeit drugs has become a huge global problem, estimated to be worth billions of euro in value. Interpol and others estimate that as many as half-a-million to a million people die each year from taking counterfeit drugs, the majority coming from the poorer or developing regions of the world.
Working for yourself has many attractions. You get to be your own boss; you decide how hard you work, what risks you are willing to take and how you want to spend your time.
While every business industry has experienced change in recent years, much of it as a result of advances in technology, one in particular has been affected more than most - the taxi industry. It is not very long ago when most of us will remember that getting a taxi involved standing on the street corner, often in the rain, in the hope of hailing a passing cab. Today, however, with the emergence of names such as Hailo and Uber, we, as users, can now access a taxi from anywhere using an app on our mobile phones. Drivers who are registered show up on our app along with...
Have you noticed recently while watching your favourite soccer, rugby or American football team, that many players are now wearing a small device that bulges unobtrusively through the back of their jerseys at a point usually in the middle of their shoulder blades?
Travelling throughout Ireland as part of writing these articles, I am always delighted when I come across small and medium-sized businesses whose founders, through initiative, risk-taking and incredible hard work, have managed to create not just a successful business for themselves but much-needed employment in their local communities. That's why I often refer to these entrepreneurs as our unsung heroes. This week's entrepreneur is one such example.
For decades now, IDA Ireland and organisations such as Connect Ireland have been pursuing a well-planned and effective strategy of attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland.
Former accountant Ian Harkin sold his house to realise his dream of developing educational dolls and toys.
It's scientifically proven that being outdoors is good for our health. Studies show that spending just 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature improves our vitality, strengthens our immune system, and increases our enthusiasm for life. In recent years, having an attractively landscaped garden and a neatly manicured lawn has become somewhat of a standard for many home-owners. And while some people love to spend time gardening, planting, pruning or cutting their grass, others are happy to outsource the work to a professional contractor with specialist knowledge - and equipment.
In recent years, Ireland has developed quite a reputation as a hot spot for developing animation and children's entertainment. And as many parents of young children will testify, such entertainment - whether it be TV shows, books, toys or games - can be a valuable tool in occupying children in the early morning as they try to get them to eat their breakfast or to help them wind down in the evenings before bed. Parents often find that such entertainment helps children learn new concepts, stimulates their imagination and supports the expansion of their vocabulary.
Given the complex and ever changing environment in which businesses operate, longevity must be a fair indication of just how good they are at what they do. For that reason, this week's company JJ O'Toole Ltd must surely be doing something right.
The success of most businesses largely comes from their ability to solve problems for their customers. This week's company is no exception.
Ireland has an enviable reputation for the quality of our food and drinks sector. With a turnover of approximately €26bn and employing more than 230,000 people, this is Ireland's most important indigenous industry. In almost every town and village, small and medium sized firms are busily beavering away producing all manner of products for both the local and export markets.
With more and more consumers becoming concerned about protecting our environment, the market for environmentally friendly products has grown steadily in recent years.
The huge growth in the use of computers and the internet in recent years has brought with it many distinct benefits and advantages. However, such technological advances bring with them increased risks and dangers as to the security of all this information.
For most of us in the developed world, mobile phones have become a part of everyday life.
Very often what interests me most about interviewing successful entrepreneurs is not so much what they do but why they do it.
Darragh Richardson never set out to be an entrepreneur. His ambition was to climb the corporate ladder at a large corporate firm. Based abroad since finishing college, his dream was realised when he was invited to return home to head up the Irish operation of a multinational company with which he was working. However, that dream was soon cut short when the company, which was struggling to survive here, decided to pull out of Ireland.
When distilled right down, the purpose of most businesses is to help meet the needs of others. Nowhere is this more evident than with this week's entrepreneurial duo, husband and wife team John and Norma O'Neill. Together, they run O Neill Healthcare.
Ann Rudden's dream of having her own business started earlier than most other entrepreneurs. In fact, she was just nine years old when she decided that she wanted to be in business for herself. Today, she runs one of Ireland's leading artisan chocolate companies, Aine Hand Made Chocolate. And this year, after 15 years in business, she will see her turnover cross the €1m mark for the first time. Hers is a story about hard work, innovation and quality. But above all, her story is about passion and about the total and all-consuming love she has for what she does.