Enterprising Monaghan – Welcomes Ulster Scots Agency Board to M:Tek

The Monaghan County Enterprise Board (T/A Enterprising Monaghan) were delighted to recently host a Board Meeting of the cross border Ulster Scots Agency at their M:Tek building in Monaghan Town. The Agency was set up under the auspices of the Good Friday Agreement representing the Ulster Scots community throughout Ireland. After their Board meeting in Enterprising Monaghan’s M:Tek centre the Agency’s Board members met with senior council officials for a tour of the County Museum and the proposed Peace Campus in Monaghan Town.

5 Minutes With… Noel Kellett, Computershare

Leading global financial administration firm, Computershare, has clocked up over ten years at M:TEK. Software development manager, Noel Kellett, tells us how the company has benefitted from Monaghan’s huge talent pool and that they are excited to be further growing their business here.

What does Computershare do?
Computershare is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialise in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.

How many staff does the company employ?
We have 30 staff members in Monaghan, 80 in Ireland and 16,000 in total worldwide.

When was the company established?
We were founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 1978, and have been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since 1994. Computershare has had a presence at the M:TEK for over a decade.

Why did you choose Monaghan as a business location?
Monaghan has a huge talent pool, and we’ve benefited a great deal from the skills available locally.

What is it like working in M:TEK?
M:TEK provides great facilities for our staff members, including onsite bike storage and showers for those who cycle to work. The building management team are always happy to help out and solve any issues, and it’s a really friendly place to work and visit.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
We are continuing to invest in the office at M:TEK and have a number of open positions. We are looking at around a 10% increase in headcount, so exciting times are ahead!

Visit computershare.com/ie 

5 Minutes With… Gordon MacArdle, Rocas Training & Business Development

5 Minutes With… Gordon MacArdle, Rocas Training & Business Development

The C:TEK building in Carrickmacross is home to a diverse range of businesses, from hot-deskers to established companies with multiple locations. C:TEK tenant and owner of Rocas Training & Business Development, Gordon MacArdle, talks of the company’s expansion into the UK market, and tells us what makes Carrickmacross an attractive business location.

Moussa and Gordon, Rocas Training & Business Development

What does Rocas Training & Business Development do?
We are a Business Training and Management Consultancy specialising in Sales, Marketing and Business Growth.

Whatever stage the business is at, be it Start-up or established, we put in place strategic plans to help businesses grow.
Since starting in 2015, we have successfully worked with many businesses, assisting over 60 Start-ups and working with many Developing Businesses on Expansion plans. We have also dealt with large projects putting in place business development programs that have lead to significant business growth.
Our approach is a practical one. We not only put the processes in place, we also work on a practical level with the people in the organisation to help deliver the results. Behind everything we do is our focus on training people so that when we have completed our work, there are people in place who can continue with the new way of working & deliver results in the future.
In 2017, we established a Digital Marketing service, offering Web Design, SEO, Social Media Marketing and Web Analytics to our clients.
When was the business established? 
April 2015
Why did you choose Carrickmacross?
Apart from being my home town, I was born and raised here and moved back full-time in 2010, Carrick is a great business town. The town is always busy and has a reputation for being a busy market town. The Chamber of Commerce are very active and there is a great business feel around Carrick.
What’s the best thing about being located in Carrickmacross?
We are almost right in the middle between Dublin and Belfast. From the office, the airport is a 50 minute drive. We have lots of potential business on our doorstep, Monaghan is a very enterprising county. We are also close to Cavan, Navan, Dundalk and Drogheda, all big towns with lots of business potential.
What is it like working in C:TEK?
C:TEK is great, it’s modern, clean and professional. There are other great businesses located here. A good friend, Dominick Treanor is across the hall and I can pop up to [fellow C:TEK tenant] Niall Carolan for a chat (or an argument) about Football.
What are your company’s plans for the future?
We are focusing on growing our client base at the minute, both for Training and Consultancy. We are also putting a big effort into growing our Digital Marketing business. We are researching the best methods and working a lot with Digital Marketing experts to make our methods more effective. Our plans are to expand our Training Business and hire more Trainers in 2019 and we are looking at exporting our Digital expertise to the UK. We have recently started working for clients in London and plan to expand on that.
Find out more at Rocas.ie

Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs in Monaghan

In recognition of National Women’s Enterprise Day, we take a look at some of County Monaghan’s most promising female-led start-ups:

Storming the international online beauty retail sector, Cloud10beauty.com was set up by Monaghan native, Blanaid Johnson. The Castleblayney-based company employs fifteen full-time staff and ships to over 40 countries from its state-of-the-art HQ.

Eavan Rooney, founded Thrive Occupational Therapy in 2014. A specialist paediatric consultancy, Thrive serves children from all around Ireland from its Clones Business Technology Park base. Its custom-built clinic offers access to individual assessment or therapeutic intervention as well as education and training services from a highly specialised paediatric occupational therapy team.

Avail Support provides life-changing software, enabling people with autism and intellectual disabilities to lead more independent lives. The company was set up in 2015 by Lisa Marie Clinton, a former regional winner in
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition. From a hot-desk in C:TEK, the company has grown to a team of seven, having signed up eight organisations in Canada earlier this year.

Family-run food business, Baked With Love, is run by Mila Khokha. The company recently expanded into a 500-sqm facility in Monaghan Town and secured a contract to supply Lidl Stores throughout Ireland

Adrienne McGuinness is co-owner of the Nest Box Egg Company, which produces over 3.5 million eggs per week from free-range hens. The company exports to international markets including the Middle East and was recently shortlisted for a National Organic Food Award for its Golden Irish Egg brand.

Speak to Enterprising Monaghan to find out more about supports available for starting your Monaghan business.

Border Bizcamp… What to Expect

Border Bizcamp is back, and attendees can once again expect a day jam-packed with positivity and business inspiration.

Whether you are in business in Monaghan or elsewhere, or thinking about setting up a business, there is something for everyone in the varied programme of talks.

Keynote speakers this year include journalist Vincent Browne, who will be speaking about how business success is always a collaborative endeavour; and Monaghan native, banker-turned-business coach John McCormick, who was recently appointed a non-executive director of the National Bank of Greece.

The remaining 18 talks are split across three themes with three talks taking place at any one time, giving you the chance to hear 8 speakers in total, including the two keynote talks. View the full lineup and schedule of talks here. This year’s themes are:

Once Upon a Time, a series of inspirational stories from business owners such as: Paddy Matthews from Matthews Coaches, whose coach hire company has grown from a second-hand 16-seater minibus to one of the biggest fleets in Ireland; and Eavan Rooney, founder of Thrive Occupational Therapy, a specialist paediatric consultancy which serves children from all around Ireland from its Clones Business Technology Park base.

Into the Future, examines future trends, growth possibilities, directions, opportunities and business ideas. Aidan McKenna, regional director for Enterprise Ireland imparts his own experience of cracking the US and Middle Eastern markets whilst at Combilift. Monaghan student, Paul McPhillips, will talk about reaching the finals of the Student Enterprise Programme earlier this year, with his concept, Freeflow Bunkers. The Digital Bakery founder, Gwen Noone, is to discuss future trends in social media and how to stay ahead of the curve.

Mind People, Mind Yourself promises to arm you with the practical tools, techniques and how-tos, focused on you, to make your business even better. Talks cover a diverse range of topics, from stress management and how to create a happier workplace, to harnessing diversity in organisations.

Border Bizcamp takes place at Monaghan Institute on Saturday 22ndSeptember. The day-long event is free to attend and includes refreshments and lunch. Pick up your ticket here.

Taste of Monaghan: Food Businesses to Watch

Hot on the heels of foodie destination success, where Monaghan and Glaslough placed fifth in a list of the top culinary destinations in Ireland – the county’s highest ever placing, comes Taste of Monaghan 2018. The event runs 28-30 September and will showcase the very best that food businesses in Monaghan have to offer.

Monaghan is home to world-famous produce, from duck to mushrooms, pork, poultry and so much more. Here are some of the Monaghan food businesses to watch among this year’s exhibitors:

Rucksnacks used the state-of-the-art incubator kitchen facility at the Ballybay Enterprise Park to develop their protein-packed beef bites, which are on sale at SuperValu stores and at gyms throughout the county – soon to be available nationwide. Founder, Colm Connolly, came up with the idea of turning the beef, which his family had farmed for five generations previously, into a healthy on-the-go snack.

Baked With Love recently secured a nationwide contract to supply Lidl stores throughout Ireland. The family-run food business expanded to a dedicated 500-sqm facility last year, and now boasts a separate gluten-free bakery in additional to its regular production facilities.

Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen is up for ‘best emerging franchise’ at the upcoming Irish Franchise Awards 2018/19. Seany and Nikita set up their Tex-Mex food truck business after four years eating their way around the world. The duo spotted a gap in the market for good quality private catering, as well as “food trucks people were not afraid to eat from”, and soon turned their passion for Mexican food into a thriving business.

Seany and Nikita of Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen – Best Emerging Franchise Nominees

Dairy farmer Seamus McMahon’s response to a slump in milk prices was to turn disused sheds on his property into a microbrewery. In addition to managing the dairy, which supplies the cream to make Bailey’s, Brehon Brewhouse’s beers are supped in bars up and down the country. The company is now eyeing expansion into the US, where the thirst for craft beer is growing exponentially.

Chef Martina Woods was inspired to set up her business, Harry’s Dog Bakery, when she discovered regular dog treats made her pup unwell. Martina went on to study dog nutrition before setting up her natural dog treat business. Earlier this year, Martina won a prize worth €3,000 for an elevator pitch she made at the Enterprise Ireland Fuelling Ambition road show.

Enterprising Monaghan will also be at Taste of Monaghan 2018. Pop along to our stand to meet to team, find out about the Monaghan test kitchen facility and to learn about other available supports for food businesses in the county.

Find out more at tasteofmonaghan.com

5 Minutes With… Steve Boyes, director of FUEL – High Performance IT

M:TEK has welcomed a handful of new tenants over the past few months, as businesses here thrive here and outgrow their Monaghan office space. Among the recent arrivals is FUEL – High Performance IT, a specialist consultancy headquartered in Northern Ireland and employing 16 across three locations; the company chose Monaghan as their first base in the Republic of Ireland. We caught up with FUEL director, Steve Boyes, to find out a little more about the company’s plans for future expansion and why they decided to set up an office in Monaghan.

Steve Boyes, FUEL – High Performance IT, pictured with Ann Treanor, Enterprising Monaghan

 

What exactly does FUEL do?
FUEL Supplies and Implements IT Infrastructure solutions. We are also both a “Sage Business Partner” and a “SAP Business One Partner”. We offer consultancy and design services for Network Infrastructures and provide full training and implementation on ERP solutions including General Financial accounting (Including Payroll), Manufacture Management and as well as frontline software and infrastructure support services. Areas of industry expertise include Manufacturing, Service Management/Customer Service, Private Healthcare Management and Wholesale/Distribution including Mobile Working Solutions.

When was the company set up?
The Company was established 25 years ago by the current CEO – Paul Trouton while studying at Queens University in Belfast.

Why Monaghan as a business location?
Having taken considerable time reviewing a number of business locations in between Dublin and the border counties, FUEL decided on Monaghan because of the welcome we received from the business community and the clear business buzz and energy that currently exists in the area. FUEL have already successfully expanded into Scotland and England, and Ireland holds an exciting prospect for the company’s plan for growth, with the arrival of Brexit on the horizon.

Although we’re determined to engage fully with the local business community and enjoy all the benefits of a growing economy, Monaghan is less than 30 miles from the other Irish FUEL office in Craigavon.

What is it like working in M:TEK?
M-TEK provides FUEL with a professionally managed office space that is well known to all business organisations in the area. With the added ability of hosting business meetings and corporate events, M:TEK delivers all that we need and more, to help establish our FUEL – High Performance IT brand and grow our business turnover.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
With, as mentioned before, establishing offices in Scotland and England, Monaghan is seen by the Directors of FUEL, a major area of business growth for the company. While in the early stages of establishing the FUEL brand in the Monaghan area by senior members of staff from the Craigavon office, FUEL hopes to expand its customer base in the near future, and have local professional staff managing and maintaining our Monaghan business base.

Find out more at itfuel.com and find FUEL on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Businesses Blossom in Blayney

Castleblayney is a microcosm of the Monaghan business scene; the county’s third largest town is home to a diverse mix of businesses, from the largest shoe store in Ireland to an online beauty emporium, servicing customers in the UK, mainland Europe and the US. Here are just a handful of the businesses thriving in Castleblayney:

Cloud10beauty.com has rapidly grown to become Ireland’s leading online beauty destination, combining lusted after beauty products with the most up-to-date technology; 35% of the company’s business comes from customers in North America and Europe.

“There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit here in County Monaghan – there is a legacy of many companies doing amazing things in business here and quietly getting on with it in an unassuming manner. It definitely rubs off on you! With our location, close to the border & without the same pull as other more densely populated regions in the country, you have to be innovative & customer focused to succeed,” according to Cloud10 founder, Blanaid Johnson.

Blanaid Johnson, founder of Cloud10beauty.com

Blanaid Johnson, founder of Cloud10beauty.com

Founded by Rita Shah and Oliver Brady, The Shabra Group is a global market leader in integrated plastics recycling, reprocessing, manufacturing and the supply of recycled products. What’s more, the company has a very active charity arm which has donated over €600,000 towards building schools in the developing world as well as purchasing hospital equipment for eye, heart and cancer research here in Ireland.

Owen Lynch moved from Clogherhead, Co. Louth and opened Sole and Sea fishmongers on Main Street, Castleblayney in 2017. Owen was first attracted by Castleblayney’s beautiful lakes and greenery, having heard great things about the town from family friends. He now cites the loyal local customer base and friendliness of neighbouring businesses as the main advantages of Castleblayney as a business base.

Located in Swallow Studios, Annayalla just north of Castleblayney, Liz Christy’s eye-catching, hand-woven scarves and accessories are available at selected stockists nationwide as well as being exported to the UK, Germany, the USA and Japan. Visitors are welcome to pop by the studios to see Liz in action, and perhaps pick up a scarf inspired by the poems of Patrick Kavanagh, or a ‘renaissance’ wrap based on the traditional Monaghan lace of Clones and Carrickmacross.

Shoe manufacturer Buddha Brand Industry’s best-known brands include lines designed by actress, Amy Huberman and international rugby star, Tommy Bowe. Over 550 shops throughout the country stock the Castleblayney-based family-owned company’s footwear; including their own Shoe City outlet, the largest shoe store in Ireland.

Thinking about starting a business in Castleblayney? Offices to rent are available at the Castleblayney Enterprise Centre, as well as meeting room hire, training courses and a host of business support services.

Mouth-watering Monaghan Food Businesses

A hub for food businesses, the agri-food sector in Monaghan is booming. From a concentration of complimentary businesses pooling state-of-the-art logistics and cold store facilities in Lough Egish, Castleblayney, to food start-ups making use of the cutting-edge incubator kitchen facility in Ballybay, here are just a few Monaghan food business success stories to whet your appetite:

MALLON’S SAUSAGES

The award-winning sausage brand started life in the 1940s as Arthur Mallon’s butchers shop in Monaghan Town. Mallon’s has grown to become the leading producer of sausages in Ireland, and the company recently expanded its product range to include beef dripping. Production capacity is set to increase as planning permission was granted last in 2017 for a new two-storey extension to Mallon’s existing production premises in Mullaghdun. 

SHESKIN SMOKED SALMON

Chef Patrick Armitage and his wife Zoe, also a trained chef, established their hot smoking business in 2017. Sheskin specialises in candied salmon, a product traditionally produced on the west coast of America. The couple recently represented the county at ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition. 

RUCKSNACKS

Hailingfrom a five-generation beef farming family, Colm Connolly and his wife returned from their world travels inspired to do something a little bit different. Connolly used the state-of-the-art incubator kitchenat the Ballybay Enterprise Park to hone the recipe for a healthy, high-protein beef jerky snack; Rucksnacks is now available in a variety of flavours at SuperValu stores and gyms throughout the county. 

“Ballybay kitchen is fully set up and it’s approved by the relevant authorities so it’s of a very high standard.  It has all the facilities you need to produce or to run trials, and that’s been so useful for us because we’ve been able to do both,”said Connolly of the Ballybay facility.


GOLDEN IRISH EGGS

Over 50 years ago, Paddy McGuinness started delivering eggs by bicycle, whilst Bernard Eivers started business with just 150 free-range hens back in 1985. Today, managed by the next generation, the company processed over three million eggs per week at its Lough Egish facility, supplying supermarkets and businesses throughout Ireland as well as abroad. All eggs are Bord Bia approved and Golden Irish is part of the Origin Green scheme.

SILVER HILL DUCK

Silver Hill produces the best duck in the world according to the world’s leading chefs, including Heston Blumenthal. The multi award-winning Silver Hill Farm supplies duck and duck products to outlets all over the world. All aspects of production are managed on site, from breeding and hatching to processing and cooking. A team of 230 is employed at its Centre of Excellence in Emyvale and at various satellite hatching sites on both sides of the border.


“Being so close to the border here in Monaghan and having facilities both sides offers both a bio security advantage and a strategic advantage, in that UK retailers look for NI duck and ROI retailers look for ROI duck,” according to Silver Hill CEO, Michael Briody.


Silver Hill is investing in €25m in its production facilities to bring capacity from 80,000 ducks per week to 150,000 in line with increased demand from new markets including Indonesia, Malaysia and Canada. 

Do you have an idea for a food business or are you looking to take your food brand to the next level?Contact us to find out more about developing your food business in County Monaghan.

New and Improved Hot Desk in MTEK

The hot-desking space in Monaghan’s M:TEK I has been given a fresh new look!

Those currently availing of Enterprising Monaghan’s shared office space in Carrickmacross and here at M:TEK , include one self-employed indivdual  , who uses the space when necessary, and another, who works for KPMG in Dublin but opts to work remotely instead of a daily commute. The easy in/easy out system allows renters to come and go as they please, subject to availability. Flexible rental terms mean desks can be rented by the day, week or month, with no long-term commitment and considerable savings in terms of fixed costs.

Hot desk rental in Monaghan’s M:TEK includes, as standard:

* High-speed Wi-Fi.

* Use of shared kitchen facilities.

* Close proximity to Monaghan Town.

* Access to ample on-site parking.

* Meeting and board room space available to rent on site.

* Open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Desk rental in Monaghan starts from just €10 per day/plus VAT. We also offer shared office space in Carrickmacross.

To find out more about hot desking in Monaghan or at C:TEK, Carrickmacross, contact info@enterprisingmonaghan.ie or call 047 75255.