Taking Care of Business

Sponsored by: Local Enterprise Office Laois, Offaly & Westmeath
Entrepreneur and HR expert Ronan Berry steals ideas from the best business minds in the midlands, every Tuesday from 7pm.

Supported by the Local Enterprise Office, this programme introduces you to successful people, happy to share their insights and winning formulas – or from whom Ronan can prise the answers.

Need advice? Have a question or a discussion topic suggestion? You can contact the show, or select an article below to read more about previous shows in the series.


Taking Care of Business can be emailed at business@midlands103.com.


Zoosh Investment Partnership plans to invest in over fifteen start-ups over the next eighteen months.

Bert Farrell, CEO of Zoosh Ventures, explains the Zoosh Investment Partnership striving to provide seed funding to domain expert entrepreneurs with ambitions to create cloud technology start-ups.
He also gives an overview of some companies that have availed of the funding and developed expertise in areas such as paperless ticket sales, continuous improvement programmes for manual assembly lines, advanced vehicle telematics and smart sports scouting.
Listen back to the full interview here.

The secret is in the wick!

Find out why and learn more about natural, Irish produced beeswax candles.
Jennifer Doyle, co-founder of Beeswax Candle Makers, dropped in to talk about her business.
The range of hand-poured and hand-rolled candles are made using 100% natural beeswax.
Learn more about the rigorous product development process and the journey to market here.

Flavours untamed – meet the Laois based creator of Irish sauces with an African kick!

Michael Onalimi talks about the journey and the inspiration behind his distinct sauces made using Irish and African ingredients. Neither the flavour or Michael’s passion is untamed!

Voice searching, chat bots and personalising on-line communications – what you need to know about digital marketing.

Business Fairy Aisling Hurley outlines the latest digital marketing trends that businesses should be aware of.

Ray Geraghty of Westmeath Dublin Business Network discusses the aims and objectives of this new group.

The Westmeath Dublin Business Network (WDBN) was established in March 2018 to foster greater ties between Westmeath business people who are working in Dublin.
WDBN’s key aim is to encourage its members to refer business and to share contacts with each other while at the same time promoting the interests of Westmeath in the wider Dublin business community.
They are hosting a networking event on September 13 at 6:30pm in House, 27 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin.

Introducing Midland Business Hubs

With plans to open facilities in Tullamore, Athlone and Mullingar, Midland Business Hubs aim to cultivate an environment where entrepreneurial minds can come together to exchange ideas and gain a new perspective on their business.
Whether you need a hot-desk or fixed desk, an office or a HQ, Tom McNamara explains how these hubs can provide office space where you can work independently while being surrounded by driven, enthusiastic like-minded people.

Athlone branch of the Samaritans answers over thirty-five thousand call every year. And that number is rising steadily.

Westmeath businessman Tom Fitzpatrick has a long association with the group and he dropped into studio to talk about the increase in callers and the prevalence of calls from self-employed people and those in full-time roles.

Assessing the tourism potential of Irish canals and greenways

Head of Marketing at Waterways Ireland Sharon Lavin and Fiona Casey of Grand Canal Adventures discuss the importance of the Royal and Grand Canal’s in increasing tourism trade in the region.

Are excessive compensation pay-outs and rising insurance premiums the largest threat to Irish business?

Peter Boland is spokesperson for the Alliance for Insurance Reform and he joined Ronan to discuss this and to talk about the ’10 Asks’ his organisation is lobbying for.
These include amending Section 8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 to make it mandatory and reduce the period for reporting accidents to 1 month as opposed to 2 years at present.

‘Guests checked out after first night due to inadequate broadband’

With a collapse of the National Broadband Plan looking imminent, Margaret Edgill of Mount Briscoe Organic Farm talks to Ronan about the negative impact a lack of high speed broadband is having on their business.
The Edgill’ s provide guest accommodation as part of their business and Margaret tells of two guests who checked out after one night such was their reliance on broadband for work reasons.

Did you know an Athlone water park has the world’s tallest floating slide as confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records!

Founder and Director of Baysports Richie O’Hara dropped in to studio to talk about his latest expansion plans to his famous floating water park.
With over forty thousand visitors expected this tourist season Baysports are clearly doing something right. And they scooped a Merit Award at the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards too!
Listen back here.

Business leaders tell their success stories at Founder Friday, Tullamore.

Founder Friday is a free monthly event, where local start-ups and established business owners share their entrepreneurial journey from the initial start-up stages right through to maturity.
Caroline Spollen of The Junction, Local Enterprise Office Offaly’s innovation hub and co-working facility popped into studio to discuss the event.
The event is open to all and takes place on the last Friday of every month.

Embracing an ‘inside-out’ approach to interior architecture.

Award winning interior architect Audrey Gaffney discusses the merits of an ‘inside-out’ approach to building design and refurbishment and how the right design is key to growing revenue.
Audrey Gaffney and Associates has recently won the All-Star Female Led Business of the Year and the All-Star Hospitality Interior Design Team of the Year. Listen back to the full interview here.

President Michael D. Higgins; the Midlands National, Best Dressed Lady Competition, Brexit and more!

Managing Director of Kilbeggan Races Paddy Dunican dropped in to talk about the next meeting taking place on Friday 22nd July where President Michael D. Higgins will be guest of honour. The main event will be the hotly contested Midlands National and not forgetting the Best Dressed Lady competition.
Listen back here.

Have you ever considered becoming vegan? Could being a ‘flexitarian’ be a viable alternative?

Brendan Cleary of Ethica Planet Foods joined Ronan to discuss their organic oat based sustainable foods range. The company recently picked up the Herstelle Start-Up Award at BIOFACH in Berlin, the worlds leading trade fair for Organic Food.
Listen back here.

New CEO of Retail Excellence plans to lobby to have a Minister for Retail appointed to represent the sector contributing over €7bn to the exchequer annually.

Former Senator Lorraine Higgins officially became CEO of Retail Excellence on Monday 2nd July 2018 and joined Ronan to discuss her objectives for the years ahead and why she believes a Minister for Retail is required. Retail Excellence is Ireland’s largest retail representative body and supports over 1,800 businesses.
Lorraine also outlines how consumer demand for ‘mid-week conveniences’ is presenting challenges to the traditional retail model, but she is also adamant that the high street will continue to play a crucial role in Irish towns and cities.

There is plenty of money available to SME’s but is the onerous application system proving detrimental to business development?

The Treasury Hub is a collaboration between Treasury Solutions Limited and four prominent accountancy and advisory firms, one of which is Athlone headquartered RBK. John Finn of Treasury Solutions spoke to Ronan about the objectives of the collaboration and how it can support SME’s.
Regarding Brexit, John suggests that ‘businesses should never waste a good crisis’ as there is always merit in reviewing the terms and conditions of your financial loan agreements irrespective of the size of your organisation.

Rare and Traditional Breeds Show on 22nd July promises to celebrate native breeds of cattle, sheep, horses, ponies and dog.

Margaret Edgill of Mount Briscoe Organic Farm in Daingean, Co. Offaly, popped into studio to talk about the annual show that is gaining in popularity year on year. It promises to celebrate the rare native and traditional breeds of animal, many of which are unique to Ireland. The one exception being pigs as there is no native Irish breed still in existence. There are a number of new classes added to this year’s show including an interesting sounding ‘Go Native’ class – Margaret explains all here!

35 years in business and still a cut above the rest!

Ken Grennan of PJ Grennan Quality Foods popped into studio to talk about the famous Tullamore shop and restaurant.
Established in 1983 by Ken’s parent’s PJ and Angela Grennan the business has experienced the ups and downs of economic recessions and more.
They celebrate 35 years in business this week.
Listen to the full interview here.

Mr. Pat Miller – An appreciation

Prominent business man and community activist Pat Miller sadly passed away on June 20th 2018 after a short illness.
Ronan spoke to Patrick Miller Junior about his father’s legacy and his devotion and loyalty to his customers.
Patrick also talks about the closure of the original business late last year and how he has now reopened in new premises.

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