Connected hubs changing and driving new business and working life across Mayo

Connected hubs changing and driving new business and working life across Mayo
Connected hubs changing and driving new business and working life across Mayo

The cubicles which are out there for staff.

Sat 9 Apr 2022, 1:30 PM

Despite the Covid pandemic, the ATU Mayo iHub in Castlebar has gone from power to power.

Since opening in 2006, the hub has been the beginning place for new companies to arrange. Following the onset of the pandemic, it has additionally provided a spot for folks trying to work remotely.

The hub has a mix of devoted desks, boardrooms, cubicles and scorching desks. They additionally run quite a few assist programmes together with New Frontiers and EMPOWER to assist feminine entrepreneurship.

Last 12 months noticed EMPOWER, geared toward feminine entrepreneurship, obtain its greatest functions with over 250 functions for 34 locations.

Maria Staunton, supervisor of the ATU iHub in Mayo, instructed The Connaught Telegraph: “The significance of a centre such because the iHub in supporting start-ups and small enterprises to develop and scale can’t be underestimated. After all, SMEs account for 99% of all companies in Ireland and play an enormous function in our financial system.

“The iHub, because it opened its doorways again in 2006, has helped to assist 286 full-time jobs and 82 part-time jobs. 55% of corporations have engaged in analysis when positioned within the iHub (primarily innovation vouchers and internships) and 76% of iHub purchasers are nonetheless in business after seven years.”

Maria added: “We would have been very busy from 2007-08 onwards. We ramped up and we’ve been almost 100% occupied from that point onwards. But when the pandemic hit, it modified as folks couldn’t come into the constructing. We shut for 2 months however we reopened once more with all procedures in place. People needed to are available in at totally different instances and we requested solely those that needed to are available in, are available in.

“But since restrictions have eased, folks have been trickling again. Things may change when it comes to extra scorching desking. Our essential factor earlier than the pandemic was we’d lease out workplaces for start-ups. When the pandemic hit, we needed to convert much more scorching desking areas.”

With extra people coming to make use of hubs for distant working, Maria believes a change in fashion could be wanted going ahead.

“There are much more people and folks working for corporations searching for a desk. We attempt to facilitate as greatest we may. We’re ready to see the way it will pan out.”


Fergal Dunne, who works for stocktaking firm Retail Stock Taking, has been residing in Castlebar for round 25 years and is among the many distant staff who function out of the GMIT iHub. Before the time period ‘distant working’ was a part of our every day lives, Fergal could be travelling near 60,000km a 12 months, along with his work taking him wherever across the nation.

It has helped not simply work, however household life. Fergal has three younger kids and helps out with Castlebar Rugby Club and soccer membership Snugboro United.

The line of labor means there may be nonetheless a requirement to be on web site every single day, however the firm has now developed new applied sciences the place loads of their work can now be carried out remotely.

“Hospitality is usually what we do on retail. The know-how they’ve on board, we will now hyperlink in with. Travel continues to be concerned however not as a lot. Things that had been within the pipeline for a few years have grow to be widespread place.”

Fergal referred to as the GMIT iHub a fantastic facility and made a particular point out in regards to the New Frontiers programme, one of many assist programmes the hub is working.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, it’s Ireland’s nationwide entrepreneur improvement programme delivered within the west of Ireland and supplies an optimised business start-up course of to folks with innovation for big markets. Among some notable start-ups embody Foodie Save from Castlebar native Eoin Heverin and CB Media by Cynthia Baloula.

Baloula, the founder and managing director at CB Media and The Video Marketing Academy, works out of the Gteic hub in Belmullet the place she rents an workplace together with her workforce of two folks to allow them to work collectively.

She moved from Dublin to Belmullet two years in the past throughout the first lockdown in 2020 together with her associate (whose mother and father had been from Belmullet), and their now two-year-old daughter and Baloula revealed she will be able to totally run the business remotely.

“We did not need to keep within the metropolis with the lockdown and we determined to maneuver to the west. It’s an enormous distinction nevertheless it’s pretty. People are good. It’s a quieter approach of life however I’m actually having fun with it. It’s good for my daughter too,” stated Cynthia. “It’s a fantastic alternative (within the hub) to community with different business house owners and different companies so we do not really feel remoted. It’s a fantastic arrange and it makes working a business straightforward.”

“What we do is a training business. We coach business house owners, gross sales and advertising groups on learn how to produce skilled trying movies by simply utilizing their cellphone and pc and learn how to promote their movies on-line to draw purchasers. It’s all carried out on-line. We have purchasers within the US, UK and Ireland.”

Cynthia believes distant working is right here to remain, a technique or one other. “I feel it really works rather well. I feel it is right here to remain, even when corporations aren’t 100% distant and use hybrid fashions. The prospects and flexibility it offers us is simply wonderful. I may also spend extra time with my daughter,” Cynthia concluded.

Sat 9 Apr 2022, 1:30 PM

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