The IPBN’s second quarter was busier than usual, with the key focus on expanding the network to Porto, beyond what the pandemic has previously made possible, and to revisit our origins in Dublin with conferences and members-meet-members events respectively, and much, much more.
We began the second quarter with April’s Annual General Meeting at the Hotel Plaza Lisboa where we reviewed the association’s activities, approved financial statements for 2021, elected new board members, and elected the new Chair of the Board of Directors, Geoffrey Graham before thanking former chair Aoife Healy for her incredible leadership over her past terms.
As previously mentioned, the network officially broadened its scope with the IPBN’s April Conference in Porto, made possible with the help of partners Global Shares and Invest Porto. The Irish Ambassador to Portugal, H.E. Ralph Victory, introduced the event followed by the director of Economy of Porto City Council, Rui Monteiro, and IPBN member company Global Shares, represented by Corporate Communication Manager Aisling Riordan. In a panel on “Doing Business & Investing in Porto" moderated by IPBN board member Aoife Healy, Porto City Council's Director of Economy, Global Shares' Aisling Riordan, and Philomène Dias, Director of Inward Investment at AICEP Portugal Global discussed how connecting people…and put investors in the center of the ecosystem is part of what makes Porto such a rich center for business. To conclude, IPBN member companies Musicmaker, Vitae Professionals, and Craftable Software concluded the conference with their own presentations, all of which can be seen in the below video.
Member Meet Member (MMM) events in both the Algarve and Lisbon were held in April and June as well, the first of which was the Algarve Committee’s MMM event at Algarve Rock Brewery where Paul and his team from Algarve Rock presented the brewery and its craft beers followed by members Renato Calvão from Six Emotions, Célia Maria da Costa Arménio from Casas do Sotavento, Teresa Dickson from Serenity Algarve, and José Ramalhete from Collegium who pitched their companies to attending members. May’s Member Meet Member event at the Hotel Plaza Lisboa was also well attended as Pierre-Marc Lecompte from Eterna International, Teresa Patrício of Teresa Patricio & Associados law firm, Luís Filipe Martinho of YouX Redesign Reality, Stephanus Ribeiro from Aluline Portugal, Andreia Jotta of Yunit Consulting, and Victor Bauer of Monsoon Consulting introduced their companies to the network.
In June, another Algarve MMM took place at Vale do Lobo on the theme of wellbeing entitled "Discover what well-being can do for you", kicking off the busy summer season in the golden triangle by focusing on wellbeing practices that should set you up for success over the summer holidays. Magdalena Osmola, Director of Marketing and Communication at Vale do Lobo, welcomed the IPBN with an introduction to all the fitness, sport, themed outdoor concerts, and other activities the resort is planning during the summer followed by new member Nadia Moore’s presentation of her Surya Wellness business.
The IPBN also hosted two seminars in April and June respectively, the first on Bilateral Ireland-Portugal Economic Relations as part of the Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Lisbon at the Union of Trade and Services Association in which we welcomed Robert Troy TD, Ireland’s Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Secretary of State for Tourism, Trade, and Services Rita Baptista Marques and Enterprise Ireland Eurozone / Central and Eastern Europe Regional Director Anne Lanigan’s opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion on “Challenges & Opportunities of Doing Business in Ireland & Portugal”, moderated by IPBN Chairperson Geoffrey Graham featuring guest speakers and IPBN members Sharon Dehmel, Cross-Cultural Communication Coach, Carolina Almeida Cruz, of C-MORE Beyond the Obvious, Cathal Sheehy, Partner at Kish Capital, and Pedro Teixeira, Senior Partner at Taxlibris, Lda.
The second seminar was on SME Funding and Opportunities in Portugal, held in partnership with IPBN member company Yunit Consulting at the Hotel Plaza Lisboa as a follow-up to the IPBN's deep-dive into funding and Investment opportunities for SMEs. Special keynote speaker José Eduardo Brandão, CFO at Yunit Consulting, focused on grant criteria and metrics and gave very clear and useful insights on businesses’ best ways forward.
The beginning of June also brought with it an opportunity to meet MBA students from the UCD Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School graduate program at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIP) where Geoffrey Graham, chairman of the IPBN, Susan Cabeceiras, IPBN Board Member and founder of Konceptness, and Diogo Cruz, IPBN Board member and Project Director at Invest Lisboa introduced the students to “Working, Living and Doing Business in Portugal” with time for a Q&A at the end.
The IPBN again traveled outside of Lisbon and the Algarve to Dublin, and back to Porto in June and July, where we held two very exciting Member-meet-member events. The first, MMM Dublin, was held at Musicmaker and was the first IPBN event in the area in over two years. The event was split into two parts: “Doing Business, Hiring, and Living in Portugal” with a panel of Portuguese members including Pedro Henriques, of Bridge IN, Teresa Patricio of Teresa Patricio Associates, Aidan O’Shea of Otonomee, and Rebecca Nixon of Vendici Properties. The presenters shared their expertise and experience before making way for a networking event with invited guests from members of other business associations.
Next up, was the MMM in Porto, which took place at the Porto Innovation Hub, again with the support of Invest Porto. Stefan Goor from Ardanis, Filipa Barbosa from Edge International Lawyers, Joao Fernandes from FAmazing, Pedro Castro Henriques from StrongStep, Jose Nunes from SleekLab, and John Paul Prior from Farmony, Musimaker, and Chair of the IPBN Porto Committee presented their businesses to a room full of excited attendees.
Lastly, The IPBN presented one Master Class and one workshop to finish out the second quarter. First, IPBN member Philippe Brodeur, CEO and Founder of IPBN member company Overcast HQ gave a class on "Using video in your business — how to reduce costs and get content to market quickly.” Here, we discovered cloud video collaboration, why it is important, and how we can empower teams to take part in video content creation. You can see the recording of the class below.
Finally, IPBN member Jo James, motivating and results-focused Business Coach, Sales Trainer, and Networker at her company, AmberLife gave a riveting workshop to IPBN members in the Cinema Room of the Magnolia Hotel (Quinta do Lago) entitled “Make Your Sales Matter”, which is based on Jo's book “Make your Mondays Matter.” The workshop helped show attendees an empowering combination of proven sales and marketing strategies, empowering them to make more sales “the anti-selling way.”
As a follow-up to the IPBN’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference in Lisbon, the Algarve committee of the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN), like Politico and many others, has decided to focus on Sustainable Development Goal 15 (SDG 15) – Life on Land.