As part of the M1 Payments Corridor initiative, The Mill and partners has been working with local teenagers on a Digital Payments Dojo for the past year. It is a fun and exciting project relating to payments and payments technology that allows the group to develop their skills in Coding, Project management, and Digital communication (graphics, video & social media).

Impacts to date include:

– Development of Digital Payments Info website, https://bit.ly/DigitalPaymentsInfo

– Fortnightly meetings where teenagers work on projects

– Visit to MasterCard Centre of Excellence

– Presentation at Paypal on Blockchain as part of Louth LEO Enterprise week in March 2017

The next stage is to create and develop an App related to digital payments. However, we need additional support from mentors to realise this ambition. The Dojo-ers have the raw talent, but need some assistance from experienced app developers.

The Dojo-ers will make a short presentation outlining their achievements to date, and what they plan to achieve in coming year. Please register to attend, and find out more about becoming a mentor: https://bit.ly/2BPkrGT.

The second half of the session will include a facilitated workshop amongst Dojo-ers and attendees on how we want the Dojo to develop, and a look at some of the technical opportunities of developing a Payments App.

M1 Payments Corridor is a key part of the Government’s NorthEast Action Plan for Jobs which proposes the creation of a ‘digital payments hub’ along the M1 economic corridor with the potential to create hundreds of sustainable new jobs. It is an industry grouping of ePayments / Fintech companies, and allied stakeholders (IDA, EI, DCU, DKIT, Louth Economic Forum), promoted by The Mill, that serves the wider geographic M1 corridor in a Fintech vertical known as ePayments. Industry members of the M1 Steering Group include Vesta, PayPal, State Street, Aphix Software, Yapstone, and Coca-Cola International Services.

Date: Saturday, 10 February

Time: 11:00 – 14:00

Venue: The Mill Enterprise Hub, Greenhills, Drogheda

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GastroGays are a blogging duo consisting of Drogheda native, Patrick Hanlon, and Russell James Alford. Originally from Ireland and having spent four years in London growing all things GastroGays they’rere now based back in Ireland, where it all began…

“Though our blog found its feet in the tough times of austerity Dublin, it flourished in London and we really found our voice there. But all good things come to an end and in mid-2017 we relocated back to Ireland, packed in our jobs and decided to turn GastroGays into our main job as we entered our fifth year of blogging

So what is GastroGays all about? Well, three things: Food. Travel. Eurovision. Our raison d’être is food in all its various forms and our passion and expertise is food-led travel.”

This will be a great opportunity to hear how Russell and Patrick developed an award-winning blog, and discuss the future challenges and opportunities in blogging and social media.

Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Time: 19:00 – 21:00

More info on Gastrogays: https://gastrogays.com/

Register now: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/blogging-with-gastrogays-tickets-42355559619

finance and bookkeeping

 Whether you are planning to start a business or if you already run a small business, you need to be aware of the basic requirements in relation to record keeping. Not only do you need to be able to understand how your business is performing but you also need to be able to compile the information required to comply with the various tax regulations. Your bank will also expect you to keep your financial information up to date.

This Workshop will provide an overview of all aspects of maintaining proper books of account for a start-up or small business. You will be guided through the setting up of a proper system of book-keeping and how to use the information recorded, to run your business. The Workshop will also touch on cash flow management and tax registration and compliance.

The basic fundamentals of finance includes being able to address the following:

  • How to structure your business – Sole Trader or Limited Company?
  • Registering your business with the tax authorities
  • Recording bank transactions – Daily Cash Book
  • Recording customer and supplier invoices – Invoice Day Books
  • Preparation of VAT returns
  • Managing Cashflow
  • Importance of good Credit Control
  • Overview of VAT/PAYE/PRSI/Income Tax / Corporation Tax requirements
  • Accounting software available to the Small Business Owner

Attendee Outcome:

On completing this Workshop, attendees will have gained a good understanding of the basic accounting requirements of a small business.

Download our Workshop Flyer

Date: Thursday 7th June 2018

Venue: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Newtown Link Road, Drogheda.

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Cost: €20

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

book here:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Small-Business-Finance-Book-keeping-Workshop-Drogheda.html

Financial forecasting

Whether you are trying to predict the short-term cashflow requirements of your business, or are about to compile a business plan or even apply for a bank loan, you are going to need to prepare some financial projections. In order to do this, you will need to understand the basics of financial forecasting. Typically businesses will prepare a set of financial projections (forecasts) for a 3 year period.

The main components of a set of financial projections are:

  • Profit and Loss Account
  • Cashflow Statement
  • Balance Sheet

This course will provide participants with an overview of the key aspects of financial forecasting for a start-up or existing small business. Participants will be taken through a case study that will show them how to build a basic financial forecasting model in Microsoft Excel that can be used for their future requirements.

The fundamentals of financial forecasting will address the following questions:

Participant Outcome:

On completing this course, participants will have gained a good understanding of the basics of financial forecasting. A template for assisting participants in the preparation of their own financial projections will be provided.

  • What are my expected revenues?
  • How much Profit Margin do I expect to make?
  • How much inventory do I need to carry?
  • What are my operating costs?
  • How soon can I expect my customers to pay me?
  • Can I secure credit from my suppliers?
  • What CAPEX (capital expenditure will I have?
  • How much funding will my business require?

Download our Workshop Flyer

 Date: Thursday 3rd of May 2018
Venue: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Newtown Link Road, Drogheda
Time: 7pm to 10pm

Cost: €20

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

book here:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Financial-Forecasting-and-Projections1.html

Marketing img

 This is a practical and interactive workshop that will explain, explore and outline what you need to know to market your business effectively. It aims to introduce you to a number of practical marketing concepts and techniques and provide you with tools and techniques to help you build a good marketing foundation for your business.

The principles and techniques are applicable to a manufacturing or service business; and whether you are in business already, or are thinking of starting a business, this workshop will provide you with useful insights and techniques to help you promote your business effectively and efficiently. No previous experience is needed, and the workshop provides plenty of time to answer questions and discuss and explore real life marketing examples.

Download our Workshop Flyer

Date:    10th April 2018

Venue: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Drogheda.

Time:    10pm to 1pm

Cost:     €20

 Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

Book here:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Marketing-for-Small-Business.html

Social Media

A practical hands-on half day workshop on setting up & using social media for your business, tools covered include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.

 Overview of social media

 What tools to use & why

 Generating content for social media

 Creating & Using a Twitter Account

 Setting up a Facebook page

 Using your Facebook page

 Generating engagement

 Overview of LinkedIn & YouTube

*You are welcome to bring along your own laptop to this Workshop*

Download our workshop Flyer

Date: Wednesday 21th March

Time: 10am to 2pm

Location: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Newtown Link Rd., Drogheda

Cost: €20

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

Book here:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Social-Media-Workshop-Drogheda.html

Optimize Your Online Business Video For Maximum EffectLEO logo

Video is simply taking over the web. If you want to add video to your web and online marketing strategy, lets ensure it is working for you and achieving its greatest potential reach across all platforms with optimization tools, tips and techniques.

This Workshop will show how to optimize your YouTube Channel and make the most of your business video on YouTube and other social media platforms.

Download our Workshop Flyer

Date: Monday 12th March 2018

Venue: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Newtown Link Road, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Time: 10am to 2pm

Cost: €20

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

Book here: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Optimize-Your-Online-Business-Video-For-Maximum-Effect.html

 

Marketing & Promotional Videos on a Budget Training CourseLEO logo

Learn how to shoot and edit a Marketing / Promotional Video like a Pro… using your Smartphone!

Video is simply taking over the web. How can you add video to your web and online marketing strategy without it costing a fortune?

This training course will explore the types of videos that can be created with high production values but on a low budget and to best suit your business objectives, along with teaching you the tools and techniques to allow you to shoot and edit a professional quality video on your Smartphone.

Training Course is run over 2 full days, the cost includes hardware and software to take home.

Download the Workshop Flyer

Date: (Day 1) Tuesday 6th February (Day 2) Tuesday 13th February

Venue: The Mill Enterprise Centre, Newtown Link Road, Drogheda.

Time: 9.00am to 5.00pm

Cost: €100 (lunch & refreshments will be provided)

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is made for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to the course / workshop commencement.  No refunds will be given to cancellations made afterwards.  Substitutions are permitted.

Book here: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Louth/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Marketing-Promotional-Videos-on-a-Budget-Training-Course.html

M1PC has hosted and facilitated a Coder DoJo relating to payments and payments technology. The Project provides teenage participants with different skills, including coding, project management, and digital communication (graphics, video & social media).  To date, the Dojo-ers have created  a website, bit.ly/DigitalPaymentsInfo , that examines the future of Payments and how  young people will interact with financial services firms/payments in the future. Their next project will be a Payments App.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mary Mitchell O’Connor, during her time as enterprise minister, visited Aphix, which is one of the key companies forming the M1 Payments Corridor
Mary Mitchell O’Connor, during her time as enterprise minister, visited Aphix, which is one of the key companies forming the M1 Payments Corridor

Jobseekers who have the right technical skills and are keen to work away from the capital should keep a close eye on developments in the northeast over the next few years.

If the M1 Payments Corridor, as the region comprising counties Louth, Cavan, Meath and Monaghan has been dubbed, takes off, then up to 600 highly skilled positions in the digital payments sector could open up within the next four years.

The region, which is home to Vesta, PayPal and State Street, was handed a jobs boost last month when the epayments company YapStone announced it would take on 200 new staff over the next five years.

YapStone started its Irish operation in 2012 with 10 employees in the Mill, Drogheda’s enterprise hub, and expanded quickly. This latest jobs news related to a €41m investment by YapStone, supported by IDA Ireland.

It was the first big announcement since the launch of the M1 Payments Corridor. Organisers hope it is just the beginning.

The region also has indigenous fintech companies including Aphix Software, Gecko Governance, Semper Security and Intact Software. Aphix employs 15 people at its base in the Mill, and announced this year it would be taking on another 25 before 2020 — most of them skilled developer roles. The company is already recruiting.

Breanndán Casey, the Mill’s business development manager, says the idea of a payments corridor in the northeast arose two years ago, with the recognition that getting towns in the area to co-operate rather than compete would reap greater rewards.

“In the past there was a lot of competition between, say, Navan, Drogheda, Dundalk and Cavan. We recognised that we could work together,” says Casey. “This is not about any one town, it’s a regional push.”

It soon became clear that the industry most likely to put the region on the map would be digital payments. One of the inspirations for the initiative was the so-called Transaction Alley, in the American state of Georgia.

“It’s a 60km zone around Atlanta and 70% of payments go through there — but it was once a small operation,” says Casey, who believes the northeast is well positioned to become an epayments hub.

“There are 1.8m people within 50km of Drogheda. We also have the M1 connecting us up to Belfast, which is strong on blockchain technology.”

Using Atlanta as a model, Casey and others hope the northeast will also become a centre for digital payments outside this country.

“We are not just focused on Ireland,” says Peter Rowan, Yapstone’s executive vice-president of international operations. “We have a multilingual centre here covering seven languages, and we have had no issues hiring multilingual employees within striking distance of Drogheda.”

To make the corridor work, collaboration between every player involved will be essential. Such help comes from the National Epayments Conference, which was first held two years ago and is an opportunity for stakeholders to find out about the future of digital payments in Ireland and abroad.

“The fintech sector is ripe for collaboration between smaller companies and larger, FDI companies,” Casey says.

The M1 Payments Corridor initiative has a strong steering group behind it, made up of representatives from Vesta, PayPal, State Street, Aphix, YapStone and Coca-Cola International Services. The group also includes representatives from the economic development agencies, as well as Dublin City University and Dundalk IT, who will provide R&D support to the industry in the region.

The need for an educational element is clear, because any new roles that come on stream will be highly skilled. The group has already organised specialist training programmes with IT Governance, a UK company. A fintech audit is being conducted in the region to assess skill sets and identify any gaps.

“That started three months ago. The results will give a strong indication of what skills are needed,” says Casey.

Drogheda Chamber has applied for funding from Skillnets, which, if successful, would involve a significant element of fintech training. “We want to move away from customer service to more technical skills,” says Casey.

The M1 Payments Corridor’s recent funding application to Skillnets was unsuccessful, but Casey is confident that the region will continue to build on its successes in the area of epayments.

One key attraction of the area for potential employees will be that they can avoid the expense and congestion of the capital, according to Casey. At present, 55% of YapStone staff live within 15 minutes of the office.

If everything goes to plan, employees here will be able to move between companies while staying in the same region and sector.

“It’s important that we get a range of companies in the region so people can move around. There needs to be a critical mass here,” says Casey.

The new roles at Aphix are in areas including customer success, software engineering and development. The company is recruiting for technology positions including software and app developers, says Mark Reilly, the company’s chief technical officer.

“Driving investment into the region is a key focus for us, providing a significant boost to employment and benefiting the local economy,” he says.

YapStone, which provides online and mobile payments products for companies including property sites HomeAway and VRBO, moved out of the Mill when it grew to 40 employees. Within two years that number increased to 126. Now the company is recruiting for the first of 200 more, to be hired before 2022.

With most of YapStone’s staff working in customer service roles, the company is looking for development engineers, lead software engineers and voice over internet protocol network architects.

Rowan is confident that the skills needed by his company are available in or around the region. “We did some research even before we announced the roles and, based on that, we believe the talent pool is here, which was part of the reason behind our decision,” he says.

The M1 Payments Corridor concept will bring together the players in the sector, according to Rowan.

“It’s about creating jobs and building R&D capacity. We’re trying to mirror the Atlanta payments corridor — this could be the European international payments corridor,” he says.

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