The Sligo-based entrepreneur who founded the O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar chain said the North West is “alive with opportunities” for new start-ups.
Brody Sweeney was speaking to the Sligo Weekender in advance of “Start, Scale, Succeed”, an enterprise event in the Clarion Hotel at which he is the keynote speaker, on October 5.
“We should realise how very fortunate we are to live somewhere like this. The North West is alive with opportunities for new businesses and start-ups,” he said.
“It’s a entrepreneural hub and the amount of festivals and local activities that are run every year in this region are extraordinary. It just shows the entrepreneural feel of the people.
“We all have had challenging times but we all need to change our mindset now: we are coming out of the recession and we are seeing growth again.
“There was a period there when no one was spending or borrowing money or taking risks but we have to change our mindsets and start spending, borrowing and taking risks. People have to realise that there is no better time to start a business than now – and especially here in the North West.”
‘Start, Scale, Suceed’ is part of the Startup Gathering week-long series of events, running from October 5 – 10, with the aim of providing a platform to support and celebrate entrepreneurs and business success.
The Sligo event is part of a series in the North West, organised by Dr Michelle Connolly, and supported by Ibec, IT Sligo, LYIT New Frontiers, Skillsnet and Bank of Ireland, Leitrim Development Company, Leitrim County Council and Leitrim’s LEO (for details, see Business, page 26).
As well as Brody Sweeney, the Sligo meeting will also hear from Martha Kearns, co-founder of StoryLab; Martin McGeough, founder of Firefly and George Mullan, founder of SIS Group.
Mr Sweeney, who has a house between Grange and Cliffoney, said it is “the start of a great period for Sligo”.
“This is not a forgotten corner of Ireland; there are great businesses here and lots of good job opportunities There are lots of new businesses and start-ups getting set up and jobs being created.”