On March 17th, in a campaign managed by Zenith Media, The IDA turned the Financial Times Green as part of a campaign to highlight the benefits of Ireland for foreign business investment.

The IDA has done a fantastic job in directing investment into Ireland with the likes of Google, LinkedIn, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Pfizer, GSK and Genzyme all investing heavily.

But it’s not all about foreign investment. We are an island that has built a reputation for creating exceptional entrepreneurs and Irish businesses continue to deliver success stories right across the globe.

Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) is one of the biggest suppliers of building materials in America and also maintains a strong position in Europe and Asia. DCC which was created by Jim Flavin in the 70s as a venture capital provider has completely changed direction and diversified into energy, technology, healthcare and the environment. Kerry Group is the global leader in the ingredients market and has a wider range of brands with everything from Denny sausages to Charleville cheese. The company started out as a dairy ingredients plant in Listowel in 1972 and through shrewd acquisitions now operates across five continents with its headquarters still in Tralee. Kerry Group posted a revenue of over €7 billion in 2020. Other global success stories include Smurfit Kappa, Ryanair and Total Produce.

More recently we’ve seen Irish successwith Stripe which was created by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collisson in 2010. It’s now worth over $95 billion making it one of the most valuable privately owned businesses in the world. Stripe is an online payments firm that is now located in over 42 countries. Within these countries they have more than 50 companies that each process payments of more than $1billion per year. They announced on Sunday March 14th their plans to create over 1,000 jobs in Ireland which will raise a further $600 million from backers that include the Irish State.
The entrepreneurial spirit remains strong even through the pandemic as highlighted by these Irish start ups that are worth keeping an eye on in 2021:
Cork-based ApisProtect uses beehive sensor technology and machine learning in its bee monitoring technology. This beekeeping tech combines the sensor data on hive conditions, strength and activity levels with its proprietary big data and machine learning techniques. This delivers a 24/7 early warning system about at-risk hives and gives beekeepers actionable insights and to help prevent losses and increase colony productivity.
Dublin startup Change Donations is transforming the fundraising process for charities, enabling donors to link their debit cards and donate rounded-up change to their selected cause. Dedicated to charities, nonprofits and philanthropists, its applying a fintech solution to a no-brainer way for people to support causes they care about. The platform links to donors’ credit or debit cards and automatically rounds up their purchases to the nearest euro, donating the round-up difference to a charity or cause.
And finally Galway startup Chatspace has developed an artificial intelligence answers and insights platform that keeps projects on track and prevents costly failures. Chatspace works with the world’s largest companies unleashing new insights for company strategy that traditional teams can’t reach, automating repeatable tasks and scaling capabilities across the enterprise.
Ireland will continue to attract foreign investment and is also producing companies that have the capacity to become global market leaders in their field. With such a strong footprint in the world is it any wonder the world turns green every St. Patrick’s Day.


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