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Profiling successful entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur is a person who establishes and “runs a small business”, taking into account the rewards and risks associated with that business (Kenton 2019). There are three different types of entrepreneurs, there are nascent entrepreneurs, new entrepreneurs, and established entrepreneurs, “First, nascent entrepreneurs have completed the first process of entrepreneurship, moving from the conception of the business into the gestation or start up process. They generally have paid salaries and wages for less than three months. Second, new entrepreneurs have been in business (i.e., paid salaries and wages) for at least three months but less that 3.5 years. Third, established entrepreneurs have been in business for a while, that is, at least 3.5 years”, (Álvarez-Herranz, Agustín et al, 2011). Most authors believe that for an entrepreneur to be successful it depends on both professional aptitude and personal characteristics captured through education, “because, as some authors indicate, entrepreneurial success depends on both the entrepreneur’s personal characteristics and professional aptitude acquired through education”, (Álvarez-Herranz, Agustín et al, 2011). The entrepreneur I have chosen to write about is Kieran Linehan. As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran is 50 years old and is from Killavullen in county cork. Kieran’s company H.S.S rebranded to Ayrton Group in 2016. Kieran is constantly involved in fundraising events, like 10k road races, he gives monetary contributions to businesses, he also gives sponsorship to local charitable and sporting events. As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran was recently in Australia in October of 2018, while he was out there he completed a marathon while wearing the Ayrton Group logo on his shirt. One of Kieran’s interests would be running marathons, he also has a very keen interest in sport be it hurling or football, he is also involved in his local club Meelin G.A. A’s committee. Kieran is invited as a guest speaker at many health and safety seminars across the country, in 2017 Kieran gave a talk in Dublin, the talk was “Update on the PSDP & PSCS roles in construction, H.S.A. expectations & recent court case fines”, (National Construction Summit, 2017). As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran set up H.S.S in 1993, H.S.S stands for Health and Safety Services, he worked out of an office in Newmarket County Cork. Ayrton Group has now got two offices, one in Newmarket, County Cork, and one in Airton Road, Tallaght in Dublin. As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran is a highly educated professional, he has been involved in occupational health and safety since 1989, in 2009 Kieran he received the classification of CFIOSH, which stands for Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety. Kieran is very proud of this classification as there are about 25 Chartered fellows in Ireland. As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran also holds a Master of Science Degree, Safety and Health Management since 2011. As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran specializes in safety training, management, legislation, litigation and court case preparation/ defense and expert witness provision. Kieran has won competitions for being connected with the design of buildings, “Kieran has also been involved in the design of buildings which have won competitions such as the Green Building & SEAI (Sustainable Energy) Awards”, (National Construction Summit, 2017). In relation to pull vs push entrepreneurship, Kieran was pulled into setting up his own business. It has been said that a person’s age is linked to their decision to start a business, “an individual’s decision to start a business is linked to his or her current age”, (Anon, n.d). As per interview (Mar 2019) Kieran informed me that he had completed a nursing degree prior to completing the occupational health and safety degree, he was looking for full time employment in nursing but there was no work available. He then got a full-time job in cork and started to study Occupational health and safety at night, when he had received the qualification, there was an opening in the area to set up a health and safety company, so Kieran went ahead and set up H.S.S and has not looked back since. Kieran’s company Ayrton Group has over 130 employees across both offices. Their slogan is “Know safety, no accidents”, (Ayrton 2019). Ayrton Group’s objective is help organisation’s cut down on accidents, and that they are following the law, “we have assisted many companies throughout the country with organising their Health & Safety policies and training requirements, to assist them in reducing workplace accidents and to ensure they are compliant with legislation such as the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005” (Ayrton 2019). Kieran was adventurous when he plunged right into the health and safety sector, “each individual decides whether to be an employee or to establish a firm, and in the latter case, whether to set up in an existing market or forge a new one using a novel technology” (Rigotti, Luca et al. 2001). Ayrton Group cover safety training, safety consultancy and provide staffing solutions, (Ayrton 2019). Safety training covers areas such as “construction safety, general training, industrial, healthcare safety, chemical industry safety, forklift training, food safety, farm safety training”, (Ayrton 2019). Safety consultancy covers areas such as “safety statements, safety plans, safety files etc.”, (Ayrton 2019). As per interview (Mar 2019), In recent years with the rebirth of the construction sector Ayrton invested in Asbestos training of some staff. As a lot of refurbishment projects are under way across the country it is now a requirement of most local authorities for Asbestos Surveys to be undertaken in any property built pre-2000. Asbestos was widely used in the construction industry in the period from 1950 through 1980, until the legal ban on the sale of Asbestos containing materials in 1999. As Kieran explained there is a legal duty on the property owner to ensure that such materials are identified in the property in the interest of health and safety to all who enter and/or carry out work at the property. This area of the business has grown exponentially over the last two years. Kieran decided to open an office in Dublin after successful “year on year growth of +40%” consecutively for the past three years, (Irish Building, 2016). According to Irish building Ayrton Group has “become one of the largest safety training, consultancy and staffing solutions provider in the market” (Irish Building, 2016). It was Kieran’s aim at the time of announcing the Tallaght office, to attract all those Irish people working abroad, and to let them know that there were jobs here in Ireland for them, “one of our aims is to attract home many of the skilled workforce who left Ireland during the downturn of recent years, by providing attractive positions and packages and the opportunity to join a dynamic and exciting company” (Irish Building, 2016). Ayrton Group operates across Ireland, the U.K and various other locations, “The new positions will support the company’s growing activity across all its key markets, including Ireland, UK, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands” (RTE, 2016). As per interview (Mar 2019), Ayrton Group employ health and safety professionals who do daily/weekly site inspections, audits, tool box talks, safety statements, risk assessments, traffic management plans and so on. Health and Safety is such a big sector nowadays, both at home and abroad. Since Kieran re-branded to Ayrton Group his business clientele has increased massively, with most of the trade being Leinster based. Kieran has employed around 45 individuals in the Newmarket office and the bigger proportion based from the Tallaght office. Newmarket would be the busiest of the two offices for training purposes. Ayrton have a number of local employees “on the road” travelling nationwide, these employees do anything from site calls, to audits to consultancy etc. Kieran has put a lot into his company in the past 26 years, and he is constantly improving the business and increasing his clientele weekly. As per interview (Mar 2019), Kieran is such an inspirational person, he gets involved with the local secondary school. He invites the Transition year students who do an entrepreneurial aspect themselves to come to the company for the day, while at the office he provides them with refreshments and speaks to them about the risks and rewards of setting up your own business. I think this is of huge benefit to those transition year students who are really only getting a taster for what it would be like to set up a business, it makes them think about what they actually want to do after leaving school. I have previously done work experience on numerous occasions within Kieran’s company, I became very familiar with their paperwork and began to take an interest in health and safety. The more I read into Occupational Health and Safety the more fascinated I became, I decided to research it and I was told to speak with people who had experience in the field. I have spoken with many of Ayrton Groups employees and got their feedback and I decided to go ahead and complete a diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. Only for the experience I gained while in Ayrton Group, I never would have completed the diploma. Bibliography: • Álvarez-Herranz, Agustín et al. (2011) How entrepreneurial characteristics influence company creation: a cross-national study of 22 countriestested with panel data methodology. Journal of Business Economics and Management. [Online] 12 (3), 529–545. • Anon (n.d.) Demography & Innovative Entrepreneurship. ifo Institute for Economic Research. • Ayrton Group (2019) Ayrton Group, available: http://www.ayrton.ie/ [accessed 13 Mar 2019] • Irish Building (2016), Health and Safety Services re-brands to Ayrton Group, available: https://www.irishbuildingmagazine.ie/2016/10/12/health-and-safety-services-re-brands-to-ayrton-group/ [accessed 13 Mar 2019). • Kenton, W (2019) Investopedia, available: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/entrepreneur.asp [accessed 13 Mar 2019] • National Construction Summit (2017) National Construction Summit, available: http://www.nationalconstructionsummit.ie/speaker/3534/#!prettyPhoto-3534/0/ [accessed 13 Mar 2019) • Rigotti, Luca et al. (2001) Entrepreneurial Innovation. [online]. Available from: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/508109h4. • RTE (2016) Cork-based Ayrton Group to create 60 jobs and open Dublin office, available: https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2016/1005/821578-ayrton-group-creates-60-jobs-opens-dublin-office/ [accessed 13 Mar 2019]

Other essay:   Entrepreneurship and leadership

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