Rags to Riches

Yesterday we visited FoodCloud, a non profit dedicated to eliminating food waste, and Enterprise Ireland, a company that invests in Irish born companies and helps them export their products. The companies are very different but both share the same mission, to help and serve the people of Ireland.

I was particularly interested in how much FoodCloud talked about how they have to charge people and companies in order to survive in the long run. When I think of charities I think of what they donate or their mission but never think about how they must keep themselves afloat. Food Cloud explained their strategies of charging companies a discount of what it would be to dispose their food, so the companies are still saving money but Foodcloud gets a piece of the pie (no pun intended). They seemed like they were struggling to guarantee longevity in the company, but at the same time they are a non-profit who is trying to get rid of the very food they give back.  Our host, John, said that it is all charities’ goals to one day put themselves out of business.  FoodCloud’s mission is to eliminate food waste around Europe,  but they also make their money by redistributing food surpluses to other local charities.  The two goals are negatively correlated, and they are aware of that.

On the other hand, Enterprise Ireland displayed how they were doing billions of dollars of business in multiple sectors.  It was quite the transition from FoodCloud who seemed like they were scrapping pennies together.  My interest in Enterprise Ireland was in their leadership training programs.  They basically have anything from 2 day training to 4 month training for CEO’s of high potential start-ups.  They give them the guidance and all the resources they need to succeed on an international level, while also creating a cooperative community of successful companies.  They have these start-up CEO’s meet in peer-to-peer events and brainstorm solutions to common business issues and what not.  Also, it was interesting to hear Enterprise Ireland talk about Brexit.  They are yet another Irish based company who pitched brexit as a challenge rather than an advantage.  Unlike Google who will benefit from Brexit.  In most of their exporting companies, especially food, the #1 trade partner is the UK. Brexit puts all of those trade ties in jeopardy.

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