Gerry Delaney has been working with entrepreneurs for the last 20 years, both on venture capital-related issues and through training and consultancy programmes. In 2007, Gerry opened a Kendlebell franchise in Dublin, offering ‘Virtual Office’ services to small- and medium-sized businesses.
In June 2013, Gerry received a CV from Muriel Rodde, a French entrepreneur seeking to open a concierge service company in the south west of France. The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme allowed him to expand his customer base and range of services, as well as offering an opportunity for him to build business relationships abroad.
He says “this is something we couldn’t have achieved prior to our participation in the programme and who knows what one good business introduction could lead to.”
Muriel describes the programme as “a tremendous opportunity to meet an entrepreneur in the same sphere. It also allowed me to improve my English in order to better respond to the expectations of my clients.”
Gerry agrees: “I think the real long-term value of the programme is to establish a relationship with someone from another country who can help you develop your business overseas. In Muriel we have someone who can assist us build relationships with French businesses on the ground.”
On cultural differences, Muriel says that “even if Irish society is different from France, running a business demands the same knowledge. The things I have learned will allow me to avoid the pitfalls that every entrepreneur has to face.”
During her stay in Ireland, Muriel learned new marketing techniques and built up databases of potential French clients and partners for Kendlebell. “This trip made me more motivated to realise my project in France. I’ll take all the opportunities available to me to achieve success and perhaps one day, become a host entrepreneur myself!”