In a new weekly series, we talk to emigrants who have returned to Ireland and started a business. This week we talk to Eoin McGloughlin from Memfies.

Back for Business fosters entrepreneurial activity among emigrants recently returned or returning to live in Ireland through a peer learning approach.

The initiative is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Thirty-eight entrepreneurs from across the country have just completed the second cycle of Back for Business. 

We will profile a number of them over the coming weeks. This week we talked with Eoin McGloughlin who returned from Australia to set up his Sligo-based business Memfies

How long were you away from Ireland and what did you do?

I was away from Ireland for nearly 12 years. I worked in a variety of different roles in Indonesia, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. A lot of this time I was contracting as a commercial diver. I did a lot of travelling over the years and was lucky enough to get to see a lot of the world!

What attracted you back to Ireland? Was it for personal or professional reasons?

We came home for personal reasons. We wanted our daughter to have some time with our families as she grew up. It has been great for her to be able to spend time with everyone.

What is your business all about?

We create videos using crowdsourced content from weddings and events. We are mainly focused on the wedding industry as we get started although we have a number of bigger projects for different events also coming up. As technology progressed and the quality and quantity of content being taken by individuals continuously increased it became apparent that, by making it easy to gather the individual videos, we could produce a finished product which would represent any event very well. It’s a very simple concept matching the public as the “social videographer” with our editing team. We have put a platform in place which means that we always have editors available to meet the demand. We can create authentic videos of these events using this method which makes our offering extremely interesting to brands as well as brides and grooms!

This type of solution works very well in the case of a wedding as the quantity (and quality) of content being taken by guests is very high and the fact that 95pc of people now carry a very good camera in their pocket means that a lot of parts of the wedding day which might be missed otherwise are now captured by your friends and family. It also means that we can create a very personal view of a wedding day from start to finish. The fact that a lot of people don’t want to be in front of a videographer all day on their wedding day, the affordability and the unique perspective we can show using this method make this a very attractive offering for a wedding celebration!

We also operate as an editing platform working directly with clients whether they are wedding videographers who want to complete same day edits or clients creating content for their social media.

Was it hard starting up again in Ireland? What caused the most problems?

We settled back into life here very quickly. The hardest part about starting again in Ireland was that my wife and I were both starting businesses at the same time. But this was our own choice, of course! My wife had an established business in Melbourne, but she was really starting out again when we arrived back to Ireland. She now has a very successful business Morgan Bonel Photography based here in Sligo and it is going very well. 

Getting bank accounts and car insurance organised was probably what caused the most problems after arriving back in Ireland. 

What needs to change to make it easier for returning emigrants to start businesses in Ireland? 

The tax structures which are currently in place do not make it an attractive place to want to start a business. This needs to be updated in order to make it more attractive to more people. We need to be encouraging entrepreneurship, we want to create an atmosphere where risk taking is rewarded, not just for returning emigrants but for everyone. There was a great article recently in ThinkBusines.ie in which Sarah-Jane Larkin is quoted as saying: “We need to cultivate an image of a country that says ‘we back start-ups’. We need to create incentives that encourage individuals to take risks and I feel we don’t have that balance in the country right now.”

Pictured (above) from left: Julie Currid, Initiafy (Lead Entrepreneur); Eoin McGloughlin, Memfies; Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarnan Cannon, TD; and Teresa Roche, Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 15 August, 2019