Former Irish Software Association chair Mary Cryan has joined the e-business provider Novara IT as a business mentor under the Enterprise Ireland Mentor Programme.
Novara IT’s chief executive Eoin Costello described Cryan’s appointment as a turning point in the company’s fortunes. The company has grown rapidly in the past three years and is now entering a more mature growth phase.
In her time as chairperson of the Irish Software Association and an independent consultant to IT firms, Cryan has been instrumental in the internationalisation of numerous technology firms, including Baltimore Technologies, Norkom and Massana. Until recently she was head of technology research at Prospectus Consulting.
Costello said that Novara is planning an expansion into Europe in 2004 and is putting in place structures that will underpin the next major growth phase, of which Cryan will prove to be a crucial element.
The Mentor Network, established by Enterprise Ireland five years ago, has provided almost 5,000 companies with pragmatic advice and assistance to help them identify and overcome barriers to growth.
A survey of companies which have participated in Enterprise Ireland’s Mentor Network has shown significant increases in sales, exports and employment as a result of involvement in the programme. More than 90pc of respondents described the Mentor’s input as either very important or important.
Some 38pc of companies surveyed reported sales increases ranging from 7pc to 400pc with the average being 92pc. Some 35pc of companies recruited new staff since the mentors’ involvement, with the average increase being 10 employees per company. A further 21pc of companies have increased their export sales by between 5pc and 200pc.
While not all of these changes can be attributed to a mentor’s influence, some 75pc of respondents said that this had a significant impact. In addition, 42pc of the respondents stated that the mentors had a positive effect on other forms of available assistance through their advice on dealings with banks, state bodies and so on.
By John Kennedy