Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Important for a Business

The concept of corporate social responsibility is based on three aspects that serve as it’s three pillars: economic, social and environmental responsibilities. For a company to successfully practice CSR, there should be policies and procedures in place, which integrate the economic, social and environmental concerns into the business operations.

Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

There are multiple reasons why a company should put CSR at the heart of their business:

  • More Efficient Use of Resources – It pays to be socially, economically and environmentally responsible. When a company is conscious of their footprint, they reap the rewards as they become more efficient in their use of resources.
  • Reputation Management – A company’s CSR programmes can directly affect their public image. While a positive public response can help build a stellar reputation, a negative response can be detrimental to the consumer’s perception and trust in the brand. Therefore, it is important for a business to invest time and resources into their CSR policy to order to aid their reputation.
  • Millennial Demand – Millennials, and even more so Generation Z care about a company’s CSR program more than any other generation of consumers. Studies have shown that these consumers, who have the highest purchasing power, will spend more money on brands that engage in CSR initiatives and brands that support causes they care about. In this digital age where these consumers tend to voice their opinions across social channels, the need for superior CSR programmes has become a necessity.
  • Employee Satisfaction – Investing in CSR means investing in your employee workplace and their satisfaction. Professionals are increasingly seeking to be employed by companies who care about them and other social issues, and as a result, successful CSR tends to attract and retain high quality employees. This investment in building a positive workplace environment leads to employee satisfaction, which in turn results in a higher level of employee engagement.
  • Enhanced Customer Loyalty – Increased employee engagement leads to a higher level of customer service which in turn results in a better customer experience. An individuals experience with a brand is directly linked with customer loyalty, and so investing in CSR can help improve customer loyalty.
  • Attracts Investors – Responsible companies attract and help retain investors as investors themselves are becoming increasingly more interested in a company’s corporate social responsibility performance. Investors are looking past financial results and want to see the practical impact social responsibility has on a firms’ performance.

A company’s efficient use of resources, good public image, high rates of employee engagement, enhanced customer loyalty and backing from investors will result in the company having an overall improved better line, helping their long-term sustainability.

Here at Entrepreneurs Academy, we strongly believe in Corporate Social Responsibility and understand the requirement for it to be part of our core strategy. Our CSR policy and procedures represent who we are as a company, and the values we believe in. We operate with the end goal of creating shared value, we want to maximise the positive impact we can have on society while at the same time maximising the creation of shared value for the business, our employees, and our stakeholders.

Leadership Challenges from Around the World

This article was originally posted by the Center for Creative Leadership.

What are the leadership challenges that organisations face around the world and do these challenges differ around the world? Our researchers went straight to the source to answer these questions, gathering input from 763 middle- and executive-level leaders in organisations from China/Hong Kong, Egypt, India, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S., and Spain.

Our study found these leaders consistently face the same 6 leadership challenges — even if they describe their challenges and specific context in different ways:

1. Developing managerial effectiveness is the challenge of developing the relevant skills — such as time-management, prioritisation, strategic thinking, decision-making, and getting up to speed with the job — to be more effective at work.

2. Inspiring others is the challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they’re satisfied with their jobs and working smarter.

3. Developing employees is the challenge of developing others, including mentoring and coaching.

4. Leading a team is the challenge of team-building, team development, and team management. Specific challenges include how to instill pride, how to provide support, how to lead a big team, and what to do when taking over a new team.

5. Guiding change is the challenge of managing, mobilising, understanding, and leading change. Guiding change includes knowing how to mitigate consequences, overcome resistance to change, and deal with employees’ reactions to change.

6. Managing internal stakeholders is the challenge of managing relationships, politics, and image. This challenge includes gaining managerial support, managing up, and getting buy-in from other departments, groups, or individuals.

Knowing that these leadership challenges are common experiences for middle and senior managers is helpful to both the leaders and those charged with their development, according to our researchers. Individuals can benefit from knowing their experiences aren’t isolated, and can feel more confident reaching out to others for help facing these leadership challenges.

Here are 4 concrete things leaders can do to address these common challenges:

Read more…

5 Leadership Styles for Effective Management

This article was originally posted by Tracey Maurer for UVM Outreach.

What kind of leader are you? Do you follow the classic definition of a leader: someone who aims to influence and motivate employees to meet organisational goals and effectiveness?

If you’re doing your job, then this definition might sound familiar. But let’s get more specific. Do you have a particular leadership style that you feel has effective management?

Most leaders generally adhere to one or two preferred styles of leadership with which they feel comfortable. But the challenge is that great leaders have multiple leadership styles in their toolkit, and they are adept at diagnosing situations and using the right leadership styles at the right times, according to David Jones, associate professor of management at the University of Vermont.

Jones identifies five styles drawn from theory and research on leadership for effective management that he thinks are important for all leaders to have in their toolkit:

  • Directive: You’re no dictator, but you’re very clear in establishing performance objectives for your team. You’re adept at providing structure and skilled at clarifying employees’ perceptions of their roles. When needed – and this isn’t always a bad thing because some situations might require it – you tend toward micro-managing.
  • Supportive: If you’re approachable and empathetic, then you’re probably a supportive leader. You show concern for employees, and you treat them with dignity and respect. Your employees, in turn, feel valued and cared for. In times of change, they trust you to help them manage uncertainty.
  • Participative: If you’re someone who works hard for buy-in by soliciting employee input, then you’re most definitely a participative leader. You encourage employee involvement in decision-making and, more importantly, ensure they know that their views will be – and have been – considered. Depending on the situation, you consult directly with employees; other times, you delegate your authority to employees who engage in the decision-making.

Read more…

Company Core Values: Why Have Them?

Core values are extremely important to any organisation. They are what support the company mission and vision, and help shape the company’s culture. They are the backbone of the company’s identity, expressing the company’s principles and beliefs. They are the heart of who you are and what you do and they communicate the company’s authenticity and uniqueness.

Many companies make the mistake of putting their core values to the side and instead ensuring that their core competencies such as teamwork, reliability and communication are at the forefront of the company. However they should be putting the emphasis on the company core values, and hiring people who share those same values. By doing so, the core competencies will naturally stem from the values-based culture that will have been created.

Doing this will help things run smoothly both internally and externally and contribute to the overall success of the organisation. As business owners, one must identify and live out the core values of the company for the following reasons:

  • Clarify the identity of the company – They educate all stakeholders and potential customers about what the company is and what they stand for. The values are often what the public base their perception of the company off and so getting these right is crucial from the outset.
  • Act as a source of competitive advantage – Core values are what differentiate a company from competitors within the field. People are attracted to values that resemble their own. Having a clear set of core values that speak to the public can instil confidence and trust in customers to want to buy from a company. This in turn will foster long-term relationships with the brand, thus proving to act as a source of competitive advantage.
  • Key for employee recruiting and retention – Hiring the person who best fits a team is vastly more important than the technical expertise that they may bring, as a company can always train them in the skills necessary. When companies clearly outline their core values, it makes it easier to attract like-minded people who fit in with the company culture thus leading to greater productivity.
  • Influence overall behaviour – Core values act as a guideline for employee behaviour. When clearly defined, they can inspire employees to hold themselves to a higher standard which can help shape the way they do their jobs. You can easily tell when the values are at the heart of an organisation’s culture, as the employees live the values out, and every company ultimately wants this.
  • Help with decision-making – Core values make decision making easier as a business is not going to make a decision if the outcome doesn’t align with their values. Thus they help align your whole business. They assist with the smooth internal running of the business, and this is then automatically transitioned externally.

Throughout all of the Entrepreneurs Academy courses, emphasis is placed on company values and the importance of having them. This is particularly true for the Ignite courses, which are specifically designed for Start-ups. Often Start-ups try to jump straight into getting the business up and running, not realising the importance of having a strong foundation and identity for the company, something which is built around a set of core values. If you are a Start-up seeking expertise help, check out the range of courses available to you here. Or for any other additional information you may need, get in contact with us, we’d be happy to help.

How to Increase Your Workplace Influence

How to Increase Your Workplace Influence

This article was originally posted by Rebecca Knight for the Harvard Business Review on February 16, 2018.

To be effective in organisations today, you must have a high level of workplace influence. Your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others, nor do you always have a formal position. So, what’s the best way to position yourself as an informal leader? How do you motivate colleagues to support your initiatives and adopt your ideas? How can you become a go-to person that others look to for guidance and expert advice?

What the Experts Say

Having workplace influence has “clear value,” says Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You. “You get more done and you advance the projects you care about and are responsible for,” which means “you’re more likely to be noticed, get promoted, and receive raises.” But gaining influence in the modern workplace is difficult, according to Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues. “It’s never been harder to influence others, because they’ve never been more distracted,” he says. “Information overload and the pace of our digital lives have [led to short attention spans].” And yet, “it’s more important than ever to be able to command influence, because of the increased pressure on getting results.” It all comes down to your approach. Here are some tips.

Build connections

It’s not quite a junior high school popularity contest, but “at a fundamental level, one of the reasons that people do things for you” — support your idea, or approve your budget — “is because they like you,” Clark says. You don’t have to be “the awesome-est person in the room” or make sure “everyone is blown away by your charisma.” You just need to have good rapport with your colleagues. This won’t translate directly into influence, of course, but it does “make it more likely that others will at least hear you out.” So, work on cultivating personal connections with your colleagues, and allow them to get to know you. “That way, they won’t impute negative intentions or motives to you.”

Listen before you try to persuade

The best way to prime colleagues for backing you and your agenda is to make them feel heard. Start by giving them your undivided attention in one-on-one situations. “Most of us walk around with a running to-do list in our heads,” Morgan says, and it shows. We’re fidgety, preoccupied, or ready to reach for our phones. Instead, you should “practice the discipline of focus.” To do this, “turn your body toward the other person, freeze in place, and listen.” Clark agrees: “A big part of workplace resentment is people feeling disrespected and that their voices aren’t being heard.” So, ask colleagues for their perspectives and advice.

Read more…

5 Pieces of Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs

Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t the most straightforward of paths, or at least it rarely is. The path to success is abundant with mistakes made and lessons learned, and more often than not will result in entrepreneurs questioning whether their business idea has what it takes to make it. In these times of doubt, the difference between quitting and persisting through can be as a result of some simple advice from someone whose been in your shoes before. From following your heart to reconnecting with your “why”, we’ve put together our favourite pieces of advice from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs:

  • Lululemon founder Chip Wilson: It’s ok to ask for help
    “It took me a long time to understand it, but [the advice was] to ask for help and that I don’t know it all,”. “People love to help. I don’t have to be insecure and know it all.”
  • ClassPass co-founder Payal Kadakia: Reconnect with your “Why”
    “It’s easy to get sucked into the minutia of the day-to-day tasks of building a business, so take the time to get back to your inspiration and reconnect with your mission and vision. Going back to your ‘why’ can help shift your mindset since it’s the only thing that matters.”
  • Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: Follow Your Heart
    “Do not be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Do not let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. Most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
  • OnPrem Solution Partners founder, Candice Lu: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
    “I once asked my mom how she was able to rise above the fact that she was a minority and a woman to achieve her accomplishments. She told me that it was because she never once thought about the fact that she was a minority or a woman, but that she was just the best doctor there. So basically do not negotiate with yourself, sell yourself short or compromise your approach before you even walk into a room. “
  • Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington: Love and believe in your business idea
    “If you’re going to start a business, you need to really love it, because not everybody is going to love it.” “When you really believe in your product, you are willing to deal with all the naysayers and persevere.”

While there is such value and insight to this advice, actually listening to it and taking it on board is what proves to be most difficult for people! Here at the Entrepreneurs Academy, we understand this and so offer a number of courses to help entrepreneurs at the various stages of their business development. If you are still struggling at the beginning, check out our range of Ignite courses, specifically designed with start-ups in mind. Or for any other additional information you may need, get in contact with us, we’d be happy to help.

Leadership & Management Development for Creative Business Owners

Do you work in the creative sector and run your own business? Well, as I’m describing the following problems, do you identify with them and am I describing you?

  • You work hard
  • You don’t pay yourself enough
  • You don’t take time off
  • You don’t plan for the future (living and running the business week to week)
  • You are slow to hire
  • You don’t ask for help

Now while I realise that those statements could apply to any business I do find however that it applies more commonly to business owners in the creative sector more than anywhere else. Owner/managers of businesses in the wider creative sector are skilled masters of design and craft, but they need to build their leadership and management skills. In order to see their excellent products and services reach the people they need to reach and provide them the lifestyle they deserve, they need to invest time in training, education and skills development in their design discipline.

The team at the Entrepreneurs Academy have designed a leadership and management development programme specifically for creative business owners to realise the full potential in their design excellence. This is a 20 week course which aims to up-skill the self-employed owners/managers of small businesses within the creative industries with the management skills, leadership skills and business knowledge to achieve sustainability and growth in their business. It aims to equip and support them in reflecting on their success so far and in defining a clear vision for the future. It will help them in setting and measuring ambitious but achievable goals. It aims to give small business owners in the creative sector a greater sense of control and focus within the business especially with regards to building sales and financial management skills. A business can only be as strong as its leader so the course will develop and enhance the leadership, management, personal skills and behaviours of the learner. We help build the leader and equip them to in turn build a stronger business with ambition to scale.

Our course aims to be highly practical, impactful and outcomes focused. The course will be based in Dublin City Centre and will last for 20 weeks. Although Dublin based, this programme is open to applications from learners outside of Dublin and scheduling of all elements have taken travel and work commitments into full consideration. If you feel that you would like to know more about the course, click here or alternatively feel free to get in contact with us here at the Entrepreneurs Academy via springboard@entrepreneursacademy.ie

Noel Davidson
Lead Trainer, Entrepreneurs Academy

Thrive – Business Growth Programme

One of the questions that I’m often asked as Lead Trainer with the Entrepreneurs Academy is:
Why is it in the first couple of years in business that many businesses don’t make it?

My answer is always that they don’t seek the help they need that is available from various support networks and try to survive the first couple of years in business on their own.

Every entrepreneur wants to give their business the very best chance of success and one such support programme is : Thrive – The Business Growth Programme. The Thrive programme has been developed to offer support, training, mentoring and networking opportunities to help business owners get through the first few difficult years in business. The majority of this programme takes place online however participants will be required to attend boot camps on scheduled dates throughout the 24 months that the programme is scheduled. We at the Entrepreneurs Academy have designed the Thrive programme to be flexible and supportive with both online and out of hours help from our panel of experts and peers.

Thrive – Business Growth Programme details :

  • 7 days of boot camp training will take place over a 2 year period.
  • Subsequent off-the-grid and next steps boot camps taking place intermittently.
  • 10 x Half day skills workshops and 2 x mastermind training programmes over 2 years.
  • Online peer support interaction will take place regularly.

If you feel that you would like to know more about the course, click here or alternatively feel free to get in contact with us here at the Entrepreneurs Academy.

Noel Davidson
Lead Trainer, Entrepreneurs Academy

Joanne Hession Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team

As an Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, Joanne is certified to facilitate, speak, train and coach individuals and groups in the areas of leadership development, professional skills and personal growth. Trained and mentored by John Maxwell and mentors of his world-class faculty, Joanne is equipped with the tools, resources and experience to help you and your team improve your productivity, performance and profitability. Whether you are looking for a facilitator for group workshops, corporate training in leadership, speaking, sales, or coaching skills for your leaders, or a speaker for your next event, Joanne has access to exclusive content that is only available through a certified Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team to help you reach your goals and objectives.

Click for Full details Joannes leadership and professional development programs on the John Maxwell Team Website.

About Joanne Hession : Joanne is passionate about Entrepreneurship and about helping individuals to achieve their business ambitions.  As founder and CEO of The Entrepreneurs Academy, QED Accreditation Advisors and her newest venture, The Business School GPS, Joanne is a portfolio entrepreneur.  She is also a recognised leader in training and business development in Ireland, where she also acts as a government advisor. Her business, The Entrepreneurs Academy, has trained thousands of entrepreneurs towards success over 18 years. As the leading government supplier, in 2015/16 alone The Entrepreneurs Academy trained over 400 long-term job seekers to start their own business in addition to training over 5,000 people on their start-up journey.

Global Business School Advisor

Beyond Ireland, Joanne has a reputation as a trusted advisor to University Business Schools. Her company QED The Accreditation Experts (www.QEDaa.com) works with over 100 Business Schools in over 16 countries enabling them to achieve various accreditation awards.  She sits on a number of European University Advisory Boards and has recently been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the American University in the Emirates, Dubai.

Developing Entrepreneurship across the ages

Together with her team, Joanne is leading the expansion of The Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship (www.experieneurship.com) in the UK and Ireland, unleashing the potential of Senior entrepreneurs worldwide.  At the other end of the spectrum, Joanne is on the Board of Bizworld, a non-profit organization to ignite entrepreneurship in the minds of primary school children.

Developing entrepreneurship in women

Joanne has had a long-term interest in supporting female entrepreneurs. She was selected as one of 15 Irish female mentors to assist new female entrepreneurs for the European Commission. In 2007, leveraging her knowledge and network, Joanne convened and continues to facilitate a closed peer board of successful entrepreneurial women who collectively turn over in excess of €400mn annually. Known as ‘The Board You Can’t Afford’, they continue to meet quarterly.

Providing a voice for Entrepreneurs

Hession is an elected Council Member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, providing a voice in the Chamber for SMES and microenterprises and has recently been appointed to the Board.  She is a Board member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Chairs the Chamber’s SME Committee.  She is an Advisory Board Member of the University of Hertfordshire Business School in the UK and Chairs Advisory Boards for a number of start-up and established companies.

Author, Speaker and Media commentator on Entrepreneurship

A frequent keynote speaker at international conferences, Joanne is also co-author of #1 best selling book “Don’t Get A Job, Build A Business”. She is listed as one of the top 100 All-Island Business Women by Irish Entrepreneur and You Business and was a recent finalist in the Women Mean Business Awards.  Joanne is a recognised media commentator on entrepreneurship.  For example, she joined Bobby Kerr as an expert panel member on Newstalk’s ‘Down To Business Show’ for the eight episodes of AIB’s Getting Started Series.

Joanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin, specialising in Finance, and a Master of Business Studies Degree in Management from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin.  Joanne holds a certificate in Training from NUI Maynooth (1st Class Hons).

Full Time Programme Manager Required

Full Time Programme Manager

Do you want to join an enthusiastic, growing education and training company that believes in continuous learning and achieving your true potential?We are people of value who value other people and if you’d like to join our team contact us today!


We are looking to recruit an energetic, self-motivated senior full-time Programme Manager.This is a busy dynamic role and will focus on managing training projects from start to endand ensuring that they run smoothly, efficiently and with excellent customer service. It will also have additional functions such as managing and scheduling our training team, providing support to the wider team and other opportunities whilst continuously keeping an eye on key company goals such as driving profit and sales – we’re a lean, productive team with big ideas and ambitions and we focus on results and achieving goals rather than on ‘activity’!


Tasks and Responsibilities:

Management and administration of Training Programmes and Projects:

  1. Timetabling and scheduling programmes and trainers/mentors
  2. Reviewing training materials, printing (if necessary), putting them online and organizing collection by the trainers/mentors
  3. Attending Programme Management Team meetings and other meetings per programme/projects
  4. Keeping trainers/mentors informed of anything relevant to them and their delivery of programmes
  5. Reviewing programme attendance and evaluations and update the team during team meetings
  6. Preparing programme reports and submitting to clients
  7. Liaising with trainers and clients
  8. Ensuring excellent customer experience for participants and our clients (internal and external)
  9. Supporting the Programme Management Team and the wider team
  10. Other duties ad-hoc that maybe assigned.


Required Skills and Competencies:

  • Self-motivated and autonomous
  • Strong organizational and administration skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Customer-oriented person and excellent customer service skills
  • Quick learner and team player
  • Flexible and able to work in a fast paced environment
  • Positive and energetic attitude
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Sales ability, networking skills
  • Ability to learn about social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)


Required Qualifications:

  • Business Administration, Management or similar degree is a must
  • Experience in a similar role with an ability to hit the ground running, a distinct advantage
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • Knowledge of other software applications, social media and web-based tools such as Adobe Photoshop, database management, WordPress, Mailchimp etc an advantage but not required
  • Experience in process improvement through technology, an advantage.


If you are interested, please send your application and CV to suzanne@entrepreneursacademy.ie