There was something else bothering me that I wanted to flag here. The attitude of a small number of people who are not pulling together to try and help companies become more efficient so they can compete in global markets.
Think of this - it has happened twice in the last month - 2 different people asking me if I know anyone in two different foreign markets who might be able to help them find a supplier or two of raw materials. Totally different businesses, totally different requirements - similar request - "can you put me in touch with someone" - which is, let's face it, what business is all about.
I personally don't have a problem with helping international business flourish. The stuff they need can't be sourced here; they're having to buy it in from the UK and elsewhere. I'm an advocate of the ThinkIrish campaign, so if they can't get it here then it's ok by me that we look elsewhere.
Makes sense, right? We all do it, it works, no harm no foul.
Apparently not. When I called Enterprise Ireland (have contacts there from previous employment & some recent research I was doing) I was met with very helpful people who all seemed to point me in the right directions. Then I called the International offices for some detail on how to go about this sort of thing. BRICK WALL. They don't feel "comfortable" assisting these guys in any way. Their role is to assist Irish companies in exporting, not the other way around.
Yes, I realise that, thank you, I'm not entirely stupid. All I'm looking for is a name - like the Exporters Association for the 2 different regions I'm researching. Do you happen to know anyone there? I thought we were all about pulling together for the sake of our poor little broke nation? It always helps to have a specific name in these situations, I can use Google myself.
And that's what they suggested I do. Use Google. Tell the people who were asking me for help, to use Google.
Can you believe that?
So I wrote a stinky email to a few people back in EI that I know, telling them about my experiences and lo & behold - a message came back so fast with names and direct lines that that I had to laugh.
They helped me, I passed on that good information, and away we go, Ireland Inc working hard once again to try and survive this quagmire of economic disaster.