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Ireland Portugal Business Network – A Network Overview
As we continue to travel globally, we turn our focus to the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN) for this review.
My first question to Arnold was to find out where he’s from! Normally a person’s name gives an indication of region or nationality, but in this case Arnold Deville didn’t speak to me as either Irish or Portuguese. The answer is, Arnold is from French speaking Belgium. He married a Portuguese lady and has lived there for 20 years at this stage. You can check out his profile here. He’s been with the IPBN for four years now.
IPBN has actually been in existence for many years, but hadn’t really been active. When Tony and Aoife Boyle moved to Lisbon they were looking for a network, found IPBN and decided to reignite it and relaunch it as part of the Portuguese business ecosystem. Therein lay the catalyst for what we see today. The relaunch was hosted by the Irish Embassy in Lisbon and the guest of honour was none other than Michael O’Leary!
Arnold came on board about 4 years ago and works full time in the network. At that stage there were only about 10-15 members involved. They now have a part time content manager who works on the team to generate member content and profile to support the growing member base.
There are 12 on the board and this board was recently renewed and voted in at the April 2022 AGM. The make up is a mix of Irish and Portuguese entrepreneurs and business people.
There are now 165 members and they boast a renewal rate of 80% which is really strong. It’s a testament to the strength of their membership and to the value they bring their members. Members typically comes from companies and businesses in Lisbon, the Algarve, Dublin and Cork – although this is expanding to new horizons with Porto as a new hub in the making.
Members currently come from IT, Tech, Telecoms, Healthcare, Agriculture, Tourism, Leisure, Travel, Real Estate, Finance, Accounting, Legal and Marketing.
There is a tiered membership as follows. Subscriptions are annual.
- Individuals and small businesses (1-5 people) – €100
- Medium sized businesses (6-25 people) – €250
- Large sized businesses (25 people and over) – €425
There is also a corporate package available for companies who wish to strategically align themselves with the IPBN.
All payments and memberships can be processed online, which is very convenient. You can click here to join today.
There is an open seat policy. All interested businesses are welcome.
There is a wide ranging list of benefits. I really got a sense that the members are truly at the epicentre of all activity and the IPBN team are so focussed on generating tremendous value. Benefits include:
- Membership affords members free access to all events
- Website profile
- Member spotlight interview with Arnold
- Publicity on monthly newsletter – 20/25 member stories are collated and promoted in this newsletter
- Weekly member round up on Linkedin – Arnold collates stories about members and puts them together each week to help promote out the companies
- Introductions to businesses and people of interest to member companies
- Guest speaker educational events – in conversation with a leader events are also held every 6-8 weeks
- Masterclasses – the masterclasses are a relatively new addition to the IPBN toolkit and were introduced through Covid. It’s been welcomed by members and therefore something that will be continued. Topics have included: supports from Irish and Portuguese governments, ecommerce marketing, brand development and managing a team in a hybrid workspace
- Two conferences – one around St. Patrick’s Day and another in the Autumn time
- Jobs board – members who have jobs to advertise can do so through the network
- Podcast – in the pipeline for development
- Networking events – meet the member events are held every 6-8 weeks. Six to eight members are chosen to give a brief presentation on their businesses for ca. 3 minutes each.
Arnold is adamant that IPBN will remain a relatively small and intimate network. The members value the fact that they can really get to know one another, so their long term aim is to grow to 200-220 members maximum. He makes a point of speaking to the members each quarter to see where their business is and how IPBN can be of service.
If you’d like to know more and see if the IPBN is a good fit for you, please reach out to Arnold and start a conversation.
Arnold Delville – General Manager on Email or by phone: +351 969 196 055
To find out more on the Ireland Portugal Business Network, you can follow their online activities here: Website, YouTube, Linkedin
I hope you enjoyed this network overview of the Ireland Portugal Business Network. If you are involved in other networks and would like to see them promoted and reviewed, please do connect me in and I’ll do the rest!
Fancy Visiting More International Networks?
Check out these profiles:
Go down under to Melbourne: Your Time Matters or
Go Stateside to Philadelphia and visit the Irish American Business Chamber & Network
Book a Coaching Session:
Would you like to network strategically to work towards achieving your goals? Would you like to learn to network with intention for maximum influence and impact for your business or your career? Why not book an hour consultation with me? You can book and pay here.
I also have a special offer of a reduced rate for a package of 3 hours coaching, which can be booked and paid for here.