Denis O’Brien, 1998 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™(EOY), was featured as the first guest of EOY Ireland’s Architects of Business series. The EOY Ireland programme works to build a supportive community amongst Ireland and Northern Ireland’s best entrepreneurs and business people. The new YouTube series follows the entrepreneurial journeys of EOY winners where they share insights and experiences that have aided their road to progress. In this episode, Denis speaks about his entrepreneurial beginnings and the influence his father had on his business education and instincts.
Denis, who has a background in telecommunications in Ireland, recognised an opportunity to bring mobile communications and operations to Jamaica. The new business, Digicel, soon began expanding to other Caribbean and Central America commonwealth countries and eventually overtook the market share from the previous leader in mobile operations. After spending time in Haiti, Denis decided to take action and has built over 180 schools to grant children access to education. Denis went on to further discuss the importance of giving back to communities in need stating, “If you’re investing in poor countries you’ve got to leave something behind– there has to be a legacy. Not alone do you develop your business to great heights, but you also have to do something in the community.”
Watch Denis’s episode to learn more about his history, successes and his advice for the next generation of entrepreneurs.