Posted: April 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


Lately I’ve been putting a *lot* of time and effort into getting the GreenHouse incubator in Limerick of the ground. I’ve have made a huge amount of progress and it now looks like we will be opening the doors in June.The amount of support received form all corners has been great but one thing has been lacking. In spite of our (myself and other “volunteers”) repeated appeals for support to Dell nothing has been forthcoming. This is especially disappointing seeing that Dell’s decision to make 2000+ employees redundant has created the majority of the job losses in the Limerick region.

Don’t get me wrong; I can fully understand Dell’s decision to move production to Poland. It’s economics 101, wages costs (amongst others) have become too high in Ireland and in order to stay competitive there was no better option that to move production abroad. However rather than abandoning Limerick altogether the least Dell could do is help create employment for some of the people that are being made redundant.

We approached Dell some time ago to discuss how we could get the word out for Bizcamp Limerick amongst their employees. They like the initiative and it was initially agreed that they would let us put a few people in their canteen over a two days to spread the word on Bizcamp. However this just fizzled away into nothing when we tried to firm up on a date. I also put forward the idea in Dell supporting the GreenHouse incubator. Either by donating some of the excess office equipment (desk, chairs, cubicles etc) or providing the necessary IT equipment. In return the would get a huge amount of positive publicity and have an opportunity to show some goodwill. Neither option would be prohibitively expensive. I even suggested a long term partnership and renaming the incubator the “DELL Greenhouse”.

So far the comeback has been zero…..

Am I overly optimistic in expecting them to contribute? Am I misguided? Or do you think that Dell should support this kind of effort? I mentioned this issue during my interview on RTE One’s “Business show” last Sunday and it has been picked up on Twitter where people have started using the #doitdell hashtag.

So what do you think? Please answer the poll below and also leave a comment on why & how you think Dell should (or should not) support the GreenHouse.

  1. Tony says:

    The way I see it is as follows. Dell decided to move to Poland and like you I fully understand the economic reasons for same. However the negative impact on Limerick is the loss of so many direct and indirect jobs. This will have a negative impact on Dells corporate image and whether they like it or not is an issue in some quarters. One very quick decision made by them in supporting the GreenHouse Incubator will go some way to having them depart our city with some level of “well we did something” They have a responsibility and have a duty, the problem is it needs to be highlighted to them, quickly. As I stated before we sent Mary Coughlan and Willie O Dea to Texas recently to speak to Michael Dell. To be honest if our government were serious about having Dell stay our Taoiseach would have went. End of!
    So lets now ask Willie O Dea to make the 2 mile trip to Raheen and speak to senior management and securing the neccessary items to make the Incubator a success and maybe be the instigators in finding the next Dell from our native city that might offer much more employment than they did in the future.
    One call, one answer. YES!

  2. derryo says:

    It doesn’t seem like it should be too big a deal for Dell to support the initiative. I’m sure they could easily spare some office furniture/epuipment etc. It seems slightly bizarre that they wouldn’t. If management aren’t playing ball, maybe try make employees more aware of the initiative. An information sheet stuck to the wall of the canteen would probably do it. Or a targeted Facebook ad at the 1300 people in Ireland who are listed as:

    * who live in Ireland
    * between the ages of 18 and 60
    * who work at Dell

    Have they a PR company? could they be contacted and informed of the opportunity to create something positive.
    Some kind of gesture of support from Dell shouldn’t be too difficult one would imagine, maybe with everything that’s going on they haven’t priortised it

  3. I would agree with the above post, contact needs to be made with the correct department to get a better chance of their participation. I would see no reason why they wouldn’t do this if the correct people who make their PR decisions was aware of the situation. It involves a very small cost for them and a chance for them to get their first positive response in the media for some time

  4. derryo says:

    I’m back again. Evert you might be able to get the services of a PR person for the Greenhouse Incubator to push the idea forward. I’m sure someone would be willing to devote some of their time voluntarily and receive the same rewards and positive PR for themselves as other experts.

  5. evertb says:

    Derry, I already have the services from Michelle Daly (@michadally) who is voluntarilly doing the PR for the GreenHouse.

  6. derryo says:

    I knew you’d be on top of things, and no better PR 🙂

  7. Dell have benefited from Limerick regions talent and time for many years.
    Yes they paid a workforce and technically their their liability ends.
    But this is about social conscience, Dell should not think that upping and moving without assisting startups to take their place, and keep the workforce going is anything but very bad PR at the least.
    Many government grants were used to build and stock the facility at Raheen.
    That money should be returned to the people of the area, at least in token if not in whole.

    As a former Dell employee, and a consumer of PC products, I would only support companies that supported the areas they operate in.


  8. jbkenn says:

    Forget about Dell, and get on with it, Dell “owes” nothing to Limerick, Dell are gone, last years news, no point in flogging a dead horse.

  9. I hear ya Evert. Indeed. DELL should help support the Greenhouse Incubator (Limerick) efforts. Why? Simply this:

    People (and that means companies too) need to start thinking about the bigger picture. It’s the one-sided, narrow minded – all for profit thinking that gets individuals, groups, societies, countries and the world into a huge mess. When on when will people (and companies too) claim accountability for their action/words/inactions. This is a major piss off issue for me (and countless others as well).

    It’s people like you, Evert and many others that are taking up the slack, fighting the fight and helping to maintain some semblance of integrity for others. It’s amazing that people (and companies too) can expect to look after their best interest without considering the effects in the long run. Sure, we understand DELL’s move, from a business perspective, however, DELL really should take this opportunity. It’s their saving grace.

    People (and companies too) should not only have exit strategies but ‘moving onward’ strategies for those whose lives they’ve greatly impacted.

    I’m in. I’m going to do whatever I can to get DELL or anyone (and companies too) to see the bigger picture of the Greenhouse Incubator effort. It’s a no-brainer, a win-win, a must do.

    So, yeah. HELL YEAH, I think DELL should support Greenhouse Incubator (Limerick) in any way they can.


  10. Michadaly says:

    Hi guys,
    As a Limerick person who has to leave that lovely city to work I think that Dell offered a lot to people in Limerick. It is no longer viable for them to offer jobs in Limerick but giving a little to the Greenhouse Incubator would not be asking too much. Evert Bopp is doing a great job helping people to pick up the pieces post- DELL in Limerick.

    Dell run expensive and detailed CSR projects all over the world. Why not give a little to the people of Limerick?

  11. […] Inc.’s decision to leave their Limerick operations and move to Poland, left approximately 2000+ employees without […]

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