Karl Daly Owner and Director of Humanli – is Making Social Impact Possible. He wants to link the business community with the charities and focus groups across Ireland.
If you would like to contact Karl you can do so here firstname.lastname@example.org
In an interview with IIBN we asked Karl to give a brief description of Humanli.
Our company has a goal to make Social Impact Possible. In doing this we aim to link the business community with the charities and focus groups in the Mid-West initially and then throughout the island of Ireland and beyond. We have developed a stringent process for Corporates which will assist them in clarifying the paths they should take to maximise their CSR/Social Impact budgets and to implement a programme that will give maximum impact to all concerned and align with the values identified and lived each day by the firm. On the other side we have a process that will allow the charities to become partners and we will ensure best practices at their end so that they can be in the best position to benefit from the resources on offer. We will be the link between the givers and the receivers BUT with the aim of assisting Companies to have Social Impact as an integral part of their business responsibilities. We will be doing this on a Best Practice basis.
How did you get the idea/ concept for your business?
I have always been somebody who has organised events over the years for charity etc so it’s in my DNA. The idea came having spoken to a local Chamber of Commerce in the region. They had done a survey of companies on their CSR policies and what came back was that lots were doing stuff to tick a box. I saw an opportunity to be the conduit and the idea has resulted in ’Humanli’ my new company and brand.
Give a brief account of your education background.
I have Inter certificate and Leaving certificate (completed in 1978/1980 respectively. I have been in the Financial Services business for 35 years and recently sold my 50% shareholding in Metis Ireland to J&E Davy to follow this path. I am a Fellow of the Life Insurance Association (FLIA Dip) and I completed the Advanced Leadership Programme in 2017 with the Timoney Institute. I am currently studying a Coaching Programme to acquire ACSTH/ACTP from the International Coach Federation. I also have guest lectured in the Kemmy Business School in University of Limerick (UL).
Did you always know/ever think you would become an entrepreneur when you were younger?
No. I always thought I would work for somebody else. I spent the first 15 years of my career with Insurance Companies but learned that to gain promotion I needed to be prepared to move to Dublin. I did not want to do this as I had created a good lifestyle for myself and my Family in this region so I formed my first company in 2000 and to be honest (even with bumps along the way) never looked back.
Is entrepreneurship a common trait in your family?
Not particularly. My Father was employed all his life and so are my siblings with the exception of my younger brother who has always ploughed his own furrow.
Did you have prior knowledge of the industry before setting up your company?
I had a broad knowledge BUT I had a huge passion and interest which was and is the driver in all of this. I do think there is a massive opportunity for ‘Humanli’ in this space as Social Impact is now an integral part of business plans for the leading companies. If you as an employer or business are not taking it seriously it WILL bite you in many aspects of your activities.
What was your previous work experience (if any)? Do you think this gave you an advantage when setting up your business?
Financial Services all my working life both employed and as a business owner. The experience I have gained working in the Corporate World and on the other side as a business owner has given me the tools I need to make this business a success. I have gained so much knowledge, experience and reputation over my working life that I am well positioned to make this business a big success. I also have the passion and the goal etched out in my mind to ensure I give this everything to make not only a successful business BUT to achieve the stated aim of improving peoples lives in our communities.
How did you initially fund your business? (self-funded, government funding, etc)
Self-Funding the business at this point. I am working on the messaging and branding at this point. I have secured a premises in the City Centre and hope to employ somebody shortly to kick this off. Right now this has all been funded personally.
Looking back, would you have changed the method of funding you chose?
No, I am happy to get it to this point myself. I am exploring other avenues to get funding as the business develops but for now there is no issue.
What characteristics do you feel benefited you most when starting your business?
I like people and making contact with them. This is very much a business about people so I am passionate about it and this comes through when I introduce the concept of ‘Humanli’ and what I am trying to achieve. My experience, reputation of integrity and contacts have helped me massively also.
To what do you attribute your company’s success/growth to?
The company is only starting so ask me again in 12 months.
What is your opinion on the importance of a professional network for an entrepreneur?
Massive. Most business is about contact with other humans. Whether it’s to tap into networks, learn from each other or acquire guidance from peers I think it is VITAL to be part of a community and I have always been conscious of this during my career. Whether it’s IIBN, Chamber of Commerce or other Professional Groups I believe it is vital to be part of network to both offer and gain help along the journey in business.
Do you think entrepreneurship has changed in recent years?
I think it has gone to the ‘Tech’ side a lot with most business ideas now being in that space or the Pharma/Med space. I feel the ‘personalities’ in the space are not as prominent as a lot of the new successful Entrepreneurs are faceless behind the new BIG IDEA and not as prominent as they once were. It has gotten very competitive also with idea after idea being launched to the World on a daily basis. I think a lot of the ‘characters’ are gone and the term entrepreneur is too widely used now.
Would you ever consider starting another company or involving yourself in new start-ups again?
Oh yes but for now ‘Humanli’ is the focus. It is only new (my 3rd company) and I feel I can go places with it. The human touch is a big part of it BUT I am looking at technology too as I feel there is a method of using it to grow the business and reach a wider audience but focused steps….for now.
If you had one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
Follow your dream. You need to like and have a passion for your idea. Get outside branding/messaging help as this will allow you to agree in your mindset what the business actually is AND how you are going to get the message out there to your customers. YOU must understand what you have on offer FIRSTLY as only then can you convey it to others. DO NOT regret anything….GO FOR IT.