“It takes them a wee while to come around,” Grainne Kelly on people from corporate backgrounds

The transition from the corporate world to being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy.

Having been the entrepreneurial mind behind the world’s first inflatable car seat, Grainne Kelly’s Bubblebum team is ever-growing. Someone with mostly corporate experience might sound like a good addition on paper, but that isn’t always the case.

Grainne, the Bubblebum founder, was speaking to host Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, in partnership with It can be difficult for some to get used to not having a team to fall back on.

“What I do find is that when people are coming from a corporate background it takes them a wee while to come round. Because typically when you’re coming out of a corporate background going into a more entrepreneurial business you’ve had a whole team behind you,” she said.

“Did you do it or did the royal we do it?”

As she said herself; “A lot of people were coming to me for job interviews and saying ‘well, I did this and I did this and I did this.’ And then, it turned out it was ‘we did this and we did this.’ And I said ‘no, did you do it or did the royal we do it? Who did it?'”

An EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2011, Grainne also said that it’s important to ensure as high a standard of communication as possible. When prospective employees tell her about their accomplishments, some may have been taking too much credit.

“A lot of the things they had done they actually hadn’t done because they had a team,” she said.

“You get a much more varied level of experience. But, you also still get a structure that you’d get within a corporate entity. But you do more and you learn more. I do believe you learn more,” she said about what it’s like to come into a more entrepreneurial business.

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