President Michael D. Higgins officially opened the Fumbally Exchange flagship in Dublin city centre

Expansion plans for the “pirates” of Irish business

“Fumbally Exchange gives an example and a microcosm of where Ireland can go” says President Michael D. Higgins at launch.

DUBLIN, April 22, 2014: President Michael D. Higgins officially opened the Fumbally Exchange flagship building in Dublin city centre this morning.

With this new HQ on Dame Lane, Dublin 2, the award-winning Fumbally Exchange is set for the next stage of its expansion. Founded in 2010, this not-for-profit organisation offers a low-cost base and collaboration opportunities for creative business. He praised Fumbally Exchange’s spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship.


“The idea of a community of originators, thinkers, problem solvers, entrepreneurs and artists all gathered together under one roof is something very, very important. Our future in Ireland is neither derivative nor speculative, but rather there are great possibilities for us in drawing on innovation and creativity.”


“Fumbally Exchange symbolises and exemplifies so much of the spirit and vision and yearning which lies at its heart,” said the President.


“The varied businesses here would inspire confidence in anyone in our nation’s ongoing economic renewal. Into everything economic is poured the lives of people. Every life is important and, even more so, every imagination is important. Fumbally Exchange gives an example and a microcosm of where Ireland can go.”


 Expansion plans

In the past year, we tripled our membership of small businesses, sole traders and start-ups to more than 150. These have a combined turnover of more than €6m and two-thirds of our members are planning to expand in the next year.   Aside from our Dame Lane HQ, we have locations in refurbished urban buildings in Balbriggan and Waterford, and a sister Exchange in Ravenna, Italy. We are planning 13 further Fumbally Exchanges in Ireland and the UK.   The first of these is Fumbally Exchange Inchicore, due to open in summer 2014. In a former bank in the centre of Inchicore, this 15-desk location will specifically provide a base for social entrepreneurs. The building will also be home to the new SEED (Social Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Development) centre, a new national development centre for the sector.


A hedge school for business

This month also sees the soft opening of the FEx Academy, a new learning community that will be based at 5 Dame Lane. It will offer bite-sized training and specialised education modules, many facilitated by our in-house professional and creative experts.   We have exceptional support from TCD/UCD Innovation Academy, DIT, DCU’s Ryan Academy, the University of Ulster, NCAD and specific entrepreneurial departments at universities in London, New York, Ohio, and Florida.

Excellence in collaborative business

George Boyle, architect and founder of Fumbally Exchange, said: “We are home to some of Ireland’s most creative, contemporary award-winning talents.  Whether we’re known as the ‘scrappy little workhorse of Europe’, ‘pirates of the corporate world’ or ‘citizen developers’, the Fumbally Exchange is making change – all for one – and one for all.” George envisioned Fumbally Exchange as a response to the recession, but it has come to thrive as an effective model for creative business. We care about work creation, not job creation. Urban regeneration is a key pillar of the Fumbally Exchange movement. The Dame Lane building was refurbished through the voluntary efforts of its members and the unwavering support of many in the Irish business community.


Photos by:

Philp Taylor

  Jason Clarke Photography

You can read more at:

Irish Times

Irish Independent

Business Post

Business and Leadership

Metro Herald