Training to be an ironman, dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS) and running a successful business that helps people find alternative sources of finance – it’s all in a day’s work for Conor Devine.
Conor’s business, Clearpath, has put together an alternative lending platform that brings together lenders who are looking to loan money to business owners across Ireland and the UK. It has been running for two years and has facilitated more than £30 million of new business loans. It employs eight people at offices in Belfast, Dublin and Manchester.
Conor started Clearpath in September 2016 to tackle the UK and Ireland’s liquidity problem. “We thought it might be a good idea if we were to provide an alternative source of funding to the business community,” says Conor. “We had two issues – find new money and connect that with new customers.”
His business success seems even more remarkable given that Conor has been living with MS for the past 12 years.
“On holiday in Mauritius I took unwell and was rushed to hospital. Over the next 12 months, I was very sick with lots of neurological problems,” he recalls. “I was diagnosed with MS and over the next few years I really struggled with everything.
“Around 2010 I made a conscious decision to start fighting back. It started with running a marathon in 2011, and gradually as my health was improving, I started to get into triathlons. In 2015 I set myself a goal of becoming an Ironman.
“In the last three years I have completed seven Ironman races, I’m off medication, and I only eat food derived from plants. Now, through my website (conordevine.com), my books and YouTube channel, I have been sharing a positive story about living with MS.”