Empowering Business Together was the theme of the Local Enterprise Office’s (LEO) Midwest conference for female entrepreneurs who took part in Ireland’s National Women’s Enterprise Day on 19th October in the Clayton Hotel.   140 women from the Region spent the day networking and learning from leading industry experts while tapping into the extensive supports available from LEOs in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.

NWED 2023 group pic


“There was a huge demand for tickets for this event and participants saw it as both an opportunity to network and take time out to refresh and get motivated. ” said Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise, LEO Clare. “Being an entrepreneur, an owner and employer can be a lonely place. This day empowers businesses by reminding them that they are all on a similar journey and can share knowledge to overcome challenges.  Businesses often tell us they don’t have time and then thank us when they do take the time out to reflect and get inspired”.   The LEO’s are uniquely positioned to support the SME sector with grant supports for eligible businesses, individual business mentoring and training.


Ciana Campbell, former RTE broadcaster and award-winning journalist was MC and the keynote speaker was Fiona O’Carroll a leader in business growth and mindset who spoke about the importance of building a peer network, how to continuously grow and develop core business skills.


Reinforcing the importance of LEO was a panel of expert speakers who outlined their entrepreneurial journey and the role that LEO has played in their development. The panel included Aoife Lenihan from Cara Motorhomes (Limerick), Claire Bannon from Indigo (Clare) and Evie and Eliza Ward from Nutshed (Tipperary). All spoke about issues affecting women in business and the importance of achieving a good work and homelife balance. The trending hashtags wre #NWED and #EmpoweringBusinessTogether. NWED 2023 pic

L-R: Deirdre Keating (LEO Clare), Sinéad Dixon-Slattery (LEO Clare), Claire Bannon (Indigo), Helen Pilkington (LEO Clare)

LEO, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland co-ordinate cohesive development for SME’s and micro enterprises. LEO Clare provides a “First Stop Shop”, ranging from advice on setting up a business, through to the provision of support and grants for feasibility studies, provision of financial support for the establishment of new businesses or expansion of existing ones and the provision of training and mentoring. Female entrepreneurs who possess a budding idea or wish to expand their existing business were strongly encouraged, throughout the event, to utilise the vital expertise of LEO.

The Local Enterprise Office Clare also supports the Women In Business network and has developed a series of general networking events held throughout the year. The next event is taking place in December. To register your interest or support in any of these events, please email W: