Cork & Kerry Female Enterpreneurs take part in Ireland's largest National Women's Enterprise Day

Female entrepreneurs from across Cork and Kerry took part in Ireland’s largest National Women’s Enterprise Day on Thursday 18th October when they attended their local event at Clayton Hotel Silver Springs in Tivoli, Cork City. An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), and now in its 12th year, over 1,400 female entrepreneurs attended National Women’s Enterprise Day events across the country. 

At the Cork City event – hosted by LEOs Cork City, South Cork, Cork North & West and Kerry - at Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, over 150 local entrepreneurs were in attendance to hear the thoughts of Rachel Sarah Murphy, Eleanor McEvoy and panel speakers representing each Local Enterprise Office - Sharon McDermott, Ky Ky Kids, Michelle Keane, Mibeau Interiors, Estelle Power, Irish Door Systems and Regional Ambassador Joan Walsh, of Partnership International. 

Other special guests included Lord Mayor Councillor Mick Finn, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, Margaret Kelly, Cork Chamber and AdrienneRodgers, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Cork City. Master of Ceremonies was Theresa Mulvihill, Smart Marketing Limited. 

The National Women’s Enterprise Day initiative is led by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, and funded by the Government of Ireland, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Local Authorities. The Cork/Kerry event will also receive funding from the Enterprise Europe Network. The theme of this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day was “from local to global”, aiming to highlight the success stories of female entrepreneurs who have taken their local ideas and turned them into global success stories with the hope of inspiring more women to do the same. 

High profile entrepreneurs that were sharing their success stories at sixteen different National Women’s Enterprise Day events around the country included Oscar-nominated Catherine Roycroft of Cartoon Saloon, Norah Casey of Harmonia, Oonagh O’Hagan of Meaghers Pharmacy Group, Mary McKenna of Tour America, Marissa Carter of Cocoa Brown and Eleanor McEvoy of Dragons’ Den and Budget Energy. 

In 2017, the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) played a key role in supporting female entrepreneurs at all stages of their business journey. Over 18,500 female entrepreneurs took part in LEO-led training, mentoring and networking programmes, while the Local Enterprise Offices provided direct funding to 280 female-led businesses in 2017. Over 14,500 female entrepreneurs have already received training or mentoring through their Local Enterprise Office this year alone.

 Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said This is a very significant day that puts Irish female entrepreneurship into the spotlight and celebrates the huge strides Irish businesswomen have made both here and internationally.  Today is also an opportunity to inspire the female entrepreneurs of the future, by showing them what is possible and why they should be thinking global.  Irish businesswomen have shown they can be the best in the world and we must continue in this frame of mind.  The recent budget has shown my Department’s commitment to business and entrepreneurs with a 22% increase in funding for the Local Enterprise Offices and we will continue to back our inspirational female entrepreneurs.” 

Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council said “It is fantastic to see the level of interest National Women’s Enterprise Day attracts each year. The event is not only a great opportunity to hear from inspirational women in business, and to showcase what they have achieved, but also provides important networking opportunities for women throughout the country. With Brexit looming, today’s theme of ‘from local to global’ is very apt and we want to encourage even more female entrepreneurs to look internationally for growth opportunities and to avail of the supports on offer from your Local Enterprise Offices to help you achieve this. We want to see more women starting businesses and we want to see existing female-led businesses focus on being more ambitious and internationalise. The supports are available – just contact your Local Enterprise Office in Cork or Kerry to find out more.” 

Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, said;“National Women’s Enterprise Day is a very significant day in the Irish business calendar.  Ireland needs more female entrepreneurs and there is a large range of supports available that can help to make this happen.  The aim of today’s events is to showcase and share the success stories of Ireland’s female entrepreneurs as an encouragement for further participation of women in business.  The Local Enterprise Offices offer a range of fantastic supports to assist entrepreneurs on their business journey and, on this day in particular, I would encourage all female entrepreneurs to avail of their services.”  

Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland, said;“Supporting ambitious business women to achieve their full potential is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland.  We have made significant strides in recent years; in 2017 more than one in three start-ups in Ireland were led by women, an increase from one in ten just five years ago.  Role models are important as they inspire others to come forward.  Enterprise Ireland are working closely with the Local Enterprise Officesto profile successful businesswomen, and to create an entrepreneurial environment that encourages and nurtures the business talents of women across the country.  We will continue to support these business women and encourage their global ambition to follow the path of many great Irish businesswomen before them.”  

Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Cork City said;“National Women’s Enterprise Day is a key milestone for Local Enterprise Offices around the country. Since it started twelve years ago, the popularity of NWED has grown and every year we have more female success stories in business to highlight. The events are as important as ever, as they connect female entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to learn from each other and share business challenges and solutions. For any female entrepreneurs in business or starting one up, our advice is to come and talk to the team at the Local Enterprise Office and we will quickly put you on a path to the right enterprise supports. Just start conversation with your Local Enterprise office and we can guide you from there.”