Regional Women in Business Network 2016 in Bunratty

Regional Women in Business Network 2016

The Regional Women in Business Network 2016 took place on April 21st at Bunratty Castle Hotel was organized by Local Enterprise Offices Kerry, Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Cork North and West. The event provided a backdrop for over 90 women in business to gather and network, sharing their own experiences, peer to peer, learning new skill sets and receiving advice about key aspects of business from experienced guest speakers and network facilitators.

Regional Women in Business Network 2016 1

Fiona Leahy, Local Enterprise Office Kerry said “Events like this are organized to support businesswomen in the region in their endeavours and create an opportunity to learn new skills, bring them to practice and explore collaborative business opportunities”. Topics covered during the event ranged from how to sell, to developing a PR Strategy and creating awareness and perfect pitching.

Leading advisor on reputation management and crisis handling to corporations, Governments and individuals - Terry Prone spoke about the development of a PR Strategy that will create awareness of a business in the public area. She explained the key elements of a developing and implementing a successful PR strategy.

The second speaker of the day Catherine Moonan, Managing Director of “Communication Matters” introduced everyone to the art of the “Perfect Pitching”. During the breakout session facilitated by Catherine attendees put their skills into practice and made their 60 second business pitches. Guest speaker Julie Currid, a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of “Initiafy”, currently employing 25 people across three offices in Dublin, New York and Toronto, discussed international business opportunities and focused on selling techniques and building a sales process. She spoke about different sales approaches and different selling methods. She underlined the importance of market research with particular attention on lead generation.

LEO Women

A panel Discussion took place in the afternoon and featured five inspirational entrepreneurs from the region, including Kerry based businesswoman Karen Pleass from “Swinky Doo”, Maura Hunter of “MH Designs LTD”, Maura Kearney from “Kearney's Homebaking”, Irish Fashion Designer Marion Murphy Cooney and Maeve Sheridan from “Western Herd Brewing Company”. The brainstorming forum highlighted key areas for the future in helping women to start, build, develop and grow their businesses. Plenty of valuable advice was given during the discussion.

Key note speaker Isolde Johnson, Co-Founder of “The Cool Bean Company” presented  “The Story of Cool Beans”, an exciting, agile and innovative new Food Start Up which has been awarded Silver at the Blas na hEireann Awards and Best Ready Meal at the Quality Food. She spoke about “Most of our ideas is from our customers,” said Isolde during the presentation, highlighting the importance of the research in developing the product and developing the business.

Attendees were unanimous in highlighting how important peer to peer networking is and deemed the event very worthwhile.