National Women's Enterprise Day

Over 100 female led Kildare businesses celebrate National Women's Enterprise Day with Local Enterprise Office Kildare

The largest-ever programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day has taken place across the country this week (on October 17th). An annual initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office, the theme for this year’s event was “Making It Happen” with the aim of inspiring more women in Ireland to start and grow their own business.

The networking event for entrepreneurs in Kildare took place in The Curragh Racecourse and was organised in partnership with the Network Ireland Kildare Branch and was supported by the Enterprise Europe Network . Over 100 local entrepreneurs and businesswomen participated. The keynote speaker on the day was founder of global skincare brand and National Enterprise Award 2019 winner, Newbridge woman, Sonia Deasy of Pestle & Mortar. Other speakers included RTÉ Radio and TV Broadcaster Lottie Ryan, Maureen McCowen of Soft Skills Success, Tracy O’Brien of The People Password Ltd and Intertrade Ireland’s Deirdre Maguire. The event also featured panel speakers from Enterprise Ireland, Carlow IT, Micro Finance Ireland, DCU Ryan Academy and the County Kildare Leader Partnership.

National Women’s Enterprise Day was officially opened by Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, who attended the Dublin event in Fingal. He said: “It is important for Ireland as a country that there should be a far greater participation of females in our entrepreneurial landscape and it is very positive to see the stats moving in the right direction. Events like National Women’s Enterprise Day play a key role in continuing that momentum.  Ireland has a marvelous entrepreneurial culture that is evident across the world and we need more females to become part of the journey.  Today is about celebrating those who have already done it and encouraging others to take the first step. I would encourage all budding female entrepreneurs to contact their Local Enterprise Office and check out the range of supports that are available.”


Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council, Jacqui McNabb, said; “Now in its thirteenth year, National Women’s Enterprise Day is an important milestone in the Local Enterprise Office calendar. It gives us the opportunity to highlight the success stories of women in Kildare who continue to do amazing things in business, across every sector. The day itself is also an opportunity for businesswomen to network, engage, share tips and advice and to find out what supports are available for their business through their Local Enterprise Office.”


National Women’s Enterprise Day has grown year-on-year with 17 events taking place across the country with over 1,700 female entrepreneurs in attendance. This growth in popularity has been reflected in the national growth in female entrepreneurship across the country. There was an 18% increase in female entrepreneurs taking Local Enterprise Office training programmes last year as almost 22,000 female entrepreneurs and businesswomen engaged with their LEO on supports in 2018. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for Ireland also shows that nearly 40% of new business owners in 2018 were women.


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(L-R) Ailish Delaney (Design Core, Carlow IT), Helen Mulhall (Leader), Niamh Collins (DCU Ryan Academy) and Jacqui McNabb Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council 

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RTE Broadcaster Lottie Ryan as MC of National Women's Enterprise Day, Kildare 2019

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All speakers - (L-R Back Row) Maureen McCowan (Soft Skills Success), Sonia Deasy (Pestle & Mortar, Doreen Heavey (Local Enterprise Office Kildare), Ailish Delaney (Design Core, Carlow IT), Eleanor Walsh (Enterprise Ireland), Deirdre Parkinson (Micro Finance Ireland), Emma Murphy (Network Kildare),

(L-R Front Row) Deirdre Maguire (Intertrade Ireland), Tracy O’Brien (The People Password), Niamh Collins (DCU Ryan Academy), Helen Mulhall (Leader Partnership), Lottie Ryan and Jacqui McNabb(Head of Enterprise, Kildare County Council)

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Maureen McCowen (Soft Skills Success) hosting a Networking Master Class at National Women's Enterprise Day Kildare 2019

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Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council, speaking at National Women's Enterprise Day 2019

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Over 100 businesses attended National Women's Enterprise Day