LEO Leitrim's National Women's Enterprise Day



Maureen Gaffney

Dr. Maureen Gaffney 

   LEO team NWED 19       

Georgia Visnyei, Art of Coffee, Geraldine Reynolds, Senior Enteprise Development Officer,  Maureen Gaffney, Carole Coleman, RTÉ, Carmel Coll, Acting Business Advisor, Cllr Finola Armstrong, Orla Mongey, Enterprise Graduate, LEO Leitrim 


Back Michelle McLoughlin, Faye Hayden, Geraldine McGovern, Julie O Sullivan. Front Angela Dowd, Paula Lavin, Miriam Sheerin, Majella McDermott

The largest-ever programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day has taken place across the country on Thursday, October 17th.  An annual initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including LEO Leitrim, 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 Leitrim  took place in the Landmark Hotel, Carrick on Shannon.  Over 50 local entrepreneurs and businesswomen participated and speakers included:  renowned psychologist, broadcaster, and writer, Maureen Gaffney and local award winning entrepreneur Georgia Visnyei from Art of Coffee.  The MC for the event was RTE’s Carole Coleman.


Joe Lowe of Local Enterprise Office Leitrim 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 Leitrim  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.


On National Women’s Enterprise Day, some of Ireland’s best-known female entrepreneurs shared their experience at events in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.  Those taking part included; fashion tech entrepreneur Sonya Lennon, former world champion and digital health and wellness entrepreneur Derval O’Rourke, Sonia Deasy of Pestle & Mortar, food entrepreneur Catherine Fulvio, Caroline Keeling of Keelings, Vicki O’Toole of J.J. O’Toole, Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical and Rhona Togher of Restored Hearing. 


National Women’s Enterprise Day is just one of the initiatives of the Local Enterprise Offices aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and assisting companies to start up and grow.  Others include Local Enterprise Week, the National Enterprise Awards, the Student Enterprise Programme, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), Local Enterprise Showcase in the RDS and the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships.


Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland