National Women's Enterprise Day 2018 in Leitrim


Female entrepreneurs from across Leitrim took part in Ireland’s largest National Women’s Enterprise Day on Thursday 18th October when they attended their local event at The Landmark Hotel in Carrick on Shannon.  An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, and now in its 12th year, over 1,400 female entrepreneurs attended National Women’s Enterprise Day events across the country.

At the Leitrim event in the Landmark Hotel, over 50 local entrepreneurs were in attendance to hear the thoughts of successful Business Women, Detta McNiffe, Aoife McNiffe, McNiffes Bakery and Norah Casey, Harmonia Publishing. The Master of Ceremonies was Orla Casey from Momentum.


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 and 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,  Oonagh O’Hagan of Meaghers Pharmacy Group, Mary McKenna of Tour America, Norah Casey, Harmonia Publishing, 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.

Joe Lowe, Head of Local Enterprise in Leitrim, 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.” 

LEO staff at NWED 2018

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 Offices to 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.”

Lar Power, Leitrim County Council Chief Executive 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. In the context of Brexit, I am very pleased to see this year’s theme, From Local to Global and I would like to highlight to businesses that their local LEO is on hand to support them in maximising market growth opportunities.”