Minister Humphreys launches largest National Women’s Enterprise Day

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D., has launched the programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day (NWED) 2018 taking place on Thursday 18th October with 16 major female entrepreneurial events planned across the country.

This initiative is led by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, and funded by the Government of Ireland, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and Local Authorities. The Local Enterprise Offices have organised a programme of events under the theme “From Local To Global” aimed at inspiring and educating the next generation of female business leaders to take their local ideas and make them a global success.

In 2017 the Local Enterprise Offices played a key role in supporting female entrepreneurs across the country to start, and grow, their business. Over 18,500 female entrepreneurs took part in training, mentoring and networking programmes with their Local Enterprise Office in 2017. The Local Enterprise Offices also supported over 280 female run businesses with funding last year to help them start, and grow their business.NWED Ambassadors 2018 - Julie CEO and Minister.jpg

NWED events are taking place in Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow and will attract over 1,000 women in business and female entrepreneurs nationwide.

Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said; “I am honoured to launch the largest ever National Women’s Enterprise Day. We have some of the world’s finest business women in Ireland, who are inspiring the next generation. It is important we ensure that female entrepreneurs have access to the training, funding and supports that they need to start and grow their business. These female entrepreneurs should not just be thinking about these shores, they should be looking to go global, and my Department, through the relevant agencies, is ensuring they have the support they need to become world leaders in their sector.”

Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection said; “The upcoming events demonstrate the LEOs commitment to encouraging more female-led businesses to grow and expand into new international markets. Our vision is for Ireland to be among the most entrepreneurial nations in the world and one that supports women to start and grow a business. My message for female entrepreneurs today is to take up the supports that are on offer through Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland to help them on their entrepreneurial journey.

Orla Martin, LEO Offaly & Chair of the National Women’s Enterprise Day Committee, said; “The National Women’s Enterprise Day programme has grown year-on-year in line with the continued impact women are having on the world of start-ups and enterprise. This year is no different and the line-up of ambassadors is a who’s who of women that are leading the way in the business world and inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs. The ‘From Local To Global’ theme couldn’t be more apt, with ongoing uncertainty around Brexit. Female entrepreneurs should be looking to diversify and know that if they have a business that works, their Local Enterprise Office will give them the support to look at new markets. Last year alone the Local Enterprise Offices provided training, mentoring and networking to over 18,500 female entrepreneurs along with providing financial business grant assistance to over 280 female run businesses and this continues to grow.”

Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland, said; “More than one in three start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland last year were led by women – that compares to just one in ten start-ups in 2012. While this increase is significant and very positive, we are committed to continuing the growth of the number of businesses with women at the helm. Working in partnership with the LEOs, Enterprise Ireland is supporting the global ambition of our innovative Irish women entrepreneurs, building their competitive capabilities and helping them grow and reach global markets.”

Anna Marie Delaney, Offaly County Council Chief Executive and Chair of the CCMA Economic, Enterprise, Community & Culture Committee said; “We know there is a way to go towards increasing women’s representation in business, but the tide is turning, aided by initiatives like National Women’s Enterprise Day and the supports available to female entrepreneurs through their Local Enterprise Office. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ and National Women’s Enterprise Day is a great chance to take encouragement from women who have succeeded in business and perhaps get inspired to take that first step in establishing your own business or to take the next steps in growing your enterprise.”