Offaly's Female Enterpreneurs take park in largest National Women's Enterprise Day

Female entrepreneurs from across Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath took part in Ireland’s largest National Women’s Enterprise Day today (Thursday 18th October) when they attended their local event at The Backstage Theatre, Longford.  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 Midlands event at The Backstage Theatre, Longford, over 100 local entrepreneurs were in attendance to hear the thoughts of Ciara Donlon, CEO Theya Healthcare; Dr. Ciara Kelly, Broadcaster and Columnist; Louise Lovett, CEO Longford Womens Link; Dr. Anne Cusack, MD, Critical Healthcare and Alison Ritchie, MD, Polar Ice Ltd. 

 The speakers each gave great insight into their own businesses and the steps they have taken to grow their enterprises.  Comments on the day included great energy/buzz in the room; wonderful venue and excellent food (caterer Uisneach Catering).  Gift bags were given to each attendee with samples from female entrepreneurs in Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath.  The Offaly items were beeswax candles from Beeswax Candle Makers Ltd (Jennifer Dillon) and syrups/preserves from Wild Irish Foragers (Sharon Greene).

 Other special guests included Ms. Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, T.D., Sinead Hussey, MC (broadcaster and journalist with RTE) and Barbara Heslin, Director of Services Longford County Council.

 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 and Local Enterprise Offices.   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.

 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.

Orla Martin, Head of Enterprise, LEO Offaly, 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.” 

Anna Marie Delaney, Offaly County Council Chief Executive and Chair of the CCMA Economic, Enterprise, Community and Culture Committee, 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.”

 Further details on the supports available to female entrepreneurs  in Offaly are available from or by contacting Local Enterprise Office Offaly at 057 9357480 or by email to