Encouraging Ireland’s female entrepreneurs to ‘flourish’

To give a boost to female entrepreneurs, the County Enterprise Boards including Kilkenny have enlisted a well-known clinical psychologist and an Irish female entrepreneur for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day in October.

To give a boost to female entrepreneurs, the County Enterprise Boards including Kilkenny have enlisted a well-known clinical psychologist and an Irish female entrepreneur for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day in October.

Dozens of female entrepreneurs from Kilkenny are expected to attend this year’s event.

Dr Maureen Gaffney, the author of‘ Flourish, is expected to talk to 300 female entrepreneurs about managing change and overcoming tough challenges and setbacks. The broadcaster and columnist is speaking alongside Mary McKenna from Tour America at a national conference and exhibition to mark National Women’s Enterprise Day on October 18.

In 1995, Mary McKenna founded Tour America, which now employs over 50 people and recently expanded into the UK. Ms McKenna was also responsible for setting up Cruise Holidays in 2001.

Co-funded by the European Social Fund with support from the Department of Justice and Equality through the Equality for Women Measure, this National Women in Business initiative is the brain-child of the 35 County and City Enterprise Boards.

Minister Kathleen Lynch, the minister for disability, equality, mental health and older people, has been invited to deliver the opening address on the eve of National Women’s Enterprise Day at the conference in the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Believe It and Achieve It” and the conference lineup also features Nicola Byrne from 11890; Orlaigh Carmody from MediaTraining.ie; Theresa Lowe, barrister and former broadcaster; and Linda O’Shea Farren from The Irish American Peace Foundation.

Meanwhile, the case study entrepreneurs sharing their experiences of growing a business in Ireland will be Alison Banton from Brooke and Shoals Fragrances in Wicklow, Caroline McEnery from HR and Business Solutions in Kerry, Fleur Creed from Genesis Business College in Wexford and Sarah Nic Lochlainn from Aruna Sauces in Louth.

“National Women’s Enterprise Day is ... one of the most important enterprise events of 2012,” said Kilkenny County Enterprise Board CEO Fiona Deegan. “Its dual aim is to increase national recognition of Ireland’s female entrepreneurs, in addition to encouraging even more women to set up their own business in the future, which is a key element of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.”

A “Focus on Technology and Social Media” workshop at the conference will include presentations from Carol Tallon of Buyers Broker Direct, Joanne Sweeney Burke of Media Box, Janet Beck of Glass Eye Products and Fintan Murphy of Damson. TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick will once again be acting as conference facilitator.

Booking forms can be downloaded from www.nwed.ie and the subsidised delegate fees are €100, which includes conference materials, meals and mentoring appointments on October 17 and 18 at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.