01 Jul 2022




The panel will consist of the Kilkenny NWED Ambassador Margaret Kirwan, Goatsbridge Trout Farm and her sibling Miriam Donohoe, Senior Communications Manager with GOAL. Also on the panel will be “Mothe

The largest-ever programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day has taken place across the country this week (on October 17th).  An annual initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny, 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 Kilkenny networking event for entrepreneurs took place in Kilkenny River Court Hotel in partnership with the Network Ireland Kilkenny Group. 80 local entrepreneurs and businesswomen participated and speakers included: Dr Ciara Kelly TV and Radio Broadcaster and Columnist; National Women’s Day Ambassador for Kilkenny Margaret Kirwan, Goatsbridge Trout Farm along with her sister Miriam Donohoe, Senior Communications Manager with GOAL. Also on the panel were mother and daughter duos; Marion and Melissa O’Gorman, Kilkenny Group and recently acquired Kilkenny Design Centre together with Rita Shanahan & Teresa Brennan, Lorimat Jewellers.


The aim of the event was to engage, empower and inspire businesswomen and aspiring entrepreneurs. The panel did achieve this with their open and honest discussion; sharing their experiences, both the opportunities and the challenges and provided great inspiration to those in attendance. Dr Ciara Kelly in her keynote address outlined her career history to date, anecdotes on her career progression and shared her tips for #makingithappen.


Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise of Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny, 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 County Kilkenny 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.


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.    

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