Leading Light Kay Lyng at today's launch with Fiona Deegan, Cllr Fidelis Doherty and Colette Byrne
Female entrepreneurs and budding businesswomen from across County Kilkenny are being encouraged to look to the future and register for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day, after the line up for the event was announced today.
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) initiative, now in its 15th year, will be hosted by broadcaster Aine Kerr.
Traditionally, National Women’s Enterprise Day has taken place locally with LEO Kilkenny putting on events for female businesswomen across the county and those who may have a business idea they want to get off the ground. However, the event went online in 2020 due to restrictions and will take place online again this year.
The free event, titled Build the Future, takes place online on October 7 and will feature some of Ireland’s best known female entrepreneurs including the likes of Aimee Connolly of Sculpted by Aimee, Rachel Doyle of The Arboretum and Sharon Keegan of Peachy Lean, who was recently supported on Dragon’s Den UK.
Also speaking at the event on the day will be nominated Leading Light Kay Lyng, promoter of K Kajoux Jewels based in Clonmantagh, Kilkenny. K Kajoux started out as a hobby, became a side hustle, progressed to a full- time job and is now an employer with exciting growth plans on the horizon.
Covid-19 initially hit the business very badly with all retail stockists having to close their stores. While in lockdown, Kay again engaged with the Local Enterprise Office for supports to help increase traffic, improve SEO and content on her website. The results were fantastic, within weeks revenue was matching the wholesale business in ordinary times. Kay will be involved in the first panel discussion on the topic of Ideas, Innovation and Action during National Women’s Enterprise Day.
The day’s programme will cover a whole host of areas on how to build the future of a business covering topics like, how to get started, internationalisation, finding new markets, trading effectively online, sustainability and innovation. This will be coupled with breakout rooms for networking and a host of one-to-one advice clinics for any business issues.
New figures released by the Local Enterprise Offices, who are funded by the Government of Ireland and supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, have shown that the amount of women engaging in entrepreneurship and business supports continues to rise.
In 2020 over 47,000 women engaged in training and upskilling with their Local Enterprise Office. This was a huge jump on 2019 as 23,466 female entrepreneurs took part in training that year. In 2020, 50% more females engaged in training and upskilling with their Local Enterprise Office than their male counterparts (30,000).
“National Women’s Enterprise Day is an opportunity to showcase and hear from successful entrepreneurs who are building for the future," said Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office.
"This year is no different, but we are very much looking forward. The role of the Local Enterprise Office is to support entrepreneurs in County Kilkenny, to sustain and develop their businesses and ideas going into the future.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Fidelis Doherty congratulated Kay Lyng on her business success to date with K Kajoux Jewels.
"The last 18 months has been difficult for businesses all across the country but opportunities have arisen. Businesses like Kay’s have demonstrated how they have pivoted and taken steps to drive the business forward and become more adaptable, innovative and successful," said Cllr Doherty.
Those looking to attend National Women’s Enterprise Day can find more information and register for free at www.localenterprise.ie and join the conversation online using the hashtag #NWED.
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