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Minister Humphreys launches largest National Women's Enterprise Day

12th Year of National Women’s Enterprise Day aimed at creating Global Female Entrepreneurs

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today launched the programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day 2018 taking place on Thursday 18th October with 16 major female entrepreneurial events planned across the country.

This initiative led by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide and funded by the Government of Ireland, through my department, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, 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.

The 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.

Some of those who will be speaking at the events across the country include; Mary McKenna (Tour America), Catherine Roycroft (Cartoon Saloon), Marissa Carter (Cocoa Brown), Norah Casey (Harmonia), Vanessa Tierney (Abodoo), Oonagh O’Hagan (Meagher’s Pharmacy), Marie Mohan (Greenfield Foods) and Sarah Slazenger (Powerscourt Estate). They will also be joined by Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister Pat Breen TD and Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland.

Heather Humphreys TD, 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 TD, 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.

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.”

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 females 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 along 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.”

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.”

For more information on National Women’s Enterprise Day and to find out how to books tickets go to or search #NWED on Twitter @Loc_Enterprise.


For further information:
Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 /
Sarah.Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 /

A LEO Cavan evening event with supper, in association with Enterprise Europe Network, at Hotel Kilmore. Special Guest: Minister Heather Humphreys TD (Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation). Featuring: Mary McKenna of Tour America and Ann Rudden of Áine Handmade Chocolate.

A full day event organised by LEOs in Cork City, Cork North and West, South Cork and Kerry at Clayton Hotel, Silver Springs in Cork City. Featuring: Joan Walsh of Partnership International, Eleanor McEvoy of Budget Energy and Dragons’ Den, Rachel Sarah Murphy of Irish Film Academy and Free The Way Cleaning, Sharon McDermot of Ky Ky Kids, Ingrid DeDoncker of iDDea, Estelle Power of Irish Door Systems Ltd and Michelle Keane of Mibeau Interiors.

A LEO Donegal full-day event with networking lunch, in association with Enterprise Europe Network, at An Grianan Hotel in Burt, Co. Donegal. Featuring: Larissa Feeney of Accountant Online, Jenny Holloway of Fashion Capital and Fashion Enter in London and Maire Morris of Morris Fashion Consultancy.

Dublin A half-day event with networking lunch organised by LEOs in South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and Dublin City at Citywest Hotel in Saggart, Co. Dublin. Special Guest: Minister Pat Breen T.D. Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection) for Guest Speakers: Oonagh O’Hagan – Meaghers Pharmacy, Helen Smyth of Facebook and Julie Sinnamon of Enterprise Ireland Featuring: Chiara Keating of Uniformal Ltd, Caroline Gleeson of BidRecruit, Síle Ginnane of Liberty Bell, Sarah-Jane Brangam of Cult Drinks with broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick..

An afternoon tea celebration organised by LEO Kildare in association with Enterprise Europe Network and Network Kildare with panel of speakers and networking at the Celbridge Manor Hotel. Featuring: Sonia Deasy of Pestle and Mortar (Ambassador and Keynote Speaker), Nikki Collins of NMP Collins Innovations Ltd, Susan Sexton of Kildare Farm Foods and Special Guest former Government Minister, Mary O’ Rourke.

A full day event organised by LEOs in Kilkenny and Carlow at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Featuring: Catherine Roycroft of Cartoon Saloon, Actress Deirdre O’ Kane and Guinness World Record Holder and visually impaired Athlete, Dr. Sinead Kane.

A LEO Leitrim lunch-time event at The Landmark Hotel in Carrick-On-Shannon. Featuring: Aoife and Detta McNiffe of McNiffe’s Bakery, Norah Casey of Harmonia Publishing Group, and Orla Casey of Momentum Marketing.

A full day event with lunch organised by LEOs in Limerick, Tipperary and Clare at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in Co. Limerick. Featuring: Vicki O’ Toole of JJ O’ Toole Ltd, Marissa Carter of Cocoa Brown, Caroline McEnery of the H.R. Suite, Amanda Cahir O’ Donnell of Tio Consulting, Dr. Mary Ryan (Consultant Endocrinologist), Aisling Maher Milliner), Clodagh Cavanagh of Abbey Machinery, Valerie Murphy of Valerie’s Breast Care (President of Network Ireland Limerick), Aine Gleeson of and Annemarie Neville of Data Display.

A half day event with lunch organised by LEOs in Longford, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath at the Backstage Theatre, Farneyhoogan in Co. Longford. Special Guest: Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD Featuring: Louise Lovett of Longford Women’s Link, Ciara Donlon of THEYA Healthcare, Dr. Ciara Kelly, Journalist & Broadcaster, Dr. Anne Cusack of Critical Healthcare, Alison Ritchie of Polar Ice with broadcaster Sinead Hussey.

A half day event with lunch organised by LEOs in Meath and Louth at the City North Hotel and Conference Centre in Gormanston, Co. Meath. Featuring: Anne Reilly of Paycheck Plus, Professor Colette Henry of the Department of Business Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology and Louise Caulfield of Caulfield Country Boards.

A LEO Monaghan evening event with buffet supper at the Hillgrove Hotel on the Old Armagh Road. Special Guest: Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. (Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation). Featuring: Marie Mohan of Greenfield Foods, Noelle O’Connor of Tan Organics and Theresa Lowe of Lowe Communications.

An evening event with buffet dinner organised by LEOs in Roscommon, Galway and Mayo at Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon. Featuring: Ambassador – Michelle Daly of P & G Cards; Magaly Murray of Gran Grans Foods; Aisling Flanagan of Velvet Cloud and Loretta Ní Ghabháin of Lorg Media.

A LEO Sligo evening event at the Radisson Hotel in Ballincar. Featuring: Martina Hamilton of the Martina Hamilton Collection, The Hamilton Gallery and The Cat and The Moon, Bernie Butler of Good4U foods and Oonagh Monahan of Alpha Omega Consultants.

A LEO Waterford evening event with dinner in Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Club. Featuring: Jennifer O’ Connell of O’Connell Ivory Communications, Gina London, Emmy Award winning Ex CNN anchor, Frances Roche, Business & Life Coach Transformational Speaker, Claire Brennan of Parolla, Sinead Quealy of Virtual Vet, Bebhinn McGrath of Bebhinn.

A LEO Wexford evening event with dinner in Wells House and Gardens in Gorey. Featuring: Vanessa Tierney of Abodoo, Niamh Sherwin Barry of The Irish Fairy Door Company, Ciara Donlon, THEYA Healthcare, Sabine Rosler of Wells House and Gardens and Bláithín Ennis, Jewellery Designer.

A LEO Wicklow event with Afternoon Tea at Powerscourt House in Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry. Featuring: Sarah Slazenger of Powerscourt House and Aisling Hurley of The Business Fairy.