LEO Limerick celebrates biggest ever National Women’s Enterprise Day

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National Womens Enterprise Day "Making it Happen" Mid West Region at Dromoland Castle, Newmarket on Fergus Co Clare. .Pic Arthur Ellis.

Limerick’s female entrepreneurs are continuing to make business happen despite economic difficulties as the largest-ever programme of events for National Women’s Enterprise Day has took place across the country.

An annual initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including LEO Limerick, 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.

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The networking event for entrepreneurs in Limerick took place in Dromoland Castle and was organised in partnership with the LEO Clare and LEO Tipperary.

More than 160 local entrepreneurs and businesswomen participated and speakers included: Sonya Lennon – Designer, Broadcaster and Entrepreneur, Fiona Steed – Group Lead Allied Health UL Hospitals, and Jackie Gowran- Business coach, trainer and mentor.

Other special guests on the day were Jean Mc Cabe, owner of Willow Boutique, Caroline Mitchell of Caroline Mitchell Knitwear, Florrie Purcell of The Scullery and Birgitta Curtin, Director & Manager of the Burren Smokehouse.

Pat Breen T.D., Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection said: “It is important for Ireland as a country that there should be a far greater participation of females in our entrepreneurial landscape and it is very positive to see the stats moving in the right direction. Events like National Women’s Enterprise Day play a key role in continuing that momentum.  Ireland has a marvellous entrepreneurial culture that is evident across the world and we need more females to become part of the journey. It is about celebrating those who have already done it and encouraging others to take the first step. I would encourage all budding female entrepreneurs to contact their Local Enterprise Office and check out the range of supports that are available.”

Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise at LEO Limerick, 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 Limerick who continue to do amazing things in business, across every sector.  It’s 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, check out www.localenterprise.ie for more details.