Event encouraging female entrepreneurs to take place in Limerick

Professor Norelee Kennedy.

AN EVENT celebrating successful women entrepreneurs will take place in the University of Limerick (UL) this week, with the aim of encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs and start their own companies.

‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ will take place at UL’s Nexus Innovation Centre and the Kemmy Business School on Tuesday (May 30), supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Three successful female entrepreneurs will speak about their experiences on the night, encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

Among them is Dr Tara Dalton, the Assistant Director of the Stokes Research Institute in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Limerick. She is also the CEO of Altratech, which is the second spinout she has led from UL.  The first spinout, Stokes Bio, was acquired by Life Technologies in the US in 2010.

Leonora O’Brien, a qualified pharmacist, will also speak on the night.  She responded to a gap in the market for a continuous quality improvement system for healthcare professionals by establishing Pharmapod in 2012. Pharmapod was acquired by a Canadian company, Think Research in 2021. Leonora has won numerous awards and is currently the Jury President of Europe for the Cartier Award.

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The final speaker on the night will be Jennifer Corley, a graduate in veterinary medicine, who went on to specialise as an equine surgeon. After an accident ended her career as a surgeon, she set up her first company Veterinary Advances. Her second company – EquiTrace – was established in 2018 and is a digital health record and traceability platform for the horse industry globally.

Vice President Research at UL Prof Norelee Kennedy said: “Female entrepreneurship is on the rise in Ireland and, as part of its inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation supports, UL is committed to supporting more females across the student and researcher community and externally in the region to develop their entrepreneurial skills.”

The event also showcased the new ‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ initiative which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG.

The initiative aims to encourage female executives, professionals, and academics to consider the idea of setting up their own innovative, scalable business, focused on export markets.

Leo Clancy, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland believes that Ireland’s economic success will depend on a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, which utilises all the skills, ambition, and talent of a diverse population.”

“Increasing the opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in management is a key focus for Enterprise Ireland, and our six-year Women in Business Strategy aims to grow the number of women becoming entrepreneurs and leaders,” he said.