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Successful Limerick entrepreneur among those speaking at an ‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ event

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Successful Limerick entrepreneur among those speaking at an ‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ event

UL’s Nexus Innovation Centre and the Kemmy Business School are hosting an ‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ event on May 30

Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Dr Tara Dalton, Assistant Director of the Stokes Research Institute in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Limerick

A special event is taking place for women who wish to learn more about the spark that ignited the entrepreneurial fire in three different women, who became successful and innovative entrepreneurs.

UL’s Nexus Innovation Centre and the Kemmy Business School are hosting the event on May 30th at the University of Limerick, with support from the HEA.

The event will also showcase 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. 


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On the night, the three entrepreneurs, who look forward to sharing their stories and insights so that others may be inspired to consider following in their footsteps, include Dr Tara Dalton, Leonora O’Briend, and Jennifer Corley. 

Dr Tara Dalton is 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, who 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

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.

The event will include an interactive panel discussion, chaired by Paula Fitzsimons, who leads the award-winning ‘Going for Growth’ suite of initiatives. Attendees will have an opportunity to register their interest and learn more about Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs, which is a  free development programme that starts in September.

The evening will conclude with a networking event, providing an opportunity to meet the speakers in an informal manner, share ideas and meet representatives of Enterprise Ireland, Nexus and the Kemmy Business School, among others. 

The start time is 5.30pm sharp, with registration and networking opportunities from 5pm. Refreshments will be provided.

Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Prof Norelee Kennedy

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.

“Nexus and the Kemmy Business School through a range of initiatives including EntreSTEAM – Encouraging Female Entrepreneurship in STEAM are encouraging more women to get involved in entrepreneurship by providing them with inspiration, developing their entrepreneurial mindsets and generating important networking opportunities. Building on these we are now collaborating with Enterprise Ireland and KPMG to host an Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs event with the aim to motivate, connect, and celebrate women in entrepreneurship  and provide insights into the variety of supports and role models available to assist those females who are interested in taking the next step to an entrepreneurial career.”

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. 

“We’ve set ambitious targets, including doubling the number of women-led companies in the export market by 2025, and progress is now clear. In 2022, 58 (more than one-third) of the 161 start-ups we invested in were women-led, up from just 8% in 2012.

“‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs’ is all about reaching out to and supporting women who want to become entrepreneurs and build innovative businesses of scale, focused on export markets. I have no doubt that many of these will be leading Irish companies in the future, and we look forward to supporting them on their journey.”

 Partner at KPMG Olivia Lynch said, “KPMG has a strong track record of supporting women in business, so we are proud to be involved with Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs. We are excited to see all of the opportunities that this initiative will open for women who have a vision to harness their skills to be entrepreneurs growing scalable businesses.”

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.