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National Women in Business Conference 2017 National Women in Business Conference 2017


LEO’s host regional National Women in Business Conference 2017

Pictured at the Mid West Region National Women in Business Conference 2017 are Niamh O’Donovan, Stylist, Anna de Marigny, Flint, Mary Killeen Fitzgerald, LEO Limerick, Vera Cabot, Ballylanders, Chris Clancy, LEO Limerick and Norma Purthill, LEO Limerick. Picture: Arthur Ellis.

LEO’s host regional National Women in Business Conference 2017

Local Enterprise Office Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary were hosts to the Mid-West Regional National Women in Business Conference 2017 at the Lakeside Hotel in Ballina on Thursday, October 12.

The National Women in Business Conference 2017 was held to support and encourage more women in Ireland to ‘open doors to new markets’ for their businesses.

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick teamed up with LEOs in Counties Clare and Tipperary to organise an event for aspiring female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses across the region at the Lakeside Hotel in Ballina.

Keynote speaker for the Mid-West event was Chanelle McCoy and other special guests included; Celia Holman Lee, The Holman Lee Agency and Catherine Duffy General Manager of Northern Trust.

The National Women in Business Conference 2017 was one of fifteen LEO-led events which took place across the country to mark National Women’s Enterprise Day.


National Women in Business Conference 2017

Pictured are Chanelle McCoy, Chanelle Medical and Dragons Den, Aileen McGrath, One Little Studio, Stephenie Shine, Marketing and Business Development Manager of Samco and Celia Holman Lee, Holman Lee Agency. Picture Arthur Ellis.

‘Open doors to new markets’ was the theme for National Women’s Enterprise Day in 2017 as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)reports that 27% of early-stage female entrepreneurs in Ireland expect to get more than a quarter of their revenues from overseas work. The LEOs have a range of supports that can help businesses to realise those expectations and local events will feature female ambassadors who have already successfully availed of some of those supports.

The Midwest Regional National Women in Business Conference 2017 full day event.  Master of ceremonies for the event was Communications Specialist Ciana Campbell.

The conference featured:

Chanelle McCoy of Chanelle Medical Global spoke about having the “Go Getter” attitude and how the “fear of failure” can be a great motivator.

Celia Holman Lee of the Holman Lee Model Agency gave an honest account of her experience as a business woman.  She inspired ladies with her story of determination and innovation over her career as a business woman.

Catherine Duffy, Managing Director Northern Trust gave an informative presentation where she spoke about the juggling of personal and business life.  She also encouraged the delegates to be confident in what they do, their skills and their capabilities.

A panel discussion took place with entrepreneurs Margaret O’Connor, Quigley’s Bakery, who spoke about the importance of hard work.

Tara Lee Byrne, Wicked Whole Food, discussed the difference between being passionate about a business and being emotionally connected to a business.

National Women in Business Conference 2017

Pictured are Nicola Hourigan, Nicolas Beauty, Helena Hickey, Fexco, Chris Clancy, LEO Limerick, Mary Killeen Fitzgerald, LEO Limerick, Sinead Dundon, The Nutritional Therapist, Bernie Carroll, Student Programmes Ireland and Fiona Liston, Meadow Sweet Flowers. Picture: Arthur Ellis.

While Alison Banton, Brook and Shoal, spoke about the history of her business and explained how the name of Brook and Shoal was inspired by her grandmother.

Stephanie Shine, Samco shared what life was like growing up in a family business and how the business now supports all family members.

Marion Murphy Cooney of Marion Murphy Cooney Designs thanked those who had helped her in the past, especially those who wore her designs in the early stages.  She stressed the importance of reaching out and asking for help and finding PR in the most unlikely places.

Aileen McGrath of One Little Studio presented an informative presentation when she highlighted the importance of integrating a digital marketing strategy.  She advised the group not to be intimidated by digital marketing and that it is an imperative part of business strategy in today’s world.

Theresa Mulvihill, Smart Marketing Limited, facilitated an activity based networking event which had all 135 delegates networking, negotiating and creating contacts and networking opportunities.

All 31 LEOs, including Local Enterprise Office Limerick, are behind the initiative and together, they jointly supported over 14,000 female entrepreneurs in 2016.

LEOs are enlisting the help of established female entrepreneurs to act as Local Ambassadors and share their success stories.

To find out more about the Local Enterprise Office click here

To read more of our stories on the Local Enterprise Office Limerick click here

To read more of our stories on women in business click here  


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 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.