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New Funding Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network announced

Minister of State for Justice & Equality David Stanton TD with Suzanne Kearney, SECAD, Dorothy O’Tuama, Entrepreneur (Lee Valley Food Trails) and Toni McCaul, SECAD at the announcement of Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) funding initiative. Photo: Cathal Noonan

New Funding Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network announced

New funding has been announced for female entrepreneurs living in Cork and Limerick.  The Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) project will see more than €330,000 in funding, provided by the Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund, allocated to promote entrepreneurial skills amongst women in these regions, through a tailored and focused approach.

SECAD (South & East Cork Area Development) will lead the project, working in partnership with Ballyhoura Development in Limerick and Cork Institute of Technology’s Rubicon Centre and Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence.




Speaking at the launch of WREN, Minister of State for Justice and Equality David Stanton, T.D. said, “I am delighted to announce this important funding for Cork and Limerick and know it will provide valuable support to women considering self-employment or those with a good business idea that want to create a business. SECAD and Ballyhoura Development, in partnership with CIT, will deliver a targeted, focused programme of training, mentoring and support infrastructure for women in the Region.”

Under the Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network project, training programmes will include personal development and business skills training, one to one and group mentoring, female ‘role model’ sharing of experience and support, themed networking and experiential learning events, formation and facilitation of the facilitated networking sessions and a networking/business pitching event.

“This funding will support women across Cork and Limerick who have a concrete business idea and wish to become self-employed or who are already in the early stages of business development,” said Suzanne Kearney, Assistant CEO of SECAD.  “The programme will provide the option of accredited training as well as business and employment supports. We believe this will be a hugely valuable project for both economic development in these regions, as well as for equality of opportunity.”

The Womens Rural Entrepreneurial Network Project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion, and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

To find out more about the European Social Fund click here

To see more of our stories on Female entrepreneurs in Limerick 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.