“Empowering Business Together” was the theme of the LEO Midwest conference for female entrepreneurs who took part in Ireland’s National Women’s Enterprise Day in the Clayton Hotel in Limerick City.
140 women from the Region spent the day networking and learning from leading industry experts while tapping into the extensive supports available from their Local Enterprise Office (LEO).
The Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Gerald Mitchell opened the conference by emphasising the importance of the SME sector in delivering jobs, economic growth and improving quality of life in the Region:
“National Women’s Enterprise Day allows us to turn the spotlight on, and celebrate female entrepreneurship. It highlights the supports available and provides valuable networking opportunities and connections with industry experts. Supporting female entrepreneurship ensures we tap into our full potential of talent, ideas and economic opportunity,” Mayor Mitchell said.
Senior Development Officer at LEO Limerick, Ciara Farrell said there was massive demand for the event:
“Participants saw this event as an opportunity to network and to take time out to learn, refresh and get motivated. Being an entrepreneur, an owner and employer can be lonely. The national Women’s Enterprise Day empowers women through networking and sharing of knowledge to overcome challenges. Businesses often tell us they don’t have time – and then thank us when they do take the time out to reflect and get inspired.”
The event heard from Mike Cantwell, LEO Limerick Head of Enterprise, who spoke about the range of supports available from LEO to support growth including Green for Business.
The keynote speaker was Fiona O’Carroll, a global expert in growing and scaling businesses. Fiona highlighted the growth mind-set, the strengths of a peer network and developing core business skills.
MC Ciana Campbell interviewed a panel of female entrepreneurs and leaders. Aoife Lenihan, Managing Director of Cara Motorhomes, Claire Bannon, Managing Director of Indigo and Nutshed co-founders, sisters Evie and Eliza Ward.
Female entrepreneurs who possess a budding idea or wish to expand their existing business were strongly encouraged, throughout the event, to utilise the vital expertise of LEO.
LEO Limerick provides a “First Stop Shop” ranging from advice on setting up a business, through to the provision of support and grants for feasibility studies, provision of financial support for the establishment of new businesses or expansion of existing ones and the provision of training and mentoring. Find out more at localenterprise.ie/limerick