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Conference to study Lisdoonvarna entrepreneur

WOMEN in business from Clare are expected to join hundreds of other female entrepreneurs from around the country on November 17 to hear inspirational stories and share advice about their businesses to mark National Women’s Enterprise Day.
Among the case studies being examined as part of the event is that of Birgitta Curtin from the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna.
Co-organised by the Clare County Enterprise Board, a major entrepreneurship conference is being held in Portlaoise that day, aimed at women already in business or those who are thinking of setting up their own business in the near future.
In 2010, the network of county and city enterprise boards supported over 12,000 women in business around the country, but the local boards are keen to encourage even more women to set up their own businesses.
UK entrepreneur, author and rower, Debra Searle MBE is one of two keynote speakers at the National Women’s Enterprise Day conference at the Heritage Hotel, along with the founder of the Itsa Bagel chain, Domini Kemp. The stories of eight other female entrepreneurs, who are all based in different parts of the country, will also be showcased at the conference.
“Although we supported over 12,000 women in business around the country last year, through the network of county and city enterprise boards, men are still more likely to be in business for themselves than women,” said Eamonn Kelly, CEO of Clare County Enterprise Board.
“National Women’s Enterprise Day is one of a number of important initiatives from the enterprise boards to encourage and support more women in the setting up of their own businesses over the coming years,” he added.
Debra Searle hit the headlines a number of years ago after successfully rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic alone, after her husband had fallen ill and had to be rescued. A highly accomplished sportswoman, she helped to set a new world record for dragon boating across the English Channel, with a very famous team-mate, Kate Middleton. Chef and food writer, Domini Kemp, runs the hugely popular Itsa Bagel chain with her sister. Their outdoor catering company, Feast Catering, is also flourishing alongside two new restaurants.
Tv3 broadcaster and journalist Collette Fitzpatrick is the conference facilitator and the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, will be speaking at a networking session the evening before, on November 16.
Subsidised tickets for the conference can be purchased online through www.nwed.ie. The conference also includes an exhibition of enterprise support agencies, one-to-one mentoring clinics and networking sessions.


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