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Women’s bid to boost business

WOMEN in business from Clare and all over Ireland are expected to take part in National Women’s Enterprise Day on Thursday, November 17, in a bid to boost the number of women setting up their own businesses.

Announcing details for National Women’s Enterprise Day on November 17 are (from left) Liz Waters from Malones of Dublin; Gráinne Barry from AnotherFriend.com in Limerick; Louise Fleming from the County and City Enterprise Boards; Birgitta Curtin from the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, TD; Elena Brennan from Elena Brennan Jewellery in Cavan; Lisa Myers from the Wig Clinic in Cork and Aisling Hurley from Teamwoodcraft in Laois.
The stories of the eight entrepreneurs, who all run their own business in different parts of the country, will be showcased in front of 300 delegates at a major conference, organised by the network of Enterprise Boards, including the Clare County Enterprise Board, to inspire confidence in other women and to help bridge the gender divide.
It is claimed that men are still “two and a half times more likely” than women to set up a business in Ireland and that women “more afraid to fail” than men, when it comes to setting up a business.     
To help address this enterprise imbalance, four entrepreneurs including ones from North Clare and Limerick will present a business case study on November 17 at the National Women’s Enterprise Day conference in the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise, County Laois.
Birgitta Curtin from the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna as well as Lisa Myers from the Wig Clinic in Cork, Elena Brennan from Elena Brenna Jewellery in Cavan and Gráinne Barry from Anotherfriend.com in Limerick City will each present their experiences at the event.
Furthermore, a panel of four experienced female entrepreneurs will be discussing how more women can achieve success in their own business. This panel includes Mary Fitzgerald from Woodlands House Hotel in Limerick and will give other women an insight into how they run successful businesses, despite the recession.
“As the business support agency for local small businesses, an important part of our role is to encourage more women to consider setting up their own enterprise. However, research from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report from 2010, shows that women in Ireland have a higher ‘fear of failure’ level than men, that would prevent them from starting a business,” said Eamonn Kelly, CEO of Clare County Enterprise Board. 
“Therefore, by highlighting the success stories of diverse, confident female entrepreneurs on National Women’s Enterprise Day on November 17, we hope that more women will be encouraged to set their own business locally,” he added.
The aim of National Women’s Enterprise Day is to give national recognition to the role of female entrepreneurship. 
UK entrepreneur, author and rower, Debra Searle MBE is one of two keynote speakers, along with the founder of the Itsa Bagel, Domini Kemp. 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.
Tickets are available to buy 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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