SECAD Partnership hosted a ‘Meet the Founder’ networking event at Midleton Community Enterprise Centre to bring together twenty participants from SECAD’s Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) and six female entrepreneurs and business women from Cork’s local business community. The showcase event aimed to encourage, support and drive the ambition of female entrepreneurs by showcasing established business women and their thriving local businesses.
Successful Cork business women sharing their story at the event included;
- Sabrina Hill – Kopper Hair Salon & New Hair Revolution
- Sally O’ Brien – Farmgate, Midleton
- Ina & Rachel McCarthy – McCarthy’s Flowers, Midleton
- Sinead Ni Mhurchu and Orli Tollman – My Local Nutrition Hubs
- Rachel Sarah Murphy – Irish Film Academy
- Eleanor Dunlea – Lollipops Clothes and Shoes, Midleton
The female entrepreneurs shared their experiences and motivational insights on their road to business success and provided inspiration to the WREN participants currently working to achieve their ambition and realise their business goals.
Participants learned of both the pitfalls and opportunities of self-employment, such as cashflow, costs, employee management, as well as the challenges of dealing with often isolating business circumstances which demand entrepreneurs to push outside of their comfort zones.
Female entrepreneurship is a key source of job creation and innovation locally in Cork and is crucial for addressing income inequality and social exclusion. Specifically, the aim of the WREN programme and related events is to target and address the under representation of female-led businesses by using a tailored and focussed approach, to support personal development and networking opportunities for women starting and growing their own businesses.
Suzanne Kearney, Assistant CEO at SECAD Partnership said, ‘’today was an excellent opportunity to recognise local business women and benefit from their experience, and empower WREN participants to meet and connect with peers in a supportive environment’’.
The year- long WREN programme will culminate in a graduation showcase of participants’ fledgling businesses on 13 June. Recruitment of participants for next year’s WREN study programme will open in June 2018 and the next programme will start in September 2018. Contact the programme coordinator – Frances Doyle (email@example.com or 021 461 3432 for more information.)
SECAD will continue to lead the WREN project into 2019, working in partnership with Ballyhoura Development in Limerick and Cork Institute of Technology’s Rubicon Centre and Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence. The WREN 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.