Entering Network Ireland awards an egg-cellent idea, says winner Caroline

February 19th, 2019 9:26 AM

By Emma Connolly

Awards sponsor Maeve Buckley, manager, AIB, Skibbereen, with Caroline Murphy, and Ciara Lucy of Network West Cork, at Liss Ard Estate, the awards venue. (Photo: Dermot Sullivan)

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‘Winning a Network Ireland award has been phenomenal for my business – and now I want to help others do the same.' 

‘WINNING a Network Ireland award has been phenomenal for my business – and now I want to help others do the same.’ 

That’s the message from Caroline Murphy of West Cork Eggs ahead of the launch of the Network Ireland Business Awards 2019 at the end of February. 

Caroline, based near Rosscarbery, was awarded Best New Emerging Business at branch level last March and went on to take the national title in September. 

‘Never in a million years did I think I’d win. Initially I’d have thought it wasn’t for me, or even that I wasn’t good enough. But the knock-on effect on West Cork Eggs has been incredible, with an increase in stockists and enquiries from people who would otherwise never have heard of us,’ said Caroline, whose eggs are available in SuperValu outlets and other independent retailers. 

‘The recognition of my business from Network Ireland was such a support, both personally and professionally, and a wonderful sense of achievement. It’s wonderful to have that from friends and family, but to get it from an outside source is great. They really champion you.’

Caroline said that working for yourself can be lonely, as you’re all things to the business, but that you can ‘believe in your strength because others believe in you.’

Caroline, who is originally from London, will tell her success story at the launch of this year’s awards on February 27th at AIB in Bandon. 

All members of Network Ireland West Cork are eligible to enter the awards which will take place in Liss Ard Estate in Skibbereen in May. Winners at the local level will go forward to the national awards. 

Outside of winning, Caroline will explain on the evening that even the process of entering is very helpful from a business point of view.

‘The online application forces you to sit down, take time out from the hamster wheel, and take stock. It’s a very good exercise.’

She said she was available to help any members who were thinking of entering, and so is Ciara Lucey, president of Network West Cork. There’s plenty of time to get it right, she insists. 

‘Our message is that we want to encourage everyone to enter – there’s nothing to lose and if you do go on and win, it’s phenomenal.’

Outside of the awards, Caroline urges women in the area to join the group. 

‘Networking can be very intimidating; but not in this group where it’s very welcoming and open. We have monthly, fun events and there’s also a mentoring programme on offer. You get to meet people you’d otherwise never come across and while you may not need their help or expertise immediately, you might in six months’ time.’

Network Ireland West Cork will officially launch the Business Woman of the Year Awards on February 27th, 2019 in AIB Bandon.  

The event entitled ‘Presenting the best version of you and your business’ will include a workshop to prepare members for the awards.  

There will be a panel of experts sharing their tips with members on how to put their best foot forward when entering the awards.  

The guest speaker at the awards launch will be Catherine Moroney, head of AIB Business Banking, and workshops will be presented by Caroline as well asAdrienne Harrington of The Ludgate Hub and executive coach Sarah Abbott. All members are invited to enter the business awards.

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