MORE than 100 women in business from all over Cork came together to celebrate International Women’s Day with the support of Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West last week.
The event in the Celtic Ross, Rosscarbery, sought to help female business leaders unleash their full potential both personally and professionally.
The event was part of this year’s Enterprise Week which saw dozens of events take place throughout the country.
Among the keynote speakers on the day was Margaret Hoctor, a farmer, producer and life coach whose life direction changed in 2013 after she became redundant from a corporate job.
Margaret who turned her family farm in to a hugely successful and award winning business, “Kilmullen Farm – lamb direct” shared tips on mindset management.
Also speaking at the event was one of Ireland’s foremost female retailers, Jean McCabe of Willow.ie who spoke about how her small store in Ennis is now recognised as one of the first ‘go to’ sites for fashion conscious women in Ireland thanks to smart online trading solutions.
Local entrepreneurs Caroline Murphy, West Cork Eggs and Katy Wareing, OMKO also took to the stage for a special panel discussion with MC Deirdre O’Shaughnessy to speak of the realities of running different businesses from a rural base and the advantages that can have.
Christine Heffernan, Business Adviser, Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West said: ‘Today is all about celebrating women in business and recognising how far we have come and how we can continue to excel in the future.
‘There is a strong history of female entrepreneurship in West Cork and this is growing year on year, something we are proud to support on a day to day basis.
‘The ability to build an even stronger mindset is what women will walk away with from this event.
‘And we look forward to supporting them further on their journeys after today.’
Also speaking of the growth in supports provided to female founders, was county mayor Cllr Ian Doyle.
He told the gathering: ‘By the end of this year more than 80 female entrepreneurs will have completed our unique Women in Business Programme which constantly seeks to support and empower women in business from a variety of backgrounds.
‘Many of these women have gone on to not only create jobs but to create an entirely new lifestyle for themselves that works for them.
‘Days like this are important because it is vital for women who are 50% of the world’s population to know that today’s world can and should provide an equal platform for all who want to succeed,’ he concluded.