News & Events

Minister Ged Nash announces National Women’s Enterprise Day in October

The Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash T.D., revealed details today of National Women’s Enterprise Day 2015, which will take place in Galway on Thursday, October 22nd.

National Women’s Enterprise Day 2015, organised by the network of Local Enterprise Offices, is enlisting the support of Irish female entrepreneurs to encourage more women to set up and grow their own businesses.

According to the GEM Monitor Report from last year, a lack of self-belief in their own knowledge and skills is more common in women than men here in Ireland, with women a lot less likely to start their own businesses*.

Minister Nash was joined by a number of Irish businesswomen who are participating in the event’s programme of Case Studies and Panel Discussions, including; Florrie Purcell from The Scullery; Leigh Williams from The Wicklow Brewery and Ruth Monahan from Appassionata Flowers.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Nash said: “Female-owned businesses are increasing in number but women are still under-represented in the world of small business. Increasing the number of female-led start-ups is an integral part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are key drivers of female entrepreneurship at national, regional and local level. In addition to providing direct grant aid and soft supports to the micro enterprise and small business sector, LEOs have a particular and specific focus on supporting women in business by leading events such as National Women’s Enterprise Day. The aim is to inspire, motivate and support women across the country in running their own businesses, which will not only boost female entrepreneurship but will also contribute to further recovery, more jobs and long term economic growth.”

The GEM Report also shows that 37% of women feel they have the necessary skills to start a business compared to 58% of men in Ireland. Nearly half of women (48%) report a ‘fear of failure’ as an obstacle to engaging in entrepreneurship

Eamon Ryan of the Local Enterprise Offices, Head of the National Women’s Enterprise Day organising committee, said: “If a person lacks confidence in their ability and skills, it is unlikely they will have sufficient self-belief to set up their own business. As highlighted in the latest GEM Monitor Report, the gender gap continues to exist in Irish enterprise, however, National Women’s Enterprise Day 2015 aims to challenge this trend.”

He added: “By providing a framework where aspiring female entrepreneurs can learn from businesswomen sharing their experiences; speak to those who’ve already started out in business and build connections with other aspiring entrepreneurs, women can be supported in managing their fear of failure and find the confidence to set up their own businesses.”

Guest Speakers at National Women’s Enterprise Day 2015 include Oonagh O’Hagan, CEO, Meagher’s Pharmacy and UK-based entrepreneur, business mentor and author, Deirdre Bounds. Other successful female entrepreneurs participating in the conference’s Case Studies and Panel Discussions are: Triona MacGiolla Ri from Aro Digital Strategy, Anne Cusack from Critical Healthcare, Claire Bannon from Avokado & Co and Niamh O’ Neill from Niamh O’ Neill (fashion label).

Conference Facilitator for National Women’s Enterprise Day 2015 will be Síle Seoige with Clare Culligan facilitating a Business Networking Event on the eve of the conference, on Wednesday, October 21st.

Tickets for the two day event, which takes place at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill, cost €100 and are available on-line through The conference also includes an exhibition of enterprise support agencies, one-to-one mentoring clinics and networking sessions.

Organised by the network of Local Enterprise Offices, National Women’s Enterprise Day is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities Network. Further updates are available by searching #nwed on Twitter and Facebook.




For all media queries around National Women’s Enterprise Day, please contact ENGAGE IRELAND:

Sarah Bohan, 01 427 8388 / 087 6539936 /

Adrienne Ferguson, 01 427 8388 / 086 3552974 /


Notes to Editor

National Women’s Enterprise Day (#NWED) takes place on Thursday, October 22nd, with networking events taking place the evening before on Wednesday, October 21st. The venue for NWED this year is the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill (media facilities available, including access to the conference).

*Source: “Entrepreneurship in Ireland in 2014”, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Annual Report for Ireland (Authors: Paula Fitzsimons and Colm O’Gorman)

“58% of men in the general adult population perceive that they have the necessary skills compared to 37% of women.”

“In Ireland 37% of men and 48% of women report that fear of failure would act as a deterrent to engaging in entrepreneurship.”


Photography Note: Photocall Ireland has been commissioned to syndicate images from launch of National Women’s Enterprise Day. These reproduction-free images will be available from Photocall Ireland on Friday, September 18th 2015.