Laois women in business are doing it for themselves

Nuala McEvoy with Sean Kitson, Paddy Piekarski and Zoe Carton pictured during the 10 years Birthday celebrations in the Magic Moments Creche in Portlaoise.                                                                    Photo Kevin Byrne
The term networking conjures up images of impersonal meetings where people swap business cards and self promote but Laois Enterprising Women is different.

The term networking conjures up images of impersonal meetings where people swap business cards and self promote but Laois Enterprising Women is different.

This project was initiated by Local Enterprise Office Laois, who recognised a need for the development of a support network for women entrepreneurs in Laois.

As with any network, Laois Enterprising Women (LEW) endeavours to help in a practical way.

The primary support and point of contact is Local Enterprise Office Laois who are responsible for providing a wide range of business and financial supports to eligible clients in the small and medium size sector.

Whilst there is a need for this practical assistance, the network is acutely aware of the need for something more. Many female entrepreneurs experience the feeling of isolation and stress and as a result this network provides a space where women who have experienced all the trials, tribulations and successes of business can meet and discuss these issues and offer sensible solutions and guidance.

The Network model developed followed a consultative process by the facilitator with a sample group of female entrepreneurs. Their recommendations required the network to include support, guidance and motivation for women in business. As a result the network is central to supporting both the business and personal aspects of women entrepreneurs.

Membership includes a broad range of business woman at various stages of business development and includes all sectors from manufacturing to services to retail.

In reviewing the programme for 2014, the Head of Local Enterprise Office Laois, Ms Evelyn Reddin, said the membership of Laois Enterprise Women had exceeded 170 members. She also announced the continuation of the programme in 2015 as a major priority action for women entrepreneurs in Laois for 2015.

The programme for the coming year will consist of 6 meetings held bi-monthly . The format consists of promotional slots for businesses, guest presentations and interactive discussions in relation to topical issues for entrepreneurs. It also allows for aspects of personal development in business to be addressed.

If you would like to become a member or obtain more information about the network, please contact Ms. Honor Deevy, Business Adviser, Local Enterprise Office Laois by Phone: 057 866 1800 or email localenterprise@laoiscoco.ie

You can also contact Ms. Lisa O Brien, Network Social Media administrator by emailing loromey@gmail.com or through our facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Laois-Enterprising-Women.

Membership is free and the network looks forward to the continued success of this supportive infrastructure for female entrepreneurship in Laois.

The next meeting of the Laois Enterprising Women’s Network will take place on Monday, February 16 at 7pm in the Killeshin Hotel, Dublin Road, Portlaoise. If you are interested in hearing more, please come along to this meeting.