Women in business can win prize worth €4,000 at Portlaoise roadshow - ‘Fuelling Ambition - Steps to Success’

Elevator Pitch Competition at event hosted by Enterprise Ireland and Network Ireland and Laois Local Enterprise Office

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly

Women in Business

Women in business have the chance to win a prize worth €4,000 at an event in Laois which aims to drive women to be successful in business.

Booking is stongly advised for ‘Fuelling Ambition - Steps to Success’ Midlands. The event in Portlaoise is organised by Enterprise Ireland and Network Ireland, in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Office Laois and the Entrepreneurs Academy.

The organisers say event aims to encourage, support and drive the ambition of female entrepreneurs in the Midlands and across the country. Helen Gee founder of G’s Gourmet Jams and  Maryrose Simpson founder of MyLadyBug are two ambitious Laois entrepreneurs, and they will share their business journeys and ‘steps to success’ at the event.  

Building on the successful ‘Fuelling Ambition’ initiative introduced in 2016, this year’s roadshow will feature an Elevator Pitch competition with a prize package worth €4,000 including:

10 sessions with Enterprise Ireland Mentors
Attendance at Enterprise Ireland’s Excel at Export Selling training programme
Annual membership of Network Ireland
Leadership training programme with the Entrepreneurs Academy, a national entrepreneur development organisation  
Representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office Laois and Network Ireland will be on hand to discuss the wide range of supports available to female entrepreneurs and those thinking of starting their own businesses. The events will also provide an opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and business people.

Sarita Johnston, Head of Female Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland, will be in Portlaoise.

“A key focus for Enterprise Ireland is supporting companies to start, innovate and scale by realising their growth potential and global ambition. We want to see more women starting their own businesses and more women successfully scaling their existing businesses.

"We are delighted to be working with Network Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices and the Entrepreneurs Academy to connect with and encourage as many existing and potential female entrepreneurs as possible,” she said.

President of Network Ireland, Rebecca Harrison said Network Ireland is the leading networking organisation for professional women in Ireland and is are delighted to bring the roadshow to the Midlands this year.  

"Helen and  Maryrose have a wealth of business knowledge and I think it’s a real opportunity for other business women to hear what they did to get to where they are today and to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in the area,” she said.

Evelyn Reddin Head of Local Enterprise Office Laois said a lot can be learned from the event which has a valuable prize.

“We will all learn so much from these entrepreneurs who have inspirational business stories. An exciting addition to this year’s event is the Elevator Pitch competition which is open to all attendees. The valuable prize package worth €4,000 will help the winner with their own steps to success”.  

Read more below

Becci Harrison, President of Network Ireland; Helen Gee, G's Gourmet Jams; Maryrose Simpson, MyLadyBug; Ena Coleman, Enterprise Ireland and Evelyn Reddin, Local Enterprise office Laois launching the Enterprise Ireland 'Steps to Success' Roadshow. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Event facilitator for the Evening is the inspirational Mary O Rourke, former Minister, renowned speaker and published author.

Helen Gee is the founder and CEO of G's Gourmet Jams Ltd which she established in Abbeyleix Co. Laois nearly 20 years ago. From first sales at local farmers markets in 1998, her alternative farm enterprise has grown into a successful family business operating from a modern production unit located beside the family home. Her range of jams, marmalades and chutneys for retail and food service are available in specialty food shops, hotels, cafes and supermarkets in Ireland and abroad.

Maryrose Simpson is the founder and CEO of MyLadyBug which she established in 2015 in Stradbally Co Laois.  MyLadyBug is Ireland’s first monthly period subscription service delivering monthly care packages to women around the world.  MyLadyBug was awarded the Co Laois Best New Business Idea in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition as well as other business accolades.

The event takes place in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel & Leisure Club, Portlaoise, Co Laois on Tuesday, April 25 at 6pm. The event is free of charge to existing and potential entrepreneurs and business women. Booking is strongly advised.

Full details and booking information are available at the following links. www.networkireland.ie and www.localenterprise.ie/ http://Fuellingambitionportlaoise.eventbrite.com