Businesswomen of all walks enjoyed a morning of inspiration in Ballina on Thursday 16th of May at the “Support4Growth” mentoring clinic, coordinated by lead partner Galway Chamber, in partnership with Sligo Chamber and the Enterprise Europe Network, and supported by the European Commission.
The clinic, which was opened by Galway Chamber CEO, Michael Coyle, commented on the importance of supports for start-ups and small businesses, especially those that are female-led, in order to further develop this under-represented sector – women account for just 15-18% of established entrepreneurs in Ireland.
Olwen Dawe of Irish Business Intelligence, during her keynote presentation, also spoke of the importance of support and mentoring in micro and SME development phases, given the challenges and undetermined obstacles during start-up and growth.
“Every business experiences what I call ‘growing pains’ and having that external support mechanism – in the form of a mentor or advisor – offers a much-needed ‘sounding board’ to cushion the often testing experience and help promote sustainability and growth,” Olwen Dawe explained.
Attendees came from Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo and Galway to the clinic and received one-to-one mentoring from experts on a wide variety of topics.
Representatives from agencies including LEADER, Mayo CEB and Enterprise Ireland as well as networks from the region were also in attendance.
Closing proceedings, Paul Keyes, CEO of Sligo Chamber, spoke of the role each business or start-up attending the clinic could potentially have in Ireland’s economic recovery, “Undoubtedly these times are tough, but every single business in this room can and will make a difference – I must congratulate you all on your hard work and wish you every success for the future”.
Pictured above are Pamela Barrett, Mayo County Enterprise Board; Lorraine Toner, South West Mayo Development Company, and guest speaker, Olwen Dawe, of Irish Business Intelligence, at the the “Support4Growth” mentoring clinic in Ballina.