Cork Foundation to host Irish/US female entrepreneur event

Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, Joan Walsh, Partnership International, and Tracey Ryan, Bia Beauty
Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, Joan Walsh, Partnership International, and Tracey Ryan, Bia Beauty

By staff reporter

Cork Foundation will host a U.S. and Irish Female Entrepreneurs Networking Evening on Wednesday, July 30 at 6:30pm at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork. 

The Networking Evening, sponsored by Vodafone, EMC, PepsiCo and RDJ Solicitors, follows an earlier peer-to-peer Thought Leadership Session hosted by Cork innovates.

These events are the first of their kind in Ireland and will bring top female businesswomen from here and America together with the aim of broadening their networks and their potential marketplaces, with one Irish entrepreneur being selected to travel to the US to meet with relevant industry leaders.

Cork Foundation Strategic Advisory Board Member Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, will be keynote speaker on the night, which will welcome a host of female leaders from multinational and indigenous companies. Also in attendance for the events will be a delegation of 8 women entrepreneurs and business owners from the US.

Speaking at the launch, Ms O’Leary said, “I’m delighted that so many inspiring women from Ireland and abroad will gather in Cork for an event that will celebrate the key role entrepreneurship plays in society and share their insights.

“Traditionally entrepreneurship has been male led but it’s encouraging to see an increasing number of women taking the leap and starting their own business.  It’s events like this that are invaluable for networking and learning from peers in order for entrepreneurs to develop significant growth aspirations for their business.”

Founder and CEO of Leading Women Entrepreneurs, Linda Wellbrock, and Tara Gilvar, Founder and CEO of B.I.G. (Believe Inspire Grow), are the driving forces behind the U.S. involvement and have engaged with the Cork Foundation to create an exclusive opportunity for Cork’s budding enterprises.

During the morning session, 10 female entrepreneurs from the region are invited to present their business ideas to the American delegates. One home-based entrepreneur will be selected to travel to New York in December where they will have the opportunity to meet with key individuals that can assist in the development of their company within the US market.

Wellbrock, who will be travelling to Cork along with Gilvar and the rest of the group, enthuses, “We are delighted to be part of these events, which will be mutually beneficial for both U.S. and Irish entrepreneurs as we work to expand our business horizons. We look forward to sharing experiences with Irish women in our same position and offering our assistance in any way we can.”

The earlier event will be followed by the broader networking evening, where up to one hundred leading Irish businesswomen are invited to mingle with the US delegates and showcase the best of what Ireland has to offer to the business world. An artisan picnic will feature on the night, with a selection highlighting some of Cork’s finest food producers.






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