There’s a lot to be said for indigenuous entrepreneurship.
Whether it’s a small to medium enterprise with relatively modest turnover levels or alternatively larger, more expansive operations, the modus operandi in establishing thriving, homegrown businesses has remained the same.
And for the 89 businesswomen who turned out to attend the recent Longford Women Link’s (LWL) ground-breaking ‘Women in Business Inter-County Networking and Showcase’, the event was as much about recognising these strengths as it was about embracing new ideas and developing new contacts.
Originally directed to focus on female enterpreneurs in counties covering Longford, Cavan, Westmeath and Leitrim, those well laid plans quickly evaporated as as business owners and femal e entrepreneurs filed through the doors of The Longford Arms Hotel in their droves.
“It couldn’t have gone any better, we are so delighted,” beamed an evidently thrilled Paula Hynes.
Pausing to gather her thoughts, LWL’s Female Entrepreneur Mentoring (FEM) programme co-ordinator said the event was one which surpassed even her own lofty expectations.
“The interest just grew and grew,” she smiled, hinting that the presence of keynote speakers such as CPL Resources founder, Ann Heraty alongside leading consultant James Burke, of James Burke and Associates, may have helped raise the event’s profile.
Designed to mark the culmination of LWL’s hugely successful FEM initative where up and coming women business owners are paired with established businesswomen plans are already afoot to use the evening as a pilot project going forward.
“That’s what we are hoping for. The speed networking event was a great success and a lot of women made a huge amount of contacts at it. I can tell you business is already happening out of it,” she said.
As well as raising crucial monies to help finance a raft of LWL’s outreach services in communities up and down Co Longford, around 25 companies were also afforded the opportunity to exhibit their all important market niches.
Questioned about whether the showcase was likely to catch the attention of eagle eyed business leaders in other counties, Ms Hynes said the project and its overwhelming success should be something the county should replicate throughout the remainder of 2011 and beyond.
“I think Longford should hold on to events like this purely for Co Longford, but yes absolutely this is something that can be done elsewhere,” she said.
And based on the favourable response Ms Hynes has received thus far, we can look forward to seeing this project repeated nationwide.