Let's go to work

Fri, Jul 20, 2012, 01:00

THERE WASN’T a pinstripe suit or a comb-over in sight outside Leinster House yesterday as four female entrepreneurs stepped out to promote National Women’s Enterprise Day.

They were joined by Minister of State with responsibility for Disability Kathleen Lynch, and Fiona Leahy, business adviser with the Kerry County Enterprise Board.

They highlighted that Irish women are still two and a half times less likely to start their own businesses as men.

The primary reason behind this, they said, was a lower rate of confidence among women in their ability to launch a successful start-up.

The official “day” is scheduled for October 18th, coinciding with a two-day conference in Portlaoise where 300 female entrepreneurs will come together for a series of workshops, mentoring and networking sessions.

Among the successful entrepreneurs who turned out to promote the initiative yesterday was Alison Banton, founder of Brooke Shoals Fragrances, who left her job as marketing manager with Irish Life to start her own business in 2010. “I didn’t really have a passion for marketing financial services, corporate pensions and treasury products,” she said.

“I wanted to take my marketing experience and create something I really believed in and had passion for.”