Business group runs workshop on ‘How to win business awards’

24 February 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Network Ireland West Cork will officially launch its Businesswoman of the Year Awards for 2020 on 27th February in AIB Bandon, and all are welcome. The event, entitled ‘How to win business awards‘, is sponsored by AIB. This will be an incredible workshop presented to motivate and inspire West Cork businesswomen to enter these awards and reap the benefits. Attending will be our keynote guest speaker Helen Wycherley, Director of Celtic Ross Hotel who’s taken part in the award process previously, with a panel of other business entrants and winners to share stories, experiences, and hear the why and how behind their own business path when entering the awards.

Helen Wycherley

Our keynote guest speaker, Helen Wycherley encourages women in business to put themselves forward for the awards process, saying “Entering awards is a must do for anyone in business, no matter what the outcome, the process of entering will help you and your business to step back and focus on your productive areas and to raise the standards in your business.” She also added that it is an excellent process for branding and PR, by being associated with the Businesswoman of the Year Awards, you get fantastic coverage and recognition throughout the whole process.

John O’Doherty, Head of AIB Cork, will facilitate the panel discussion of previous award entrants, sharing their experience, how it impacted their business and how the process worked for them. Helen Walshe, a key woman in business and is part of spearheading the Flexible Revolution with EmployFlex since 2017. Helen won the Network Ireland National Award in the Rising Star category in May 2019. Speaking ahead of the awards, Heleh said “The awards process gave EmployFlex an opportunity to look back and reflect and acknowledge the growth and work we had achieved. As a woman in business it was a great confidence booster winning the Nationals in my category, and undoubtedly widened my network and opportunities.”

Our other panellist, award winning and known to many in West Cork is Avril Alshire-Howe winning artisan food business Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd. which includes the Rosscarbery Recipes brand. Avril won the Network West Cork Small SME Award and went on to participate in the National Awards September last year. The panel is completed by Maria O’Donovan of Maria O’Donovan & Co. Solicitors. Maria entered the Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019 in the Small SME category.

As well as her legal knowledge, Maria is a certified mediator, collaborative practitioner and a facilitator in restorative justice.

Caroline Murphy, now President of Network Ireland West Cork 2020 speaks about her journey and how by winning the prestigious award has seen her business grow and grow. She said “As a great fan of these awards I know first-hand the impact they can have, both on your business and your personal growth.” Caroline added “If I can sell free range eggs and win the National Award, I believe you can also do this.” This event will inspire and motivate you to build your business further by supporting and mentoring you to be in to win a Business Award. These awards are some of the many benefits of being a Network Ireland member and is a fantastic experience, so book your ticket and embrace the support and encouragement that will be there in showcasing your business and what you do.

All members of Network Ireland West Cork are eligible to enter the regional awards which will take place in May 2020. Winners at that level will be put forward to the National Awards. There are 8 categories in the Network Ireland Business Awards including Solo Businesswoman a new category added this year. A number of mentors are on hand and available to advise and talk through each step of the process with entrants. For further information about the awards, visit:

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