24 February 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Network Ireland West Cork launched their Businesswoman of the year awards 2021 with an inspiring line up of speakers. The theme for the evening was Awarding Change and how nothing captures the spirit of Embracing Change more than involving yourself in an awards process. Hosted by Marie Wiseman, Vice President and Awards Officer at Network Ireland West Cork. The evening commenced with a panel discussion, comprised of Vicki Crean – AIB’s Manager of Service & Sales, Claire Lehane – HR Consultant and John O’Connell – Director of West Cork Distillers. The panel encouraged anyone who is considering entering awards to go for it. Claire Lehane, spoke of the benefits her business has received when she was finalist in both the Southern Star Business Awards 2019 and Network Ireland Businesswoman of the year awards 2020, she said “Be honest, tell your story and don’t fear you are overselling yourself”. Vicki Crean added “There are no prizes for being modest”. Each panellist highlighted the value of entering business awards. John O’Connell, winner of the EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, said “It is a great opportunity to step back and review your business strategies, to appraise your own business and have it appraised by others”.
Keynote speaker Lord Puttnam, is a person who has embraced enormous change in his career and has witnessed the collective euphoria winning an award spreads not just to the individual winner but also the team and support network around them. He also referred to the key role entrepreneurs play, saying “Developing entrepreneurs like yourselves, will help balance the long term needs of West Cork with sustainable business.”
Katherine O’ Sullivan, Network Ireland West Cork branch president commented afterwards “I was so inspired by all the speakers at the launch of our Businesswoman of the year awards. A theme that was echoed throughout the evening was that, even by going through the process of entering awards, regardless of the result, you have nothing to lose yet so much to gain. By entering awards, it is an experience you can grow from, learn from, network and grow your business. I was especially inspired by Lord David Puttnam’s emphasises on the importance of awards and also the key role entrepreneurship holds throughout the world and indeed here in West Cork.”
Network Ireland is a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women, their Businesswoman of the Year awards are open to all members. Mentors and committee members are available to help you with your application.
The West Cork branch’s next event entitled ‘Loving on Purpose’ takes place online Tuesday 23rd March 8pm, tickets on Eventbrite.