BOOK HERE for National Women’s Enterprise Day

Big shout to members for your active attendance at our September meeting today. The support and ideas both given and reflect a professional that combines both business acumen and kindness, making SWIBN the success it is.  For those of you could not make it, the slides from the meeting are here.  And a few comments from speakers and members, in no particular order……

  • Fantastic, supportive, I will be taking Anne’s wellbeing tips to plan the route
  • Excellent speakers, great clarity to move the business forward
  • We are subject matter experts – show it
  • Always reply to a customer comment or post
  • How does the post help my customer? What do they want to see from me?
  • Do you have your brand identity before you launch into social media?
  • Keep learning and take time to invest in yourself
  • Plan your route as well as your day so you can plan where/when/what to eat
  • Make lunch as if you are going out for the day, even if you are in a home office
  • Connect and support


BOOK HERE for National Women’s Enterprise Day

Thursday 19 October is National Women’s Enterprise Day – Empowering Business Together. The day aims to inspire, motivate and empower women across the country in running their own businesses. To mark the occasion, LEO Offices in Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal have invited SWIBN members  to attend a special  Empowering Business Together event, in  Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal. A bus will leave Sligo at 4.30pm and return at 10.30pm.  You can book here.  There is a cost of €10 that covers bus, admission to  the event and refreshments.

Guest speaker will be Norah Casey, introduce by host Anna Geary and followed by a panel discussion with Áine Faughnan (Dromod Boxty), Isobel Sangha (Donegal Natural Soap) and Helen Mulholland (Lough Gill Distillery). Along with these speakers offering multi-faceted perspectives, the evening will be an opportunity for networking and even a bit of informal socialising!


4.30pm            Bus leaves Sligo

5.30pm            Registration

6.00 PM          Networking Buffet

7.00 PM          Event Starts

9.30 pm           Event concludes

10.30pm          Bus arrives Sligo


 HOST AND MC – Anna Geary

Radio & TV Broadcaster, All Ireland Winning Captain, and Mindset Expert




Former dragon, successful businesswoman, magazine publisher, television personality and broadcaster.

Broadcaster, entrepreneur and human rights campaigner Norah Casey was formerly a Dragon in the popular television series Dragons’ Den and is a well-known radio and television personality. The 2nd Edition of her book Spark! was recently published by Penguin and her TEDx talks include The Cure for Grief and The Courageto leave (her own testimony of domestic violence). Her digital learning platform Planet Woman seeks to empower women, and much of her pro-bono work is devoted to mentoring female founders globally. She serves on the European Board for Vital Voices, established in 1997 by Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She is a founder of the London-based Women’s Irish Network and is a member of The International Women’s Forum. Norah is currently serving on the Irish government Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament.

A journalist and former nurse, her awards include: Woman of the Decade Award from the Women’s Economic Forum in Delhi; Ireland’s Philanthropist of the Year award; five times Publisher of the Year; and Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year. Her work to highlight domestic violence was recognised with a Safe Ireland SÍLA Leadership Award and she received the 2019 Lord Mayor Of Dublin AwardShe is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and received the Honorary Graduate Award for 2018 from BFEI.


Helen Mulholland of Lough Gill Distillery

Helen Mulholland is the Master Blender at Lough Gill Distillery.

Before joining Lough Gill Distillery Helen worked at Bushmills for almost 30 years and during her time as Master Blender,  she shaped a series of successful whiskeys in the distillery’s impressive luxury portfolio of single malts and premium blends through her careful selection of casks that produce different flavour profiles and aromas.

Helen has had a ground-breaking career as one of the world’s leading Irish Whiskey master blenders.  She was the first female Master Blender in Irish Whiskey history, the first woman to be inducted into the  Whisky Magazine International Hall of Fame and the first woman to be awarded a Chairman’s Award from The Irish Whiskey Association for outstanding contribution to the development of the Irish whiskey industry and category.


Áine Faughnan of Dromod Boxty

Aine took over her family business Dromod Boxty in 2015 after coming home from 5 years in New Zealand. Aine’s background was in Sales and Customer service at the time so taking over the business was a steep learning curve and a new challenge for Áine.

Eight years later the business has gone from strength to strength gaining new contracts with the likes of ALDI, Supervalu and other independent stores around the country. Dromod has also gone through a rebrand in that time, giving the brand a fresh look while respecting its heritage that tells the story and history of the brand and products.

Dromod Boxty is now a multi award winning business still based in Dromod supplying their extended product range nationwide and overseas. Áine puts a lot of the business success down to the help of the Leitrim LEO. Assisting with programmes such as the Business Expansion Grant, The LEAN programme, Green for Micro grants, marketing assistance programme, one on one mentoring, and various courses over the years.

Áine is a member of a number of networking groups that support female entrepreneurs including Empower Growth which is in association with the LEO and Going for Growth which is a national programme funded by KPMG.

Isobel Sangha of Donegal Natural Soap

The story of The Donegal Natural Soap Business begins in 2010 when Isobel’s son, then aged 2yrs, was at the peak of a painful battle with atopic eczema. In her search for relief and healing treatment, she began to research the products they used daily and what they contain. It soon became very evident that allergy rates were soaring and environmental factors play a key role in this. The solution for her family had to start at home.

This realisation, along with Isobel’s past studies and work in Engineering and Biomed, persuaded her that she already had everything she needed to change the way her family approached the personal responsibility of their health. She started to experiment with store-cupboard ingredients, teaching herself the methods and looking to nature for inspiration and resource.

And so it began. Starting with a simple unscented oatmeal soap crafted from larder ingredients, she used it and loved it. Her children loved it. She shared with her family; they loved it and wanted more. Well, you know where this story goes.

Since making the change to only natural soap, her son’s eczema and the skin health of all of her family has never looked back. Countless hours spent creating new recipes, foraging for ingredients and thousands more hours of research. Being able to work from home in her purpose-built workshop, following her passion and hearing of the real difference her products make to people – what could be better?

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