A mobility and security solution for cyclists, an online counselling service and a farm safety platform for kids are just some of the great ideas among the winners of Network Ireland’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2020. The results were announced at a gala ceremony held at Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow, with a digital audience of more than 450 people tuning in. The theme for the event was ‘Power Within’.
The audience was treated to keynote speeches from Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry; Louise Phelan, CEO of the Phelan Energy Group; Founder and CEO of AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity Adam Harris; Founder of The Valuable 500 Caroline Casey, and the world’s leading tv hypnotist, mentalist and brain hacker, Keith Barry.
The first five winners are:
- Business Innovation: Louise Murphy, Cyc-Lok Ltd, Kildare.
- Emerging New Business: Lisa McKenna, McKenna and Co Solicitors, Dublin.
- Online Business Transformation: Mary McHugh, Irish Online Counselling & Psychotherapy Service, Mayo.
- Solo Business Woman: Alma Jordan, AgriKids, Louth.
- Transformative Employee: Linda O’Connell, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Cork.
President of Network Ireland Louisa Meehan also devised ‘The Power Within Champion’ award for 2020, to recognise the unprecedented challenges faced by women juggling their responsibilities in an extremely difficult year. The winner of the award was announced as Dominika Stoppa of Studio Eleven Creativity and Wellbeing Centre in County Kilkenny.
This year’s ‘Trish Murphy Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution’ was conferred on Emma O’Hagan, a mental health campaigner from County Leitrim. Emma has spent several years raising tens of thousands of euro in aid of mental health awareness and sharing her experience of struggling with and learning to manage her own mental health.
AIB is the official partner of Network Ireland and has been a great support in preparing for this annual conference and awards with a difference. Head of Business Banking-Market, Catherine Moroney is a regular attendee and speaker at Network Ireland events and was a judge in the Power Within Champion category this year.
Catherine said all the entries were of a very high standard: “It was intriguing to find out how people would approach the awards this year, when so much of our lives has been disrupted.
“I was so thrilled to hear a record number of entries actually came in because it’s a great opportunity for business owners and leaders to display their incredible resilience and ability to pivot so quickly and to be recognised for that.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners and everyone who entered because it’s a real testament to the Power Within Network Ireland.”
Enterprise Ireland was the official partner for the event. Entrepreneurship Manager Sheelagh Daly said Network Ireland fulfils a vital connection and support role: “This is another wonderful example from Network Ireland of bringing women together to share their experiences, and is all the more important in 2020.
“Network’s own research has shown over 60% of women in business have accessed state support since March and it’s a real pleasure to think some of those who got the help they needed are here today, and it’s so important for ourselves and bodies like the LEO to see that too.”
President of Network Ireland Louisa Meehan says her team enjoyed the experience of adapting the annual conference and awards for the new realities of 2020: “My experience with Network Ireland left me in no doubt that we would rise to the challenge of hosting an unforgettable event, albeit in an unfamiliar setting.
“We are so thrilled to know more than 450 people are joining us online for a fantastically engaging, entertaining and informative day. I’m incredibly proud of my team and grateful to all our judges and sponsors for getting us here today.”