The creator of a weighted pillow designed to reduce people’s dependence on sleep medication, a business that helps improve efficiency in GP practices and the co-founder of a game changing technology which automates video analytics for sports are among the winners of Network Ireland’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021.
The results were announced during the business organisation’s annual Conference and Businesswoman of the Year Awards at Galway’s Salthill Hotel on Friday, October 7th. A 300-strong audience attended the gala event which was hosted by Irish broadcaster and writer Mary Kennedy.
A total of 350 applicants put their names forward for this year’s awards through 14 regional branches of Network Ireland. A hectic season of selection events across the country in recent months resulted in the selection of 71 finalists to go forward to today’s event.
The winners of the eight categories are:
Solo Businesswoman Asumpta Gallagher, Best Practice, Galway
Emerging Businesswoman Síne Dunne, Siest Sleep Ltd, Dublin
Established Businesswoman Sandra Looney, To Have and To Hold, Cork
Employee Rising Star Aoife Behan, The Montenotte Hotel, Cork
Employee Shining Star Lorraine Burnell, Joseph Murphy Ballina Ltd, Mayo
Creative Professional Tanya Ryan, Fiadh and Finn, Kildare
STEM Yvonne Comer, RugbySmarts, Galway
Power Within Champion Ellen Tuffy, Down Syndrome Limerick, Limerick
This year’s ‘Trisha Murphy Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution’ was conferred on Siobhan Carroll from ACT for Meningitis and Dr Suzanne McClean from Rosabel’s Rooms. The Galway women set up national charities following the unexpected loss of their daughters. ACT for Meningitis provides free support services to anyone affected by meningitis in Ireland. It also works to save lives through greater awareness of the disease. Rosabel’s Rooms works in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation and provides direct financial and therapeutic support to families around Ireland, who lose a child from stillbirth to 21 years of age.
Network Ireland’s National President Noreen McKenzie, paid tribute to Siobhan, Suzanne and all the winners, she said: “Siobhan and Suzanne have been a huge source of inspiration to me and to Network Ireland members across the country. Their charities provide vital support to families going through the toughest times imaginable. They are truly worthy winners of the Trisha Murphy Memorial Award.
“I would like to congratulate all our winners, finalists and entrants. It takes courage and belief to put yourself out there to be judged and it is not easy. I had the pleasure of meeting so many entrants at the local branch awards and at the national interviews. Their resilience, tenacity and passion is uplifting and I’m looking forward to seeing their plans for their future businesses and careers coming to fruition.”
AIB is the official partner of Network Ireland. AIB’s Head of SME Market Engagement, Lorraine Greene was a judge in the Solo Businesswoman category, she said: “Today is about honouring the incredible achievements of women in business across Ireland. Once again, the calibre of entries was remarkable and the power of Network Ireland was evident throughout. Entrant after entrant described how the support of Network Ireland helped them to meet the challenges that they faced with creativity and resilience. AIB is proud to back Network Ireland and I congratulate the applicants, finalists and winners as well as the organisers of these awards. Noreen and her team have done a fantastic job.”
Enterprise Ireland is the official partner for the Awards and National Conference. Entrepreneurship Manager Sheelagh Daly, said: “Enterprise Ireland recognises the talent and expertise demonstrated by women business leaders every day results in better business and faster economic growth. Network Ireland is a place where business women can build valuable contacts as well as supporting each other and celebrating achievement.”
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