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Friday, 12th April 2019

Female entrepreneurs illuminate their pitch

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Tony Campion from Coca-Cola presents Aoife Keady with her certificate for the best Pitch at the Illuminate Boyne Valley- M1 Female Entrepreneurship Programme. Photo: Jenny Matthews.

Ten female entrepreneurs from across the North East were invited to pitch to a panel of judges and potential investors in Coca Cola HQ last Monday as part of their participation on the Illuminate Boyne Valley/M1 Female Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Illuminate programme was developed by The Mill Enterprise Hub, delivered by the DCU Ryan Academy and supported by M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet, Coca-Cola International Services and AIB to fast track female led businesses to develop their business and enhance their leadership skills to ultimately achieve scale and create employment.

Having completed the programme - which included extensive training in all aspects of business strategy and having honed their highly developed business management and leadership skills, the group were ready for their pitch.

Allocated with the very difficult role of being judges on the day were: Sheelagh Daly of Enterprise Ireland; Tony Campion, HR Manager Coca-Cola; Nichola Tighe, Bank Manager, AIB;  and Shona McManus, President of Drogheda Chamber/Promoter M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet/CEO of Osborne Recruitment.

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Shona McManus said: ‘One of Drogheda Chamber’s goals is to enable local businesses to scale and grow. We are behind this programme as we want to inspire a new generation of female entrepreneurs to develop the skills and confidence to back themselves and their businesses. The quality of the pitches today leaves me in no doubt regarding the ambition of our female entrepreneurs and the many opportunities the future holds for them’.

This programme was organised by M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet in conjunction with The Mill Enterprise and sponsored by AIB, Coca-Cola International Services and part funded by Skillnet Ireland from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

Business Development Manager at The Mill, Breanndán Casey, said: This is the third time we’ve run the Illuminate programme with DCU Ryan Academy and were delighted that AIB and Coca-Cola co-funded the programme again as female entrepreneurship is one of the priorities at The Mill. The addition of M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet to the programme supporters is very beneficial as they will also be able to offer further training support to the participants”.

Participants and businesses included: Bronagh Conlon - Listoke Distillery & School; Elaine Connolly - Cubicle 7 Games; Evita McCloskey & Inese Rasina - Westend Salon; Evelyn Nomayo – Phase Innovate; Una McGoey – Anu Change; Jacqui Millar – Weddings by Jacqui; Aoife Keady – Whatswhere; Jane Kerr – metimetraining and Priscilla McGeehan – Blas Marketing.

“It is fantastic to witness so many inspirational ladies on their entrepreneurial journey and seeing them develop during the process, increasing their skills, developing the confidence and forming lasting bonds with other female entrepreneurs” said Network Manager Linda Ennis.

For more information as to how you can avail of M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet Government Funded training, please contact Linda Ennis, Network Manager, M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet by email at or call 041 9833 544.

Participants, judges and sponsors in the Illuminate Boyne Valley- M1 Female Entrepreneurship Programme final.

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