An exciting year of reflection, forethought and celebration lies ahead for the Donegal Women in Business Network in 2019.
Twenty years ago, local women in enterprise gained a group that they could belong to, gain support from and contribute to in their own unique way.
The voluntary non-profit network has endured the changing climate of business over the decades and given a warm welcome to thousands of members – from CEOs to managers, from consultants, creatives and start-ups and everything in between.
This year the Donegal Women in Business Network will celebrate the business spirit of all local woman with a jam-packed 2019 programme of events, which was launched on Thursday 24th January in the Silver Tassie Hotel Letterkenny.
Their annual conference on 1st October, a visit to Dáil Éireann in May, charity fundraisers and networking mornings are all in the pipeline for this diverse group.
DWBN President and Hotelier Deirdre McGlone said: “This year is exceptionally exciting because we have a calendar of events like no other.”
Ms McGlone paid tribute to DWBN event organisers Evelyn Mc Glynn and Trish Mc Ginley and commended all members: “We have a network we should be so proud of. It’s yourselves that make it happen.
“I feel that going into the year that’s ahead we have so many opportunities to connect with each other, to share experiences, to have fun, to learn and overcome challenges and be proud of what we do.”
Ms McGlone encouraged members to share the word about DWBN to grow the inclusive community further, adding “We belong together. In can be a lonely place in business and it can be a place where you feel you are without support, but that support is right here. So let’s work together to make everyone feel that they belong.”
The overriding theme of this milestone year will be Looking Back, Moving Forward.
DWBN PRO Evelyn Mc Glynn said the theme celebrated women in the past, mothers and grandmothers who worked locally and did not realise they were in business.
Ms Mc Glynn said: “We want to celebrate looking back at the last 20 years of the network and the last 100 years of women. All the past members and presidents of the network and going back before that to the Bean and Tí’s, the women who knitted Aran jumpers right through to the millennials of today who are setting up their business. Also, we are remembering wonderful women who are no longer with us.”
Head of Local Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney recalled the 1998 origins of the first Donegal Women in Business committee, which became the foundation of the network.
Mr Tunney said LEO Donegal was delighted to support the DWBN in 2019.
The challenge for all people in business today, he said, was raising ambition.
“It’s a challenge for ourselves in the local enterprise office working with small businesses and for females in business. It’s about aiming slightly higher,” Mr Tunney said.
“I think there are opportunities there, I would say to set the bar higher,” he added.
The celebratory evening, complete with a bespoke cake, marked the beginning of a year to remember for the network. An e-book will also be created this year, funded by LEO, to tell the story of the network, to honour past and current members, and to look forward to a bright future.
Joining Donegal Women in Business Network is easy and connects members to a wide community of ambitious and passionate people.
Find out more here: donegalwomeninbusiness.com/why-join
DW was there for all the night’s celebrations, see more photos from the event gallery below: