Fashion industry leaders and local entrepreneurs are heading the line-up of a National Women's Enterprise Day celebration in Donegal.

Donegal’s entrepreneurs are being urged to ‘fashion their future by going global’ at this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day conference on October 18th in An Grianan Hotel in Burt.

Organised by Local Enterprise Office Donegal, the business event is part of a nationwide celebration aiming to encourage more women to set up their own businesses and to increase national recognition of the essential role played by Ireland’s entrepreneurs.

Speakers at the Donegal event will include global expert in the business of luxury fashion, Máire Morris; award-winning designer Heidi Higgins and international fashion industry expert, Jenny Holloway.

Pictured at the launch of the Donegal event for National Women’s Enterprise Day were back row from left – Louise Wallace, Invest NI; Grace Korbel, Local Enterprise Office, Donegal; Brenda Hegarty, Local Enterprise Office Donegal and Larissa Feeney of who will be the ambassador on the day. Front from left is Eileen Kelly, Enterprise Europe Network Co-Ordinator and Eve Anne McCarron, Local Enterprise Office, Donegal.

Larissa Feeney,

Ambassador for the event will be Larissa Feeney, founder and CEO of, a fitting role given how she has grown her own business and is now working with and supplies her services to new startups.

Larissa’s firm serves clients across Ireland and the UK. Larissa leads a team of accounting professionals who work both remotely and in offices in Dublin, Derry and Letterkenny.

Maire Morris – Morris Fashion Consultancy

A huge advocate of business entrepreneurship, Máire Morris has a career spanning two decades in the global fashion industry, working around the globe for clients ranging from emerging designers to established international brands and stockists such as Harrods and the Dubai Mall.


Jenny Holloway – Fashion Capital & Fashion Enter in London.


Jenny Holloway of Fashion Enter in London has been working in the fashion industry for over twenty five years mostly in the private sector. She was a buyer for Littlewoods, M&S and Principles for Women before opening her own label Retro, wholesaling to major retailers such as John Lewis and exporting to key accounts in the Middle East and Europe.

Heidi Higgins – Award Winning Irish Designer

Award winning designer Heidi Higgins graduated from NCAD in 2008. Just under one year later she proudly introduced her own label to the Irish market in May 2009.

Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney said that while the Donegal event will use examples from the Fashion and Textile industry to highlight the benefits of going from local to global, the learning on the day will seamlessly apply across business sectors.

Michael Tunney speaking at the presentation evening for the 2017/18 Creative Coast programme with the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. Photo: Rachel McLaughlin

Mr Tunney said: “I am certain that the speakers lined up for this year’s event will serve to highlight the importance for businesses here to look to look beyond a small local market.

“To really achieve sustainability, businesses here need to compete on the world stage. We’re delighted to have such strong female entrepreneurs speaking in Donegal and I have no doubt that all female entrepreneurs attending will take away lots of learning from our speakers,” Mr Tunney said.

Creative entrepreneurs Eilis Galbraith and Sharon McDaid

The Donegal event is one of 16 such events taking place across the country and are expected to attract over 1,000 women in business and entrepreneurs nationwide.

Mr Tunney added: “Through initiatives like our own ‘Beyond Local’ Conference earlier this year we have been working hard to raise awareness of the benefits for small businesses of looking to grow to sustainable levels.

“With ongoing financial assistance, microfinance loans, mentoring, training and networking, Local Enterprise Office, Donegal also supports female entrepreneurs every year and we want to really celebrate their inspiring success stories on October 18.”

Places at the Donegal event are certain to fill up quickly and anyone interested in booking a place is urged to get online and book soon at –

Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020. To contact the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, log on to or phone 0749160735.