Carrickfergus Enterprise Celebrates The Ongoing Success Of Enterprising Women

Enterprising Women recently marked a significant milestone with a celebratory event, reflecting on its impactful journey of supporting female entrepreneurs in the Mid and East Antrim area. Since its start in 2018, the initiative has experienced remarkable growth,

with membership soaring to an impressive 229 members. What is even more striking is that 87 of these members joined within the last 12 months alone, underscoring the initiative’s increasing relevance and impact.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, commended the network’s success, “We take great pride in our partnership with Carrickfergus Enterprise and Ballymena Business Centre on the delivery of the Enterprising Women initiative. The growth of Enterprising Women from its humble beginnings as a local network into an essential resource for female entrepreneurs throughout Mid and East Antrim is truly remarkable. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the ongoing development and flourishing of each business, as they leverage the new techniques, insights, and expanded support network offered through this initiative.”

The diversity and vibrancy of the Enterprising Women community is evident in its membership demographics. Among its members, 26% are start-ups, while an equal percentage have been established within the past 2-3 years. Furthermore, a sizeable portion of 36% boasts a more seasoned presence in the business landscape, operating for over 13-14 years. This rich mix of businesses reflects the dynamic entrepreneurial spirit thriving in the region. 

Delving deeper into the sectors represented by Enterprising Women members provides further insight into the initiative’s breadth and reach. Crafts and artisanal businesses constitute 26% of the membership, highlighting the region’s creative talents and artisanal artisanry. Meanwhile, 20% of members operate in the realm of health and wellness, contributing to the community’s holistic well-being. Additionally, professional services make up 30% of the membership, underlining the initiative’s role in fostering diverse expertise and skill sets. 

Speaking on the positive impact being involved in the initiative has helped her business, Andrea Kernohan, Enterprising Women Member says: “Joining Enterprising Women has been an invaluable to growing and developing my business. My skills and confidence have improved, particularly through insightful workshops on photography, and participating in enriching events like the International Women’s Day event in conjunction with Donegal Women in Business.  Every experience has been a catalyst for growth and connection, most recently at the Spring Get Together & Showcase which elevated the visibility and reach of my business, seeing real tangible results securing sign-ups for my gym.  I am proud to be a member of Enterprising Women, where collaboration and empowerment are not merely ideals but the driving forces behind our collective success.”

The success and growth of the Enterprising Women initiative not only reflect the entrepreneurial prowess of its members but also underscore the vital role of community support and collaboration in nurturing business ventures. As the initiative continues to evolve and expand its reach, it remains dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth in the Mid and East Antrim area.

Speaking on the success of the programme, Kelli McRoberts, Chief Executive at Carrickfergus Enterprise, says: “Empowering women in business extends far beyond just updating skills or enhancing professional competencies. It encompasses a comprehensive approach that addresses not only technical expertise but also personal development, confidence building, networking, and social engagement. The network recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for women to thrive in all aspects of their lives, both personally and professionally. 

“This year, we have expanded our offerings to include a broader range of personal development topics, such as Menopause and Mindset training, in response to the evolving needs and requests of our members. We understand that women face unique challenges and experiences throughout their careers, and providing resources and support in areas like these can have a significant impact on their overall well-being and success. 

“Our network is built on the principle of women supporting women, creating a community where members can connect, collaborate, and uplift one another. By fostering a supportive environment, we not only empower individual members but also contribute to a larger ripple effect within families and communities. Women who feel supported and empowered in their professional endeavours become role models for their families, inspiring future generations and contributing positively to the wider community. 

“We are proud to be part of this domino effect of empowerment, where each woman’s success and growth contribute to a larger movement of progress and change. By prioritising personal development, networking, and community engagement, we aim to create a more inclusive and supportive environment where all women can thrive and succeed.”  

Established in 2018 it is funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, managed by Carrickfergus Enterprise in partnership with Ballymena Business Centre. 

To find out more about Carrickfergus Enterprise, email: [email protected]  

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