On Thursday, 31st March, over 200 women from around the Inishowen Peninsula turned out for a fabulous ‘soiree’- EmpowHER Inishowen.  Much like the glorious rays of the Inishowen sunshine that beamed into the stunning surroundings of the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, the positive energy reverberated around the room from the outset.   

The much-anticipated ‘EmpowHER Inishowen’ event was organised as a first step in inspiring and connecting Inishowen women and its purpose was to offer the opportunity to find out about the range of services and supports on offer to the women of Inishowen.  There were twenty-two stalls present on the night, providing a wealth of valuable and key information, including training and educational pathways, information rights, job-seeking supports, health and wellbeing initiatives, self-employment and business opportunities. 

The evening, which was so professionally facilitated by renowned Journalist, Kathy Donaghy, began with a warm welcome from IDP Joint CEO, Shauna McClenaghan.  Siobhan Heaney from SingTonicity, helped set the uplifting tone for the evening by bringing the attendees together through song and had everyone on their feet, using their voices in a fun and engaging activity.  The delightful Evelyn McGlynn (Evelyn McMarketing) delivered a fireside chat with two very successful female entrepreneurs, Caroline Doherty of Chapter 63 Café and Deli Bar and Orla O’Hagan from fashion brand Orla Vera Accessories.  Both shared their personal and tenacious journeys of how they started in Business, provided excellent advice, and gave great insight into what it takes to become an entrepreneur.   

Kathy McKenna, from the national organisation, Grow Remote, was welcomed on stage and gave a very informative presentation about remote working opportunities in Ireland.  The audience was amazed to find out that there are currently over 88k remote work opportunities available to job seekers while providing excellent insights into the strategic work of Grow Remote and what the organisation is doing to make Remote Working more visible in bridging the disconnect between remote work and local impact in rural areas.      

The keynote speaker, Serena Terry, Author, Entrepreneur, and Digital Creator, also known as her online persona and “Mammy Banter”, took to the stage to much delight and cheering from the audience.  Serena had the audience laughing from the beginning and shared her story in a hilarious, honest, and candid way, which was so well received by the attendees.  Among other things, Serena spoke about the pressures of social media, relatable antidotes of being a busy entrepreneur, and what it is like as a woman in today’s society while sharing how she looks after her wellbeing, which more recently includes sea swimming at Ludden Beach.    

The evening ended with a fundraising raffle in aid of the Ukraine appeal.  Local businesses (Inishowen Co-Op, Orla Vera Accessories, Chapter 63, Serena Terry, Café & Deli Bar, Hair Lounge, Powder n Pout, Hair & Makeup by Lara, Inishowen Gateway Hotel & McGrorys, Culdaff) generously donated a host of prizes for the raffle which raised a total of €775.

Shauna McClenaghan, IDP Joint CEO, says, “we are delighted with our EmpowHER Inishowen event, it has been a big success, and the feedback has been so positive.  There was something there for everyone on the night, and it was great to see such a diverse range of attendees or to quote Mammy Banter ‘Besties’ from mums and daughters, sisters, friends and neighbours.  We are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended, our colleagues and service providers, the excellent panel of speakers and presenters and our in-house team, who organised a fantastic evening for everyone”.

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(Images credit: Clive Wasson)