Key insights from the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs panel

Key insights from the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs panel

Posted: Wed 26th Oct 2022

This week saw Enterprise Nation and Meta host the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Dublin in partnership with AIB, Sage & GS1 Ireland.

It was a jam packed line up of inspiring fireside chats and informative panels. If you were unfortunate enough not to make the event, below we have a few of our favourite takeaways from the panel discussions, to help you on your business journey.

Getting seen

First up was the ‘building your profile in a digital era’ panel hosted by communications expert, Ali Mills.

“Get comfortable with your story. We are really bad at telling our stories – people don’t like to think that they are bragging. So get comfortable telling your story in a natural way – tell it as a story, don’t tell it as a pitch, it’s not a pitch.” - Gary Fox, The Entrepreneur Experiment Podcast.

“Why are you interested in it, and what is it going to do – for humanity? Does it help people? You need an angle – you need a hook,” - Charlie Taylor, Business Post.

“You might not have a story to tell – there is probably not enough uniqueness in your story but there are so many other ways that you could become newsworthy and become a contributor – are you in an industry or a space that can comment on the news of the day?” - Elaine Burke, Silicon Republic.

“Get on a journalist’s radar, engage with them on social media. Look at the #journorequest – there’s always journalists who are on that last minute deadline who just need a comment from an expert in their field.” - Samantha Kelly, Tweeting Goddess.


Then, hosted by Niamh Sterling of HBAN, the ‘how, when and why to raise money’ panel discussion took place.

“When you are asking for funding, ask for what you need, don’t scrimp! When you are asking for funding you are making a business plan for your business, it’s not a business plan for the bank.” - Lorraine Greene, AIB.

“Start straightaway engaging an accountant – to know what your obligations are – get all you filing dates.” - Rose Kervick, Accountant Online.

”Understand the language of investment and fundraising and also understand your duties as a founder.” - Mary Carty, Awaken Hub.

“The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment have a really good list of everything that is available for SMEs.” - Suzanne Sweeney, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.

Funding panel FFE


Our ‘managing high growth businesses in uncertain times’ panel was hosted by Meta’s Kate Martin.

“Your personal board of directors - who are the people who are in your corner and how do you access knowledge? Get mentors.” - Martina McDonnell, Meta.

“Never be afraid to reach out to your network and ask for that introduction.” - Sonya Geelon, Mastercard.

“I think as females we are very good at looking at what we don’t have – one of the things that I have learned is we really have to remember what we do have - the skills, the experience and the emotional intelligence to bring to the environment you are in , where you start to have the sense of imposter syndrome.” - Aideen Cardiff, Microsoft.

“I think it is massively powerful as a leader to show vulnerability, to show authenticity and to have self-belief – it’s a nice blend of your true self.” - Aine Rogers, Cisco.

Audience FFE


Head of Enterprise Nation Ireland, Nicola Woods hosted the final panel of the day - 'building a sustainable small business'.

“I’m going to be stocked in Arnott’s this Christmas and working with a business like them I have to show how sustainable my product is, through my supply chain. This is something you need to think about as a small business.” - Lisa Daly, This is You.

“Start doing a digital audit and see what you are using and what you can delete from the cloud – check where your website is hosted too.” - Sarah Blake, Earthology.

Look at the Plan it with Purpose diagnostic tool. The most important thing is just to start – get your checklist – make a start on that journey.” - Maria Svejdar, GS1.

Watch back

If these nuggets of advice have piqued your interest, you can watch back the event from the Facebook Live stream.

Watch morning session.

Watch afternoon session (48 minutes into the afternoon live stream we were treated to a fire alarm where we all exited the building - we recommend you fast forward to 1:16 where the session resumes)

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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