Women explore business ideas at boot camp event

Councillor Roisin Lynch, Vicky Moore (Women in Business), Stacey Hamill (Dunamoy Cottages and Spa), Heather Carr (Ten Minutes More) and Pat Thompson (Bonnie & Belle) at the recent Women in Business Boot Camp event. INNT 12-501CON
Councillor Roisin Lynch, Vicky Moore (Women in Business), Stacey Hamill (Dunamoy Cottages and Spa), Heather Carr (Ten Minutes More) and Pat Thompson (Bonnie & Belle) at the recent Women in Business Boot Camp event. INNT 12-501CON

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, in partnership with Women in Business, recently held a successful event for female entrepreneurs.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp took place at Mossley Mill on March 10.

More than 30 women who are considering taking the leap into self-employment had the opportunity to explore potential business ideas and avail of mentoring and support from guest speakers at the event.

Participants heard inspirational stories from women who have excelled through self-employment. They also received advice on how to balance a career with family caring obligations, how to develop confidence and tips for dealing with stress.

SDLP Cllr Roisin Lynch, who started her own computer cabling business over 25 years ago, was among the speakers at the event.

She urged attendees to “take risks, soak up and learn everything possible along the way and see everyone as your customer.”

“Council is driven by the ambition to make Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough a vibrant and prosperous place and we believe that women will form an essential part of this process. We will therefore do everything in our power to encourage and support women who are considering entrepreneurship as an option.

“We will endeavour to identify and support entrepreneurship and hope to stimulate business activity, sustain existing jobs, create new employment opportunities and therefore create economic growth,” she said.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Lynch, vice chair of the local authority’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, added: “I spoke about my experience of being in their shoes. I started my business with my husband in 1989 and I spoke about three key things that helped me on my journey:

• Necessity is the mother of invention - be open to taking risks. Just dive in, just do it.

• Always be open to new ideas, information and learning.

• Get into your zone and be confident that you are doing the right thing for you.

“I hope my experience was of some benefit to the local entrepreneurs attending.”

For information about future council business events, or for entrepreneurial support, call the council’s Economic Development Team on 028 9034 0018.