She Ventures – Irelands first ever women founder summit
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May 15, 2024

She Ventures – Irelands first ever women founder summit

Climeaction is privileged to be amongst the sponsors of the upcoming SheVentures Summit scheduled to take place on the 20th of May 2024, at Lusty Beg, Fermanagh. The SheVentures Summit is spearheaded by the AwakenHub and AwakenAngels community. At this event, women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds convene to exchange stories and insights, highlighting the journey of AwakenHub’s evolution into a thriving community of over 3000 members.  

Climeaction’s CEO, Paul Murphy will also be speaking at the event with Danielle McCormick, the All-Ireland Sustainability Summit founder, during the “Cabin Hopping” sessions on day 1. This masterclass will focus on everything sustainability; from consideration to execution and is just one amongst a multitude of other expert discussions.

We recently had the privilege of speaking with Clare McGee, who as CEO of AwakenHub and AwakenAngels, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our discussion, in advance of the summit. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of building a strong support network for women founders, as well as the growing importance of climate action in the business world. Keep reading to discover more below!

What was the inspiration behind creating Ireland’s first all-island summit for women founders?

“The inspiration behind creating Ireland’s first all-island summit for women founders stemmed from a recognition of the underrepresentation of women in entrepreneurship and a desire to provide a platform specifically tailored to their needs. We wanted to create an inclusive space where women could come together, share experiences, and access resources to support their entrepreneurial journey.”

What do you believe is the importance of building a powerful support network for women founders?

“Building a powerful support network for women founders is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a sense of community and solidarity, offering women a platform to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other’s experiences. Additionally, a strong support network can provide access to mentorship, funding opportunities, and other resources that are essential for business growth and success. Ultimately, by fostering a supportive ecosystem, we can empower women to overcome barriers and achieve their entrepreneurial goals.”

What challenges do women founders typically face in the entrepreneurial landscape, and how does this summit aim to address them?

“Women founders often face unique challenges in the entrepreneurial landscape, including gender bias, access to funding, and work-life balance considerations. This summit aims to address these challenges by providing practical insights, resources, and networking opportunities tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs. Through workshops, panel discussions, and mentorship programs, we aim to equip women founders with the tools and support they need to navigate these obstacles and thrive in their ventures.”

How will the summit address the growing importance of climate action in the business world and empower women founders to lead in this area? 

“We believe that women entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to drive sustainable innovation and make a positive impact on the environment. Through dedicated sessions and discussions, the summit will explore ways in which women-led businesses can integrate sustainability into their strategies, products, and operations, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future.

Can you share examples of initiatives implemented by women leaders that have had a positive environmental impact which have also achieved financial success, and how can others learn from these experiences?

“Companies led by women have pioneered sustainable supply chains, developed eco-friendly products, and implemented renewable energy solutions. Others have focused on promoting circular economy principles, reducing waste, and minimising environmental footprint. The sustainability Cabin at SheVentures summit aims to inspire and empower other women entrepreneurs to follow suit and integrate sustainability into their business models from consideration to execution.”

After the summit, what ongoing support or initiatives will be available to continue promoting the growth and success of women founders in Ireland?

“AwakenHub is committed to providing ongoing support to our community of women founders to promote their growth and success. This includes our monthly community events, our AwakenClub Platform, Big Sister Sessions, funding opportunities and investment into women founded businesses in Ireland through our AwakenAngels syndicate.  AwakenHub is a community where women are encouraged to connect, share insights, and access support from their peers and industry experts.”

Looking ahead, what do you envision as the role of women in shaping a more sustainable future for businesses and how can they be supported?

“We envision women playing a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future for businesses. As leaders and innovators, women have the opportunity to drive positive change by integrating sustainability into their businesses and advocating for environmentally responsible practices. To support women in this endeavour, it is essential to provide access to education, resources, funding and collaboration opportunities that enable them to develop and implement sustainable strategies more easily.

SheVentures have announced three incredible speakers who will be attending the 2024 summit: Leading the lineup is best-selling author Ann Hiatt, celebrated as Silicon Valley’s secret weapon during its golden era. With extensive experience at tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Alphabet Inc, Ann will undoubtedly inspire women founders with her wealth of insights and expertise. Joining her is Samantha Barry, the editorial powerhouse and global women’s advocate behind Glamour magazine. Samantha’s transformative leadership and unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment make her a truly inspirational figure. Finally, SheVentures will welcome Sarah Friar, the former CEO of Nextdoor, and a champion for Ireland’s entrepreneurs. Sarah is one of Northern Ireland’s most successful business leaders, bringing a wealth of strategic insight to the table, being an advocate for embracing change.

Climeaction looks forward to contributing to this important event and shaping a brighter future for women entrepreneurs in Ireland and beyond.  

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