BUDDING entrepreneurs in Limerick have been urged to pursue their business goals this week at the Women’s Rural Entrepeneurial Network (WREN) event in Croom.
Helping to guide those at the Ballyhoura Development CLG event was guest speaker and owner of the Love Cherish boutique in Cork, Maeve Dennehy, who spoke honestly about the challenges she has faced.
“I’m constantly stressed, constantly worried, I rarely sleep properly, but that’s part and parcel of running your own business,” Maeve said.
Maeve Dennehy opened her boutique in Charleville in 2012 and her business has gone from strength to strength since.
From running the business itself to managing the marketing of it, Maeve drew on her own experiences to advise women at the event.
“If we are having a quiet day in the store, we’ll just start posting online and we’ll be busy within minutes,” she explained.
A strong advocate for women in business, she reflects this also in her branding.
“Love Cherish is all about empowering women, feeling good, and looking good,” she continued.
It may come as a surprise that with Maeve running a thriving business that won the Exposé Award for Best Occasionwear Boutique 2016 and clocking in 35,000 followers on the Love Cherish Instagram page and almost 15,000 on her own personal page, she had no formal education in retail or business until this year.
But, well before this year, she knew the secret to success.
“Part of online success involves posting every single day and trying to get people to engage,” Maeve added.
Through the WREN project, SECAD Partnership supports women living in Limerick and Cork who have a concrete business idea and wish to become self-employed or who are already in the early stages of business development.
The WREN programme was set up in 2017 and runs from Croom Community Enterprise Centre, and Midleton in Co. Cork.
Ballyhoura Development CLG Development Manager, Eileen O’Keefe, said that 40 Limerick women have benefitted from the WREN programme with over half having set up their own businesses.
And it looks like they will help to continue such success in the future.
“Ballyhoura Development are currently working with SECAD on plans to deliver the programme for the next two years,” Eileen added.
WREN is delivered in Partnership with Ballyhoura Development and SECAD, co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund through the programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014 – 2020.