Best Rate

AIB Masterclass

Women in Enterprise

There has never been a better time to be a woman in business. The glass ceiling that once limited a women’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership. It’s exciting to see so many women in our community who are either at start-up stage or who are already well established in business with ambitious aspirations for growth.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the AIB Women in Enterprise Masterclass, recently held at Harvey’s Point. This entailed an intensive and energetic afternoon of learning and networking, whereby seventy powerful women from all corners of the North West gathered together with the common goals of making new contacts and  gaining new tools, skills and guidance to grow their business.

The Masterclass was led by three expert business trainers from the Entrepreneurs Academy who are specialists in the areas of Leadership, Finance, Sales and Marketing. All the delegates agreed that, despite the tight framework for the topics to be covered, or indeed maybe because of it, that they benefitted greatly from each session. The afternoon was packed with useful tips and golden nuggets that resonated with everyone at the event.

Image courtesy of Clive Wasson


I particularly enjoyed learning about Leadership. We did a group exercise to establish what attributes a good leader has. According to our  presenter, Phil Kildea, every leader needs KASH! This is an acronym for Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Habit. While knowledge and skills can be learned and are of course important, attitude and habit are key to having an impact as a leader. Women in business have a different style of leadership to men. Different isn’t good or bad. Different is just different. As women, we tend to learn and to lead by ‘showing, telling and sharing’. As women in business, we should nurture the natural qualities that we are blessed with and align them with our goals in business and in life.


There was an excellent session on Mindfulness, on finding balance and fulfilment. I was intrigued by the concept of finding your ‘Why’. According to the British- American author, Simon Sinek, his novel ‘Start With Why’, inspires people to do the things that inspire them. I fully believe that I have to be happy to do great work and that doing great work makes me happy! Sinek also explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change. I’m definitely going to read the book!


The Masterclass also covered sound advice on marketing and communication. Discussions were held on how to convert a challenge into an opportunity. Everyone was in agreement in relation to the importance of networking and building relationships. We had ample opportunity to work on our networking skills at the drinks reception later in the afternoon!

Our thanks to AIB for organising this innovative initiative, which will undoubtedly assist in creating a roadmap to success for many women in enterprise. The Masterclass serves as a potential introduction to the AIB Women in Enterprise Growth Academy should a business owner be considering committing to that. On a personal note, I was proud to be a delegate at our very own Garden Suite, which is indeed a great location for a conference or event. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure that the event ran like clock-work (with a smile).


It was encouraging to see so many of my colleagues from the ever-growing Donegal Women in Business Network and also from ACORNS, which is a government funded initiative to support early stage female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland. These and many other support networks signal that women in the North West have a strong voice, one which will certainly make a contribution towards developing the next generation of women in business in our region.

TOP QUOTES – AIB Masterclass

  • “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess”  (Richard Branson)
  • “Your network is your net worth” Tim Sanders
  • “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” John C. Maxwell

TOP TIPS – AIB Masterclass

  • Give time to work ‘on’ not ‘in’ your business
  • Invest in yourself through personal development and being mindful
  • Build a network / ecosystem around you (eg. Regional Women in Business groups)
  • Be open to collaboration
  • Build a strong team
  • Know what you value
  • Share your story


February 2018

Deirdre McGlone
Joanne McCormack - Meet in Donegal Team

Joanne McCormack

Events Team



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