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Spirit Event 2020

Screenshot 2020-08-15 10.00.01


GMIT’s Mayo Business Innovation Hub (iHub) EMPOWER Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme, will host its annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship event online this year.

The webinar will feature established businesswomen who will share their successful start-up experiences on on Tuesday 8 September 2020 from 10am to 1pm.

Speakers include:

  • Galway native Lorraine Heskin, founder of Gourmet Food Parlour (2006); Mary McKenna, Donegal-based technology entrepreneur and angel investor who founded the online Learning Pool community; and Niamh McKenna, another Donegal native, and co-founder of ChangeX.
  • Three EMPOWER participants Niamh Ryle (, Asumpta Gallagher ( and Marina Murphy (Babyboss with the Twosie) will also pitch for a prize fund at this session.

A panel discussion will follow on the subject of Digital Marketing and Influencers.

  • Social influencers taking part include: Sinead Carroll from Galway, founder of Mini Media who set up the Irish Blogger Agency; Charlene Flanagan from Mayo, founder of Ella and Jo Cosmetics; and Limerick native Aoife McNamara, Irish designer and fashion influencer.
  • Susan Hayes Culleton, “The Positive Economist”, will host the discussion.

Maria Staunton, EMPOWER Coordinator and GMIT iHub Mayo Manager, says:

“This is the first year our annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship event is being held online. The challenges of Covid-19 are something we are all facing and speakers will give us an insight on how these times have affected their businesses. Challenges are part of any startup – how we navigate them will determine how we succeed in business”.

The evening (8 Sept) Spirit are having a online event (invite only) to celebrate completion of GMIT’s first EMPOWER programme.

Noeline Blackwell, a human rights lawyer and CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a guest speaker.

  • Noeline will discuss how women speaking truth to power makes society better for all. She will also touch on some of the challenges and advances in women’s equality, and where women’s voices are heard in that journey.
  • The evening event will also feature Clare Desbonnet, a recipient of two Network Ireland Highly Commended Businesswoman of the Year Awards in 2019 in the STEM and Employee categories. Clare’s work with Multinational Corporations, and her successful navigation of difficult change management processes will be of great interest.

We look forward to many women and men joining us across the West and North West for this event.

To book, log onto

For further information about this event, please contact Maria Staunton, GMIT iHub Mayo 094-9043198 or email

Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT working together to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland