Bumper Year For Network Ireland Awards

4th September 2023

4 people at the Network Ireland Business Awards
(L-R) Belinda Kelly, Senior Marketing Manager, Sponsorship & Experiential, AIB; Emma Early Murphy, Network Ireland President; Anna-Marie Turley, Department Manager Entrepreneurship and HPSU Operations, Enterprise Ireland; Elaine Downey, Head of Products, Retail Banking at AIB.
  • Excitement builds ahead of female business group’s national conference

Network Ireland has received an overwhelming response to its prestigious Businesswoman of the Year Awards which recognise the achievements of talented and dedicated female professionals. The women’s business group, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, received 370 applications from members of all its branches around the country.

79 winners from a regional level went through another interview process with expert judges in AIB’s Head Office in Dublin. The winners in the eight categories will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Lawlor’s of Naas, Co. Kildare on Friday, September 29th 2023.

The event coincides with the Network Ireland national conference which will include an array of inspirational speakers, panellists and focused workshops on topics such as leadership, financial wellbeing and social media strategies for business.

Among the keynote speakers are owner of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group, Oonagh O’Hagan, and Leinster and Ireland rugby star Linda Djougang. Film producer, entrepreneur, human rights campaigner and former Dragon’s Den judge Norah Casey will MC the sold-out conference which features a programme full of expert business insights and real-world advice for attendees.

There will be a raffle on the night and all proceeds go towards this year’s charity partners IMNDA.

National President of Network Ireland Emma Early Murphy said; “The national conference is our flagship event and one we look forward to every year. This year is particularly significant as we celebrate 40 years of Network Ireland and the support the organisation has given to so many women around the country during that time. It’s heartening to see new members join every year and I’d like to personally thank all the branches for the tremendous work they do whether that’s organising local events, providing invaluable assistance to members or promoting the organisation within the business community. I would also like to wish our finalists the very best of luck in the awards. The calibre of entrants this year has been outstanding and it’s a fantastic achievement to get to the final stage.”

The awards are divided into eight categories:

● Emerging Businesswoman
● Solo Businesswoman
● Established Businesswoman
● Creative Professional
● STEM Professional
● Employee - Rising Star
● Employee - Shining Star
● Networker of the Year - a new award to mark the 40th anniversary of Network Ireland

Emma added; “I would like to thank all our sponsors as without their support it would not be possible to put together such an exciting event. Pestle & Mortar are this year’s Business Awards Gifting Partner while Lily O’Briens is our chocolatier partner. Others include Meta, J&J, Meaghers Pharmacy, McKenna Creative, Newbridge Silverware, Kildare Village, Balloon HQ, Lawlors Hotel and our charity partners IMNDA.”

AIB is Network Ireland’s official partner and Elaine Downey, Head of Products, Retail Banking at AIB, said; “AIB began its collaboration with Network Ireland in 2013 and we are delighted to continue that partnership, particularly in this landmark year as the organisation celebrates its 40th anniversary. Network Ireland provides a critical support network for so many women, whether they’re the owner of a successful business or just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey. The Businesswoman of the Year Awards offer a great opportunity for women to promote their business and we have seen in the past that they open up a lot of opportunities for the winners and finalists. We wish them all the very best of luck on the night.”

Anna-Marie Turley, Department Manager Entrepreneurship and HPSU Operations, Enterprise Ireland said; “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to partner with Network Ireland, marking our ongoing commitment to nurturing female-led entrepreneurship. Supporting ambitious women to start and to grow a business is a priority for Enterprise Ireland and the Businesswoman of the Year awards provides a platform to recognise and showcase the dynamism, innovation and talent of female business leaders throughout Ireland. I look forward to meeting so many inspiring women on the night and learning about the positive economic impact their businesses are making across the country.”


Established in 1983, Network Ireland now has more than 1,000 members across 17 branches around Ireland. Each year they organise in excess of 250 events for members. They also run a number of flagship national events, including an International Women’s Day Celebration and the Annual Conference and Business Award.

For further information, please contact:

Fiona Corcoran

Healy Communications on behalf of Network Ireland


087 052 1488

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland Press Office