Healthy tips from The Female Enterprise Boot camp

‘Keep a constant eye on the bottom line and know what the customer wants’

Fresh from recording, RTE’s eighth season of Dragon Den, Eleanor McEvoy shared a range of healthy tips and insights with budding female entrepreneurs at the recent Female Enterprise Boot Camp, organised by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

The Council collaborated with Women in Business to deliver the event. Also present to discuss the range of support for women thinking of starting their own businesses were representatives from SERC, Inspire Enterprise Agency, Dundonald and Lisburn Enterprise Organisation.

The Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE welcomed over 70 women to the event which was targeted at women who thinking about or in the early stages of setting up their business.  He said: “The aim of this event was to encourage, support and drive the ambition of local female entrepreneurs by providing an opportunity to meet like-minded people, make new contacts, access support and hear some really inspirational business stories.”

As the keynote speaker Ms McEvoy offered plenty of encouragement and guidance to the fledgling entrepreneurs: “Know what your customer wants, be prepared to take risks and persevere” she said. During the Q & A session Ms McEvoy added: “At any point in time a business owner should be able to say how much money is in their account and how much they’re owed, that is key when running your own business.”

Joining her were local entrepreneurs Pauline Warde from pwDesign, Claire Stewart, Partner at Cartmill Stewart & Co., Robyn McWhirter from Sweet Robyn and Toni McAllister from The Bean Café who all stressed the importance of using social media and networking.

Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, speaking at the event, said: “The Lisburn Castlereagh area really is a great place to start a business.  The Council’s Business Solutions Team works to support ambitious business men and women grow scalable businesses through designing and funding a comprehensive range of business support programmes as well as working with various partners to improve access to other support. 

“Support programmes offered by the Council for entrepreneurs include the Business Start Up programme and the Innovation programme.  Other Business Solutions programmes include the heavily subscribed Mentoring programme, the Sales Development programme and a range of Trade Development programmes.

“We have two active networks that meet regularly - the Entrepreneurs’ Network and the Female Entrepreneurs’ network; they build mutually beneficial relationships and I have witnessed first-hand how hearing about other people’s success stories encourages more people to take ambitious leaps for their businesses,” concluded Councillor Mackin. 

To find out more about the extensive range of business development support which can be accessed through the Council, please contact Kris Walker on 028 9250 9390 or email: