We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Empower 2017 Programme. The course was well organised and structured with informative and appropriate speakers and presenters each week but most of all we gained a lot of knowledge, insight and advice from our peers/participants on the course.

Emer Bourke & Siobhan Hennelly, Co-Founders of Food Fitness Fertility Ltd

The Empower Start programme is a brilliant option for female entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business. The program deals with all the main aspects of a business, from creating the business plan to marketing and selling your product. All the speakers were excellent and the information is invaluable, but the biggest benefit for me was the mentoring and networking provided by the group itself. It really helped to increase my confidence in myself as a business woman and in my product. We’ve created a lasting relationship and I believe we will continue to provide help and support to each other beyond the programme into the future.

Mary Corrigan, Noo Chocolates

The Empower Programme is a very powerful group process with amazing women. Maria is an excellent example of strong leadership while expertly guiding the group. The programme has helped me to visualize, structure and realize my business goals. I highly recommend it for any woman on her courageous business journey.

Mary Lally, Element Acupuncture

Women in business in the West of Ireland may find themselves up against many barriers, but through the invaluable support of the programme Mentors and peers, EmpowerHer has provided me with the tools to overcome any challenge my business may face. Since commencing the Start programme, my business has already started to achieve traction within the market and I am excited about what the futures holds for Hawthorn Handmade Skincare.’

Elaine Kennedy – Hawthorn Skincare

The Empower Programme covered a wide range of business topics in a comprehensive but very practical manner, from Market Research to Pricing & Financials. The modules were delivered in a supportive and friendly environmental with plenty of feedback from both the group and mentor. The Programme has provided continued support and helped me to develop my business idea.

Brigid McGuire Natural Baby Gift Box

The Empower Programme has helped me acquire relevant skills to run my own business. The course instils the importance of group work and networking with team interactions applying principles of critical thinking, problem solving and sharing. The lecturers were engaging covering topics such as lean canvas, market research, financials, networking, funding sources and data protection.

I have gained more confidence in my ability to structure my company and position it in the marketplace. Thank you to Maria Staunton our leader, motivator and friend.

Deirdre O Dwyer Veerasingam – Cardiotechhealthcare Ltd

The Empower Start programme gave me the opportunity to analyze, breakdown and research my business idea in depth so by the end of the three months my idea was totally focused towards the needs of my customer profile. It makes you explore all aspects of your business before committing and hopefully reducing risk and mistakes”

Anna Costello, Kids Care Skincare

The Empower Programme reawakened the confidence in myself. It gave me a clearer vision in my business and great guidelines to follow in order to improve it, I loved the course and the amazing women on it.

The Empower Programme is a great learning and support network, we encourage each other and form lasting friendships. It was an amazing journey learning what others see and think about you and your business, it removes the wool from your eyes if you are willing to listen and learn.

Rachel Dubber

The EMPOWER Programme has opened up a new network of people and supports which I could not have accessed myself but the best part was meeting Maria and all the participants who have been so encouraging, fun to meet and I look forward to seeing us all develop over the next two years.

Mary Finn, Connect4Work

Having taken part in the recent Empower Start Programme for Entrepreneurial women, I feel very focused and motivated to make my business the best possible. I met so many fabulous women, I like to call friends, who are incredibly supportive and encouraging. The organizers and mentors on the programme were simply fantastic, with Maria Staunton, in particular standing out as our best cheer leader. I enjoyed the subjects covered and learned lots of great things, even when some advice was not directly linked to my business.

I would recommend this programme to any woman who is looking for support and current advice to help grow her business in Ireland and beyond.

Pauline Rohdich – Spiritual Femme

I started the Empower Start program in Oct 2017 to further investigate my business idea that had been unsuccessful with the New Frontiers Programme. Despite extensive market research in New Frontiers, doing it for a second round, I found a new emerging company in Bulgaria with a very similar idea to mine on developing a blended learning solution. Creating such a large project without funding wasn’t really an option for me on my own as I also needed to work on my web development business and my idea had come from not being able to find a good solution for online teaching and workshops. Now I that had a similar solution to mine, it made more sense for me to partner with this company and to focus on my main I web business. Maria was very understanding and helped me anyway she could.

I found the Empower Start program invaluable for my business, not just the idea. Having an existing business in a very male dominated and competitive space, it really helped me see the value of being female in this space and how other business women wanted to connected with another woman over a guy. While there was great value in all the talks and workshops throughout the program, the strength based development talk with Clare Canney gave me that light bulb moment that I wasn’t focusing enough on my creative side in my business (or life) and had services based on skills I had learned, but weren’t aligning well with me and therefore my business was starting to feel stuck. Taking on board this simple and now very obvious change, really shot both my confidence and my business forward. I was no longer trying to fit into the typical tech role but feel the freedom to really explore and create something different. Working with such a great bunch of women that had really formed a special bound thanks to the program, gave me further invaluable insight and support both during and since the program ended (actually doesn’t feel like it is ended, just on a different phase until the next one).

Emer Carr


I found the EMPOWER GROWTH programme to be a fantastic experience. Goal setting at each monthly meeting helped me to focus and made me accountable for my own progress. Speakers were interesting, relevant and inspiring and Maria, our co-ordinator, could not have been more helpful, creating connections for me to relevant people and businesses. It was also great to be in a group of like-minded ladies who were a source of inspiration, wisdom, encouragment and fun. Thanks Maria, Declan and all the ladies on EMPOWER GROWTH 2017/2018.

Niamh Ryle