GMIT Empower Explore 2021 conference (7 Sept) to focus on early stage investment for women entrepreneurs and blockchain in business

Thursday, August 26, 2021 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Innovation Hubs are pleased to announce an exciting line-up of speakers for EMPOWER Explore 2021 which takes place online on 7 September 2021 (9.30am to 1pm), focusing on the subjects of early stage investment for women entrepreneurs, blockchain technology and achieving success in business and personal life. 

Keynote speaker Anne Ravanona, founder of Global Invest Her and EU Delegation Member of the W20, will be interviewed by MC Susan HayesCulleton CFA, "The Positive Economist", on the subject of securing early stage investment for female founders.

Professor Joyce O'Connor, founding President of the National College of Ireland and co-founder and Chair of BlockW will explain the benefits of blockchain for Irish SMEs. Shane McCarthy Founder & CEO of Irish Craft Beverages and Victoria Thompson Co-Founder and CEO at Orora will share how they embraced blockchain technology in their businesses.

Entrepreneurs Brenda Romero, CEO and co-founder of Romero Games and Mairead Mackle, founder and CEO of Tarasis Enterprises will share their stories of success in business and personal life.

Registration is now open for the 2021 EMPOWER EXPLORE conference which will take place online on Tuesday, 7 September from 9:30am to 1pm. This event is free to attend and will provide knowledge and inspiration to established and aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Sandra Divilly Nolan, EMPOWER Programme Manager, says: “Women entrepreneurs consistently get only 2.8% of venture capital. Anne Ravanona and the team at Global Invest Her are running the ‘1Million InvestHers Campaign’ aiming to get one million female entrepreneurs funded by 2030. We are delighted that Ms Ravanona will join our conference as her goals align closely to that of EMPOWER”.

“The goal of the EMPOWER programme is to fast-track female entrepreneurship in the West and North West of Ireland. A common barrier for female entrepreneurs is a lack of support, so building a team to support them as their business develops is key; it allows them the flexibility to achieve a healthy work life balance”. Sandra Divilly Nolan adds: “Seeing is believing. Showcasing successful female entrepreneurs who are looking to support others on their journey and share their mistakes and learnings is a key element of the EMPOWER Programme. We welcome multi award winning entrepreneurs and inspirational business leaders Brenda Romero and Mairead Mackle to our event this year.”

The event will conclude with a pitch competition where three EMPOWER female entrepreneurs will compete. The EMPOWER programme is run by the GMIT Innovation Hub and is funded by the ESF and the Department of Justice and Equality. The EMPOWER EXPLORE event promises to be a thought-provoking morning. This is a chance to engage and learn from some high-profile business leaders and a chance to connect and network with fellow entrepreneurs. Book a place at this free online event by visiting the website


Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications & Press Officer, GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway.
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