A Piece of Cake - Claire O'Connor of East Cork Cookery School and Silvia Lopez of Hola Students as they graduate from the Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) programme, run by SECAD in partnership with Ballyhoura Development in Limerick, Cork Institute of Technology's Rubicon Centre and Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence. WREN supports female entrepreneurship and is actively recruiting women interested in becoming self employed or establishing a new business.

Seventeen entrepreneurs have created new businesses and jobs over the last 9 months, thanks to the WREN Programme – the Women’s Rural Enterpreneurial Network.

Led by SECAD, the WREN programme supports female entrepreneurs, startups led by women or those interested in becoming self-employed through training and business development supports.

The programme is operated in partnership with Ballyhoura Development, Cork Institute of Technology’s Rubicon Centre and Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence and funded by Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund.

“Today’s showcase of 17 new companies created by women is inspirational and exciting. Over the past 9 months, the WREN participants have established diverse businesses across a number of sectors from food and hospitality to photography and craft and many have international and export potential. It is vital for rural communities that female entrepreneurship is supported and today certainly demonstrates how creative and successful these businesses can be,” said Ryan Howard, CEO SECAD.

The WREN programme includes personal development and business skills training, one to one and group mentoring, female ‘role model’ sharing of experience and support, themed networking and experiential learning events, formation and facilitation of the facilitated networking sessions and a networking / business pitching event.

The programme is currently recruiting for the next round of potential female entrepreneurs, which would begin the next WREN programme in September 2018 until May 2019.

Interested parties should contact Frances Doyle at SECAD, or visit www.secad.ie