Irish entrepreneur, Ciara Donlon, founder and CEO of THEYA Healthcare, was last night named Laureate for Europe at the final of the 2017 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Ciara received her award at the programme’s annual Award ceremony, held in Singapore for the first time.
Since 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards has sought to encourage and support female entrepreneurs, from around the world, who are leading creative, socially impactful and financially sustainable start-up companies.
Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO, Cartier, and Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, announced six laureates selected by an independent international jury amongst nearly 1900 applicants from over 120 countries.
In addition to receiving a year of personalised mentoring, valuable media visibility and expanding networking opportunities, each 2017 laureate will be granted a place on an INSEAD Executive Programme (ISEP). This year, the prize money awarded to each laureate’s business has been increased five-fold from US$20,000 to US$100,000 in recognition of their contribution to finding innovative solutions for a sustainable future.
THEYA Healthcare, which was formally launched by Ciara Donlon in 2015, designs and manufactures healthcare garments. The company’s flagship post-surgery lingerie range, designed primarily for use by breast cancer patients, retails across Ireland, the UK and has also been launched in Europe and Canada.
THEYA Healthcare, which is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, is also an Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up (HPSU) client company.
THEYA Healthcare uses a unique fabric mix made from OEKO-TEX® bamboo, which is ideal for post-operative products as it is anti-bacterial, breathable, 59% more absorbent than cotton and extremely soft thus helping to reduce skin irritation. The design of the THEYA Healthcare range focuses on comfort, support, femininity, functionality and the promotion of healing.
Speaking after the awards ceremony in Singapore, Ciara Donlon, said, “I’m so thrilled and honoured to be named Laureate for Europe. I’ve always believed in THEYA Healthcare because I know we can make a real difference to patients, but to have a prestigious organisation like the Cartier Women’s Initiatives Awards say that they believe in us too is such an incredible validation of what we do.”
She added, “Not only will the prize funding enable us to scale globally more quickly than we otherwise could, but the INSEAD training, as well as mentoring, network access, and media exposure will open so many new doors for us.”
Each year six laureates are chosen, one from Europe, one from Asia-Pacific, one from Latin America, one from Middle East and North Africa, one from North America and one from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Previous winners of the Laureate for Europe Award include; Ciara Clancy, CEO, Beats Medical (2015) and Leonora O’Brien, CEO, Pharmapod (2013).