Isolation joins access to finance and sacrifices to family time as the biggest hurdles faced by female entrepreneurs. A recent poll conducted among members of the Women’s Inspire Network saw answers to the question “What is your biggest challenge?” showing a joint 16.96 per cent indicating ‘Time management’ and ‘Finance’ with a further 13.39 per cent highlighting ‘Sourcing help’.

Founded by Samantha Kelly, the social media strategist and TEDx speaker, the Women’s Inspire Network (WIN), is a global business community with almost 250 members across Ireland. Based on the values of sharing knowledge, creating accountability and providing practical and emotional support for women in business, WIN educates and inspires women in business by giving a a unique opportunity to meet those who have succeeded in the business community, hear about the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys and receive sound, practical advice from those who have ‘been there’.

Samantha Kelly commented: “There should be more help available for the entrepreneur who works from home. The Women’s Inspire Network provides that support through online/virtual coffee mornings, brainstorming sessions and webinars where members can learn all about social media, sales, GDPR and all things relevant to running and growing a business.

Further poll results highlight the priorities of family and childcare as key motivators for women running their own businesses. ‘Being my own boss’ (14.29 per cent of those polled) and ‘Working from home’ (11.61 per cent) were cited as answers to the question: “Why did you start your own business?”. Evidence of women not receiving adequate recognition in the workplace and enthusiastic drive were also revealed in the poll with 10.71 per cent of respondents answering the same question with ‘Sharing my talent with an audience that appreciate me’ and a further 23.21 per cent choosing ‘To follow my passion’.

The realities of starting a business not delivering instant riches isn’t lost on women with 3.57 per cent of WIN members questioned giving ‘To make lots of money’ as the answer for the same question: “Why did you start a business?”.

The poll followed the group’s recent National Conference in Galway, where Erin McGregor gave an insight into her journey as a female entrepreneur and balancing life as a celebrity with the necessities of motherhood.

Another benefit of WIN membership are 30 minute guidance sessions with a mentor from the panel of business experts that have been hand-picked according to their skills and expertise in different areas. As well as giving members the chance to be the expert in their space by featuring them on the #AskTheExpert #Womensinspire Twitter conversations 10-11pm every Tuesday, experts are also invited from outside the network to share their tips and knowledge. One of July’s informative webinars will feature Mari Smith (@MariSmith / www.marismith.com), one of the world’s leading social media thought leaders and ranked #4 Top Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes.

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