The 10th Women Mean Business (WMB) 2016 conference and awards took place on the 3rd of October in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. The event recognised the achievements of Ireland’s businesswomen and entrepreneurs.


This year’s theme was A Decade of Progress. It was chosen because ten years ago WMB recognised the power of strong female role models and the positive impact gained by putting these businesswomen into the spotlight.

The impressive list of speakers included:

Keynote Speaker: Dee Forbes, Director-General, RTÉ

Gelong Thubten, Buddhist Monk and Mindfulness Specialist

Susan Vinnicombe, CBE, Cranfield School of Management

Following the speakers, a lively panel discussion about the theme also took place with:

Marissa Carter, Founder and MD, Cocoa Brown

Martha Ryan, Head of HR, Boots Ireland

Rosemary Delaney, Founder and MD, WMB

Caroline O’Driscoll, Partner, KPMG and Co-founder of I WISH

Then the six awards were presented:

Evelyn O’Toole, Founder and CEO, Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS), took the overall WMB Businesswoman Award 2016.

Based in Galway and founded in 1994, Complete Laboratory Solutions [CLS] is the leading provider of sampling and analysis to the food, environmental, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, co-founders of FoodCloud received the Newstalk WMB Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities that need it through a world-class software platform.

In 2012, they realised how much food was going to waste so they arranged for the surplus food from a farmers market to be donated to a local charity.FoodCloud has expanded rapidly since these humble beginnings and is currently working with more than 850 stores and 2,000 charities, facilitating the redistribution of over 5.5 million meals since inception. The duo’s goal is to create a world where everyone shares and celebrates food.

FoodCloud was also one the six finalists in the recent Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 Competition in the UK.

Other winners included:

Alison Ritchie, MD Polar Ice Ltd received the WMB Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Polar Ice provides a full range of dry ice solutions for applications such as transportation of chilled items, dry ice blasting, cold storage and special effects.

Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor, Founder and MD, Space Technology Ireland Ltd and a leading Irish Scientist was named FEXCO WMB Woman in Technology Award recipient.

Ann O’Dea, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and founder of Inspirefest received the Boots WMB Empowering Women Award 2016.

Elaine Cohalan and Jenny Synnott, co-founders of The Dublin Cookie Company received the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award for 2016.

Jenny and Elaine baked their first batch of cookies in March 2014 and have since been successfully selling them around Ireland. They now have their own cookie shop in the Liberties, Dublin 8.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the 10th Women Mean Business (WMB) 2016 Awards. The well-chosen theme of A Decade of Progress truly reflected the positive and successful progress of women in business and entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Long may it continue.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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