Carrickfergus Enterprise recently hosted a Spring Lunch Event as part of the Enterprising Women initiative, which seeks to support new and established female entrepreneurs in the Mid and East Antrim area. Held on March 30th, the event saw delegates network and provide feedback on the 22/23 programme.

Established in 2018 and funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the scheme is managed by Carrickfergus Enterprise in partnership with Ballymena Business Centre. It provides networking opportunities and workshops for local women who have started a business or intend to.

In the last 12 months, the initiative’s membership has grown to include 142 entrepreneurs, 30 per cent of whom are running newly established businesses.

The scheme has seen multiple workshops take place over the last year, including a joint conference in County Donegal and an event to mark International Women’s Day, which took place at Ulster University earlier this month.

Designed by its members, Enterprising Women’s themed events explore issues that often affect women in the workplace, such as childcare, the menopause and imposter syndrome.

Enterprising Women member, Lucinda Graham, Owner at Galgorm Melts, says, “Enterprising Women has been an invaluable resource for me, and I would like to thank Carrickfergus Enterprise, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Ballymena Business Centre for providing such a vital support system for local female entrepreneurs.

“The scheme has provided me with much needed advice on topics like financial and social media management, along with the opportunity to network with other business owners from a range of different backgrounds and at various stages of their individual journeys.”

The initiative provides a holistic support network to equip local female entrepreneurs with the tools and confidence to navigate obstacles and achieve success.

Ursula O’Loughlin, Head of Economic Development at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council comments, “We’re proud to support the Enterprising Women initiative, in collaboration with Carrickfergus Enterprise and Ballymena Business Centre.

“Enterprising Women has evolved over the years from a small, local network, to become a vital support system for female entrepreneurs across Mid and East Antrim, and we look forward to welcoming many more members over the coming years.”

Carrickfergus Enterprise was established in 1981 to address mass job losses in the local area, following the closure of key manufacturing companies.

As one of the oldest Local Enterprise Agencies in Northern Ireland, it has been responsible for a range of employability and business successes, both in the Carrickfergus area and across Northern Ireland.

Melanie Christie Boyle MBE, Chief Executive, Ballymena Business Centre, says, “We have seen great benefits from delivering the Enterprising Women programme in partnership with Carrickfergus Enterprise and with the support of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. 

“At Ballymena Business Centre, we are committed to promoting innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship in the Ballymena area and it is a pleasure to see so many local female entrepreneurs empowered by the Enterprising Women initiative.”

Since its inception, Carrickfergus Enterprise has played a pivotal role within the local business community. Kelli McRoberts, Manager at Carrickfergus Enterprise, says, “We were delighted to welcome members to our Enterprising Women Spring Lunch last week. We would like to thank Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for supporting the scheme, along with our delivery partner, Ballymena Business Centre.

“At Carrickfergus Enterprise, we have been providing support to the local business community, as well as budding entrepreneurs, for over 40 years and since its inception in 2018, Enterprising Women has proven to be an invaluable resource for female business leaders in the Mid and East Antrim area.

“We look forward to its continued success in the years to come.”

To find out more about Carrickfergus Enterprise, email: