Five Northern Ireland entrepreneurs feature in FSB campaign to help boost number of women in enterprise

From left, Tina McKenzie, Joan McCoy, Riki Neill, Mary Nagele and Patricia Casement will appear in a digital campaign by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) presenting inspiring women business owners 

AN arts expert, communications guru and architect are among five from Northern Ireland included among 100 UK-wide entrepreneurs selected to appear in a digital campaign by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) presenting inspiring women business owners.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with today's International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The quintet from Northern Ireland are Riki Neill, owner of RNN Communications in Ballynahinch; Joan McCoy, director of White Ink Architects in Belfast; Patricia Casement, managing director of Trackars Healthcare in Downpatrick; Mary Nagele, chief executive of Arts and Business in Belfast; and Tina McKenzie, managing director of Diamond Recruitment.

Sharing their experiences of setting up their own businesses, the women entrepreneurs offered the following advice to other local women:

:: Riki Neill - “The most difficult step is to take the decision to become self-employed. Once you’ve made it, throw your passion into everything you do, and surround yourself with great people.”

:: Joan McCoy - “Take the time to work out where you excel, where you add the most value to your business and what you enjoy the most.”

:: Patricia Casement - “Keep a personal journal alongside your business diary to record those end of day reflections or learnings.”

:: Mary Nagele - “Ensure that your personal values and passion are at the heart of what you do and how you do it.”

:: Tina McKenzie - “Only do it if you love it. Hobbies are not good businesses usually.”

Helen Walbey, chair of the FSB Women in Enterprise Taskforce, said: "Research shows that women are less likely than their male counterparts to know a person in business and, as a result, have fewer opportunities to benefit from exposure to others with business experience and are less likely to see people like themselves succeeding.

“Through this 100 FSB Women campaign we’re utilising digital platforms to raise the visibility of some really exceptional women. They come from all sectors and each has a special story to tell and valuable advice to impart to other women.

“With this being the 100-year anniversary of when the first women got the right to vote, we felt it was fitting to feature 100 women FSB members and share their wealth of advice and inspiration with women all over the world.”

Patricia Casement

Mary Nagele

Joan McCoy

Tina McKenzie

Riki Neill

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