The Female Founder business finalists in Cork are...

The Female Founder Awards take place in Cork on November 17 - EMMA CONNOLLY tells us about the finalists
The Female Founder business finalists in Cork are...

Alison Desmond, The Club Marketing; Peigin Crowley, Ground Wellbeing; Sineád Lordan, The Club Awards Coordinator; and Sian Horn, The Club founder, launching The Club awards, which take place on November 17 at the Maryborough House Hotel. Picture: Darragh Kane

THE finalists of the inaugural Female Founder Awards have just been announced, and the countdown is now well and truly on for the black tie ceremony later this month.

The awards are the brainchild of Sian Horn, who set up The Club, a network that’s designed to support female founders and teach them what they need to know to stay in business.

Established in Cork during Covid, the network has recently gone national and has more than 100 members, a figure that’s set to swell to 200 by Christmas.

“The awards came about really as I saw, time and time again, how female founders struggle with confidence and that dreaded imposter syndrome,” said Sian.

“We deliberately designed the application forms around the ethos that it’s not always financial growth that should be rewarded and we asked people to look at their goals and achievements in a more holistic, 360 degree way.”

Members could enter themselves, or nominate someone else, and Sian encouraged people to fill out the form, if only as a useful exercise, even if they didn’t intend putting themselves forward.

“And we found that the response was phenomenal after people did that, because along the way they realised their achievements, which was our goal all along,” she said.

There are seven Female Founder awards up for grabs on the night and they are: best newcomer (sponsored by Keto Gym), best solopreneur (sponsored by Republic of Work), business of the year (Nespresso), most inspiring member (Alan Wiley accountants), contribution to the club (Fiadh and Finn), most positive impact (Falveys Pharmacy) and most creative marketing (3B1). There will also be an overall Business Woman of the Year (one of the individual category winners) sponsored by PermanentTSB.

NOMINEE: Triona Gunning
NOMINEE: Triona Gunning

Each category winner will go home with €500 and the overall winner will get a further €1,000.

Judges are Ivan McCutcheon, business adviser with LEO Cork City; Eilis Mannion, Head of Growth & Performance South & East Region, Permanent TSB; and Muriel Foley, founder and Managing Director of MGFD, a Digital Marketing Consultancy.

The black-tie awards ceremony will take place in the Maryborough House Hotel on November 17. Speaker on the night is Cork woman, Peigin Crowley, founder of Ground Wellbeing.

For more information on The Club or for tickets to the awards, see

Here are the finalists:

Newcomer Award

Janna Mullaney: Sleepy Chicken, an online store curating woman-owned brands.

Ellen Egan: Dimple Design, an independent studio creating stand-out graphics and bespoke branding solutions.

Sarah McGarry: A beauty salon educator and beauty therapist.

Mary Christina Lumor: Filo Laser & Aesthetic Clinic

Positive Impact Award

Pat Kane: Reuzi, online space for sustainable living products and education

Stef McSherry: Kinderama, experts in imaginative and active classes for younger kids

Jennifer Davy: Well-being Warrior, intuitive life coach for women

Katherine Griffin: a cancer survivor and now self-published author of Hope To Cope, raising funds for The Irish Cancer Society & Marymount

Creative Marketing Award

Pam Kiely PK Marketing Kate Lynch: The Creative Society

Janna Mullaney: Sleepy Chicken

Catherine Casey, The Marketing Club

Solopreneur Award

Julie Russell: The Vid Academy, a video production Trainer

Diane Higgins: Diane Higgins Design

Eleanor Roche: Travel Counsellor and luxury travel concierge

Clodagh O’Donovan: AdvanceHR, consultant for businesses of all sizes

Contribution to The Club network

Triona Gunning

Catherine Casey

Janna Mullaney

Clodagh O’Donovan

Business Award

Aine McPhilmeny: HerMoney, offers bespoke financial advice

Fiona Long: Innerzen Organics, Irish handmade skincare

Kate Lynch: The Creative Society

Mary Christina Lumor: Filo Laser

Most Inspiring Award

NOMINEE: Tara Elzingre
NOMINEE: Tara Elzingre

Tara Elzingre: Parene Solutions, coaching and online resources that creates holistic plans for parents’ success.

Debbie Ford: Citrus & Sage Home Interiors

Agnes Maher: The Thoughtful Shopper, gifting concierge service with a sustainable edge

Katherine Griffin: Hope to Cope

Kate Lynch: The Creative Society

Diane Higgins: Diane Higgins Design

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