Monday, November 9, 2015

We're focusing on all things #web-by for November's #SWIBNTuesday!

How many of us bemoan how well our websites are functioning? Whether they're functioning at all or doing the job we expect them to? With the vast majority of companies found online and a large percentage of consumers searching for services and products via search engines, it's crucial that our websites are well-constructed and easy to find.

This month, we're returning to the subject of the online universe, following a great session earlier this year with members Aoife Porter (Bua Marketing), Marie Brouder (Brouder Design) and Sue Bourke (Digital Cascade Ireland).

Considering the wealth of expertise within our membership, we know just the lady to ask - and for November's #SWIBNTuesday, we'll be hearing from Carolin Collins of inTandem Web Design.  Qualified with an MBS in Management Information Systems as well as a B.Sc. in Management (and dabbling in Ceramics and Sculpture) and with 12 years of work experience in training, management consulting (Accenture and PwC) and IT management, in 2008 she realised it was time for a change and decided to retrain in order to set up her own business! Web Design allows Carolin to combine her business, technical and creative skills into one package and she hasn’t looked back since! In recent years, Carolin has added training and mentoring services to her offering, facilitating programmes on behalf of a number of Local Enterprise Offices as well as Leitrim Development Company, Roscommon LEADER, New Frontiers and WestBIC. Technically, she specialises in MODX CMS, Prestashop ecommerce software as well as Wordpress.

Carolin’s SWIBN presentation will focus on Website Optimisation both from a technical as well as design point-of-view. She will base the session on her Website Review Clinic framework which she has been carrying out for various LEO’s over the past 5 years. The session will provide you with plenty of hands-on tips about how you can improve the performance of your website without spending any money where at all possible. It will follow on from Aoife Porter’s insightful presentation about Keywords and show you how and where to implement these throughout your site as well as many other, simple optimisation tricks. Carolin will also spend some time elaborating on Marie Brouder’s very useful presentation on image copyright.

Don't miss out on Carolin's invaluable expertise, book your spot now!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Making time to be #mindful... #SWIBNTuesday October focus

We can all be accused of not making time to do things that are good for us... going to the gym, creating some "me" time to read, meditate or simply treat ourselves to something restorative.

The benefits of mindfulness are well-proven and increasingly, form the basis of much debate and discussion when it comes to stress management, wellness and general health.  This month, SWIBN is taking a more holistic look at our working lives by applying mindful practices to the everyday stressors we all deal with.

Mindfulness is beneficial as it enables us to get in touch with their thoughts feelings behaviours and body sensations.  We can take the time to "come back", get perspective and make the decision that’s best.

Our guest speaker is Nollag Cullinan, Nollag holds an MSc in Occupational Health Degree in nursing studies (2000), she is a qualified Psychotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural therapist, and has completed a Diploma in Sivannanda Yoga & Mindfulness. Nollag also works as a CBT practitioner, delivering stress management training in multinational organisations, Abbott, Laya Healthcare, PGI, RCI, Morgan Stanley and Medtronic.

To book your spot for this months' #SWIBNTuesday, just head over here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September #SWIBNTuesday | Confidence On Camera... Project Your Power on Any-Sized Screen

This September, SWIBNers will hear from Lottie Hearn, the Confidence on Camera Coach!
 It seems like cameras are everywhere for business marketing these days…
  • But what style of business video is really for you?  
  • How can you create simple, effective video without breaking the bank?
  • And how can you best present ‘you’ to those cameras to get the results you want?
Video has become the fastest growing promotional tool in our age of short attention spans and fast-paced living. 
Smartphone streaming, webcams and video open up a business boosting world of possibilities where viewers can buy in to our ideas, products and services by connecting to pre-recorded and live events online across the globe. Whether you are the expert at what you do, the face of your team or interview presenter – you need to overcome your fears of being on-camera to discover your on screen 3 C’s, 3 V’s and M3
Taking top tips (and live coaching we hope!) from just her just launched book “Confidence on Camera – how to project your Power on any size screen”
Lottie Hearn will help us Press Play on our on-screen persona and learn to enjoy presenting any time that camera is in our business face!
Lottie Hearn is The Confidence on Camera Coach who loves helping you be the best you can be on any camera, for online video, virtual meetings, live video streaming or TV.
With over 25 years’ experience as a performer, presenter, creative producer, trainer and professional speaker, presenters Lottie has trained and can be seen on TV, online and on video across the globe.
She is currently the 2015-16 President of the Professional Speaking Association Ireland Branch –  keynoting at their UK annual conference this October.
Booking is open now, so don't forget to grab your place! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Entrepreneur and Enterprise Initiatives and Events update


We hope that the Summer months have treated you well! 
To assist you in identifying Entrepreneur and Enterprise Initiatives and Events that are scheduled for the rest of 2015, Enterprise Ireland has helpfully put together the following list  which might be of interest!

Entrepreneur and Enterprise Initiatives Open Currently
1.       Community Enterprise Initiatives (2015 – 2017) Fund re-opens until 6pm on Friday 4th . If you have a query, please contact Gillian Slattery –

2.       Deadline for submissions to ‘Call for Expressions of Ideas for Regional Enterprise Initiatives’ – 12 noon Friday 11 September

3.       New Programme – ACORNS: Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups - designed specifically for early stage female entrepreneurs living outside the administrative boundaries of the main 5 cities in Ireland . Application deadline is Friday 11th September. - information about this one was sent out by Olwen to everyone last week.

4.       Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards 2015 open for applications until Friday 25th September

Upcoming Entrepreneur and Enterprise Initiatives and Events

25 Aug                  Competitive Feasibility Fund Agri Business opens, closes 8th September – Details here
25 Aug                  OMiG Blended Marketing, Blended Learning, Blended Networking Seminar, Galway. Details here
26 Aug                  Competitive Start Fund for International Entrepreneurs opens, closes 9 Sep – Details here
27 Aug                  ‘The Power of the Pitch’ workshop for regional startups at Bank of Ireland’s Workbench , Mainguard St., Galway. No cost to participate. Contact the bank directly for details.

Aug – Nov           Skillnets Training in Galway. Details here
Aug – Dec            GRETB Training Centre Courses. Details here 
Aug – Dec            MSLETB Training Centres Courses. Details here
Sep – Dec            Business relevant Training organised by the Local Enterprise Offices – Details here for GalwayMayoand Roscommon
Sep – Nov           Medical Technologies Training by the Irish Medical Devices Association. Details here
Sep                        Competitive Feasibility Fund for the West Region - Details to be announced in September
Sep                        Food Academy Development Programme 2015, LEO Galway – Details here
9 Sep                     Innovation Vouchers opens, closes 23 Sep
14 Sep                   ACCELERATE – Management Development Programme for Small Business Owners, Abbey Hotel, Roscommon – Details here
16 Sep                   Manufacturing & Agricultural Competitive Start Fund opens, closes 30 Sep - Details here
16 Sep                   ICT and Industrial Sectors Competitive Start Fund opens, closes 30 Sep – Details here
16 Sep                   InterTradeIreland Funding for Growth Advisory Clinic (private 1-1s), Grant Thornton Offices, Galway – Details here
18 Sep                   Galway Chamber Venture West, International VC Conference, Bailey Allen Hall,NUI Galway
22-24 Sep            National Ploughing Championships, Rathiniska, Co Laois. Special Innovation Area at will be of interest to people looking for ideas
25 Sep                   Network Ireland Annual Conference & Awards, Knockranny House Hotel, Westport – Details here
28-2 Oct               Mayo Ideas Week – Programme will be available here soon. Follow #MayoIdeasWeek.
29 Sep                  Spirit of Entrepreneurship event, GMIT Castlebar
Oct                         3rd Level Student Entrepreneur Awards will open for
1 Oct                      Enterprise Start event, Mayo
6-7 Oct                  MedTech Ireland, Radisson, Galway
5-10 Oct               Startup Gathering Week. The focus will be on Galway on Friday 9th October. Contact Galway Co-ordinator  if you would like to get involved. 

14-15 Oct             Trade & Investment Mission in Ireland – Details here
20 Oct                   Finance 4 Growth Workshop: Export Finance – Limiting the Risk of International Trade. Details here
21-22 Oct             National Women’s Enterprise Day, Galway Bay Hotel,Salthill
29 Oct                   Med in Ireland – Showcase for Irish Medical Technologies companies, National Convention Centre, Dublin
30 Oct                   déanta – Irish Design, from Concept to Manufacture to Market Conference, Letterfrack, Co. Galway
6 Nov                    Information Technology Association Galway (ITAG) Awards, Hotel Meyrick, Galway. Details here
11 Nov                  Female Competitive Start Fund opens, closes 25 Nov – Further details will be available here
18-19 Nov            Meet West, Hodson Bay Hotel, Roscommon
Useful Resources
Startup Weblinks – Guide for early stage entrepreneurs in the West –
MedTec Map of Ireland – Download here
#BOIworkbench Galway, just recently opened, is a free co-working space for startups. Contact annie.claffey@boi.comfor more information.

Monday, July 20, 2015

It's a summery social #SWIBNTuesday this month...

July means it's time for our annual summer #SWIBNTuesday social... this year, we're off to the super-talented Frances Muldoon's studio in Rosses Point, Frances will showcase her business, and fellow member, Berenice Beukes will also cater the evening with her mouthwatering food!
Please ensure you book by RSVPing by Friday 24th as we'll need numbers for catering :) 
There'll be a small charge for food, which we'll advise before the evening - and it's a strictly BYOB event!
Looking forward to seeing you all then... 

Monday, May 11, 2015

May is all about #digital at SWIBN...

This month at SWIBN, we're talking about all things digital - from photography and driving online sales, to smarter ways of working your social media output.

We're really delighted to be showcasing the abundant digital talent we have in Sligo, and indeed, within our membership - our three speakers are none other than: Sue Bourke [Digital Cascade], Marie Brouder [Brouder Design] and Aoife Porter [Bua Marketing].  All three professionals bring a wealth of knowledge across a whole range of digital topics... so don't miss out!

Booking is now open over at our Eventbrite page - and as always, #SWIBNTuesdays take place on the last Tuesday of the month, in the GlassHouse Hotel, 7-9 p.m.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Getting to know your networking neighbours...

Networking is what we're all about at SWIBN - getting to know your colleagues, building relationships, learning from one another and sharing business opportunities.

We're so good at it, we thought it was about time we invited our colleagues from Sligo and further afield along to our April event!

This month, we're inviting networks from Sligo and around Connacht, to join us for a fun, dynamic evening of networking.  Members are very welcome to invite colleagues so feel free to send details of the event onwards.

As always, April's event will take place on the last Tuesday of the month - 28th April, from 7-9 p.m. at the GlassHouse Hotel, Sligo.  RSVPs are required via Eventbrite so don't forget to ensure you or your guest books their spot!

We look forward to seeing you on the night - don't forget to bring lots of business cards!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Looking for #legal expertise? Don't miss March's #SWIBN event...

SWIBN's March event will focus on legal issues for small business - and we want to hear from YOU!
In-house expert, Michelle McLoughlin will cover legal topics most asked-about by SMEs - but is keen to hear from members if they have any specific queries.  So don't be shy, email your query to or and we'll ensure Michelle has the answers you need.

Michelle McLoughlin, owner of Michelle McLoughlin & Co., has over 14 years experience in business law, corporate and company law, employment law and taxation.  Michelle was a solicitor in law firms in Dublin for ten years prior to setting up this firm, the last three years as a corporate law and taxation partner.

Michelle is also a SWIBN member and we're delighted she's sharing her legal expertise with us this month! You can book now by heading over here...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Get Media Savvy with Claire Ronan!

We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming fellow SWIBN member, broadcaster Claire Ronan, as our February guest speaker.  As a broadcaster on both radio and television, locally and nationally, Claire has extensive experience and knowledge to share with us - not to mention her own amazing story! 
Claire currently broadcasts with both Ocean FM and Irish TV, as well as RTE and other media outlets.  Having made a guest appearance at our June meeting last year, Claire certainly showed us that we could learn a lot from her immense expertise! 
We all know how important it is for us to get what we want to say across clearly in the media... whether that means radio, television or print, your message matters! Claire is going to share some really useful insights on how to maximise your engagement with media - by employing some key tips - as well as workshopping an interview or two...

Don't miss this marvellous opportunity to learn how to be media savvy - register now!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mega Networking Start to SWIBN's 2015 Calendar!

Welcome back, SWIBNers, we hope you had a super Christmas break - a very Happy New Year to you too!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out our member survey, it's great to have your feedback and ideas.  One of the points that comes through regularly is lots of networking! So bearing that in mind, we're kick-starting 2015 with a mega networking event.

Focused on getting you to know your SWIBN colleagues better, understanding who you might be able to do business with and learning some new skills while you're at it - January's event will be a fun, dynamic evening.

All you need to do is RSVP by clicking on this link - and don't forget to bring plenty of business cards!

We hope to see you then...