Inaugural Women's Inspire Network Marie Collins Award
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Inaugural Women's Inspire Network Marie Collins Award

by
Samantha Kelly

Helena Gilhooly and Jacinta Dempsey have been presented with the inaugural Women's Inspire Network Marie Collins Award at the group’s National Conference held in Galway's Connacht Hotel on Wednesday 11 April.  

They both received the award in recognition for the personal development and drive they have shown to bring their business dreams to fruition with the success of their brands.   

Helena Gilhooly runs BusyBeaders.com and is so helpful to others and went from social welfare to business owner in a short time, always supporting others along the way. 

Jacinta who runs TheSocialNetwork.ie  runs social media for businesses who don't have time to manage it all. Her profile and expertise has grown so much in the past year she also deserved recognition. 

Based on the values of sharing knowledge, creating accountability and providing practical and emotional support for women in business, the Women’s Inspire Network (WIN - www.womensinspirenetwork.com) is the fastest-growing online network for female entrepreneurs.  

Founded as a hashtag on Twitter in 2016, by Samantha Kelly (aka the Tweeting Goddess), the leading social media strategist and former TEDx speaker, WIN is now a global business community with over 200 active members. Marie Collins was a really active member of WIN, who passed away earlier this year and the award was created as a legacy for the passion and positive energy she put into the many pursuits and endeavours she both applied herself to, and passed on to everyone she came into contact with.  

The award will be presented annually to the WIN member that best embodies the group's mantra of ‘Be the best, do your best and never give up’. Her Husband Danny was also at the event and her son came along to present the award and also accept a little something from the network. It was an emotional presentation all round. Samantha Kelly said: "Marie was such a bright light in the group and she was a shining example of how to rise above and overcome the many challenges faced by women in business.  

Our members are made up of women in businesses at many stages from those with the buds of an idea, through busy mums running a business from the kitchen table to those at the head of an SME or larger concern.  

This award will help to inspire and support them in their journey to success. Marie also became a huge important part of my team and we were devastated when she passed away suddenly. 

Helena says: 'Since I have been involved with WIN it has helped me to feel more in control of my business, I have taking time to get to know the other members, everyone has been so supportive and helpful, at the event in Galway on the 11th of April Samantha Kelly paid tribute to one of the admin team, Marie Collins, who sadly passed away in January, by setting up an award, to be handed out to people who took time to help others, to assist others if they had questions, who got involved in the group, all the things Marie did, I feel very lucky to have been one of the first to receive the award in her honour, that has giving me a huge boost of confidence in myself, I look forward to doing her award justice.' 

Jacinta says: 'Joining the Women’s Inspire Network has changed my life so much. Not only has my business grown (more than doubled my income in fact).  but I have found a group of women who support me and have helped me find my voice. I don’t feel alone even though I am working from home, there is always someone there to chat to or brainstorm with. Winning the award was such a shock for me, I hope I add value to the group. Marie was a real inspiration to me personally and professionally. The award will always take pride of place in my home.'

*Photo credit: Marie-Clare Byard

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