Suzanne Kelly talks ‘survival’ to Sligo’s self-employed women

Sligo Women in Business met on Tuesday 24th November. 37 members came to the Glasshouse hotel to hear guest speaker Suzanne Kelly.

Leading taxation barrister, broadcaster and lecturer, Suzanne offered practical advice – highlighting the essentials for surviving in business in the next 12 months.

“Cash is king, or possibly Queen, considering my audience tonight” she said

In terms of policy, Suzanne presented a 3 point recovery plan. Here is the key point which relates to small business owners (i.e. us):

The self-employed are currently the underdogs of the irish economy. They are denied State benefits accorded to others. Benefits such as pay-related social welfare, optical and dental subsidies and Family Income Supplement are refused to the self-employed. An entitlement to the equivalent amount of annual PAYE credit of €1830 is also declined.

The self-employed number about 220,000 and they are not a powerful lobby group. There are about 120,000 owner-controlled companies, usually a small or family-owned business. Again there is a denial of the PAYE credit to the directors of these companies who are PAYE taxpayers, where the credit can make a big difference to the tax bill on an annual income of 35,000.

Were you with us on the night and have a view you’d like to share? Please feel free to let us have your thoughts. As small business owners how do you think we can build our lobbying muscle? If you have ideas, get in touch.

Thank you to photographer and member Frances Muldoon (071 9177962).

by Amanda Scott Facilitator

National Women’s Enterprise Day

16 members of our network put their best foot forward at National Women’s Enterprise Day November 20th 2009,

Jo Fairley told us the story of Green and Blacks chocolate and in doing so illustrated her drive for excellence, intensity and humanity.

Krishne De demonstrated the tools we need, to become ‘go to’ people.

And Paula Fitzsimons, M.C for the event put it up to everyone to consider a vision of growth and expansion for their business

by Amanda Scott Facilitator

Six month review

Membership is up 34% in the first 6 months of the newly re-formed Sligo Women in Business Network. With funding from the County Enterprise Board, its free monthly events at the Glasshouse Hotel are busier than ever with late arrivals anxious to find a spare seat. Entrepreneurial speakers and engaging workshops attract even the most time-pressed Sligo Business Women with an average of 35 attending meetings. Networking activities have also gone online. A LinkedIn members group, SWIBN ( enables a community of forward thinking business women to network cost-effectively, in their own time. Susan Bourke-Monahan, Burke Property Management says the new online possibilities opening for her are very exciting. Up to date information on all SWIBN activity can be found on

By Amanda Scott Facilitator