There is a new programme on offer from North East West Kerry Development (NEWKD) for local women who are looking to grow their business, create new networks and gain support in their rural endeavours. The programme will bring together two communities, as the women of Kerry host their Polish counterparts with this transnational opportunity.

NEWKD, in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Academy (which is an entrepreneur and leadership development company), have launched ‘Women Active in Society’ – a programme which aims to increase awareness and participation of women in three key areas of society: farming, local producing and business.

International element

The programme is a transnational initiative built in collaboration with a similar group of women based in Poland. The supports involve training sessions in Kerry, group project work, Polish participants travelling to Kerry, and then the Kerry cohorts travelling to Poland.

This transnational element hopes to improve networks, give more opportunities to learn from each other and build relationships that will allow members to grow their business.

Rural development officer at NEWKD John Loughrey, who has been the driving f

The programme is particularly interested in working with women farmers or food producers
orce behind this programme, says: “This programme will support women to take a more active role in society through increasing engagement and participation across each cohort and in connection with our partners in Poland. We feel this unique offering will have a significant impact on those who are selected to participate.”

The programme is due to begin this month with a training seminar but is still open for new applications. For those who miss the initial seminar they will be provided with a recording of the session.


Thanks to partial funding from the EU under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the programme is provided free of charge.

“We are looking for female farmers who may be in a partnership or they maybe on their own,” explains Nancy Ward, head of programme development at the Entrepreneurs Academy. “It’s also for women who are flower farmers, goat farmers, sheep farmers or own apple orchards – there are many different kinds of farmers who are looking at this programme.”

The women will collaborate with a similar group of participants in Poland.

“We are really excited to get all these women in a room and talk about how they can look at diversification, how they can look at ideation, creativity, innovation and also then aspects of resilience, planning focus, time management,” she continues. “All those things that come at an entrepreneur or a woman leading a business – they have 800 balls up in the air and are just trying to manage it all and preform at their best for the business.”

NEWKD is a local development company in Kerry. Its main objective is to promote, support, assist and engage in social development, enterprise development and community development.

The programme came about after NEWKID did a survey in their area. “There was a request for support in the regard to both training and as well as creating a support network,” says Nancy.The Entrepreneurs Academy put in a tender for the request and, together with NEWKD, the programme was developed.

The staff at the Entrepreneurs Academy are experts in supporting and training Irish entrepreneurs to start in business and to successfully scale and thrive. It trains business owners, their management teams and their wider teams across many key operational, leadership and management areas.

Who is this programme for?

Women in the northeast-west Kerry region with a flare for farming, business, entrepreneurship and networking.

The programme is delivered to three cohorts – farmers, local producers and entrepreneurs – so whether you’re a breeder, leader, maker or mover then this course has something in it for you. And of course, those interested in widening their network and learning from other cultures, there is a trip to Poland on the agenda. CL

Programme calendar

  • August – Half-day training seminar – launch of programme, learning and networking.
  • September – Half-day project group meetings with your cohort of farmers, producers or fellow entrepreneurs in Tralee.
  • September/October travel - Lean in and host our guests from Poland as they come to learn from our experts who will provide three half-day training sessions and your own experiences with local site visits and more.
  • Participate in a four-day/three-night field trip to Poland to learn from their experiences and experts. (All travel pending Government announcements in relation to COVID-19).
  • November – Half-day project group meetings with your cohort of farmers, producers or fellow entrepreneurs in Tralee.
  • December – Virtual cuppa and catch up networking session.
  • January – Learning summary and planning session.
  • March – Virtual cuppa and catch up networking session.
  • April – Showcase event for unveiling of all plans, shared successes and celebration of the journey. CL
  • Where to sign up?

    To learn more and sign up, click here or contact Rebecca on 01-419 7000.

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