Celebrating Five Women's Incredible Achievements

IPBN Members Worth Watching This 8th of March

Celebrating women shouldn’t just happen once a year, however, International Women's Day is a good opportunity for us at the IPBN to celebrate all the women who are part of the IPBN and shine a much-need spotlight on several of our members who have achieved incredible success to date. All of our female members help make the IPBN, and the world at large, a better place. That said, we hereby salute five of our female entrepreneur members who have built their companies from scratch and have enjoyed exponential growth since their concepts have been realized. From coveted awards to expansion plans, to unique personalities, all these women have what it takes to lead us into a fairer and better business world where gender bias is a thing of the past. 

Bernadette Clancy, Founder of IPBN member company Crafters of Ireland (COI) runs a website dedicated to selling handmade crafts made by Irish artisans, and she was recently recognized by the Republic of Ireland for her work and dedication. She says, “I'm filled with pride to be stood here holding this award which I received for the business management consultancy of the year 2021/22. This was awarded to me by the Republic of Ireland, Prestige Awards. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those I have worked with over that last two years— here's to many more.” In a recent interview with the IPBN, Bernadette summarized the timeline of COI by saying, "In 2018, I started looking at business models like etsy.com as well as shops that hold goods to sell off commission and I understood the gaps and the expense were keeping talented artists down. I wondered how I could do things differently and still make a small profit. I knew I could design a bespoke, innovative service aimed at providing worldwide exposure for their work, so I designed COI for people who want to be self-sustainable, to earn a decent living from their craft, while I make a living to continue to sustain this service for them." Fast forward to today, The Crafters of Ireland online marketplace has been featured in Woman's Way magazinethe World Trade Magazine, and Donegal Woman Magazine among others), and on the IPBN website via a 2021 virtual gallery exhibition. Through all her determination, Bernadette is more than living up to her side of the bargain, leaving space and time for the artists to do what they do best: create.

The customer management partner for scaling businesses, Otonomee, and IPBN member company, had ambitious global expansion plans that are now coming to light thanks to its Co-Founder and CCO Hilary O’Shea, previously a commercial solicitor who worked at two of Ireland’s leading law firms. Otonomee was founded in June 2020 by Aidan and Hilary, a husband and wife team. As part of a two-stage strategy, they purchased an existing BPO business and pivoted it from a brick and mortar business to a fully remote company. At the IPBN’s 2021 Business Success Award Ceremony, Hilary told the audience that “Otonomee was founded…to provide a different model in the outsourcing industry, having scaled some of the most iconic Tech brands in the world. The employee experience was key to our purpose, causing us to create a company that people would be proud to work for…Our standout success in 2021 was establishing Otonomee Portugal and being joined by our Portuguese colleagues. We have onboarded many new scaling clients in 20021 and we now provide our service and support to them.” With Otonomee Portugal, the company can now offer multilingual skills from Portugal, across a myriad of languages, while investing in the culture and ongoing employee experience of all their employees.

Deirdre Mc Gettrick, Founder of IPBN member company Ufurnish.com was the winner New Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 at the Lloyds National Business Awards. Deirdre founded the company after struggling to furnish her first home, and now the search-and-discover site for furniture, Ufurnish.com, gives shoppers visual and information consistency when looking for home goods that hadn’t yet been available on this scale. People can browse through over 100 retailers from across the market including John Lewis, MADE.com, Marks & Spencer, The White Company and Habitat, and La Redoute, among others. During the rapid growth of the site, it became apparent that expansion was necessary, so the team expanded from central London into none other than Portugal. Deirdre told the IPBN in a recent interview, “We needed to build out a team with the ability to speak English, and we were looking at employee retention and sustainability. In London, people move jobs very quickly, especially among engineers, so we had to ask ourselves, ‘Where have successful companies broadened their tech teams?’” She and her team looked at Ireland, Scotland, and finally settled on Portugal in January 2020, after researching the successes of brands like Trouva and Farfetch and their Portuguese support structures. Ufurnish.com’s first hire in Portugal was made in March 2020, and now, they have seven people on staff. Combined with the London-based team, there are currently 19 employees altogether, and they are busy raising another round of investment* so that they can double the Portugal team by the end of this year. 

Further along into the area of Tech, Carolina Almeida Cruz, Co-Founder of the B-Corp consultancy service and IPBN member company C-More Beyond the Obvious is indeed a woman who has built a name for herself on her own terms. While Carolina is a keynote speaker at our upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference on March 17, she is subsequently the 2021 Portuguese Tech Award Winner in the category Sustainability & Climate Change Activism and the March 2019 Women’s Economic Forum "Iconic Women Creating a Better World" Award winner, but it doesn’t stop there. C-MORE Beyond the Obvious is a company set to double its number of clients to 100 by the end of this year. In a recent article in JournalEconómico, author Mariana Bandeira reports that Carolina and C-More’s co-founder Carina Abreu are “responsible for developing a mathematical plan that measures the degree of sustainable environmental, social and governance maturity of companies, regardless of their size, sector of activity or requirements. regulatory. Starting from 497 metrics in Excel, the duo and the North American technology giant transformed them into technology and arranged the statistical information on a dashboard that tells entrepreneurs if and how they are complying with green, social responsibility, and corporate organization metrics.”

Women lifting up other women is also a key point to celebrate, and none do so more than IPBN member company Teresa Patricio & Associates law firm, led by the Founding Partner Teresa Patricio herself. Her close-knit team of eleven dually qualified Portuguese Advogados and English solicitors is comprised solely of females who are able to understand the specific needs of both national and foreign clients and provide tailored legal advice to meet their requirements while staying loyal to ethical attitudes and excellence in their professional work. The firm has been in operation for almost 20 years, and has seen solid, consistent growth since its inception, which in turn, necessitated a larger office space in Alvalade to which the firm moved in July, 2021. 

We couldn’t be more proud of these ladies’ successes, and want to applaud their achievements as well as those of our female, male, non-binary, and corporate members. 

Note: To further celebrate women’s achievements please consider joining IPBN member The Magnolia Hotel (Quinta do Lago) and Shebang Events PR & Management who have partnered to host The International Women‘s Day Networking Event, a wonderful lunch event celebrating women‘s achievements with inspirational speakers on the 8th of March from 12h30 to 15h30.