Businesswoman Of The Year Awards 2017: The Winners!

  • by IMAGE

On Monday evening, November 20, the winners of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2017 were announced at the Clayton Hotel Dublin, Burlington Road. Now in its eleventh year, the much-anticipated IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards champions trailblazing businesswomen’s contribution to Ireland’s economy and their vital role within the Irish business community at home and abroad. This event is proudly sponsored by Samsung, Grant Thornton, Kuehne + Nagel, No7 and The Loop, and supported by Newstalk, Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland and Marks & Spencer.

Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, co-founders and CEOs of FoodCloud, were named the overall winners of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017.

FoodCloud, a food-based enterprise established in 2013, offers a fast and efficient way for businesses to donate surplus food to charities within their communities, allowing businesses to contribute to the local community in a meaningful way, by tackling food waste and food poverty.

The nine category winners are:

Overall Business Women Of The Year 2017


Niamh Sherwin Barry and Aoife Lawler, founders and directors, The Food cloud

Management Professional of the Year

Marie Hunt, executive director, head of research and consultancy, CBRE Ireland

Start-up of the Year


Drs Lisa and Vanessa Creaven, managing directors, Spotlight Whitening

Creative Businesswoman of the Year

Sadie Chowen, CEO and creative director, The Burren Perfumery

Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Louise Lovett, CEO, Longford Women’s Link


Young Businesswoman of the Year (under 35)

Pippa O’Connor, director, Ronnoco Style Ltd

Overseas Irish Businesswoman of the Year

Margaret Molloy, global chief marketing officer, Siegel+Gale

Digital, Science and Technology Businesswoman of the Year


Claire McHugh, CEO, Axonista 

CEO of the Year

Clodagh Cavanagh, managing director, Abbey Machinery

Geraldine Swarbrigg, retailer and serial entrepreneur, who brought brands including Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Aldo and Inglot Cosmetics to Ireland, received the IMAGE Lifetime Achievement Award 2017.

Over 800 of Ireland’s leading businesswomen, thought leaders and industry professionals attended the gala evening, recognised as Ireland’s most prestigious night honouring female leaders and innovators across the business spectrum. Now in its eleventh year, the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards commenced with Tanqueray TEN and Ketel One cocktails before a sumptuous dinner was served with a selection of wine from Marks & Spencer. The ballroom of The Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road was transformed into a starry, black, white and pink wonderland by Griffin Event Design.


The awards were MC’d by Dearbhail McDonald, group business editor of the Independent Newspaper Group, and IMAGE editor-in-chief Melanie Morris.

Clodagh Edwards, CEO of IMAGE Publications, says, “Every year, the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards becomes an even more significant date in the calendar, as we see incredible women receive the acknowledgement they deserve. With over 443 individual nominations in 2017, the judging process to select our shortlist, and then choose our winners was especially difficult, but we are delighted with the outcome – congratulations to all involved. As a publishing and media company for women, run (mostly) by women, I’m delighted to be in a position to champion those who work hard to realise their dreams.”

The IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards judging panel included: Clodagh Edwards, CEO, IMAGE Publications (chair); Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur and presenter of Newstalk’s Down to Business; Melanie Morris, editor-in-chief, IMAGE Magazine; Sarita Johnston, manager of female entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland; Orla Nugent, MBA programme director, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Rosaleen McMeel, editor, IMAGE Magazine; Lucy Gaffney, chairperson of Communicorp; Caroline Kennedy, founder, Kennedy PR + Brand; Laura George, editor-at-large, IMAGE Publications; Dearbhail McDonald, group business editor, Independent News and Media; and Sinead McSweeney, managing director, Twitter Ireland.

The image newsletter