business networks

The #IBYE Start Up Selection: Business Networking Hubs and Events

This year’s IBYE Competition has really highlighted one thing. That there are a multitude of young entrepreneurs throughout Ireland who are bursting with ideas and many are at different stages of the implementation of these ideas.

For some they are still just an idea in the mind that is raring to become a reality, for others the reality is just that, a reality. The frustration for these young entrepreneurs is that they are searching for the advice and equipment needed to bring these ideas forward. Other young entrepreneurs may have been trading for a few years and know the next step for them is expansion.

The common thread with all these scenarios are the connectors and guidance required to make this happen.

The solution is to find out how and one of the ways is to network!

The overwhelming feedback from last year’s #IBYE was the value gained from connecting with like-minded peers, mentors and experts and discussing ways to take the next step to success.  Business networking was the rocket fuel that lit the spark for motivation, strategy and implementation throughout the business process.

The best bit about business networking is that it’s not confined to #IBYE. Throughout Ireland there are a wealth of business networking hubs, events and conferences that are held throughout the year to facilitate the very goals we have just mentioned.

business networking

This post is designed to provide a resource selection of the current business networking events that happen around the country.

We must preface this post by highlighting the word SELECTION here!

We love a good work-in-progress at IBYE! This is just the tip of the ice berg in the realm of business networking events that are available throughout the Country.

This is where you can help.

Wherever you see this post, leave a comment or a tweet letting us know the great business networking events in your area that are currently not included on here. When you do that we will add them on and we can watch the list grow into a business networking resource!

Business Networking Hubs and Events around the Country

Take Note: Scroll down for Dublin based business networking hubs as this lengthy list is situated at the end of this blog!


BNI Ireland

BNI have over 1,200 members and more than 50 BNI groups in Ireland alone, passing thousands of referrals worth millions of Euros every year! They firmly believe it is the best way to build a better business.

Irish Biz Party

Holds regular online discussions and forums for businesses and hosts conferences throughout the Country using the hashtag #IrishBizParty

Look provides information for individuals setting up a business or looking to relocate to the West.

Meet West

MeetWest, the largest business networking event in the West of Ireland brings a wide range of companies from the West of Ireland and further afield together to network and do business.

SME Awards

The SME Awards is an annual event that honours nominated small businesses in a variety of categories. A fantastic night with a chance to network with peer businesses and exchange stories and have fun!

Start Up Gathering

Set to be one of the biggest national startup events in the world, Startup Gathering 2015 will take place across Ireland from the 5th to 10th October, with over 50 events being planned across 5 days, 5 industries and 5 cities, Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway, with the aim of championing the growth of the startup sector throughout Ireland.

Under the theme ‘Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland’, Startup Gathering 2015 aims to promote entrepreneurship and help develop world class regional startup hubs around the existing industry strengths in each region to accelerate the growth of startups and scaleups in Ireland. It is also focused on raising the profile of Ireland’s startup sector to global entrepreneurs, investors and R&D teams.

Start Up Ireland

Startup Ireland represents the Irish Startup Sector. Their goal is to make Ireland the No.1 destination for high impact startups. This can be achieved by creating a fertile ecosystem that will attract startups who want rapid growth in their sector.

South East Business Network

South East Business Network operates bi-monthly business learning / networking events in Wicklow, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford. Events are hosted by experts and people who have experienced ‘pain points’ that they have overcome.

business networking


Carlow Network of Enterprising Women

The Carlow Network of Enterprising Women is a Female Business network aimed at the development of like-minded individuals and their business. The Network hosts 4 events per year and also members can avail of discounted training and attend peer development events called “Think Tanks

County Carlow Chamber Networking

At Carlow Chamber, they have received good feedback from their members, about how they met their current biggest client at a Chamber event, or how they got in the door of a business that they had been calling without success for some time, through a Chamber introduction. Regular events are planned throughout the eyar.


Form provides a forum for the exchange of views, common objectives, collective activities, constructive criticism and feedback amongst highly skilled designer makers and craftspeople


Re-Con is a specialized 2 Week Business Boot Camp that is hosted by Carlow Local Enterprise Offices for people who have a solid idea that they want to test and develop. The programme is linked to Enterprise House and the activities of Carlow Community Enterprise Centres Ltd

Let us know of any other Carlow business networks and we’ll add them in!


Cavan Business Women’s Club

Cavan Business Women’s Club, a professional business women’s network, was launched in 2013.  CBWC aims to empower, motivate and showcase its members and their businesses.

Cavan Chamber

Cavan Chamber host a variety of business networking events throughout the year. Check out their website for more.

Let us know of any other Cavan business networks and we’ll add them in!


Business Networking Group

If you are interested in growing your business and want the support of likeminded people who meet at the Armada Hotel, Spanish Point, every Wednesday morning, then this BNI breakfast event is for you.

Digital Clare

#DigitalClare is a network for businesses and community organisations in Co. Clare. Established by Clare Local Development Company. Funded by LEADER.

Ennis Business Network

Meets every Thursday at The Old Ground Hotel at 7.30am. They are a business networking group consisting of business people from the Clare, Galway and Limerick areas whose sole purpose is to grow, not only their business but that of the other members of the group.

Let us know of any other Clare business networks and we’ll add them in!


Beacon Initiative

The initiative was set up to assist companies to sustain existing employment, create growth in turn over and increase overall profitability. It also assists in the creation of new employment opportunities within existing businesses. They hold regular events throughout the year.

Cork Chamber

Hold a range of networking events throughout the year.

Cork North & West Events

These are regularly run networking events for the micro-enterprise sectors in both North and West Cork. These events are free to attend and are open to small businesses across all business sectors. They range from speed networking events to keynote speakers on specific business related subjects.

Cork Start Up Gathering

The Cork Region’s Gathering expected to draw significant numbers on 7th October 2015. From October 5th – 10th next a ‘City Region Open Day’ will host a day-long series of events facilitating a week-long series of focused events and initiatives around the country which will be promoted to national and international audiences.

IT Cork

it@cork, European Tech Cluster is a leading not-for-profit independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry in Ireland. It is a unique blend of indigenous and international IT professionals, executives, multinationals, government leaders, public sector, academia, entrepreneurs, investors and the legal and financial professional services community joining together to drive thought leadership, collaboration and global strategic alliances.

Macroom Connect Business Network

The Connect Business network – making connections locally. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at Macroom E.

Network Cork

Network Cork provides a forum where women in business, the professions and the Arts can exchange business ideas and increase their business contacts. They hold monthly networking meetings where a guest speaker is invited to educate, inform and entertain on topics of interest to women. Members can develop and pool their individual skills through interaction with other women in a supportive environment which offers, training, mentoring and an opportunity for women who call on other members with specialist expertise for help.

North Cork Business Alliance

The North Cork Business Alliance (NCBA) was set up as a referral network for business people in the North Cork Region. The group meets weekly to exchange referrals, support each other and to benefit from internal and external business training. As local business people, we share knowledge and ideas and ultimately expand business contacts.

Start Up Weekend Cork

Start-up Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Start-up Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own start-up.

UCC Entrepreneurial & Social Society

The University College Cork Entrepreneurial and Social Society was established in 2008 by Sam Fitzpatrick. Since then the society has grown and expanded into the largest society in UCC hosting a vast range of entrepreneurial events every year, including motivational speeches from some of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs.

Let us know of any other Cork business networks and we’ll add them in!

business networking


Women in Business Network

The Donegal Women in Business Network is aimed at providing a forum for women in business in the County to share their experiences, network and to discuss topical business issues affecting women.

The Food Coast Network

The Food Coast has the overall aim of acting as the central platform for establishing Donegal as a “food county” – a place with a vibrant food culture and food economy. The initiative is open to anyone with an interest in the County’s food sector – from start-up businesses to part-time food producers, from on-farm added value producers to established primary producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurants.


Profit Net offers a unique opportunity for owner mangers to grow their business by working with other like-minded people. Profit Net is a learning network that helps businesses share, increase and apply their knowledge.  Participants commit 3 hours a month to learn from other like-minded business owners.

Donegal Designer Makers

Dedicated to showcasing the work of the current exponents of a long tradition of excellence in craft and design in Donegal.  The network comprises the work of acclaimed and established designer makers alongside the work of new and emerging makers.

Donegal Business Network

Donegal Business Network (DBN) provides small businesses with a platform to establish relationships with like-minded local business people.

BNI Donegal

BNI is a business and professional referral organisation that allows only one representative from each profession to join any of its chapters. The sole purpose of every BNI chapter is to generate more business for its members.

Let us know of any other Donegal business networks and we’ll add them in!



Online Marketing in Galway is a central hub, a business network and a place to learn for professionals and businesses in the West of Ireland.

Start Up Galway

A part of the Start Up Gathering Ireland initiative (see countrywide) Startup Galway is an emerging initiative to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Galway, led by John Breslin, John Brosnan, Mic FitzGerald and Barry O’Sullivan.

Start Up Galway Pitches Meet Up

Provides meetups where start-up founders and promoters can practice pitches and examine ideas while receiving feedback from members and mentors.

Let us know of any other Galway business networks and we’ll add them in!


Kerry Business Women’s Network

Connects women in business in Kerry to help empower, improve and grow their business through business networking and information sharing.

Vision Networking

Vision Network is a referral Networking Group where business people in Kerry have an opportunity to meet in a relaxed environment on a regular basis. The group consists of sole traders, small to medium businesses and middle market companies.

Let us know of any other Kerry business networks and we’ll add them in!


Network Kildare

Provides a forum where women in business, the professionals, and the Arts can exchange ideas and increase their business contacts.

North Kildare Chamber

North Kildare Chamber provide over 140 network mornings and evenings per year in Maynooth, Clane and Naas. They also provide monthly “Network Evenings for Woman in Business” in Clane.

Let us know of any other Kildare business networks and we’ll add them in!


Kilkenny Business Club

Kilkenny Business Club provides an informal opportunity for owner managers to network with their peers and build networks and alliances with other businesses within the local community

Kilkenny Business Networking Group

Kilkenny Business Networking Group is an initiative of Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny which is open to small enterprises operating in County Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Network

A group of enthusiastic, talented entrepreneurs and business women, operating in Kilkenny City and County, making a significant contribution to the business and community life of Kilkenny.

Let us know of any other Kilkenny business networks and we’ll add them in!

business networks


Laois Business Network 

Connecting Business and generating networks in Laois

Let us know of any other Laois business networks and we’ll add them in!


Digital Leitrim

Digital Leitrim is a new network of individuals and businesses working in the Digital Sector in the County Leitrim area. The network is free (and open to all) to join and is supported by The Hive, Local Enterprise Office Leitrim and local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Leitrim Business Network

Free to join, the Leitrim Business Network is for business owners to share experience, ideas and contacts to better their business

Let us know of any other Leitrim business networks and we’ll add them in!


Limerick Chamber Referral Network

Limerick Chamber has established an exclusive forum for members, a referral network, allowing you to grow your business through co-operation and partnership with other Chamber Members.

Network Limerick

Provide a forum where women in business, the professions, and the arts can exchange ideas and increase their business contacts.

Start Up Limerick

Limerick’s place for startup networking & info on #StartupEvents #StartupFunding #StartupProgrammes #StartupAdvice #StartupJobs

WASUP_MeetUp ( WASUP-StartUps)

Hosted by Pat Carroll, this Wild Atlantic Start Up event meets monthly to talk all things Start Up, business and technology… and there’s even free finger food!

Let us know of any other Limerick business networks and we’ll add them in!


Digital Dundalk

Digital Dundalk is a group setup to support Social Innovation in the Digital Industries. The ultimate aim is for group members to connect with others who have the skills, resources or experience to help them create new goods or services.

Network Louth

Network Louth provides a forum where women in business, the professions and the arts can exchange business ideas and increase their business contacts.

Refresh Boyne

Refresh Boyne is a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of the New Media industry in the Boyne region.

Refresh Boyne hold events that promote design, technology, usability and standards and is part of, and inspired by, the Refreshing Cities movement.

Let us know of any other Louth business networks and we’ll add them in!



Officially launching in September 2015, DMiMayo’s aim is to hold regular events with keynote speakers and also have a local business showcase how far they have come since going digital. It will also be a great way to network with other businesses who all have an interest in Digital Marketing.

Network Mayo

Network Mayo is a progressive, dynamic organisation for women in business, the professions, industry, trades, government departments and the arts.

Let us know of any other Mayo business networks and we’ll add them in!


Meath Women in Business Initiative

Open to all women in County Meath who have an interest in enterprise, self-employment or entrepreneurship. It is part of the LEO commitment to fostering and encouraging more women to become involved in self-employment, entrepreneurship or enterprise.

Let us know of any other Meath business networks and we’ll add them in!


Monaghan Women in Business

The Monaghan Women in Business Networking Programme, which has been running since September 2009, is a programme of networking activities designed to provide a forum for businesswomen in the county, to connect, share, learn and develop their businesses.

Plato EBR

The programme offers owner managers a business support forum where they can network and discuss business ideas with established large ‘parent’ companies in the region. Also in Cavan, Louth and Meath.

Let us know of any other Monaghan business networks and we’ll add them in!

business networks


Sligo Women in Business Network

Their vision is to create a community of working women in Sligo – one that it more active, engaged and better connected both to each other to all relevant outside supports. They meet in The Glasshouse Hotel in Sligo on the last Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. The calendar combines high profile speakers, including entrepreneurs with real stories of business creation, alongside networking activities. Meetings will be light hearted, easy to engage with and relevant.

Swell Sligo

Swell Sligo is a network for the web, creative and entrepreneur community in the North West. They tell the stories behind Sligo’s leading creative game-changers and entrepreneurs that offer real-world insight into the mechanics of creativity, web and enterprise.

Surf Summit

A spin off from the Web Summit, the Surf Summit takes place just after the Web Summit event in Sligo this year. Keep an eye on the Web Summit site for more info.

Let us know of any other Sligo business networks and we’ll add them in!


Network North Tipperary

Network North Tipperary holds monthly meetings featuring a guest speaker invited to address us on topics important to women in both or either their professional or personal development. Following the speaker we network with our members and members from other branches who we frequently invite to join us, broadening the networking opportunity.

South Tipperary Women’s Network

The network is a service dedicated to encouraging and fostering entrepreneurship amongst women in South Tipperary.  The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month to provide an opportunity for networking and for a presentation on a business related topic. Meetings details: First Wednesday of each month, 6.30pm – 9.30pm in Clonmel Park Hotel.

Tipperary Food Producers Network

Tipperary Food Producers Network is a community of businesses working in the food and beverage sector in County Tipperary.  The Network’s objective is to represent, promote and showcase the best of Tipperary Food.  Tipperary Food Producers Network hold regular networking opportunities including seminars and workshops and participate in regional, national and international food events under the Tipperary brand.

Tipperary Green Business Network

Tipperary Green Business Network is established in Co.Tipperary to take advantage of the emerging Green Economy, harness its job creation potential, with the longer term ambition of making Tipperary one of Ireland’s greenest counties. The majority of members are self-employed, working in 4 broad sectors – Energy, Food & Agriculture, Tourism & Other Green Businesses (which include Consultancy and those involved in the Craft Sector).

Let us know of any other Tipperary business networks and we’ll add them in!


Start Up Gathering Waterford

Under the theme ‘Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland’, Startup Gathering 2015 aims to promote entrepreneurship and help develop world class regional startup hubs around the existing industry strengths in each region to accelerate the growth of startups and scaleups in Ireland. It is also focused on raising the profile of Ireland’s startup sector to global entrepreneurs, investors and R&D teams.

Women in Business Network

The Women in Business Network provides local business women with the opportunity to promote their products/services and gain advice from inspiring female entrepreneurs. Many women who participant in this network have made important business contacts within their industry and have benefited from sharing ideas, experiences and problems.

Let us know of any other Waterford business networks and we’ll add them in!


Women in Business 

Open to all women in County Westmeath who have an interest in enterprise, self-employment or entrepreneurship. It is part of the LEO commitment to fostering and encouraging more women to become involved in self-employment, entrepreneurship or enterprise.

Let us know of any other Westmeath business networks and we’ll add them in!

IBYE Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur

#IBYE Insight


Wexford Business Awards

Wexford Business Awards, now in their seventh year, are county wide awards recognising the entrepreneurialism, innovation, diversity and talent of businesses across all sectors. The awards honour Wexford’s industry leaders through the acknowledgement of innovative business processes, product development, enterprise, sustainability and overall business success.

Women in Business Network

The County Wexford Women in Business Network is an invaluable resource for business women in the county to meet and learn about best practice in running a small business from experts in various fields. The network is a support mechanism encouraging women in developing new skills, promoting each other’s products and services and learning from the experiences of others.

Let us know of any other Wexford business networks and we’ll add them in!


Network of Entrepreneurial Women

Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a business support network for female entrepreneurs in County Wicklow.  Members can utilize the network to promote their business, create alliances with other members, learn new skills, and increase their business contacts.

West Wicklow Business Network

The objective of the West Wicklow Business Network is to create a forum where business owners can come together to discuss common issues / opportunities, learn from each other and participate in activities that they identify as being useful to the development of their business.

Let us know of any other Wicklow business networks and we’ll add them in!

business networks

Dedicated to Dublin!


A diversity focused tech event series supporting entrepreneurship.

Dublin Beta

Set in the old Andrews Lane Theatre, Dublin Beta allows you to put your product on display and open up the hood to 300 web and tech types.  You must have a product/ web service that’s complete or in development to apply.

Dublin Entrepreneur Networking Meetup

A relaxed meet up for actual entrepreneurs and Wantrepreneurs. We will start small and personal and always keep it friendly ;). Even if you just want to meet like minded people, come along and say hello. Most ideas just need some fresh air and the light of day! Find mentors, throw out new ideas, sanity-check current ideas and meet like-minded people making their way in the business world.

Dublin Food Chain

Dublin Food Chain is a collaborative initiative of the Irish Exporters Association and the Local Enterprise Offices in the Dublin area. The Dublin Food Chain is part of an ongoing effort to harness the power of the ‘collective’, in order to ensure that Co. Dublin’s unique food heritage benefits from the attention it deserves.

Dublin Tech Meet Up

Anyone who is thinking about starting their own software or web company and wants to bounce ideas off each other and meet potential partners or investors are welcome to join this group!

Dublin Web Summit

The highlight of the tech and entrepreneurial year and a fantastic chance to meet and network with peers, mentors, potential investors and key influencers!

In 4 years Web Summit grew from 400 to over 22,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. Web Summit has been called “the best technology conference on the planet”,

Dublin WordPress Users

The meetup is aimed at bringing together a community of WordPress business users/entrepreneurs, bloggers, developers.

Ecommerce Ireland

This group is for people that sell online, are trying to sell online or are considering trying to sell online! It’s all about coming along and sharing your insights on what is and isn’t working for you and finding ways to sell more effectively online.

Entrepreneurs Anonymous

Entrepreneurs Anonymous is an informal monthly meet up for actual and aspiring entrepreneurs. They usually have guest speakers who share their expertise and experience


This group’s members are leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Irish healthcare who come together to help create the future of health.

JCI Dublin

JCI’s mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. JCI Dublin is a dynamic, local network for young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s.

Lean Start Up Dublin

The Lean Startup group is a movement that is transforming how new products are built and launched.  Lean offers ways to cut work time and eliminate waste whether you are a startup or an established company.  Concepts apply both to designing products & getting to market more successfully.  The philosophy helps startups & product developers in established companies to get to market faster.

Learn Inbound

A community of passionate inbound marketers, who aim to connect the right people with the right jobs, as well as offer people the opportunity to learn and network with one another at Learn Inbound events.

Silicon Drinkabout Dublin

Silicon Drinkabout Dublin (@drinkaboutdub) is a weekly meet-up for start-ups (including techies, designers and business folk) to meet like-minded people, have some fun and relax at the end of the working week.

Start Up Founder 101

At Startup Founder 101, aspiring and early-stage start-up founders meet once a month to hear candid talks by successful local entrepreneurs. Learn the best practices, strategies, and mistakes to avoid from those who have been there, done that. Then, if you’d like, you can share your ideas and plans in a relaxed setting to get personal and professional feedback.

Start Up Grind

Startup Grind is an event series and website designed to help educate, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs. Each month we welcome an amazing speaker who shares their story with our community and tells us what worked, what didn’t, and what they’ll do differently next time. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the best, network with other members of the start-up community, and improve your chances of entrepreneurial success.

Start Up Weekend Dublin

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Dublin designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.

Women Entrepreneurs Circle Dublin

The objective of the Circle is to inspire and support women entrepreneurs to build successful businesses by discussing and brainstorming solutions to specific challenges members are facing. Each meeting has a theme such as: selling, negotiating, marketing, branding, finance, grant applications and legal issues.

NO FEE 12 Ire Best Young Entrepreneur

Just to highlight, those mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg in what is a vibrant nationwide community of entrepreneurial communicators who utilise these business networking hubs to maximise the opportunities available for their business.

#IBYE highly advocates the peer to peer discussion and expert insight that can truly create value for a person and their business which exists within these communities. We hope you will share your experiences with us!