A third of Europe’s most talented and inspiring women entrepreneurs for 2021 come from Ireland

Seven Irish women are among the 21 talented and inspiring women entrepreneurs working in Europe shortlisted for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021.

Image promoting the Women Innovators Prize 2021

The prize celebrates the outstanding achievements of female entrepreneurs running innovative companies.

It is funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation and managed by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency. This year’s finalists are pioneering game-changing innovations across a wide range of industries and help tackle global challenges.

Seventeen candidates are competing for three prizes of €100,000 each in the Women Innovators category. A further three candidates are competing for the Rising Innovator title that recognises excellent female entrepreneurs under the age of 30 and comes with a €50,000 award.

The Irish finalists in the Women Innovators category are:

Anita Finnegan, co-founder and CEO of Nova Leah, a company offering cybersecurity risk management solutions for medical device manufacturers.
Ciara Clancy, founder and CEO of Beats Therapeutics, a company developing technology solutions to tackle the mobility symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Lisa O’Donoghue, founder and CEO of Votechnik, a company providing automated recycling technology for safe and sustainable disposal of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) units.
Patricia Scanlon, founder and Executive Chair of Soapbox Labs, a company developing an innovative speech-recognition solution for children.
Suzanne Moloney, founder and CEO of Hidramed Solutions, a company offering advanced wound care solutions for everyday care of chronic wounds.
And in the Rising Innovator category:

Ailbhe and Izzy Keane, founders of Izzy Wheels. Their company creates fashionable wheel covers for wheelchairs.


The winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021 will be announced at the European Innovation Council Summit taking place on 24-25 November 2021. At the same event, the Commission will award the European Capital of Innovation Awards, and the European Innovation Procurement Awards

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