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Making successful women visible

Women & Success eventOn the 16th of April, the 1st Women & Success Cocktail Event took place, a meeting organized by and for women, with the purpose of making visible several successful female entrepreneurs.

Organized by the Women & Success team, the event was hosted by Isabel Santos, herself a successful business woman and co-owner of Eco-Lar Interior Design, located at Quatro Estradas, Quarteira.

The guests, all of them women, were welcomed outdoors, with a cocktail offered by Annelies Reugebrink’s Concept Catering, wines from Quinta João Clara, Casa da Campo and Restaurante a Quinta and a tasting of countless varieties of cheese, produced by Queijo da Villa, a manufacturer from Vilamoura.

The talk show, presented by Life Coach Ria van Doorn and Coach and Therapist Ivone Sousa, co-founders of the Women & Success project, drew attention to the successful stories and vision of four women.

The first speaker, Isabel Santos, co-owner of Eco-Lar since 1994, believes that the success of her business is closely connected to her team, which have remained the same for the past twenty years. Isabel gave a positive note by saying that “this year, the interior design market is really picking up”. Her golden tip was “don’t be afraid to fail, be like the water; when you find an obstacle, work around it and find different courses”.

Carla Rodrigues, who is an attorney and owner of Algarpalcos - Produção e Logísitica de Eventos, gave her testimony of how a change of career path, guided by her interest in organising events, led to a very successful business. Algarpalcos, a company based in Loulé, is involved in the production of major events such as the Festival Med, Noite Branca, Festas de Lisboa, International Jazz Festival and the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions.

The third speaker was Natalie Mendes. A civil engineer and owner of Zona A – Projetos de Engenharia, another Loulé based company that works in the field of engineering projects, energy efficiency and licensing, among others, says that the biggest challenge her company faces is rigour and continuous adaptation to the legislation that is produced in this area.

The last speaker, Valérie Habans, owner of the real estate company VH Property & Rentals, that operates in the Golden Triangle (Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura) is certain that what differentiates her company from her competitors is her team, their member’s ability to generate empathy with the clients and understanding their needs. Valérie shared her success tip: “trust the future, stay positive and find the right solution for your customer”.

All participants, around 200, were invited to bring a flower and make a donation in favour of AIPAR – Associação de Proteção à Rapariga e à Família (Faro). Filomena Rosa, President of AIPAR, expressed her gratitude for the € 350,00 raised and invited those present to visit the institution, which currently supports around two hundred young women of multiple nationalities, ranging from 12 to 18 years, in situation of extreme deprivation.

After the talk show, guests had the opportunity to network and share their own stories and experiences on success.

1st Women & Success Cocktail Event

The 1st Women & Success Cocktail Event was made possible by the support of more than 20 sponsors, listed below.


Ana Raquel Ramires  Personal Trainer and Physiotherapist
Edite Candeias  Moldopoli
Inês Barra  Faro Avenida Business Center
Diana Moura  Property Management and Rentals
Juta Hoehn  Architects
Marisa Lopes  Cozinhas Austral
Fátima Silva  Accessories
Angela Mendes  East Algarve Property Rentals & Optica Jóia
Isabel Neto  Villacare
Sofia Trindade  Solutions 4 You
Agnes Horvath  Dalara Soap Co
Marité Stabilé  La Dolce Vita & Fuum
Sandra Rosa  Mary Kay
Annelies Reugebrink  Concept Catering
Edite Alves  Quinta de João Clara
Jacqueline Pierce Caniné  Restaurante Casa do Campo
Denise de Mesquita  Queijo da Villa
Michele Evans  Restaurante A Quinta
Elisabeth Lima  Ely Flores
Tãnia Varias  Photography
Isabel Santos  Eco-Lar
Valérie Habans  VH Property Rentals
Natalie Mendes  Zona A
Carla Rodrigues  Algarpalcos
Elsa Cavaco  Communication

Women & Success is an initiative of Ria van Doorn and Ivone Sousa, that started in 2012. In partnership with the University of Algarve, Women & Success conducted the first national survey, which aims at analysing the levels of women's satisfaction with their personal and professional life. The survey is still available at http://goo.gl/Hppsib in Portuguese and at http://goo.gl/jiwDJd in English. Women & Success welcomes all women in Portugal to complete it now.

Women & Success is pleased to continue organise workshops, meetings and events to stimulate women to unleash their potential, enabling them to reach and exceed their goals.

More information on www.riavandoorn.com and on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/womenandsuccess.

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