Network celebrates 15 years

news: Network celebrates 15 years

• Linda Smith, Network President, cuts the birthday cake
• Linda Smith, Network President, cuts the birthday cake

‘MAXIMISE PROFITS Minimise Taxes’ was the title of the recent seminar held at Hotel Náutico in Armação de Pêra, organised by Network, the association for businesswomen working in the Algarve, and hosted by Dra Filomena Ramilo, accountant and tax adviser. The seminar, which attracted more than 55 business people, focused on improving knowledge of the new tax laws for 2006.

Dra Filomena presented essential information about tax matters in an informative and entertaining manner. She closed her session with a surprise cake for all attendees to celebrate Network’s 15th anniversary.

Joining Dra Filomena were Dr. Serra Jorge and his team member Dra. Fátima Cascais, who enlightened everyone with important information relating to labour laws, enabling employers and potential employers to be aware of employment contractual rights and to consider opportunities provided by temporary employment contracts.

Dr. Sérgio de Almeida Correia, also a member of Dr. Serra Jorge’s team, provided information on property and offshore issues, and created an awareness of why offshore status had changed and what other options were available to residents and nonresidents.

Dr. Jorge Scharfausen gave an excellent insight into the training obligation and new requirements for businesses in 2006. Looking at the current placement of Portugal in the European league table of money invested in business training, it was concluded that Portugal invested little in the development of its employees. It was clear that there is a need for change and anyone who has a business with more than 10 employees has a statutory obligation to provide training and evidence of personal development using certified trainers.

The Network seminar was sponsored by The Resident, Atelier do Sul and The Portugal News. Exhibiting on the day were a number of Network sponsors such as The Resident, The Portugal News, Wine Mine, Lloyd & White, Oz Shade, Centro de Línguas, Cultura e Comunicação and Atelier do Sul.

Following the seminar, the business plan was to eat, drink, dance and be merry with a 15th anniversary dinner at the Hotel Garbe. The business suits were put away for the evening and Network members, friends, partners, ex-members and guests enjoyed a relaxed, fun evening with music by Simply Acoustic – Graham Cooper & Daryl Bye.

Network celebrated its anniversary by reflecting over the “Past, Present, Personal and Future of Network”, presented by some of the dynamic, dedicated past presidents, in order of Lone Kallqvist, Verna Kinder, Marilyn Stebbe and Sheena Rawcliffe.

Network started 15 years ago when two visionary ladies, Deirdre O’Flynn (Hickey) and Susie Gale, felt that the Algarve needed a base for women to promote their businesses, develop their skills and give support to various business issues they faced.

In June 1990, Network was founded at a lunch at Dunas Douradas, Almancil, which was attended by approximately 12 businesswomen. They have never looked back since and currently have a membership of 152.

As the association expanded, more activities were added. A newsletter was started, business directories were printed, Christmas fairs soon became an annual tradition, business clinics were offered to members at meetings and International Women’s Days were celebrated.

Focus moved on to high profile events, workshops and development weekends. A notable example was the ‘Tourism and Small Businesses’ Seminar this February, attracting around 200 business people, with eminent speakers from the Secretary of State for Tourism, AHETA and Quinta do Lago.

Sponsors were given a special mention and thanked for their support over the years. Sheena Rawcliffe ended by hailing the future of Network as the responsibility of all members and that the core basis of keeping membership up-to-date and informed on business issues must never be lost. Attracting prominent speakers to do just that requires supportive and sometimes larger audiences, which could be achieved with links with similar business groups and the local community.

Linda Smith, president of Network, continued the celebrations of the day with the cutting of a second birthday cake and thanking all those who contributed to make the event a memorable and symbolic one.

• For more information about Network, contact Jane Hazeldine at e-mail [email protected] or Tel/Fax (office hours) 282 458 257. You can also visit

Photos by Algarve Images