Saturday, 25 January 2014

Enterprise Ireland launches first online networking platform for female entrepreneurs


The Minister of State for Small Business, Mr John Perry TD, today (Friday 24th January 2014) launched Enterprise Ireland’s first peer-to-peer online networking platform for female-led companies. The new online initiative will support female entrepreneurs by facilitating greater communication and connectivity between the growing number of female entrepreneurs supported by Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland, helping them exploit opportunities to grow their businesses in Ireland and in international markets.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon from Frockadvisor and Minister of State for Small Business John Perry TD
At the Enterprise Ireland launch of a New Online Networking platform for Female Entrepreneurs and announcement of Eur600k investment in 12 female-led businesses are Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon from Frockadvisor and Minister of State for Small Business John Perry TD.


The launch of this initiative coincides with the announcement that Enterprise Ireland will invest €600,000 in 12 female-led businesses as part of the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs. The successful applicants span a variety of sectors including Consumer Products, Enterprise Software, Medical Devices, E-Health, Online Applications and Internationally Traded Services.

Making the announcement, Minister Perry said: ‘A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is encouraging more businesses to start-up, grow, and create jobs. Making sure that we have an increase in the number of female-led start-ups is part of that strategy. In line with this strategy Enterprise Ireland launched a new women-in-business drive to support female entrepreneurs, which attracted a very high level of applicants with ambitious and innovative projects. The launch of the peer to peer online networking platform, supporting female led companies will help to continue to significantly boost the number of high potential female-led business start-ups. This initiative is part of a drive by Enterprise Ireland to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs’.

Commenting on the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, said: ‘The development of high-potential start-up businesses is core to Enterprise Ireland’s role in developing sustainable export-oriented companies. The 100% increase in female-led businesses is extremely encouraging and I am confident that the Online Networking Platform will support female entrepreneurs to expand their business horizons and set up innovative international companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home’.

2013 saw a 100% increase in the number of female-led HPSU investments and a key priority in 2014 is to accelerate this growth through the Business Women 4 International Growthinitiative which includes:

Going for Growth: Open to female entrepreneurs with a strong focus on growth, this initiative supports female entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas. Applicants must own at least 50% of their business, be trading in that business for at least two years, and work full-time in that business. Note: closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Monday 27th January 2014.

Female Propeller Programmefor High Fliers: this accelerator programme for female led start-ups specifically addresses the challenges facing female entrepreneurs.Run over 13 weeks, the programme consists of 1 day per week, classroom-based and one-to-one mentoring, networking events and grant assistance. Note: closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Monday 27th January 2014.

Enterprise Ireland’s partners with Going for Growth, DCU Ryan Academy, Cork Institute of Technology and the NDRC to deliver these programmes.

Full details of supports are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site: www.enterprise-ireland.com/ambitiouswomen