News & Events

Enterprise Ireland invests a record level in female-led companies in the agency’s history

Enterprise Ireland today announced that the agency’s investment in female-led companies has reached a record level and is currently the highest level in the agency’s history.

More than €5.5 million was approved for investment in female-led companies in 2016 and this level of investment will be higher again in 2017. The announcement was made by Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland speaking in New York at ‘Her Place at the Table’, an Enterprise Ireland female leadership and entrepreneurship event, attended by An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. and 80 female corporate leaders and entrepreneurs.

The event took place during the Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade and investment mission to the USA this week. Led by An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D, the mission is focused on boosting the profile of Enterprise Ireland clients and the 'Irish Advantage' they bring to US buyers, particularly across banking, construction and life sciences sectors.

Addressing the event, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. said; “Ireland has made significant progress to empower women in entrepreneurship. Establishing the Enterprise Ireland Female Entrepreneurship Unit was central to this, achieving more gender balance in Irish entrepreneurship. I am proud to see this achievement and to see that Enterprise Ireland’s investment in female-led companies at €5.5 million in 2016, is at a record high. This strategic investment to support women to realise their full business potential is not only the right thing to do, but is also critical to Ireland’s economic prosperity.”

Delivering the keynote speech at the event, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO said; “Enterprise Ireland approved investment of circa €5.5m in female led companies in 2016, the highest level in the history of the agency. We funded 63 female-led start-ups last year, and in 2017, we are pushing to increase our investment in female-led start-ups even further. Enterprise Ireland is deeply committed to female entrepreneurship and this is embedded in the agency’s 2020 strategy. We continue to work to reach the levels of female entrepreneurship achieved in the US, where women now make up 40 percent of new entrepreneurs — the highest percentage since 1996”.

The event also included a panel discussion with Cork-born Samantha Barry, an executive producer for social and emerging media for CNN; Aoife Ni Mhuiri, founder and CEO of the Kerry based connected health technology company Salaso Health and Maureen Mitchell, an Irish-American and Senior Advisor with Boston Consulting Group and former President at GE Asset Management. The panel discussion was moderated by Caitriona Perry, RTÉ Washington Correspondent.


For further information: Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland 087-9671342

Marika MacCarvill, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272857 / 086-171 2568

About Enterprise Ireland Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.