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15 Enterprise Ireland women-led start-ups get ready for investors and significant growth

Competitive Start Fund and Part-time key manager grant are among Enterprise Ireland initiatives that aim to grow the number of women leaders

Fifteen women entrepreneurs supported by the Competitive Start Fund (CSF) have commenced an online business accelerator programme delivered by Dublin Business Innovation Centre. The CSF is managed by Enterprise Ireland, an agency of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The ambitious entrepreneurs are taking part in the 12-week ‘Innovate’ programme which is designed to mentor and help participants to get their start-ups investor-ready while also developing a supportive peer network.

The women entrepreneurs, who have also secured up to €50k each in CSF funding, hail from across Ireland and have exciting new start-up businesses set for global markets in sectors including digital, e-health, data intelligence and green technologies.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English TD said:

“Even at the best of economic times, starting up your own business can be a tough experience, presenting many hurdles and difficult challenges to overcome. That’s why helping Irish entrepreneurs as they begin their business start-up journey to achieve success is so important to Government. I am delighted to see that fifteen ambitious entrepreneurs are getting the opportunity to avail of dual support from Enterprise Ireland in the form of funding and business development which will provide a great boost to them in scaling their start-ups to the next level.

“Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs and growing the number of women business leaders are top priorities for Enterprise Ireland. Research informs us that diverse leadership teams are high-performing teams so narrowing the gap between women and men in entrepreneurship, leadership and senior management roles, will help economic growth in Ireland.

“Greater gender diversity in senior roles will lead to better businesses.”

Jenny Melia, Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland added:

“Enterprise Ireland has worked in collaboration with Dublin BIC over recent years to deliver the ‘Innovate’ accelerator programme, exclusively for Women Entrepreneurs who are awarded Competitive Start Funding. Since then, graduates of the programme have gone on to raise investment, enter export markets, recruit staff and very significantly grow their businesses.

“Overall, the programme aims to support the entrepreneur and their business to become investor ready and positioned for significant growth. Participants will have the opportunity to expand their networks including investors, mentors and peers.”

Dublin-based start-up Positive Carbon provides fully automated food waste monitoring for hotels and kitchens, saving them thousands of euro each month on their food bills. Co Founder and COO, Aisling Kirwan is one of the entrepreneurs participating in the Innovate programme:

“It's really great to be working alongside so many talented women in the programme and allows for great collaboration and peer-to-peer support.

“It's a particularly tricky time to be starting a business but, thanks to Enterprise Ireland's funding and support, we know that we are going to excel and be able to bring our solution to hotels all across the country and beyond. It's an amazing opportunity for us to grow our business and become investor ready, while developing keys skills.”

Jenny Melia, Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland added:

“Supporting women to start high-growth enterprises is just one objective under Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan for Women in Business. Another is to increase the number of women in leadership roles.

“We currently have a part-time key manager grant on offer to Enterprise Ireland client companies. While the grant is available for both women and men key managers, it is expected to attract more women into senior management roles.”

Find more information on the Part-Time Key Manager grant here.


Notes to editor:

About the Part-Time Key Manager grant:

The Part-Time Key Manager grant will cover up to 50% of eligible salary costs for a new senior manager who will play a significant strategic role in the future growth of the company and is intended to encourage businesses to take positive steps to attract talent at a senior level.

Examples of key manager positions include Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technical Officer, R&D Manager and Production Manager.