Womens’ entrepreneurship EMPOWER programme is now open for application

EMPOWER, the women’s entrepreneurship programme, which is run by the GMIT iHubs, is now accepting applications for the next EMPOWER START programme.

The EMPOWER programme is free to participants and aims to fast track female-led businesses. EMPOWER is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund.

There are two programmes; EMPOWER START for early stage ideas or businesses operating for less than 18 months, and EMPOWER GROWTH for females with established businesses looking to grow and scale their enterprise.

The EMPOWER GROWTH 2021 programme commenced in June 2021 and the next START programme will commence in November 2021. Female founders based in counties Roscommon, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim, are eligible to apply. The closing date for the next START programme is Thursday, September 30.

“When you have a business idea it can be difficult to know how to turn this idea into a business and who to turn to for help. Many questions arise, for example: Is this a good idea? Do people want this service/product? Where do I start? Who can help me? Who can I learn from? Am I good enough? The START programme uses a proven approach to address these types of questions and leave the participants with a network of support on programme completion,” Sandra Divilly Nolan, EMPOWER Programme Manager replied

The START programme is designed to help early stage female founders validate their business idea, define a business model, confidently communicate and clearly articulate their busines proposition and develop a support network with liked minded business women. Weekly training sessions cover topics including strategy, marketing research, marketing, networking, story-telling and pitching.

Throughout the programme participants receive individual mentoring sessions. Guest speakers join the group to talk on a specific topic or to share the story of their business journey. These sessions are intended to inform and inspire the participants and offer them a chance to ask specific questions.

The next EMPOWER START programme will run from November 2021 to February 2022. The programme is delivered on a Wednesday, once per week. The programme is planned to be delivered in a hybrid of online and in-person sessions.

If you would like to know what other past participants have to say about their experience on the EMPOWER START programme visit the EMPOWERHer website www.empowerher.ie

The EMPOWER team encourage the participants to avail of the specialized training and tailored mentoring services offered by the LEO. Through the CUA partnership, the participants are also encouraged to avail of the research facilities and supports provided at GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT and other government supports available to SMEs in the region.

“This year we were delighted to work in conjunction with the GMIT Marketing Department to offer the EMPOWER business owners the opportunity to be assigned a 3rd or 4th year student to complete an assignment on their business in the areas of social media, marketing research, branding and developing a marketing plan,” Ms Divilly Nolan added.

The closing date for applications is Thursday, September 30, at 3pm. Apply online at www.empowerher.ie For further information on EMPOWER visit the website and get involved in the Empower Community through the EMPOWER social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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