Female entrepreneurs sought for development programme

Pictured were Jacinta Shinnock, KPMG, Siobhán NíChofaigh, Mint Tek Circuits Ltd, Galway and Sheila Daly, Enterprise Ireland. Pic Orla Murray/ SON Photo

Pictured were Jacinta Shinnock, KPMG, Siobhán NíChofaigh, Mint Tek Circuits Ltd, Galway and Sheila Daly, Enterprise Ireland. Pic Orla Murray/ SON Photo

The call was made this week for ambitious female entrepreneurs from Galway who are looking to scale their businesses, to join the latest cycle of Going for Growth, the award-winning business development programme.

Going for Growth is a six-month part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations.

The programme, which is now in its twelfth year, is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focussed on growth. Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. (Eligibility criteria in notes below )

60 places will be available for this cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2020 — the deadline for applications is Monday, December 9. There is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested is encouraged to register their interest in receiving an application form at goingforgrowth.com

Past participants from Galway include Loretta Ní Ghabháin of Lorg Media and Siobhán Ní Chofaigh of Mint Tek Circuits, a go-to platform for technologists to source and build electronic prototypes.

Monthly check-in

Siobhán Ní Chofaigh, who participated in the Going for Growth sister programme Starting Strong, said it was a monthly check in with people of diverse experience and expertise.

“They positively asked ‘why’ when I struggled and applauded when I succeeded. I hope I did the same for them. I made some brave decisions in their protective custody,” she said.

Most owner/managers agree that growing a business can be a very isolating experience and it can be difficult to find someone on your wavelength who understands the issues involved. The Going for Growth initiative is designed to address these challenges and thoseselected will join interactive round table sessions led by Lead Entrepreneurs.

The Lead Entrepreneurs are successful businesswomen with personal experience of growing a business. These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses.

Some of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs include four previous Going for Growth participants: Dr. Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Claire McHugh, Axonista and Oonagh O’Hagan, owner of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group.

The other Lead Entrepreneurs are: Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip; Fiona O’Carroll, non-Executive Director; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT and Susan Spence, SoftCo.

Previous participants report significant progress. At the conclusion of the most recent cycle (11th ), 64 participants reported combined turnover of €45.9 million – an increase in reported sales of €8m over the cycle; the creation of an additional 81 new jobs over the cycle, bringing to over 593 the total number employed; three first time exporters, increasing to 35 the number of participants with export experience.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said supporting ambitious business women to start and to grow enterprises is a priority for Enterprise Ireland.

“In addition to targeting a continued increase in the number of high potential start-ups led by female founders, a key focus for Enterprise Ireland is to increase the number of companies that achieve scale.

“The Going for Growth programme provides unique supports to ambitious business women in the achievement of their growth aspirations through learning, collaboration and most importantly, through role models and mentoring. We will continue to partner with Going for Growth, to grow the cohort of businesses of scale led by women, expanding their reach in global markets and creating and sustaining jobs in Ireland,” she added.

Olivia Lynch, Partner KPMG, said entrepreneurs are critical to the future success of the Irish economy. As advisors to a wide range of family and privately-owned businesses, we applaud the proven record of Going for Growth in helping women in business realise their full potential.

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