Galway leads way with new female entrepreneur mentoring programme

A new mentoring programme for female entrepreneurs, designed to help them through the first challenging years of their new businesses, has been launched in Galway.

The new National Mentoring Programme for Female Entrepreneurs was launched on Tuesday by the Minister for Small Business John Perry. It is led by Galway Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Sligo chambers of commerce.

The programme is geared towards early stage female entrepreneurs and sees them matched with a mentor for a 12 month period of mentoring support.

It intends to boost female entrepreneurship, recognise and support the distinctive nature of women’s business start-ups, and ensure that newly-established women entrepreneurs can sustain their activity throughout the first years of their businesses.

In addition to the 12-month mentoring programme, a series of mentoring clinics will be held throughout the country and will be open to all female entrepreneurs to meet with the panel of mentors.

“The establishment of the Irish Network of Mentors for Female Entrepreneurs is an important step in providing the right environment to foster the development of female entrepreneurial talent across all sectors of Irish business,” said Minister Perry.

He also said that one of the main challenges women entrepreneurs face in starting-up a business is accessing finance.

“It is now up to the banks to recognise their full responsibilities to work closely with, and actively support, small businesses who are driving forward recovery in the real economy,” he said.

Commenting on the launch, Galway Chamber president Carmel Brennan said: “As national co-ordinators for the Irish Network of Ambassadors for Female Entrepreneurship, we recognised the great need for mentoring support for women in business. Working in partnership with the four other chambers, we will be providing a valuable opportunity to female entrepreneurs to connect with, and learn from, business mentors.”

Participation on the programme is by application only. The eligibility criteria and application forms are available on www.mentoringforfemaleentrepreneurs.com Applications are also invited from business owners (male or female ) to join the panel of mentors for the programme. All details are available on the website.

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