Seventy Irish women entrepreneurs, including entrepreneurs from Galway, who run businesses with a combined turnover in excess of €75 million came together last week to attend the annual ‘Going for Growth’ National Forum in County Kildare.
Among them, the 70 women currently employ almost 700 people and at present, almost half are exporters. Over the next five years, they aim to increase this to 1,200 employees, with a combined turnover of €250 million.
These enterprising women, who come from all over the country with a diverse range of businesses, took part in the Going for Growth National Forum to explore how they can further strengthen their enterprises in order to achieve significant growth.
Commenting on the Going for Growth approach, Galway entrepreneur, Siobhan Lawless, The Foods of Athenry, spoke of the support received from lead entrepreneurs:
“I took part in the second cycle of Going for Growth and I found the support from the lead entrepreneurs and the other participants was invaluable. Everyone was so encouraging. I find it humbling that the leads, who are successful businesswomen, give up time and volunteer to share their wealth of business knowledge with us.”
Those who attended the event have completed one of the four previous cycles of the Going for Growth programme which pairs successful and established women entrepreneurs with businesswomen who are at an earlier stage of company development. The initiative is supported and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF ) and the Department of Justice and Equality under the Equality for Women Measure 2010-2013, and by Enterprise Ireland.
The programme brings together successful and established women entrepreneurs to act as “leads”, with women whose businesses are at an earlier stage of development. Thirteen lead entrepreneurs also attended the two day forum. They act as role models to the women entrepreneurs at an early stage of development and are happy to share their knowledge and experience with them on a completely voluntary basis.