GMIT EMPOWER Programme expands to Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim

A section of the audience at the launch of the 2017 EMPOWER programme in Galway.

A section of the audience at the launch of the 2017 EMPOWER programme in Galway.

EMPOWER, the women’s entrepreneurship programme delivered in GMIT’s Innovation Hubs to women in Gaway, Mayo and Roscommon, has been allocated over €300,000 in funding to extend delivery of the successful programme to counties Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim.

The funding is part of an overall €1.5m budget allocation to promote gender equality and migrant integration announced earlier this week by the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan and David Stanton, TD.

EMPOWER is currently delivered in the west of Ireland by GMIT iHubs and is managed by Maria Staunton, who stated: “We set up EMPOWER back in 2017 in response to demand in the region and have since been inundated with requests from women seeking to undertake this programme. Sixty-four businesses have been set up by women who completed the course; 146 people are employed full-time in these businesses and seven part-time; 94% of the programme participants have a third level qualification. We therefore decided to submit another application for EMPOWER and were awarded with the funding. We are looking forward to rolling it out to women from the three additional counties.”

The EMPOWER Programme has two components. “EMPOWER Start” is designed to test innovative ideas for market acceptance. It is for females with an early stage idea or in business less than one year.

This free programme is delivered part-time over 12 weeks by start-up experts. This allows participants to balance their family commitments while at the same time planning and developing their new business. The current programme rotates between Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, and now is set to extend to Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. Learning is classroom based. The opportunity is to test start up ideas for customer acceptance.

EMPOWER Growth is focused on women who are already in business (2 years + ) and are now looking to scale and grow through support from peers, mentors and role models. The programme is based on peer-to-peer learning and delivered by industry experts. It has been delivered over 11 half days on Saturday, once a month.

For further information and to apply for EMPOWER, email, [email protected] or telephone 094-9043198.


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