Minister for Small Business, John Perry, has formally launched the National Mentoring Programme for Female Entrepreneurs. The programme is an initiative led by Galway Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the four chambers of commerce in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Sligo. The mentoring programme is geared towards early stage female entrepreneurs and sees them matched with a mentor for a 12-month period of mentoring support.
The intention of the mentoring programme is 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, very challenging, 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,” Minister Perry said at the launch.
“As SME envoy for Ireland one of my roles is to work towards ensuring that policies at national, regional and local level are enterprise friendly. One of the outcomes of the European Commissions’ Report of the Investment Readiness for Women Entrepreneurs Workshop concluded that female entrepreneurs often have different goals for their business and face greater difficulties than men in accessing finance.
“It is now up to the banking sector to recognise their full responsibilities by providing the economy with the services and credit it needs. They must work closely with, and actively support, viable small businesses that are driving forward recovery in the real economy. As the voice of small business to Government I will do my part to ensure that the concerns of small businesses are brought to the attention of the banking sector.”
The Mentoring Programme is part of a wider EU Commission initiative called European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs.
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.