Businesswomen of all walks enjoyed a morning of inspiration in Ballina on Thursday May 16 at the Support4Growth mentoring clinic, co-ordinated by lead partner Galway Chamber, in partnership with Sligo Chamber and the Enterprise Europe Network, and supported by the European Commission.
The clinic, which was opened by Galway Chamber CEO, Michael Coyle, commented on the importance of supports for start-ups and small businesses, especially those that are female-led, in order to further develop this under-represented sector – women account for just 15-18 per cent of established entrepreneurs in Ireland. Olwen Dawe of Irish Business Intelligence, during her keynote presentation, also spoke of the importance of support and mentoring in micro and SME development phases, given the challenges and undetermined obstacles during start-up and growth: “Every business experiences what I call ‘growing pains’ and having that external support mechanism – in the form of a mentor or advisor – offers a much-needed ‘sounding board’ to cushion the often testing experience and help promote sustainability and growth.”
Attendees came from Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, and Galway to the clinic and received one-to-one mentoring from experts on a wide variety of topics. Representatives from agencies including LEADER, Mayo CEB, and Enterprise Ireland as well as networks from the region were also in attendance.