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Enterprise Ireland launches first online networking platform for female entrepreneurs
Female Entrepreneurs Sonya Lennon, FrockAdvisor and Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown
Female Entrepreneurs Sonya Lennon, FrockAdvisor and Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown

The Minister of State for Small Business, Mr John Perry TD, recently launched Enterprise Ireland’s first peer-to-peer online networking platform for female-led companies. The new online initiative will support female entrepreneurs by facilitating greater communication and connectivity between the growing number of female entrepreneurs supported by Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland, helping them exploit opportunities to grow their businesses in Ireland and in international markets.

The launch of this initiative coincides with the announcement that Enterprise Ireland will invest €600,000 in 12 female-led businesses as part of the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs. The successful applicants span a variety of sectors including Consumer Products, Enterprise Software, Medical Devices, E-Health, Online Applications and Internationally Traded Services.

Commenting on the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, said: ‘The development of high-potential start-up businesses is core to Enterprise Ireland’s role in developing sustainable export-oriented companies. The 100% increase in female-led businesses is extremely encouraging and I am confident that the Online Networking Platform will support female entrepreneurs to expand their business horizons and set up innovative international companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home’.

2013 saw a 100% increase in the number of female-led HPSU investments and a key priority in 2014 is to accelerate this growth through the Business Women 4 International Growth initiative which includes:

Going for Growth: Open to female entrepreneurs with a strong focus on growth, this initiative supports female entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas.
Female Propeller Programme for High Fliers: this accelerator programme for female led start-ups specifically addresses the challenges facing female entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Ireland’s partners with Going for Growth, DCU Ryan Academy, Cork Institute of Technology and the NDRC to deliver these programmes.

Full details of supports are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site.

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