Going for Growth: Olympian Derval O’Rourke is passionate about delivering wellbeing into the B2B market with Derval.ie.
Award-winning business development scheme for women entrepreneurs Going for Growth is accepting applications for the 16th year of the programme.
The programme, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, helps ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions – helping to build stronger companies, create new jobs and increase revenues.
“Going for Growth massively helped me to grow and develop the business. It pointed out to me where the gaps in my business were and I loved that as, where there are gaps, there is room to grow”
The 15th cycle of Going for Growth reported significant results for its 69 participants. Combined turnover increased from €80.6m at the start of the cycle to almost €92.3m by the end, almost a 15% increase in just six months.
The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17 November 2023.
Up to 60 places will be available and applications are sought from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focused on growth. There is no charge for those selected and the six-month initiative will begin in January 2024. To learn more, click here
As a three-time Olympian and former World Champion, Derval O’Rourke does not need any introduction to an Irish audience. And her background in the world of athletics uniquely positions her to have a voice of authority in the world of fitness, food and wellbeing.
In 2018 Derval established Derval.ie a healthy lifestyle platform where Derval and a team of experts share her learnings from her former professional career as well as expert voices from the world of wellbeing.
As an athlete, Derval was operating as a sole trader and always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. “I had lots of ideas for a business going through my head during this time. I wrote two cookery books, which was more of a passion project than a business idea, but they were successful and that was where the seed was sown.”
Derval works with her business partner, Greg O’Gorman and together, they have grown memberships to over 15,000+ with their Derval.ie offering. Together, they have recently launched a new app called Saol which will be of immense value to both individuals and to the business community in that it has been developed for enhanced use as a formative employee wellbeing app. It’s in this B2B space that Derval sees further opportunities for growth.
“The last few years have been tough on so many people, but the pandemic has also massively accelerated interest levels in digital health and wellbeing” says Derval. “Not only do people really want to continue to engage online about health and wellbeing, but businesses are now so much more aware of the importance of their people to their company’s success and how vital it is to focus on the wellbeing of their workforce.”
Derval is passionate about expanding the business to deliver wellbeing into the B2B market and repeat the success Derval.ie has had with its B2C members.
So, in 2023 ‘Saol, which is the Irish word for “Life”, was launched by Derval and her team. Saol is an affordable solution for Irish businesses (between 10 and 1000 employees) to support and motivate their colleagues who want to look and feel their best.
Saol’s welcoming and supportive community encourages them to become more active, and coaches through online live classes & events, programmes and challenges so that they can transform their lifestyle and wellbeing and feel more confident. The Saol community helps people connect with others, and there is something for everyone to improve their wellbeing – from taking part in live classes and events with coaches, to enjoying on-demand programmes and joining groups and challenges.
Derval was on the 9th cycle of Going for Growth with Caroline Keeling as her Lead Entrepreneur. She also participated in Going for Growth’s follow-on programme, Continuing the Momentum, in 2020 with Breege O’Donoghue as her Lead.
“The key to the business is building a community of people that support each other. Our aim is to create a space whether that is B2B or B2C that really helps people to feel part of a community. Going for Growth massively helped me to grow and develop the business. It pointed out to me where the gaps in my business were and I loved that as, where there are gaps, there is room to grow.”
The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17 November 2023. To learn more, click here