Kate McLoughlin’s recipe for success

Going for Growth: Kate McLoughlin from McLoughlin Butchers reveals how she has triumphed in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

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.

“The sharing of other entrepreneurial journeys from my peers was an eye-opener, I never had access to that sort of support and advice before”

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

McLoughlin Butchers

Kate McLoughlin always wanted to study business and in 2007 when she started her BSc, Business and Management, Entrepreneurship and Marketing in Technological University Dublin, it was with the intention of starting her own business, after spending some time in Australia.

Like many of her family members, experiencing life in Australia was “always part of the plan” says Kate. “They take food very seriously in Australia and I learned so much as the food and meat industry there was streets ahead of Europe”.

In contrast, joining her family business, McLoughlin Butchers, which was started by her grandfather in 1965 was “never part of the plan!”

However, on her return from Australia, her father, Pat, suggested she spend a short time within the business to learn as much as possible before starting her own business. Kate agreed and started at the bottom, working in the shop, kitchen and factory floor doing basic jobs.

“I was very green coming in” says Kate “but after just six months, I realised it was a fantastic business to work in. I also learned so much from my dad who is a master butcher and there was a brilliant team around me too, who were so generous with their time in showing me every aspect of the business”.

Fast forward ten years and Kate is Managing Director of McLoughlin Butchers, now a thirdgeneration family business. While her role involves overseeing and managing all aspects of the business, she is particularly focused on building and maintaining relationships with the company’s 120 hospitality customers including Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Chapter One, The Merrion Hotel and Butler’s Pantry. Kate also works closely with her suppliers, as well as ensuring the company has a full complement of team members – hiring the right people is key for Kate, a key takeaway from Going for Growth.

Kate participated in the 9th cycle of Going for Growth and says that “it literally changed my life!” Monica Flood was her Lead Entrepreneur and with Monica’s guidance and the strong support of her fellow female entrepreneurs, Kate says “Going for Growth filled me with confidence, both for me as a female entrepreneur in what was traditionally a man’s business, as well as confidence for the business.”

The key outcome for Kate was a change of mindset – from dealing with the everyday in the business to a constant focus on the future, setting direction for the business though clear goals and targets. “Monica’s advice was invaluable” says Kate “and the sharing of other entrepreneurial journeys from my peers was an eye-opener, I never had access to that sort of support and advice before.”

Kate also participated in two cycles of Continuing the Momentum, with Margot Slattery in 2019 and Fiona O’Carroll in 2023.

With a clear roadmap now set for the business, Kate remains confident about the future and is also hugely proud that she had the opportunity to step into and grow this third generation family business. “While I intend to keep it going and growing, I’m mostly looking forward to enjoying it all over the next few years”.

The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17 November 2023. To learn more, click here

ThinkBusiness.ie, powered by Bank of Ireland, has been created for Irish business owners and managers who are seeking information, resources and help on a range of business topics. It provides practical, actionable information and guidance on starting, growing and running a business.