Last call for ambitious women entrepreneurs Going for Growth

Ambitious female entrepreneurs who are determined to develop their businesses have just days left to apply for the latest cycle of Going for Growth.

Going for Growth is a six-month, part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations.

The deadline for applications for the award-winning business development programme is this Thursday 16 December 2021.

“Women in Ireland continue to be underrepresented amongst our entrepreneurship community, but with the right support, have the potential to contribute significantly more to our economy”

This is the 14th cycle of Going for Growth which is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focused on growth.

Up to 60 places will be available for the new cycle, which will run from January to June 2022 and there is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested is encouraged to register on the website and a link to the application form will be sent to them.

Ideally, businesses applying should be well established. In exceptional cases, businesses at an earlier stage will be considered if they are generating sales, and it is felt that the business is highly innovative, plans to have export customers and the entrepreneur has significant growth ambitions. If accepted, these participants are included in the ‘Starting Strong’ element of the programme.

Supporting ambitious women entrepreneurs

Three women and a man standing in front of a building.

Pictured from left: Leo Clancy, CEO Enterprise Ireland,  Anne Cusack, formally Critical Healthcare, Jeananne O’Brien, Artizan Food Co. and  Olivia Lynch, Partner KPMG.

“Increasing support for ambitious female entrepreneurship is a key national priority and Enterprise Ireland is proud to support Going for Growth. Strong peer groups, wonderful Lead Entrepreneurs, excellent formal learning opportunities and frameworks for business growth make this a ‘must consider’ for anyone seeking to accelerate her business,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy.

Those selected for the Going for Growth initiative join interactive round table sessions led by Lead Entrepreneurs. The Lead Entrepreneurs are successful business women with personal experience of growing a business. These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses.

“The results of this year’s programme speak to the remarkable resilience of these women in the most challenging of market circumstances,” said Olivia Lynch, partner with KPMG.

“Women in Ireland continue to be underrepresented amongst our entrepreneurship community, but with the right support, have the potential to contribute significantly more to our economy. The many programme participants who have adapted their businesses to become first time exporters and create new jobs are proof of this potential. We look forward to continuing our strong support of the Going for Growth programme and sharing our expertise with the next group of ambitious women looking to take their businesses to the next level.”

Some of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs include five previous Going for Growth participants: Dr. Anne Cusack, formerly Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Gillian O’Dowd, Azon Recruitment Group, Jeananne O’Brien, Artizan Food Co. and Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group.

The other Lead Entrepreneurs include Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip and Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT. 

Áine Denn, co-founder and formerly of Altify, and Breege O’Donoghue, formally of Primark, will lead Continuing the Momentum round tables. This is a further development programme for former participants of Going for Growth.

“The achievements of the participants in growing revenue, increasing jobs and beginning exporting during some of the darkest days of the pandemic are a credit to the peer support that they got from each other and from the Lead Entrepreneurs,” explained Paula Fitzsimons, founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting.

“The way the participants have pivoted, identified new opportunities, and changed to meet the needs of their market, shows great resilience and a true entrepreneurial spirit. The strength of the network, developed over the last 13 years, has proven to be a great resource in the most challenging times, as it is when the environment is more benign.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.