€750k Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs

Founders have just days left to apply for Enterprise Ireland’s €750,000 Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs.

The call, which opened in June, will close on Tuesday (16 July) at 3pm. Completed application forms must be submitted through the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System.

Up to €50,000 in equity funding is available to a maximum of 15 successful applicants with early stage start-up companies.

“By 2018 the number of women-led start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland had trebled

Full details on the Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website: www.enterprise-ireland.com/FemaleEntrepreneurship

The purpose of the CSF for women entrepreneurs is to accelerate the growth of women-led start-up companies that have the capability to become High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) companies with the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1m in export sales within three years.

A wealth of untapped talent

“Our Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs taps into a wealth of talent that is underutilised in this country and offers a kick-start in funding and business development support,” explained Sheelagh Daly, entrepreneurship manager at Enterprise Ireland.

“In direct response to the low number of women-led start-ups receiving investments and support, Enterprise Ireland decided to increase supports dedicated to women entrepreneurs back in 2012. The results are encouraging as, by 2018, the number of women-led start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland had trebled and we want to grow these numbers to create an environment where business women have the necessary supports to grow their businesses successfully.”

Introduced in 2012 as part of Enterprise Ireland’s female entrepreneurship strategy, the dedicated fund is designed to enable companies reach key commercial and technical milestones which will ensure delivery of their product or service to a global audience. Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

In addition to securing funding, successful applicants will be offered a place on the Innovate accelerator programme, delivered by Dublin BIC. Taking place over a 12-week period in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, the interactive Innovate programme will increase the capabilities of the participants and move them to investor-ready within a short period.

“Dublin BIC empowers entrepreneurs to start and scale by providing a comprehensive range of programmes specifically designed to advance the ambitions of early-stage companies,” said Michael Culligan, Dublin BIC CEO.

“We are delighted to once again partner with Enterprise Ireland on the delivery of the Innovate Programme, the Enterprise Ireland accelerator designed to meet the needs of female-led start-ups with the ambition to scale internationally. The Innovate Programme enables the entrepreneurs to become ‘Investor Ready’, a crucial step in becoming a High Potential Start-Up company.”

Written by John Kennedy

Published: 12 July 2019