Competitive Start Fund and Part-time key manager grant are among Enterprise Ireland initiatives that aim to grow the number of women business leaders.

15 women entrepreneurs supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) have commenced an online business accelerator with Dublin Business Innovation Centre (BIC) aimed at getting their businesses investor-ready.

The ambitious entrepreneurs are taking part in the 12-week ‘Innovate’ programme which is designed to mentor and help participants to get their start-ups investor-ready while also developing a supportive peer network.

“Greater gender diversity in senior roles will lead to better businesses”

The women entrepreneurs, who have also secured up to €50,000 each in CSF funding, hail from across Ireland and have exciting new start-up businesses set for global markets in sectors including digital, e-health, data intelligence and green technologies.

Diversity is the best business plan

“Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs and growing the number of women business leaders are top priorities for Enterprise Ireland,” said Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English, TD.

“Research informs us that diverse leadership teams are high-performing teams so narrowing the gap between women and men in entrepreneurship, leadership and senior management roles, will help economic growth in Ireland.

“Greater gender diversity in senior roles will lead to better businesses.”

Jenny Melia, Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland added that supporting women to start high-growth enterprises is just one objective under Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan for Women in Business. Another is to increase the number of women in leadership roles.

“We currently have a part-time key manager grant on offer to Enterprise Ireland client companies. While the grant is available for both women and men key managers, it is expected to attract more women into senior management roles.”

Find more information on the Part-Time Key Manager grant here.

Positive Carbon

Dublin-based start-up Positive Carbon provides fully automated food waste monitoring for hotels and kitchens, saving them thousands of euro each month on their food bills.

Co founder and COO, Aisling Kirwan is one of the entrepreneurs participating in the Innovate programme. “It’s really great to be working alongside so many talented women in the programme and allows for great collaboration and peer-to-peer support,” she said.

“It’s a particularly tricky time to be starting a business but, thanks to Enterprise Ireland’s funding and support, we know that we are going to excel and be able to bring our solution to hotels all across the country and beyond. It’s an amazing opportunity for us to grow our business and become investor ready, while developing keys skills.”

Main image at top (from left): Michael Culligan, CEO, Dublin BIC, Aisling Kirwan, co founder and COO, Positive Carbon, Jenny Melia, HPSU Divisional Manager, Enterprise Ireland and Minister Damien English, TD.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 10 December 2020

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