88% of female entrepreneurs on development programme said it brought about practical change in their business
· Former participants encourage others to apply
The call is now open for ambitious female entrepreneurs from Tipperary, who are looking to take their business to the next level, to apply for the latest cycle of Going for Growth, the award-winning business development initiative.
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. There is no charge to those selected to participate.
This is the 15th year of Going for Growth and more than 850 female entrepreneurs have so far taken part in the programme.
A total of 88% of participants on the 14th Going for Growth programme reported that their involvement brought about practical change within their business and 93% said they felt nearer to achieving their ambitions.
All participants said they would recommend Going for Growth to others.
The figures, which were gathered in their end-of-cycle survey, show the resilience and determination of the entrepreneurs on the programme – and the value of the peer support they received while participating.
The entrepreneurs’ combined turnover increased from €35million at the start of the cycle to €43m by the end, a 23% increase in just six months. Their total workforce increased by 41 people over the cycle, while 27 participants began exporting their products and services for the first time.
Some of the past participants include Aimee Connolly of Sculpted by Aimee; Áine Kerr of Kinzen; Jennifer Corley of Equitrace; Louella Morton of TestReach; Tara Beattie of Mange Tout and Prepsheets.com; and Vanessa Creaven of Spotlight Oral Care.
Past participants from Tipperary include Nicola Connolly, founder of Nunaïa, which creates superfood skincare rituals designed to nourish both skin and soul.
Nicola, who was a participant on the 14th cycle says: “This programme is a must for any female entrepreneurs serious about growing their business. It goes much further than just the round table sessions and the extended community support network is invaluable for any business. One of the main benefits is finding other female entrepreneurs who can understand and support you in your challenges and successes and who just gets what it’s like to run a business. Well worth participating in!”
Josephine O’Hagan, founder of Jomiluti, was also a participant on the 14th cycle of Going for Growth. Jomiluti develops performance wear for horse-riders.
Josephine says: “The Going for Growth programme is invaluable and if you have the opportunity to do it take it without hesitation”.
The programme is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focussed on growth. Ideally, businesses should be well established. Applications will also be considered from highly innovative entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of their development if they have already generated some sales and are focused on growth in export markets. (Eligibility criteria in notes below)
Up to 60 places will be available for the 15th cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2023. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 18, 2022. There is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to visit the website goingforgrowth.com.
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.
This year’s voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs include Anne Cusack, formerly Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Jeananne O’Brien, Artizan Food Co.; Leonora O’Brien, formerly Pharmapod;Louise Phelan, Phelan Energy Group; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT; and Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group.
CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, said:
“Increasing support for ambitious female entrepreneurship is a key national priority and Enterprise Ireland is proud to support Going for Growth. I believe our close partnership with Going for Growth provides excellent support to our incredible women entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses and achieving global ambition. 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.”
Partner at KPMG, Olivia Lynch, said:
“KPMG is committed to encouraging domestic entrepreneurship and supporting female entrepreneurs in achieving their growth aspirations. As part of our commitment to diversity we are passionate about ensuring females have the supports they need to succeed. We are delighted to continue supporting Going for Growth; this is an exceptional programme for ambitious women looking to take their businesses to the next level. With the invaluable expertise and encouragement of the Lead Entrepreneurs, this programme engages participants with insights and experiences to succeed and connects them with their peers to boost entrepreneurship in Ireland.”
National Director of Going for Growth, Paula Fitzsimons, said:
“Going for Growth has recognised from the outset that it is not just about the numbers of men and women that are starting a business that is important. That is only one part of the challenge. The other challenge relates to the potential impact of the entrepreneurial effort of those men and women, not only in the early days but over the life of the business.
“The objective of Going for Growth is to encourage female entrepreneurs to become more ambitious; to support them to achieve their growth aspirations; and to realise the full potential of their businesses, on Irish and export markets, throughout the lifetime of their business.”