Call for applicants for a new cycle of Going for Growth/Starting Strong now open

Calling all ambitious female entrepreneurs!

A new cycle of 'Going for Growth', including Starting Strong, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG has opened!

Thanks to the voluntary contribution of time by the Lead Entrepreneurs and the funding made available by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, there is no charge to those selected for the new cycle. Going for Growth is designed to support ambitious female entrepreneurs to realise their growth aspirations.

This award winning initiative is now in its 11th year. In supporting this call for Going for Growth Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said:

“Supporting ambitious business women to start new businesses is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and in 2017 more than one in three Enterprise Ireland backed start-ups were led by women, an increase from one in ten just five years ago. Having impacted successfully on the number of start-up businesses led by female founders, a key focus for Enterprise Ireland is to increase the number of companies that achieve scale.” “The Going for Growth programme provides unique supports to ambitious business women in the achievement of their growth ambitions through learning, collaboration and most importantly, through role models and mentoring. We will continue to partner with Going for Growth, to grow the cohort of businesses of scale led by ambitious business women, expanding their reach in global markets, and creating and sustaining jobs at home.” 

Going for Growth aims to assist ambitious female entrepreneurs achieve their growth goals.60 new female entrepreneurs will be selected this year. The programme is seeking female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focused on growth.

Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. Consideration will be given to those with less than two years sales, if the new business is highly innovative, with a longer development cycle than the norm and with an entrepreneur that has very significant growth ambitions. If selected these participants are known as Starting Strong.

This is the 11th year of the programme. Over 600 female entrepreneurs have already taken part in Going for Growth to date and 60 new participants will be selected this year. The award winning Going for Growth has been recognised internationally as a best practice by the OECD, EU and the European Institute for Gender Equality.

The success of the previous 10 cycles shows what a difference peer learning can make to women scaling their businesses. Previous participants have reported an increase in confidence, a reduction in psychological isolation and a feeling of being nearer to achieving their growth goals. Participants on the last programme (from Jan 2018 – Jun 2018) reported combined sales of €66.8 million and the creation of 90 full time jobs over the six-month period. While four became exporters for the first time.

The programme is structured and includes attendance at monthly round-table meetings with the participant’s Lead Entrepreneur and small group of fellow entrepreneurs and a national launch on 14th January in Dublin, where everyone involved in the new cycle comes together.

A core element of Going for Growth is the involvement of ‘Lead Entrepreneurs’, successful business women with personal experience of growing a business. These business women, on a voluntary basis, facilitate the interactive round table sessions, act as role models and hold the participants on their round table to account in achieving the goals and milestones which they have set for themselves.

The Lead Entrepreneurs on the 11th cycle are Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip, Fiona O’Carroll, Louise Phelan,Marian O’Gorman, the Kilkenny Group, Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown, Monica Flood, formerly OLAS IT, Oonagh O’Hagan Meagher’s Pharmacy Group, and Susan Spence, SoftCo. After the six-month programme, participants have the opportunity to stay involved with the Going for Growth community and attend topic based workshops, networking events and Continuing the Momentum round tables devised specifically around the needs of participants who wish to continue to drive forward the growth of their businesses.

To be considered for this Going for Growth programme, applicants must demonstrate a real growth ambition, be a major shareholder and key influencer, and working full time as the owner-manager of the business. It’s expected that the business will have been trading for at least two years.

In exceptional cases, a business at an earlier stage will be considered. However, earlier stage companies must already have generated some revenues, be highly innovative, with significant ambition. The programme is open to all sectors based within the Republic of Ireland. The deadline for application for this year’s Going for Growth programme is Wednesday 28 November 2018.

Interested female entrepreneurs can access information and should register their interest at www.goingforgrowth.com to receive an application form.

 

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