Pictured at the launch of Going for Growth are: (l-r) Olivia Lynch, Partner KPMG; Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; past participant Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates and Lead Entrepreneur Oonagh O’Hagan, owner and Managing Director of the Meaghers Pharmacy Group.
Pic Orla Murray/Coalesce
There are only a few days left for ambitious female entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses to apply for Going for Growth, the award-winning business development scheme for female entrepreneurs. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 17th.
Going for Growth, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, helps ambitious female entrepreneurs to realise their growth ambitions and thereby build stronger companies, create new jobs and increase their revenues.
Up to 60 places will be available on the 16th cycle of the programme. Applications are sought from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focused on growth. The six-month initiative will begin in January 2024, and there is no charge for those selected to participate.
Interested female entrepreneurs are encouraged to register on the goingforgrowth.com website and a link to the application form will be sent to them.
More than 900 businesswomen have taken part in Going for Growth since its first cycle in 2008.
The programme brings together female entrepreneurs for monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions facilitated by Lead Entrepreneurs who are successful businesswomen. The participation of Lead Entrepreneurs is completely voluntary and is done in the spirit of wishing to share their business experience and insights with others.
This year’s voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs include Anne Cusack, formerly Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi;
Some of the past participants include Aimee Connolly of Sculpted by Aimee; Andrea Doolan of Atlantia Clinical Trials; Derval O’Rourke of Derval.ie; Kate Scott of HoloToyz; Louella Morton of TestReach; and Vanessa Creavenof Spotlight Oral Care. (Details of these and others are in the end notes)
Ideally, businesses applying for the programme should be well established. In exceptional cases, businesses at an earlier stage of their development will be considered if they have at least some revenue, or have raised significant equity investment, if 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. (Eligibility criteria in notes below)
Feedback for the 15th cycle of Going for Growth was extremely positive, with 96% of participants saying their involvement brought about practical change within their business and 97% saying they to others.
The Going for Growth programme was designed and developed by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting.
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:
“Our recent Enterprise Barometer research showed resilience and measured confidence in the future amongst Irish businesses and entrepreneurs. At KPMG, we champion domestic entrepreneurship, and our commitment to diversity drives us to continue our partnership with Going for Growth. This exceptional programme empowers ambitious women to elevate their businesses. With the guidance of the Lead Entrepreneurs, this initiative offers a transformative journey, connecting participants with valuable insights and a supportive community. KPMG’s experts look forward to facilitating various workshops and sharing their extensive knowledge in tax, funding, employment and more.”
A participant on the 15th cycle of Going for Growth, Gráinne Mullins, Founder of Grá Chocolates, speaking of her experience said:
“Going for Growth was such an incredible experience for me. I connected with women in a similar position to me and we could be open and vulnerable to each other about the struggles of having our own businesses. I learned so much over the few months. Having peers, who understood and could advise you, really helped to keep me on track. I am so thankful for being selected for the Going for Growth Programme.”
National Director of Going for Growth, Paula Fitzsimons, said:
“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. I am delighted that the feedback from the participants is so positive, demonstrating that they are creating additional added value in the Irish economy, growing sales, and employment.”