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Enterprise Ireland launches €500,000 fund for female entrepreneurs

A new €500,000 start-up fund for female entrepreneurs has been launched by Enterprise Ireland.

Details of the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs, which is aimed at stimulating high potential female-led business start-ups, were announced today by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD.

The initiative is part of a drive by Enterprise Ireland to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs.

The fund will be open for applications from next Monday 22 October 2012 until 3 December 2012.

The funding call is open to female-led start-ups in manufacturing and internationally traded services including internet, games, apps, cloud computing, enterprise software, life sciences, food, consumer products, medical devices and e-health.

Today’s announcement follows the launch in June of the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Feasibility Fund for Female Entrepreneurs. This attracted over 100 applications and will now see 20 female-led businesses receiving feasibility funding to investigate the viability of new growth orientated businesses which can succeed in global markets.

“In Ireland we have hugely innovative and ambitious female entrepreneurs and by targeting a substantial increase in that number we can make a real difference to the overall level of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland,” said Minister Bruton. “This €500,000 Competitive Start Fund specifically for start-up companies led by women will give a real boost to ensuring that more women get involved in starting international businesses.”

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland executive director, global business development, said developing high-potential start-up businesses is core to her agency’s role in developing sustainable export-oriented companies.

“We see this new fund as a strategic investment in female-led start ups,” she said. “It will support them to expand their business horizons and set up innovative international companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home.”

Full details of the fund and the application form are available on the Enterprise Ireland website.

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