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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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2 Responses to Enterprise Ireland launches €500,000 fund for female entrepreneurs

  1. Live Young Longer October 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I fully understand the reason for international business and its use to the economy. However, I have to argue that generally women start sole trader business’s very successfully and stats show are less likely to go bankrupt than male run business’s. Which means the majority of women who are starting business’s are being left out. Which is wrong when normally a woman sole trader will generate a good local economy as she uses , local accountants, childcare, cleaners, printers, etc etc. Why is there no funding for this sort of woman entrepreneur? I for one have done the large business before and no longer want the worries of staff, etc. But I am an entrepreneur in a very needed industry in Ireland. Of Nutrition, which I can see no need for export.

  2. Disenfranchised October 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    This is terrible discrimination. Why is this restricted to women only?

    How can a government fund that is generated through tax payers money (both male and female) be restricted to investment for one gender?
    If enterprise Ireland is a private institution then I can accept that, if it’s subsidised by the government then how can this be acceptable in a “modern” democracy?

    Investment funds should be build upon the tenants of a meritocracy, where ultimately the initiative with the most profitable ROI wins out.

    Restricting investment opportunities based on gender, race or creed works against the tenants of Laissez-faire and disenfranchises the ineligible.

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