The Irish Government, under the auspices of its agency Enterprise Ireland, has opened up its latest €250,000 Competitive Feasibility Fund that is specifically homing in on helping support women entrepreneurs who are leading start-ups that have the scope to break into new markets.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, announced the new fund this morning. It has been open for applications from self-starters since last Tuesday, however.
According to Enterprise Ireland, the Competitive Feasibility Fund, which is now making its third foray, is part of a drive by the Government to boost the number of export-oriented businesses that are being set up and led by female entrepreneurs in Ireland at the minute.
In 2012, Enterprise Ireland launched two similar funds targeting women-led start-ups. The agency said today that both of these funds ignited 200 applications.
And the result? In and around 30 female-led businesses got funding to investigate the viability of their businesses to break into global markets.
As to who is eligible to apply for the latest fund, Enterprise Ireland is reaching out to female-led start-ups in manufacturing and internationally traded services. This will encompass areas spanning the internet, games, apps, cloud computing, enterprise software, life sciences, food, consumer products, medical devices and e-health.
On the horizon
Julie Sinnamon, executive director, Global Business Development at Enterprise Ireland, said the agency sees this new fund as a "strategic investment" in female-led start-ups.
"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," she said.
The fund will be open for applications until 10 September 2013. It will be followed in October by a new Competitive Start Fund, also targeting female entrepreneurs.
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