Enterprise Ireland has launched a €250K Competitive Feasibility Fund to assist high-potential business start-ups that are being set up by female entrepreneurs here in Ireland.
Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton, TD, has revealed details of the initiative, which is part of an overall Enterprise Ireland strategy to help boost the number of export-oriented businesses being led and set up by female entrepreneurs.
The fund will be open for applications from 17 July until 4 September 2012. Successful applicants will be told whether they are eligible for the fund by the end of September.
Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland’s director for global business development, said the fund is directed at supporting female entrepreneurs to expand their business horizons and set up export-focused companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home.
"It is about giving them a vital injection of funding and support when they most need it," she said.
According to Enterprise Ireland, the fund will focus on developing new businesses that can move beyond the domestic market and demonstrate real potential for internationalisation.
Bruton, meanwhile, pointed to Ireland’s relatively low level of female entrepreneurs. He said that by targeting a substantial increase in that number, this will make a "real difference" to the overall level of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland.
Referring to Australia, Bruton said it is often cited as an example of international best practice in this area.
"If we had the same level of female entrepreneurship in Ireland as in Australia, we would have more than 34,000 extra entrepreneurs running businesses which they started in Ireland. They could potentially create a lot of extra jobs," he said.
Enterprise Ireland is also set to announce more initiatives and supports for emerging female-led enterprises via a national awareness campaign over the coming months.
Innovation and entrepreneurship image via Shutterstock
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