New York leadership programme for women coming to Dublin

28 Apr 2017

LEAP is coming to Dublin. Image: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

The Leadership and Executive Acceleration Program for Irish and Irish-American women based in New York will be launching in Dublin later this year.

Revealed at an Inspirefest Salon in New York yesterday (27 April), the Leadership and Executive Acceleration Program (LEAP) is on its way to Ireland’s capital after a successful debut year.

Founded by Mary McEvoy and Susan O’Brien, LEAP saw significant interest in last year’s edition, with support from the Irish Department of Affairs and the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) getting the show on the road.

Providing female entrepreneurs with coaching, training and project assignments, LEAP’s success in linking numerous start-ups with contacts and a wealth of information made for a plethora of queries throughout the year.

With many of those lines of communication originating in Ireland, McEvoy and O’Brien felt that now, just one year into the process, it’s time to go international.

“This time last year, LEAP was just a mad idea,” said O’Brien, speaking on stage in New York. Crediting sponsors and key support organisations with helping to turn LEAP into “something actionable and executable”, O’Brien said applications are already open for the New York arm, with Dublin kicking off this summer.

“We’re very proud to be able to take something with our friends, colleagues and board members, and bring it to Dublin,” said O’Brien, who is one of the speakers at Inspirefest in July. “We’ll launch LEAP in Dublin later this year.”

Mary Ann Pierce, a senior adviser on LEAP, said that the organisation’s board will meet with partners at Inspirefest, with a view to this expansion.

LEAP aims to support professional development, increase advancement opportunities, and promote connectivity between Irish professionals and Irish emigrant associations and organisations.

Through the programme, attendees receive training to improve their communications skills, handle business situations better, expand their personal and professional perspectives and, perhaps most importantly, build a powerful network of contacts.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs is to start taking applications once again, with €750,000 available to 15 founders.

As well as securing the funding, 10 of the successful applicants will get the opportunity to participate in the Dublin Business Innovation Centre’s Innovate accelerator programme.

Delivered over a 12-week period in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, the programme aims to increase the capabilities of the participants and get them investor-ready as quickly as possible.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic