Ahead of National Women’s Enterprise Day, tech founder Enrika Moore talks about how the Local Enterprise Office can help move the needle for women in business.
For start-ups getting off the ground, a support network can be vital. This becomes even more important for women entrepreneurs.
While a TechIreland report from earlier this year found that women-led start-ups received significantly more funding in 2021 than previous years, they still only got 13pc of the total investment into Irish tech.
And this imbalance is seen on the investor side of the table too. A report from earlier this year about gender diversity in VC funding in Europe suggested women general partners have significantly less investment power than men.
To address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, National Women’s Enterprise Day aims to promote, encourage and stimulate entrepreneurship among women across Ireland.
The event is run by the Local Enterprise Office along with Enterprise Ireland. It will take place this Thursday (13 October) with a wide range of incentives, training and development programmes for women entrepreneurs. Events will take place all around the country, featuring panel discussions with women founders.
Enrika Moore is the director and co-founder of Viska Systems, an intelligent automation company based in Cork.
Moore told SiliconRepublic.com that there are still many obstacles that can pose a challenge for women entrepreneurs, including defying social expectations and finding a balance between business and family life.
“Even though the household dynamic is changing, I think there are still obvious inequalities between men and women, for example, when it comes to maternity and paternity leave,” she said.
“Such disparities could potentially create unnecessary barriers for women and as a result make it more difficult to achieve equal career opportunities.”
‘Entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one’
– ENRIKA MOORE
She said to help address these challenges, the Government should increase the availability of childcare, and create initiatives that promote women in business and foster the entrepreneurial mindset.
“With some great initiatives and entrepreneurship supports for women, we can see some improvements in gender equality figures in business,” she said.
“Local Enterprise Offices around Ireland provide a range of financial supports, training programmes and mentoring opportunities. They also offer women in business programmes that are a great way to connect with other female entrepreneurs and build a network of like-minded people.”
Moore also said that technology is playing an increasingly important role in helping women in business, particularly as smart devices and cloud services provide more flexible working opportunities.
“These technologies can allow a stay-at-home parent to also explore entrepreneurship in parallel, which opens a lot of opportunities for women in business in particular,” she said.
National Women’s Enterprise Day will host 16 networking events across the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around Ireland.
Moore said the value of events like these, as well as having a strong support network, cannot be understated when it comes to boosting women in business.
“Entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one. Therefore, if you can, create a support network of people around you, whether it’s your family, friends, mentors, other women in business, etc, that could advise you, encourage you, help you, teach you and empower you,” she said.
“The Local Enterprise Office can be your first step in seeing what is available in your area and what networks and supports you can tap into immediately.”
National Women’s Enterprise takes place on Thursday, 13 October 2022. More details about the events taking place can be found on the Local Enterprise Office website.
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