Minister launches new competitive feasibility fund
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD, today [Tuesday] announced the establishment by Enterprise Ireland of a €250K Competitive Feasibility Fund aimed at stimulating high potential business start-ups by female entrepreneurs. The fund will be open for applications from Tuesday 17 of July 2012 until 4 of September 2012. This initiative is part of a drive by Enterprise Ireland to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented business being led and set up by female entrepreneurs.
Today’s announcement marks the delivery of a key measure under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, and is aimed at supporting growth in female entrepreneurship.
The Female Entrepreneurship Competitive Feasibility Fund is designed to assist female entrepreneurs to investigate the viability of a new growth orientated business that can succeed in global markets. The focus is on developing new businesses that can move beyond the domestic market and demonstrate real potential for internationalisation. The closing date for applications is 4 September 2012, and successful applicants will be notified by the end of September.Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:
“A key part of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is encouraging more businesses to start-up, grow, and create jobs. In Ireland we currently have a relatively low level of female entrepreneurs, so by targeting a substantial increase in that number we can make a real difference to the overall level of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland. For example, Australia 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 over 34,000 extra entrepreneurs running businesses which they started in Ireland. They could potentially create a lot of extra jobs.
“Today’s announcement that we are targeting this €250,000 fund specifically at start-up companies led by women is a start in addressing this challenge. The Taoiseach has set the ambition of making Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business by 2016 – ensuring that more women get involved in starting businesses is a key part of this”.
Commenting on the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland Director for Global Business Development, said; ‘The development of early stage high potential start up businesses is core to Enterprise Ireland’s role in developing sustainable export oriented companies. This fund is directed at supporting an important group of female entrepreneurs to expand their business horizons and set up innovative export focussed 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’.
Further Enterprise Ireland initiatives and supports for emerging female led enterprises will be announced via a national awareness campaign over the coming months.