An ambitious new initiative for entrepreneurs was launched on National Women's Enterprise Day.
The Local Enterprise Office in Donegal is calling for more female entrepreneurs and telling female-led businesses in the county to have the ambition to grow globally.
Key motivational messages were shared at a National Women in Enterprise event held in Letterkenny in mid-October.
The event – one of 17 held across the country – heard Brenda Hegarty, Assistant Head of Enterprise in Donegal, explain that the number of women in enterprise in Ireland and in Donegal is under represented.
“In Donegal, for example, despite the fact that more females than males are on our Start Your Own Business Course only 12% of our portfolio is female led,” Brenda said.
There is a stark contrast in the numbers and amounts of grant aid to female led businesses in Donegal as well, she added.
“It is worth noting that in Donegal, 20% of Grant Aid is awarded to Female led businesses and grants to these 25 businesses total €380k with an average grant of €15k. In contrast, 80% of Grant Aid is awarded to male led businesses with 101 businesses awarded grant aid of €2.6m and an average grant of €25k.”
But the Assistant Head of Enterprise in Donegal said there was ‘no use in lamenting’ and insisted women in business and those with business ideas, need to take action.
With that in mind she outlined details of a new pre-start initiative to encourage more females to turn their business ideas to reality.
The Women with Ambition to grow a Global Business Programme (WAGs) is designed to support women with an idea to start a business with global potential.
Brenda said: “We believe that with a little help, women can transform an idea into a reality. With that in mind, subject to demand, Local Enterprise Office, Donegal plans to design an interactive programme to support women to explore and test an idea to start and grow a business.”
As well as details of the new ‘Women with Ambition to grow a Global Business’ programme, Brenda Hegarty also reminded those in attendance that applications for the Donegal Enterprise Awards are currently open.
Details of the awards contest, the new Women with Ambition programme and details of all the supports and services available from the LEO are available from the web site – localenterprise.ie/donegal
The National Women in Enterprise Day event held in Castle Grove House also heard from a panel of speakers who have overcome obstacles to become successful in their field.
Those speakers included sports star and broadcaster Anna Geary, Anne Brennan of Signworx the Donegal Ambassador for National Women in Enterprise Day; Gillian Doyle of Cerebron Technologies; Agnes Lunny, Chief Executive of Positive Futures and Dr. Karl Thomas of Creatovation who hosted an interactive innovation workshop.
Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020. To contact the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, log on to www.localenterprise.ie/donegal or phone 0749160735.