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New fund of up to €500,000 to stimulate business start-ups by female entrepreneurs

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD, today (Wednesday 17 October 2012) announced the establishment by Enterprise Ireland of a new €500,000 Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs aimed at stimulating high potential female-led business start-ups. This initiative is part of a drive by Enterprise Ireland to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs.

The fund will be open for applications from Monday 22 October 2012 until 3 December 2012. The funding call is open to female-led start-ups in Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services including Internet, Games, Apps, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and e-Health.

Today’s announcement follows the launch in June of the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Feasibility Fund for Female Entrepreneurs. This attracted over 100 applications and will now see 20 female-led businesses receiving feasibility funding to investigate the viability of new growth orientated businesses which can succeed in global markets. Together with the new Competitive Start Fund now launched today, they mark another step in the delivery of a key measure under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 aimed at supporting growth in female entrepreneurship.

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 have hugely innovative and ambitious female entrepreneurs and by targeting a substantial increase in that number we can make a real difference to the overall level of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland. This €500,000 Competitive Start Fund specifically for start-up companies led by women will give a real boost to ensuring that more women get involved in starting international businesses’.

Commenting on the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland Executive Director, Global Business Development, said: ‘The development of high-potential start-up businesses is core to Enterprise Ireland’s role in developing sustainable export-oriented companies. We see this new fund as a strategic investment in female-led start ups. It will support them to expand their business horizons and set up innovative international companies that can win business abroad and create jobs at home’.

Full details of the Fund and the application form are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site:

The closing date for applications is 3 December 2012.