Supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs is a specially tailored initiative, which is mindful of the specific challenge of encouraging more women to establish scalable, innovative businesses, which are focused on export markets.  It proposes a three-step inverted pyramid approach to meet the objective set.

What's Involved

In Going for Growth, the focus is on nurturing ambition and supporting female entrepreneurs to realise their growth ambitions, regardless of sector or market orientation. It assumes that the female entrepreneur is the owner manager of a business that has been successfully established for some years.  Even in Starting Strong, the requirement is that the entrepreneur has set up a new business that is currently trading, even in a small way.

The Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs initiative is targeted at women who may be latent or aspiring entrepreneurs, that is they will not yet have started a business. Indeed, they are unlikely to have taken any concrete steps to becoming an entrepreneur and may not even have identified or fleshed out an entrepreneurial idea.

In this instance the panel of Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs are inspiring in themselves and in their achievements. They come from relevant backgrounds and illustrate the type of innovative businesses with global ambition that we are endeavouring to nurture. They will seek to inspire others to consider following their example. All are volunteers.

Many third level institutions and organisations are committed to working with Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs. In support of this initiative, they invite suitable groups of women to come together to hear a talk from a group of Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs.

While there are many events held up and down the country where entrepreneurs can be heard, the Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs initiative is different in that the speaker will mirror the background of the audience and her business will have the characteristics we wish to see replicated – innovative and ambitious for scale on global markets. She will also make it clear that there is an opportunity for those within the audience, who are latent entrepreneurs, to follow through and tease out their innovative idea into a fledgling business.  Those interested will be encouraged there and then to register on their laptops or mobile phones on the website


We will follow up by phone, at a time convenient to them, with all those who register on the website and identify themselves as wishing to become an entrepreneur. We will ascertain the nature of their interest and how best we can support them.

Those that wish to further develop an innovative idea into a new business, with global ambition, will be invited to apply to participate on facilitated round tables, which will include a number of expert-led plenary workshops hosted in turn by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG.

Together with the application form they will then be sent full details of the time and date on which the round tables will take place, what will be covered in each of the expert-led workshops, the confidential and collaborative culture that they must sign up to, and the commitment involved on the part of the individual. There is no cost to the individual for participation in the round tables and workshops.

Fostering networks will be another key part of this step. The participants will be encouraged to develop a peer support network. They will get to meet some of the Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs who will share their early stage funding story, some boot strapped, some with angel investing, some with VC funding, to learn from their experience and mistakes made.  They will get to understand the Business Angel/Investor’s perspective and how best to approach same.

The Lead Entrepreneurs will select among those that complete an application form and decide who to invite to their round tables.  Those that wish to apply for participation on the round table should all potentially meet the criteria for innovative business, focused on growth with global ambition.  Selection will be on a competitive basis, as a limited number of places are available.

The round table will meet six times over twelve months. Participants will be provided with a Business Plan Template, which they will develop and complete for their own businesses over the duration of the cycle.

Each participant will find a group of like-minded women around the table. The businesses will be different but many of the issues will be similar. A circle of trust will be developed, and all matters discussed will remain confidential. The structured agenda will ensure that all issues pertaining to starting an innovative business focused on growth, with an export orientation, are covered.

The approach will reduce psychological isolation, as each participant can see at first hand that other nascent entrepreneurs are facing the same challenges as she is. The culture of collaboration and shared experience provides a supportive environment to address challenges. The focus on the articulation of SMART goals and milestones encourages the participant to spell out what she wishes to achieve and what is required to do so. Relevant “homework” and checking in each month applies good peer pressure to keep her on track.

Getting to know her Lead Entrepreneur brings real success and growth within reach. She realises that this very successful woman has the same concerns and worries as she has, has had to surmount challenges, and yet has achieved significant growth. The Lead is not just someone whose success she reads about in the media. She becomes a real role model.


SEPTEMBER First round tables meeting will take place and will include an expert-led workshop by KPMG on Shareholders Agreements.

NOVEMBER Second round tables meeting will be held in Enterprise Ireland’s HQ, Eastpoint Business Park. Enterprise Ireland will host an expert-led plenary session where EI executives will detail the supports available from Enterprise Ireland to entrepreneurs as they progress their journey.

JANUARY Third set of round tables will be hosted by KPMG in their Dublin offices. An expert-led plenary workshop will precede the round tables on funding, financing and tax.

MARCH The fourth round tables meeting will be hosted by KPMG Law in their Dublin offices. They will be proceeded by an expert-led plenary workshop on IP, Boards/Advisory panel and Legal Foundations.

MAY The fifth round tables meeting will include an expert-led workshop by Caroline Reidy, of The HR Suite on Building A Winning Team.

SEPTEMBER A further Round Table will be held in September to support the entrepreneurs and to review the development of their Business Plans.

In the following autumn, these nascent entrepreneurs should be well positioned to apply for Enterprise Ireland support through New Frontiers, BICs or other EI supported accelerators; or it may be considered that they are sufficiently prepared to move directly to feasibility study support, PSSF, or investment funds such as HBAN.

Those that successfully complete the series of Inspiring round tables will be celebrated at the Going for Growth Community Forum, held in the autumn.

Each participant who successfully completes the Inspiring cycle will be offered free membership of the Going for Growth Community to the end of the year 2024, so that Going for Growth can continue to support the participant on her early entrepreneurial journey as many of the topic based workshops offered to members would be relevant to her.

When they have begun to generate revenues, the participants would be eligible to apply for Starting Strong and so continue their Going for Growth journey.

There is a powerful culture of collaboration around Going for Growth and a strong sense of belonging. The size, depth and power of the individual participant’s relevant network will increase in spades.

Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs is proudly supported by:

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KPMG in Ireland is a provider of professional services, offering a range of audit, tax, advisory and consulting services to a broad range of domestic and international clients across all sectors of business and the economy. We operate on an all-Ireland basis and have 103 partners and over 4,000 people in offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway. KPMG works with entrepreneurs and start-ups to support the early achievement of business objectives and has a reputation for continuing these strong relationships as organisations evolve and grow. KPMG’s reputation for excellence is based on passion for business and an unrivalled understanding of key industry issues in all sectors of the economy. Find out more at www.kpmg.ie


Enterprise Ireland (EI) is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. EI works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets. In this way, EI supports sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment. You can find detailed information on Enterprise Ireland’s activities, strategy and performance on www.enterprise-ireland.com