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 five-step inverted pyramid approach to meet the objective set.

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 organisations are committed to working with the Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs initiative. In the coming months, they will invite suitable groups of women to come together to hear a talk from a group of Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs.

Up and down the country at present, entrepreneurs of different types respond to requests to go into the colleges to share their stories. They also speak at a variety of events with corporate audiences. Their inspiring talk, however, typically does not have a follow through or call to action, even if their story and insights may have motivated their listeners to consider an entrepreneurial career.

The Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs initiative, however, 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 potentially 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 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 participate in an intense series of Inspiring workshops, facilitated by KPMG among other experts.

They will then be sent full details of what will be covered in the workshops, the time and date on which they will take place, 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 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.

A separate event will be organised in Enterprise Ireland to which those who had attended the workshops described above will be invited. The intention would be for the participants to meet Enterprise Ireland executives and to gather information on Enterprise Ireland supports. This would explain eligibility criteria, describe the supports available from EI, and clarify the application process.

Following completion of Steps 2 and 3, the participants would have the opportunity to apply for inclusion in a round table led by an Inspiring Lead Entrepreneur. Selection will be on a competitive basis, as a limited number of places will be available.

The round table will meet four times over four months. Those that wish to apply for participation on the round table should all potentially meet the criteria for innovative businesses, focused on growth with global ambition.

Each Inspiring 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.

When the round tables have been completed, the participants will have a roadmap for the future development of their businesses and will be aware of the supports available to help them to achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations. They will also be aware of the various sources of debt and equity funding and the supports available from Enterprise Ireland in this area.

By the end of 2023, 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, CSF, or investment funds such as HBAN.
Those that successfully complete the series of Inspiring round tables will be celebrated at a Going for Growth Forum.

Each participant who successfully completes the Inspiring cycle will be offered free membership of the Going for Growth Community to the end of the following year, 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 will 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

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