BUSINESS

Ambitious female entrepreneurs from Louth sought for development programme

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Ambitious female entrepreneurs from Louth sought for development programme

Niamh O'Neill (from Louth), Paula Fitzsimons and Denise Howard (also from Louth)

The call is open for ambitious female entrepreneurs from Louth who are looking to scale their businesses to join the latest cycle of Going for Growth, the award-winning business development programme. 

Going for Growth is a six-month part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations. 

The programme, which is now in its 12th year, is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focussed on growth. Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. 

Sixty places will be available for this 12th cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2020 and the deadline for applications is Monday, December 9th.  There is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested is encouraged to register their interest in receiving an application form at www.goingforgrowth.com

Past participants from County Louth include Niamh O’Neill of Niamh O’Neill and Denise Howard of DCM Learning.

Niamh O’Neill said:

"Going for Growth has had a lasting impact on my business. Ambitions for our business are no longer in our heads, but they are on paper and have deadlines for completion. My Lead Entrepreneur challenged me on key areas of my business which has led to me making bigger decisions and taking bigger risks which will pay off.

"Most owner/managers agree that growing a business can be a very isolating experience and it can be difficult to find someone on your wavelength who understands the issues involved. The Going for Growth initiative is designed to address these challenges and those selected will join interactive round table sessions led by Lead Entrepreneurs.

"The Lead Entrepreneurs are successful businesswomen with personal experience of growing a business. These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses." 

Some of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs include four previous Going for Growth participants: Dr. Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Claire McHugh, Axonista and Oonagh O’Hagan, owner of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group. 

The other Lead Entrepreneurs are: Fidelma McGuirk, Payslip; Fiona O’Carroll, non-Executive Director; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT and Susan Spence, SoftCo.  

Previous participants report significant progress. At the conclusion of the most recent cycle (11th), 64 participants reported:

"Combined turnover of €45.9 million – an increase in reported sales of €8m over the cycle; the creation of an additional 81 new jobs over the cycle, bringing to over 593 the total number employed; three first-time exporters, increasing to 35 the number of participants with export experience."