Going for Growth - great opportunity for ambitious Longford female entrepreneurs

Longford Leader Reporter

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Going for Growth - great opportunity for ambitious Longford female entrepreneurs

Lead Entrepreneurs Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown and Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group with Paula Fitzsimons, Director, Going for Growth

Going for Growth, the award-winning business development programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs, is looking for Longford applications for the latest cycle of the initiative.

The programme goes from strength to strength as it celebrates its 10th birthday, with previous participants reporting significant progress in developing and expanding their businesses. 

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The six-month part time programme, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, will run from January to June 2018. There is no charge to those who are selected to participate.

The deadline for applications for Going for Growth is Friday, December 8 – full details can be found in the launch brochure which you can find on www.goingforgrowth.com

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Going for Growth is for female entrepreneurs, across all sectors, who are strongly focused on growth. Ideally their businesses will be well established and they will have been trading for at least two years.

The programme will give them a unique experience of peer support in a collaborative environment with entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs.  With the focus very much on action and results,participants work in interactive round table sessions led by successful female entrepreneurs and businesswomen who share their experience and insights with the group on a completely voluntary basis. They support the participants to examine and address the issues and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses. 

The ongoing business success of previous participants speaks volumes about the impact this approach has.  Over 500 female entrepreneurs have participated in the initiative to date and the evidence from them is that the peer support approach delivers major impacts for both the entrepreneur and for her business. 

In the most recent cycle, the 78 participants reported an increase in their combined sales of over €20million over the six months of the cycle, bringing their total sales to over €136million. Almost half the participants have customers in overseas markets. Between them the participants employed an additional 187 people full time, bringing their combined total to 1,250 people, an increase of 17.5% over the six month cycle.

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Paula Fitzsimons, the National Director of Going for Growth says: “Our mission in Going for Growth is to support female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions and to get more female owner managers into a growth frame of mind. We have demonstrated over many cycles that the collaborative peer based approach really works and delivers significant results for the entrepreneurs and their businesses.”

Julie Currid, Initiafy, a past participant says:  “Going for Growth provides you with an opportunity to meet and work with inspirational women who are experiencing the same entrepreneurial highs and lows as you are. They have your back and are pushing you on to further success by sharing their insights, experiences and contacts.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, says: “Enterprise Ireland is focused on supporting companies to achieve their global ambition in export markets and our aim is to continue to increase the number of female-led companies amongst this cohort. We can accomplish this through backing initiatives like Going for Growth which has nurturedhundreds of ambitious female entrepreneurs over the last decade through collaboration, shared insights and experiences. Enterprise Ireland wants to see more women scaling their businesses successfully and will continue to work with female entrepreneurs, facilitating access to new markets and growing their businesses overseas.”

Olivia Lynch, Partner, KPMG says: “The promotion of female entrepreneurship has many benefits from the unlocking of personal potential to the valuable employment opportunities it creates. We’re delighted to support Going for Growth and we look forward to working with the many ambitious entrepreneurs who will participate in the next cycle.”