Going for Growth past participants from Cork are encouraging female entrepreneurs in the county who are determined to grow their businesses to apply for the award-winning business development programme.
Going for Growth has started accepting applications for the 16th year of the programme and the deadline to apply is Friday 17th November 2023.
The programme, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, helps ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions – helping to build stronger companies, create new jobs and increase revenues.
Up to 60 places will be available and applications are sought from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focused on growth. There is no charge for those selected and the six-month initiative will begin in January 2024.
Going for Growth has seen more than 900 businesswomen take part since its first cycle in 2008. Past participants from Cork include Derval O’Rourke, three-time Olympian and former world champion, as well as founder of Derval.ie. Established in 2017, Derval.ie is a healthy lifestyle platform where Derval shares her learnings from her former professional career as well as expert voices from the world of wellbeing. Derval took part in the 9th cycle of Going for Growth.
Derval says: “The key to the business is building a community of people that support each other. Our aim at Derval.ie is to be the biggest online community in the country and to keep delivering real value at a relatively low price. Going for Growth massively helped me to grow and develop the business. It pointed out to me where the gaps in my business were and I loved that as, where there are gaps, there is room to grow.”
Some other members from the Going for Growth Community from Cork who are encouraging others to apply include:
- Andrea Doolan, founder and CEO of Atlantia Clinical Trials, a Contract Research Organization that specialises in conducting studies in foods, beverages and supplements for clients worldwide. Andrea, who was a participant on the 9th cycle says “I recognised I had gaps in my knowledge, and also in my network. Going for Growth filled these for me in a unique way – the sharing of experiences and perspectives, all of us in the same boat although running very different businesses – was eye opening”
- Enrika Moore, founder of Viska Systems, design and build automation and robotics solutions for the medical device, electronics, semi-conductor, and research industries. Enrika, who was a participant on the 15th cycle says: “This remarkable initiative, backed by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, has been a game-changer for both my personal and professional growth. Throughout this journey, I had the privilege of working alongside an exceptional group of female entrepreneurs, all with unique stories and aspirations. Going for Growth has not only enriched me with knowledge and wisdom but also provided an abundance of inspiration and assistance. From dynamic workshops to meaningful networking opportunities, this programme has encouraged me to embark on a new chapter of growth and innovation.”
Feedback from the previous cycle of Going for Growth has been extremely positive, with 96% of participants saying their involvement brought about practical change within their business and 97% saying they felt nearer to achieving their ambitions. All participants said they would recommend the programme to others.
Going for Growth brings together female entrepreneurs for monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions facilitated by successful businesswomen. They are known as Lead Entrepreneurs. Their participation is completely voluntary and is done in a spirit of altruism and the wish to share their experience and insights with others at an earlier stage of their growth journey.
Seven of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are former Going for Growth participants.
This year’s voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs include Anne Cusack, formerly Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Jeananne O’Brien, Artizan Food Co.; Leonora O’Brien, formerly Pharmapod;Louise Phelan, formerly Phelan Energy Group; Marissa Carter, Carter Beauty; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT; Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group and Tara Beattie, Prepsheets.com.
The support provided does not end on completion of the six-month cycle, with most past participants becoming part of the Going for Growth community. Going for Growth alumni can apply for the Continuing the Momentum programme, which offers Lead Entrepreneur facilitated roundtables to those looking to continue their growth journey, with the aid of peer support, focused goals, and milestones.
CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, said: “Increasing support for ambitious female entrepreneurship is a key national priority and Enterprise Ireland is proud to support Going for Growth. I believe our close partnership with Going for Growth provides excellent support to our incredible women entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses and achieving global ambition. Strong peer groups, wonderful Lead Entrepreneurs, excellent formal learning opportunities and frameworks for business growth make this a ‘must consider’ for anyone seeking to accelerate her business.”
Partner at KPMG, Olivia Lynch, said: “Our recent Enterprise Barometer research showed resilience and measured confidence in the future amongst Irish businesses and entrepreneurs. At KPMG, we champion domestic entrepreneurship, and our commitment to diversity drives us to continue our partnership with Going for Growth. This exceptional programme empowers ambitious women to elevate their businesses. With the guidance of the Lead Entrepreneurs, this initiative offers a transformative journey, connecting participants with valuable insights and a supportive community. KPMG's experts look forward to facilitating various workshops and sharing their extensive knowledge in tax, funding, employment and more."
National Director of Going for Growth, Paula Fitzsimons, said: “The objective of Going for Growth is to encourage female entrepreneurs to become more ambitious; to support them to achieve their growth aspirations; and to realise the full potential of their businesses, on Irish and export markets, throughout the lifetime of their business. I am delighted that the feedback from the participants is so positive, demonstrating that they are creating additional added value in the Irish economy, growing sales, and employment.”
www.goingforgrowth.com for more details.