Market Overview

Enterprise Ireland Puts Female-Led Irish Companies at Center of Investment, Growth and Development Efforts


The firm's Competitive Start Fund continues to advance female-led
Irish companies across a diverse range of industries.

In 2017, Enterprise Ireland invested more than $36 million in over 180
start-up companies — 37% of these investments were to female
entrepreneurs. Today, Enterprise Ireland maintains a $1.2 million
competitive start-up fund solely for female entrepreneurs, last year,
46% of companies who received Competitive Start-Up funds from Enterprise
Ireland were female-led.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

"Enterprise Ireland wants to see more women scaling their businesses
successfully," said Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. "We are
very proud to work with many, inspiring female entrepreneurs,
facilitating their access to new markets and growing their

The Competitive Start Fund (CSF) was created to accelerate the growth of
start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global
markets. The fund is designed to enable those companies to reach key
technical and commercial milestones.

According to Sinnamon, the fund aims to support early stage start-ups
specifically for Female Entrepreneurs or female-led start-ups, active in
the Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services sectors including
the following subsectors: Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud
Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Cleantech and
Industrial Products.

"We need to address all of the constraints that are impacting the growth
of women-owned start-ups," said Sinnamon. "In 2012, only 7% of the
startups we were dealing with were female-led. We decided to try to
understand some of the issues that might be impacting this."

According to research by the Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor
, women in the United States are 18% less
likely than men to perceive they have the capability to start a
business. Sinnamon is working to address this confidence gap and boost
the number of women owned businesses.

"In trying to increase the number of female-owned high potential
startups, we boiled it down to three key issues: access to finance,
confidence, and a lack of role models or access to networks," said
Sinnamon. By tackling each of these three key areas, Enterprise Ireland
has been able to increase the proportion of female owned start-ups in
its portfolio from 7% to 22%.

While there is still progress to be made, supporting female
entrepreneurship is paying off with continued growth of female-led
startups. Here are just a few recent success examples:


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About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish
enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in
global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish
businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop
Ireland's international trade, innovation, leadership and
competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and
regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.

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