Enterprise Ireland launches €750,000 Competitive Start Fund for women entrepreneurs

Enterprise Ireland’s €750k Competitive Start Fund for Women Entrepreneurs
L-R: Sheelagh Daly, Suzanne Moloney, Minister Heather Humphreys, Leonora O’Brien, and Sonia Neary. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic

Start-up funding and business development support available to successful applicants



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25 June 2019 | 0

Enterprise Ireland’s €750,000 Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for women entrepreneurs has opened for applications.

The CSF will give up to €50,000 in equity funding to a maximum of 15 applicants with early stage start-up companies. Those chosen will also be offered a place on Dublin BIC’s 12-week Innovate Accelerator Programme to get participants investor ready.

Introduced in 2012 as part of Enterprise Ireland’s female entrepreneurship strategy, the key focus of the fund is to accelerate the growth of women-led companies with the capability to become high potential start-ups.




It is funded by the Irish government through the Dept of Business, Enterprise & Innovation.

Commenting on the fund, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, said: “Targeted initiatives have a positive impact on increasing the number of entrepreneurs from under-represented groups who want to start a business.” The fund will “help to address the distinctive challenges faced by women in realising their entrepreneurial potential.”

Sheelagh Daly, entrepreneurship manager, Enterprise Ireland added that the CSF “taps into a wealth of talent that is underutilised in this country and offers a kick-start in funding and business development support.

“In direct response to the low number of women-led start-ups receiving investments and support, Enterprise Ireland decided to increase supports dedicated to women entrepreneurs back in 2012. The results are encouraging as, by 2018, the number of women-led start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland had trebled and we want to grow these numbers to create an environment where businesswomen have the necessary supports to grow their businesses successfully.”

The closing date for applications is 16 July.

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