Female Entrepreneurs Starting Strong

8th July 2015

Posted In: FYI
starting strong

Today Starting Strong hosted its 2015 celebratory event, which took place in the Conrad Hotel, Dublin 2. This event recognised the significant progress made by the 21 Starting Strong participants who have completed the 2015 cycle.

Starting Strong is for ambitious female entrepreneurs who are at an early stage in the development of their businesses. When the programme began in January, 16 of the 21 participants had already achieved annual sales of over €900,000 collectively. By 2020, the successful participants aspire to have a combined turnover of €250 million. The companies between them also aim to increase the number of jobs created from 70 to over 500 in the next five years. 

Starting Strong is designed to complement Going for Growth, which is a similar initiative but geared towards women who have been trading for at least two years. Each of the women involved in Starting Strong gain first-hand knowledge from the deep experiences of the volunteer Lead Entrepreneurs who act as mentors on the programme. The entrepreneurs involved are of an extremely high calibre and have first-hand experience of the challenges when starting and growing a business. 

The Leads are facilitators, providing guidance, acting as sounding boards and supporting the participants to build their own network and to learn from each other. Leads in the 2015 cycle are Nikki Evans, Founder and Managing Director of Perfect Card, Siofra Flood,COO of Drop and Susan Spence, Co-Founder and President of SoftCo.

Speaking on the success of the programme, Paula Fitzsimons, Director of Going for Growth stated: “It has been so wonderful to have such a wealth of successful female entrepreneurs involved in this year’s programme. Paramount to the success of the programme has been the support of our corporate sponsors including Beauchamps Solicitors, Boots Ireland, CPL Resources, Investec, KPMG, Megazyme Ireland International, PayPal, SoftCo and Taxback.com.”

Last year, Paula Fitzsimons won the Boots WMB Empowering Women Award 2014 in recognition of her work at Going For Growth.

The entrepreneurs recognised at this year’s Starting Strong celebratory event this year are:

1. Áine Behan – CortechConnectwww.cortechs.ie

2. Ann Hunt, Chasing Returnswww.chasingreturns.com

3. Bernice Moran, The Be Sweet Companywww.thebesweetcompany.com

4. Ciara O’Halloran, The Redbank Food Companywww.redbanbfoodcompany.com

5. Elaine Lavery, Improper Butterwww.improperbutter.com

6. Elizabeth Fingleton, Obeo Ltd. – www.weareobeo.com

7. Emer O’Daly. Love & Robotswww.loveandrobots.com

8. Gina Galligan, Laganti – www.laganti.com

9. Helen Cahill, InvoiceFairwww.invoicefair.com

10. Isolde Johnson, The Cool Bean Companywww.coolbeans.ie

11. Jennie McGinn, OPSHwww.opsh.com

12. Joanna Lovegrove, Chilly Moowww.chillymoo.ie

13. Kelley Burke, StyleJump www.stylejump.com

14. Marjorie O’Malley, Achill Island Sea Saltwww.achillislandseasalt.ie

15. Martina Skelly, YellowSchedule www.yellowschedule.com

16. Melissa Curry, Melissa Curry jewellerywww.melissacurry.com

17. Moira Kiely, Xhail www.xhail.com

18. Olivia Mai Typrowicz, The Stork Exchangewww.thestorkexchange.ie

19. Ollwyn Moran, Creeper Crawlerswww.creepercrawlers.com

20. Sinead Kenny, DiaNia Technologieswww.dianiatechnologies.com

21. Tara Van Zyl, Seamlesswww.weareseamless.com

(Pictured L-R: Jennie McGinn, Ollwyn Moran, Elaine Lavery, Paula Fitzsimons, Melissa Curry and Bernice Moran.)