The Rise of Female Entrepreneurship

4th March 2016

Posted In: FYI
Julie Sinnamon and Barbara Nolan

Only one is five Irish entrepreneurs is a woman – compared to the EU average of one in three. And starting a business is still a less popular option in Europe than in other parts of the world.

According to a recent “Eurobarometer” survey, only 37% of Europeans prefer being self-employed or running a business to having a salaried job. In the US, the figure is 51%. In China, it is 56%. With challenges around childcare and access to finance, women entrepreneurs face all sorts of particular obstacles in getting started. But nonetheless, Ireland has had some notable success stories.

To mark International Women’s Day 2016, Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland and Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland hosted a discussion yesterday on ‘The Rise of Female Entrepreneurship – Ireland’s Success Stories’. Speakers included Nora Khaldi, CSO and Founder of Nuritas; Dorothy Creaven, Co-Founder and CEO at Element Wave; and Lorraine Scroope, Founder of The Hire Lab.

Speaking at the event, Barbara Nolan said: “Do we really believe that men are five times better at starting and running a business than women?!  … The massive underrepresentation of female entrepreneurs represents an enormous underexploited resource for our country and continent. And despite the recent stellar work of Enterprise Ireland and others more can and must be done to create the right conditions for female entrepreneurship to flourish. “

Julie Sinnamon CEO of Enterprise Ireland said “female entrepreneurship is on the rise in Ireland as evidenced by the increase in Enterprise Ireland backed high potential start ups led by females from 7% in 2011 to 22% in 2015. More needs to be done to highlight the contribution of females to entrepreneurship in Ireland and I am delighted that today’s event celebrating the success of female entrepreneurs will support this objective”.

(Pictured L-R: Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland and Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland.)