Confidence Highlighted as Key Barrier to Female Entrepreneurship

11th July 2022

Posted In: The Topic

Women business owners in Ireland can now enter the She’s Next Grant Programme, which is currently open for applications. She’s Next offers the chance to secure one of five €10,000 grants in addition to a year of business coaching.

Applications are open until 16 August 2022 at


Confidence highlighted as key barrier to female entrepreneurs

In Ireland, for every woman that is an early-stage entrepreneur, there are nearly double the number of men.

This is well above the average across the OECD[i]. Confidence continues to be a barrier to achieving parity, with only 38% of Irish women perceiving they have the necessary skills to start a business compared to 58% of men.[ii]   For those that have started their own venture, this disparity in confidence remains, with [iii] 43% of women business owners, surveyed by Visa, stating they were very confident in evolving their business compared to 65% of men.

The lingering impact of the pandemic is also being felt and businesses run by women are again disproportionately affected, with over half (58%) saying 2021 had been a challenge and their business is still recovering, compared to 33% of men[iv].

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Visa said:

“Women who own and manage businesses face a unique set of challenges including access to capital and peer networks.

That’s why we’re excited to help make a difference to women business-owners across Ireland today through the second She’s Next Grant Programme.  Our research also shows women are less confident than men in growing their business which is why we’re particularly proud to offer access to coaching and support through IFundWomen as well as that injection of €10,000 in capital.”

How to apply

The She’s Next Grant Programme, in partnership with IFundWomen, is open to small businesses and organisations who are majority owned by women, operating across all industries and sectors, through a simple application process. To enter, applicants are asked to submit details about their business and online presence at

Applications are invited under five different categories:

General awards for:

•Micro business: sole proprietorships or microbusinesses with no more than two employees

•Early-stage business: Businesses founded and incorporated within the last 24 months

•Small business: Any small business with less than 50 employees

Additional two categories for:

•Innovation: Businesses in science, technology, engineering or medicine that are focused on developing new technologies.

•Sustainability: Businesses that show recognisable achievements in sustainability efforts e.g. sustainable energy, climate resilience, environmental and social best practice, environmental and social innovation, and gender and economic inclusion.

Pictured are Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Visa, entrepreneur Pamela Laird who is supporting the campaign and Ruth Deasy, co-founder of Bear Market Coffee. (Image: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography)

[i] GEM Ireland

[ii] RPA-Ireland-women-FINAL.pdf (

[iii] Visa Back to Business study 2022

[iv] Visa Back to Business study 2022