Going for Growth Open for Applications

16th October 2023

Posted In: The Topic

Going for Growth, the award-winning business development scheme for female entrepreneurs determined to grow their businesses is accepting applications for the 16th year of the programme.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, the programme helps ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions – helping to build stronger companies, create new jobs and increase revenues.

The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17th November 2023. 

Up to 60 places will be available and applications are sought from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focused on growth.  There is no charge for those selected and the six-month initiative will begin in January 2024.  Going for Growth has seen more than 900 businesswomen take part since its first cycle in 2008.

Some of the past participants include Aimee Connolly of Sculpted by Aimee; Andrea Doolan of Atlantia Clinical Trials; Derval O’Rourke of Derval.ie; Kate Scott of HoloToyz; Louella Morton of TestReach; and Vanessa Creaven of Spotlight Oral Care.

Going for Growth has been repeatedly recognised by the EU, OECD, and European Institute of Gender Equality as a key initiative in helping to foster greater ambition among female entrepreneurs and to support their growth aspirations.

The programme brings together female entrepreneurs for monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions facilitated by successful businesswomen. They are known as Lead Entrepreneurs.  Their participation is completely voluntary and is done in a spirit of altruism and the wish to share their experience and insights with others at an earlier stage of their growth journey.

Seven of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are former Going for Growth participants. This year’s voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs include Anne Cusack, formerly Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Jeananne O’Brien, Artizan Food Co.; Leonora O’Brien, formerly Pharmapod; Louise Phelan, Phelan Energy Group; Marissa Carter, Carter Beauty; Monica Flood, formerly Olas IT; Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group and Tara Beattie, Prepsheets.com.

The 15th cycle of Going for Growth reported significant results for its 69 participants. Combined turnover increased from €80.6m at the start of the cycle to almost €92.3m by the end, almost a 15% increase in just six months. Their combined workforce increased by 118 people over the cycle, while nine participants began exporting their products and services for the first time.

National Director of Going for Growth, Paula Fitzsimons, said: “The objective of Going for Growth is to encourage female entrepreneurs to become more ambitious; to support them to achieve their  growth aspirations; and to realise the full potential of their businesses, on Irish and export markets, throughout the lifetime of their business. I am delighted that the feedback from the participants is so positive, demonstrating that they are creating additional added value in the Irish economy, growing sales, and employment.”

Pictured (l-r): Olivia Lynch, Partner KPMG; Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; past participant Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates and Lead Entrepreneur Oonagh O’Hagan, owner and Managing Director of the Meaghers Pharmacy Group.