Funding of €750,000 for female entrepreneurs
Enterprise Ireland offers sums of up to €50,000 for woman-led start-up companies
Enterprise Ireland’s €750,000 competitive start fund for female entrepreneurs will open for applications on Wednesday May 3rd. Photograph: Iain White/Fennell Photography
Enterprise Ireland has announced the availability of €750,000 in start-up funding for female entrepreneurs.
The competitive start fund (CSF) will open for applications on May 3rd with up to €50,000 equity funding for a 10 per cent ordinary stake available to a maximum of 15 successful female applicants with early-stage start-up companies.
The purpose of the CSF is to accelerate the growth of female-led start-up companies that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years. However, companies can’t be engaged in the gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco or military sectors.
The fund was put in place five years ago with the purpose of encouraging “more women to start businesses and to provide a launch platform for business women in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors”, said Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Commenting on the success of Enterprise Ireland initiatives, Sarita Johnston, female entrepreneurship manager with the organisation, said: “We have seen a major leap in female-led early-stage companies since the commencement of our initiatives in 2012 – from 7 per cent of high potential start-up companies to 20 per cent in 2016.”
Applicants for the scheme have to satisfy a number of criteria including a requirement not to have received equity funding of more than €100,000 prior to the competition closing date.
Additionally, the business can not have revenues in excess of €60,000 in the current financial year to date, or any previous financial years.
The equity investment from Enterprise Ireland will be used towards the costs associated with developing the business plan and making progress on key technical and commercial milestones of the business.
Applicants will be judged on a number of evaluation criteria including company profile, business proposition, product innovation and market opportunity.
The fund will close for submissions on May 17th.