Places are filling up on the EMPOWER programme, less than a month since its launch in the Connaught Hotel, Galway. Over 200 people attended the launch which was addressed by leading businesswomen and high profile speakers Breege O Donoghue, former Director of Primark and Chair of the Design & Craft Council of Ireland, Evelyn O Toole, Complete Laboratory Solutions and Ernst & Young Finalists 2017, Chanelle McCoy, Chanelle Pharmaceuticals and Dragon’s Den. Anne Walsh CEO of Allergy Lifestyle, Mary Carty Co-Founder Outbox Incubator and Hannah Kiely (CEO of Galway 2020) also talked about their experiences of starting up a business and challenges they faced along the way. Sports commentator and broadcaster Tracy Piggott did MC for the evening.
“The EMPOWER programme has two components and has received a great response with both programme components underway with 13 selected for the Growth Programme and over 20 for the Start Programme,” says Maria Staunton, Manager of the Programme in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
“EMPOWER Start” is designed to test innovative ideas for market acceptance. EMPOWER Start is for females with an early stage idea or in business less than one year. This FREE programme will be delivered part-time over 12 weeks by start-up experts. This allows participants to balance their family commitments while at the same time planning and developing their new business. The programme rotates between Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. Learning is classroom based. The opportunity is to test your idea for customer acceptance.
“EMPOWER Growth” is focused on women who are already in business (2 years +) and are now looking to scale and grow by providing support from peers, mentors and role models. The programme will be based on peer to peer learning and delivered by industry experts. It will be delivered over 11 half days on Saturday, once a month.
Despite national recognition of female entrepreneurs, Ireland suffers from a lower number of women engaged in business startups. Female-led businesses remain an underdeveloped source of economic growth and jobs. As part of a drive to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, GMIT Innovation Hubs are set to deliver a new regional programme called “EMPOWER”, which has recently commenced in GMIT’s Galway and Mayo campuses covering the West Region.
Funded by the Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund, the EMPOWER Programme aims to fast-track female-led businesses by addressing specific challenges hindering their development. The EMPOWER Programme will help identify market opportunities, build confidence and assess skills to implement ideas or scale businesses.