Research has shown that Irish women’s belief in their ability to run a successful business is continuing to grow as this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day (NWED) was launched today. The initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, now in its 16th year, will take place on the 13th of October with the aim of encouraging female entrepreneurship and supporting women in business across the country.
The research, part of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for 2021, showed that 49% of women surveyed believed they had the necessary skills and knowledge to start a business. This was up from 39% in 2018. The report also highlighted that Ireland has the third highest rate for early-stage women entrepreneurs across European countries, with over 1,400 women starting a new business in Ireland every month.
Early-stage women entrepreneurs in Ireland are mainly focused on the customer services sector with 64% of those surveyed working in that area. The report showed significant growth in export customers for these businesses, with 26% of customers of these early-stage startups based abroad, up from 15% in 2019 highlighting how they have diversified their markets during Covid.
The theme of this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day is “Our Future, Our Way” which will be reflected in the 16 physical events taking place across the country, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities.
These events will feature a mix of well-known Irish entrepreneurs and business people such as Suzanne Jackson, founder of the SoSu Cosmetics brand, successful jockey Nina Carberry, International referee Michelle O’Neill, award-winning jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman, Interior design specialist and Home of the Year judge Suzie McAdam and broadcaster and entrepreneur Aine Kerr.
Breege Cosgrave, Chair of National Women’s Enterprise Day 2022, said; “National Women’s Enterprise Day has become a flagship event for women entrepreneurs and businesswomen every year. While the past two years saw successful online celebrations, it really is special to be back with sixteen in-person events across the country, and some amazing speakers and inspirational businesswomen.
If you have that itch to start a business, or maybe you are already running a business, then this is the event for you. It can help you grow your network, find out what supports are available and learn from those who have gone before. No matter where you are in the country there is an event on your doorstep so get registered and be a part of Ireland’s biggest celebration of women in business!”
Carol Gibbons, Divisional Manager, Regions and Local Enterprise with Enterprise Ireland said; “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support National Women’s Enterprise Day, particularly as we are seeing in-person events return this year. As evidenced by the recent GEM report confidence about entrepreneurship among women is growing with nearly half of all women surveyed saying they had the skills and knowledge to start a business.
Events like National Women’s Enterprise Day are important in supporting this positive improvement, providing women entrepreneurs and those considering starting a business with insights from leading business women and introducing them to a network of entrepreneurs who are blazing a trail in the Irish market and overseas.”
Ms Helena Cunningham, Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Finance and Economic Development, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on behalf of the local government sector said: “It’s so important that we promote and support entrepreneurship for women, whom we know face particular barriers. Thankfully, more and more women are overcoming those barriers to great success.
National Women’s Enterprise Day is all about celebrating that, empowering and inspiring women and making sure they know that starting or growing a small business is a real option for them and that their Local Enterprise Office is there to help along with way.”
National Women’s Enterprise Day 2022 takes place in 16 venues across the country on Thursday 13th of October. The events will cover a range of topics and are open to all aspiring female entrepreneurs, existing female business owners and anyone who wants to learn more about entrepreneurship and the topics being discussed on the day.
For more information on the events in each area and how to register go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/NWED.