All Island Business Programme Launches to Fast-Track Women Entrepreneurs

  • A new collaboration between two of Ireland’s leading networks for business owners is inviting women entrepreneurs to put themselves forward for a six-month, fully funded growth programme beginning December 2023.

    The first cross-border project of its kind, Grow It All Island is facilitated by Women in Business NI and Network Ireland and will provide 15 business founders from Northern Ireland and 15 founders from the Republic of Ireland with a unique opportunity to learn, connect and ultimately scale their business to the next level. 

    The Grow It All Island project is being delivered with support from InterTradeIreland’s Synergy initiative. Synergy is a cross-border cluster and network support initiative set up by InterTradeIreland, the cross-border trade and business development body. The island-wide project is designed for entrepreneurs who not only want to develop their market at an all-Island level but want to build their team, look at new export markets, review their branding and marketing, raise external investment, increase their sales revenue and develop their leadership skills.

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    Commenting on the new initiative Roisin McDermott, Head of Entrepreneurship at Women in Business said: “Over the last number of years we have been building our relationship with Network Ireland, who are a voluntary organisation supporting businesswomen, through their 17 branches in the Republic of Ireland, so it was a natural fit to reach out to them.  For many small business owners in Northern Ireland, they look to the UK markets first but this collaboration is designed to open up the potential of an All Island approach, bringing a total of 30 women owned businesses and providing them with an opportunity to become part of a supportive all-island network where participants can learn, achieve and scale.”

    Launching at a two-day residential at Killeavy Castle in December, the programme will involve away days and a series of face-to-face masterclasses supported by EY Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni, all of whom will act as role models and mentors over the course of the six-month collaboration.

    Welcoming the project Emma Early Murphy, President of Network Ireland said, “Our members are excited to see this collaboration and build connections and trading opportunities with the businesses in the North. This is hopefully the first of many projects between our two organisations.”

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    Alison Currie, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at InterTradeIreland commented: “We are delighted to support this female focused business initiative which offers tangible opportunities for women to learn, develop and connect on an all-island basis.  This is also an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to realise their growth potential in a supportive mentor led environment. We want to see more women founders scaling their businesses and ensuring they are maximizing the opportunity of trade across the island.”

    Applications for the inaugural Grow It All Island programme will close on Friday, 3rd November.

    Source: Written from press release 

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