Female entrepreneurship is on a steep increase in Ireland owing to the numerous policies and schemes set in place to support the growing community of ambitious young female entrepreneurs.
Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs
In almost every country, there are fewer female entrepreneurs as compared to their male counterparts. This is not a coincidence. The prime issues that often crop up are:
- Women are less inclined to take risks and this characteristic extends to entrepreneurism.
- Lack of funding has inhibited some to take the giant leap and try out their hand in starting a business.
- Women have a registered fear towards failure and their level self-confidence is visibly low when faced with venturing out on their own. In some fields, this is anchored by a lack of technical know-how.
- There are also lesser networking opportunities for women and networking methods are perceived to be quite different.
Due to these aforementioned factors and more, there is a lack of active role models for women who wish to venture into new waters. This in itself is also a contributor to the low number of female entrepreneurs.
The Support system for female entrepreneurs in Ireland
Support for women venturing into entrepreneurship in Ireland has come a long way. With many programs (eg. Enterprise Ireland) aimed at cultivating female entrepreneurs, there are many opportunities for women to get acquainted with taking their business ambitions to a more profitable stage and further growth. The support offered to women-ledusinesses in Ireland encompasses funding, personal development , and networking opportunities.
Efforts aimed at encouraging women in Ireland include government agency led programs, a good typical example is the National Association of Community Enterprise Center (NACEC). Women can apply and have the opportunity to receive training and funding for their projects. Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office have engaged women in initiatives such as the annual National Women’s Enterprise Day and the Women in Business Networks. These have helped to boost confidence in the participating women, successful participants go on to be mentors for upcoming entrepreneurs.
The Competitive Start Fund is open to all entrepreneurs and an annual Competitive Start Fund competition aimed specifically at women is also run by Enterprise Ireland. Other supporting events such as the Fueling Ambitions Roadshow give Irish based female entrepreneurs a dedicated platform.
The future of female entrepreneurship in Ireland
Looking into the future, all the efforts made in supporting the growing community of business conscious women in Ireland are going to result in more empowerment for women. Financial independence for women will be further resolved and the wage gap between men and women.
Female entrepreneurship is already making changes in the work environment for women as a form of empowerment. As more female-owned businesses of high value such as manufacturing and export-related businesses take off, the physical support for other female entrepreneurs will be on the rise. The rate of women taking part in entrepreneurship efforts in Ireland sets the country on the 8th position in Europe.
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