Events marking the 17th National Women’s Enterprise Day are taking place around the country today.
The Local Enterprise Office-led initiative aims to celebrate female entrepreneurs and female-led start-ups, while also encouraging others to pursue their own business ideas.
It comes on the back of a sustained focus on encouraging female entrepreneurs by LEOs, as well as other State agencies like Enterprise Ireland.
Those efforts appear to be bearing fruit.
“49% of females surveyed have said their skills and knowledge in terms of starting a business has increased – that’s up from 39% in 2018,” said Breege Cosgrave, chair of National Women’s Enterprise Day. “At the moment we’re showing the third highest level of female entrepreneurship start-ups across Europe.
“We have 1,400 women starting new businesses every month in Ireland,” she added.
While female entrepreneurship has been gradually increasing in the past decade, there was a particular up-tick in the wake of the pandemic.
Ms Cosgrave said that may be a result of improved access and time amongst women.
“A lot of people during the pandemic changed their focus,” she said.
“Women were particularly good at pivoting and looking at other options. And maybe it’s coming from a more creative mindset among women and looking for creative solutions,” she stated.
Consumer services is one of the most popular start-ups among female entrepreneurs – representing 64% of start-ups at the moment.
That includes tourism and hospitality and consumer goods.
Some of those businesses will be on display at the 14 events taking place to mark National Women’s Enterprise Day, which Ms Cosgrave said is primarily a celebration of female entrepreneurship.
“It’s visibility, it’s creating and building networks – and that women are aware of what supports are out there,” Ms Cosgrave said. “And what we can do to help them on their journey”.
“Sometimes it’s just seeing an inspirational business – the last three out of four national winners [at the National Enterprise Awards] have been female,” she noted.