Calling Ambitious Female Entrepreneurs | KPMG | PK
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Calling Ambitious Female Entrepreneurs

Calling Ambitious Female Entrepreneurs

Previous participants on this award-winning programme report increased employment, sales and exports.


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Past Participant, now Lead Entrepreneur, Oonagh O’Hagan, The Meagher’s Pharmacy Group , Image Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, says: “I am delighted to give my time to this worthwhile initiative on a voluntary basis as I experienced at first hand the benefits of stepping back from the daily operation activity to work on my business rather than in my business. There is a strong element of positive peer pressure in the round table groups to get things done between one meeting and the next. That is refreshing and exciting and keeps the focus on action and growth.”

Olivia Lynch, Partner KPMG, says: “Irish female entrepreneurs have a major role in helping deliver economic growth and job creation objectives and we in KPMG are delighted to support the Going for Growth programme for our third year. We look forward to working with Going for Growth participants and helping them to achieve their innovation and growth goals.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, says: “Enterprise Ireland is focused on supporting companies to scale by realising their growth potential on export markets. We would like to see more female entrepreneurs among these companies. We are happy once again to support the Going for Growth initiative, which is designed to assist ambitious female entrepreneurs to realise their growth ambitions. It is particularly heartening to know that while ambition is nurtured, the progress of the participants is monitored and the impact assessed.”

Check out for more details or consult the launch ebrochure (PDF, 2MB).

The deadline for receipt of completed applications for the next Going for Growth programme is 20th January 2017.

Those interested in applying should register their interest on and an application form will be sent out to them.


For more information contact:

Paula Fitzsimons, National Director, Going for Growth
Tel: 087 2774385

Notes to Editors:

About Going for Growth

Designed and developed by Paula Fitzsimons, eight Going for Growth cycles have already taken place since the pilot in 2008, with over 450 female entrepreneurs from across the country taking part in the initiative. Going for Growth is an initiative designed to support female entrepreneurs, regardless of sector, who have been trading at least two years and are seriously committed to growing their businesses.

For more information please visit The Going for Growth E-Brochure (PDF, 2MB) is also available.

Eligibility criteria

Applications will be considered from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are located in the Republic of Ireland. Whatever the size of the business at present, the application will be considered if a strong growth ambition can be demonstrated.

To be considered suitable for participation, the entrepreneur should already be the owner manager of a business of which she is a major shareholder and key influencer. Suitable applicants need to demonstrate significant aspiration for growth and should be working full time on the business. It is expected that the business will have been trading for at least two years. Only in exceptional cases will a business at an earlier stage be considered.

Applications from those who have been trading for a shorter period must demonstrate that the product/service is highly innovative in nature, has a longer development cycle than the norm and has exceptional growth potential. If selected, these participants are referred to as Starting Strong and are grouped together around tables, with a suitably tailored agenda and workshops.

All applicants must indicate the manner in which they expect to benefit from the support offered by Going for Growth.

Going for Growth 9th cycle

The next cycle of Going for Growth starts on 17th February 2017 with a National Launch Forum and all successful participants must be available to attend this event.

International Recognition for Going for Growth

Since 2009 the merits and excellence of Going for Growth have been recognised repeatedly by the EU, OECD and European Institute of Gender Equality. In 2015, Going for Growth was awarded the European Enterprise Promotion Award, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills.

Related Initiatives

  • Going for Growth Community:
    After the end of each of the early cycles of Going for Growth, it was clear that many of the participants would have liked a means of continuing their growth journey started with Going for Growth. In light of this, Paula Fitzsimons developed the Going for Growth Community, open to participants who have successfully completed a cycle. The aim of the Community is to support members to realise their full business potential and further scale their business, create employment and increase the number of exporters among them. Started in a small way in 2013, the Community has developed greatly since. Supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, the activities of the Community are tailored to deliver focused developmental support to the individual member and her business, together with enhanced networking opportunities.

    The Community offers support through a strong network of like-minded women all focused on growth. Confidentiality and trust are its hallmark. There is a powerful culture of collaboration and a strong sense of belonging. There is great pride in being a member of the Community and members’ confidence and ambition increases. Psychological isolation continues to be reduced. The size, depth and power of the individual participant’s network greatly increases, her motivation is reinforced and her capability and commercial skills are further enhanced.
    In 2015 Paula Fitzsimons designed and developed ACORNS- Accelerating the Creation of Rural Nascent Start-ups - which is focused on early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, in response to a call from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. ACORNS is similar in many respects to Going for Growth, as it is based on peer support and on a culture of entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs. The voluntary ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs are all drawn from the Going for Growth Community and have successfully grown businesses in rural Ireland. There are currently 100 female entrepreneurs being supported by ACORNS.

Testimonials from previous participants can be found on the Going for Growth website.

Profiles of the Leads Entrepreneurs, who will facilitate tables for the next Going for Growth programme, together with the other Leads associated with the Going for Growth Community, may be viewed on the website.

A selection of past participants’ stories may also be found on the website. These stories illustrate the range of businesses involved and their geographical spread throughout the country.


For more information, contact:

Paul Gray
Communications Manager, KPMG Ireland; (01)700 4728

About KPMG in Ireland

KPMG in Ireland employs 2,500 people across its audit, tax and advisory services from offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services.

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