07 Jan 2020 | 10.34 am
New State Supports For Business Women
Enterprise Ireland unveils Action Plan for Women in Business
07 Jan 2020 | 10.34 am
Enterprise Ireland has launched a 2020 Action Plan for Women in Business, billed as a framework to increase levels of women-led businesses and women in strategic management positions.
The plan outlines four objectives with 24 key actions to support the development of women leaders and managers. Actions include:
• Offer increased one-to-one engagement to support women-led companies to effectively support growth ambitions and expansion into new global markets.
• Introduce a new grant for Enterprise Ireland supported companies to facilitate the recruitment of part time senior managers.
• Develop, support and promote a national network of role models to interact with and inspire future entrepreneurs.
• Issue a series of funding calls targeting women entrepreneurs and women researchers from third level institutions.
Minister Heather Humphreys (pictured) commented: “Ireland will never reach its full potential without increasing the participation of women in entrepreneurship and business leadership. Increasing gender diversity is the right thing to do, but it also makes sense because the research tells us that it leads to better decision making, improved productivity and increased profitability.”
EI chief executive Julie Sinnamon stated: “This new plan aims to address a broad range of factors contributing to the under-representation of women in enterprise. We will achieve this by working in collaboration with others across the public and private sector.”
In its preliminary review of 2019 activities, Enterprise Ireland estimates that client firms created 16,970 new jobs last year. However, when job losses are factored in the net increase was 4,700. The agency also estimates that 221,900 people are now employed in companies funded by taxpayers through the the agency.
Julie Sinnamon commented: “We are seeing a moderation in the pace of job growth reflecting the impact of Brexit uncertainty, as well as wider skills and talent recruitment and competitiveness challenges for SMEs. Sustaining businesses through innovation and competitiveness is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland in 2020 as a means of helping businesses maintain their competitive advantage and creating and sustaining jobs for the future.
“Two thirds of our Brexit-exposed companies have decreased their reliance on the UK, with 442 new overseas presences established by client companies with the support of Enterprise Ireland. In 2019, 1,550 new overseas contracts were secured by Enterprise Ireland client companies and we will look to build on this success in 2020.”
The Central Statistics Office estimates that seasonally-adjusted unemployment was 119,000 in December 2019, up marginally from November though down 12,9000 from a year earlier. Ireland’s jobless rate of 4.8% is substantially lower than the Eurozone average of 7.5%.
Pix: Maxwell Photography