Enterprise Ireland invests a record level in female-led companies in the agency's history

20th November, 2017

Female entrepreneurship NY event
Pictured left to right are:, Julie Sinnamon, An Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, and Caitriona Perry

Enterprise Ireland today announced that the agency’s investment in female-led companies has reached a record level and is currently the highest level in the agency’s history. More than €5.5 million was approved for investment in female-led companies in 2016 and this level of investment will be higher again in 2017. The announcement was made by Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO speaking in New York at the ‘Her Place at the Table’ business event, an Enterprise Ireland female leadership and entrepreneurship event, attended by An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD and 80 corporate female leaders and entrepreneurs.

The event was part of Enterprise Ireland’s trade and investment mission to the USA this week. Led by An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD, the mission is focused on boosting the profile of Enterprise Ireland clients and the Irish Advantage they bring to US buyers, particularly across banking, construction and life sciences sectors.

Addressing the event, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD said “Ireland has made significant progress to empower women in entrepreneurship. Establishing the Enterprise Ireland Female Entrepreneurship Unit was central to this, achieving more gender balance in Irish entrepreneurship. I am proud to see this achievement and to see that Enterprise Ireland’s investment in female-led companies at €5.5 million in 2016, is at a record high. This strategic investment to support women to realise their full business potential is not only the right thing to do, but is also critical to Ireland’s economic prosperity.”

Delivering the keynote speech at the event, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO said “Enterprise Ireland approved investment of circa €5.5m in female led companies in 2016, the highest level in the history of the agency. We funded 63 women-led start-ups last year, and in 2017, we are pushing to increase our investment in female-led start-ups even further. Enterprise Ireland is deeply committed to female entrepreneurship and this is embedded in the agency’s 2020 strategy. We continue to work to reach the levels of female entrepreneurship achieved in the US, where women now make up 40 percent of new entrepreneurs — the highest percentage since 1996.”

The event also included a panel discussion with Cork-born Samantha Barry, an executive producer for social and emerging media for CNN; Aoife Ni Mhuiri, founder and CEO of the Kerry based connected health technology company Salaso Health and Maureen Mitchell, an Irish-American and Senior Advisor with Boston Consulting Group and former President at GE Asset Management. The panel discussion was moderated by RTÉ Washington Correspondent, Caitriona Perry. 


About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland. www.enterprise-ireland.com

For further information, please contact:

Conor O'Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland

Conor O'Donovan

087 9671342

Marika MacCarvill

Press & Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

Marika MacCarvill


086 171 2568