The programme is in its third consecutive year and will offer female small-business owners the chance to receive one of five €10,000 grants.
Each grant includes one year of coaching with international business experts through IFundWomen, the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses.
Meredith Davis, co-founder of ReFunk UpCycling – one of the She’s Next 2022 winning businesses – said, “The funding and coaching really helped us take the next step in our business and get in front of more customers.
“In addition, the coaching sessions on topics such as branding and team dynamics proved invaluable.”
While Ireland now has the third-highest rate for early-stage female entrepreneurs in Europe, research shows that in 2022, only 37% of high-potential start-ups across Ireland were led by women.
The disparity extends to the issue of confidence, with a new Visa study of 250 Irish small-business owners finding that 93% of men surveyed feel very or completely confident when it comes to evolving their business against 71% of women surveyed.
Paving The Way
Mandy Lamb, managing director, Visa UK & Ireland, said, “It is encouraging to see Ireland helping pave the way for female entrepreneurs. Women business leaders are absolutely integral to the future of entrepreneurship, and while important progress has been made, there’s still more to be done to address the challenges and obstacles that women-led businesses face.
“That’s why we are taking action, and we’re proud to be bringing She’s Next to Ireland for a third year. With this programme, we want to empower women by providing funding, expertise and coaching, so they can achieve their growth aspirations and make a difference to society.
“We had such a positive reaction to the programme so far, with over 60% more entries last year. Our ten grant winners to date have been incredibly inspiring, and it’s fantastic to see the emerging entrepreneurial talent in Ireland today.”
How To Apply
The She’s Next grant programme, in partnership with IFundWomen, is open to small businesses and organisations in Republic of Ireland that are majority owned by women, operating across all industries and sectors, through a simple application process.
According to Visa, the programme is designed to be inclusive, to appeal to a diverse range of applicants from different backgrounds.
Applicants in previous years who were not selected as winners are invited to reapply.
To enter, applicants are asked to submit details about their business and online presence at ifundwomen.com/visaireland.
The closing date is 21 July 2023.