My passionate belief in the potential of Irish women entrepreneurs is grounded in my own experience as an entrepreneur. In 1986, when Ireland was also in a deep recession, I attended, as a local resident, a community initiative in Dundrum, Co Dublin to encourage job creating enterprises in our area.
I met Connie Doody there who had started making gourmet handmade chocolates in her home. We went on to jointly establish Lir Chocolates with the primary aim of creating jobs as a response to the recession. I saw at first-hand the impact getting a job has on a young person. It is a matter of great pride to both of us that Lir Chocolates at its headquarters in Navan, more than 25 years later, employs approximately 250 people and exports over €20 million a year.
No country can achieve its full economic potential when women are left out or left behind. The time has come to shoot for our ‘North Star’ by mobilising more imaginatively for job creation our greatest underused pool of resources and talents – that of the entrepreneurial potential of women in Ireland.
The capabilities of women remain underutilised in Ireland as in the majority of countries in the European Union – whether in the boardroom or in the stream of new growth enterprises.
Please click here to my policy paper on Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Ireland: Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Ireland policy paper