Women-led business invited to apply for She’s Next grants

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galway daily news she's next programme for businesswomen in galway
Irish women entrepreneurs Izzy and Ailbhe Keane, founders of wheelchair design company Izzy Wheels with Pamela Laird (centre), founder of MOXI Loves. Photo: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography

Women-led businesses in Galway have been invited to apply for grants in Visa’s She’s Next Grant Programme until the application deadline in August.

The programme supports women entrepreneurs to run, fund and grow their business, and has doubled the funding of last year’s inaugural She’s Next grant programme.

There will be five grants totalling €50,000, accompanied by a year of coaching provided by IFundWomen, the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses.

Applications are now open until 16 August 2022 at IFundWomen.com/VisaIreland.

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Visa said that women who own and manage businesses face a unique set of challenges including access to capital and peer networks.

“That’s why we’re excited to help make a difference to women business-owners across Ireland today through the second She’s Next Grant Programme,” she said.

“Our research also shows women are less confident than men in growing their business which is why we’re particularly proud to offer access to coaching and support through IFundWomen as well as that injection of €10,000 in capital.”

Last years’ winners are among the women entrepreneurs getting behind the campaign, with most emphasising the importance of the coaching provided.

Aine McGurk, owner of children’s clothing brand, Dainty Bear, said that the coaching has been invaluable in raising her confidence.

Ailbhe and Izzy Keane, founder of Izzy Wheels, the innovative and eye-catching wheelchair covers business, are encouraging women to apply for the She’s Next programme.

“We are passionate about supporting and encouraging other women to start their own businesses and follow their dreams,” said Ailbhe Keane.

“That’s why we’re very happy to get behind ‘She’s Next’ as the programme really resonates with us.  Whether the grant goes towards website development, social media, branding, marketing, or research, this is the extra support that women in business need right now.

“The coaching element is also wonderful to see as women can benefit from expertise and guidance to drive their business forward.”

How to apply

The She’s Next Grant Programme, in partnership with IFundWomen, is open to small businesses and organisations who are majority owned by women, operating across all industries and sectors, through a simple application process.

To enter, applicants are asked to submit details about their business and online presence at IFundWomen.com/VisaIreland.

Applications are invited under five different categories:

  • General awards for:
    • Micro business: sole proprietorships or microbusinesses with no more than two employees
    • Early-stage business: Businesses founded and incorporated within the last 24 months
    • Small business: Any small business with less than 50 employees
  • Additional two categories for:
    • Innovation: Businesses in science, technology, engineering or medicine that are focused on developing new technologies.
    • Sustainability: Businesses that show recognisable achievements in sustainability efforts e.g. sustainable energy, climate resilience, environmental and social best practice, environmental and social innovation, and gender and economic inclusion.