More women want to be entrepreneurs

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A total of 187 applications submitted by women were approved for €10.6 mln in the government’s New Entrepreneurship Programme 2021-2027, said Commerce Minister Natasa Pilides.

At an event to promote women in business, she said the New and Female Entrepreneurship Programmes had been some of the most successful run by her ministry.

“Other actions are also needed, such as enhancing childcare facilities – an area where the government has taken steps – and law amendments to protect women who work in companies and as entrepreneurs.”

The New Entrepreneurship Programme offers incentives encouraging women to establish new businesses and create new job opportunities.

The first call of the programme was from May to December 2021. A total of 820 applications were submitted 390 applicants were approved for €22.4 mln.

Some 187 of the applicants are women, approved for €10.6 mln.

Most businesses created are in the services sector, such as law and accounting offices, e-commerce, dentistry, nurseries, beauty salons, gyms, and tourism establishments, such as traditional taverns and small hotels.

Furthermore, many new enterprises are also set up in manufacturing, for example, small food factories, bakeries, and confectioneries.

At the Larnaca event, the Ambassador of Ireland, Conor Long, said: “We are very keen to share our experiences and promotions for women in business, and this is an important part of our prosperity in recent decades.

“Ireland’s leading entrepreneurship expert Paula Fitzsimons will highlight how programmes dedicated to female entrepreneurship and women in business have been essential, critical to our economic development.”

Fitzsimons said that some years ago in Ireland, 1 in 20 women were early-stage entrepreneurs; now, it’s 1 in 5.

The government, she said, acknowledged that there are not enough women entrepreneurs and went on to improve this.

Fitzsimons said she developed the “Going for Growth” initiative to get more women to be ambitious and to support them to realise their growth aspirations.