A new grant programme ‘She’s Next‘ launched by Visa Ireland offers financial support and mentorship for female-owned small businesses. The scheme, in partnership with IFundWomen, will cover a variety of sectors including travel and tourism.
New research by Visa shows women business owners have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. The majority of women (55%) said the past year has been a challenge for their business, while the majority of men (52%) stated it had been an opportunity.
The global programme was launched in Ireland and offers female business owners the chance to apply for one of five €5,000 grants.
Businesses will also be awarded mentorship and coaching for one year to support them with moving their business forward.
Dominic White, Country Manager at Visa Ireland said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in Ireland, and we all have a role to play in supporting them as they get back on their feet. To ensure they get the support needed, we are committed to providing the tools, resources, insights and networking opportunities that can help them grow their businesses.”
Owner of Irish brand ‘Moxi Loves’ and former ‘The Apprentice’ runner-up Pamela Laird explains why the She’s Next programme is such an important step in bolstering women-led businesses:
“These grants can make all the difference to a business in its early stages or one in need of a boost, whether it goes towards a website, social media, branding, marketing, or research, this is the extra support that women in business need right now.”
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
- Social impact: Small businesses and not for profit organisations that have made a positive impact on their communities
Applications are now open until 2 November 2021.