Ruth Doris: Leaning on the business experience of women

International Women’s Day on March 8 is a chance to highlight the challenges and opportunities of women entrepreneurs in Ireland.  

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While women account for only one-fifth of entrepreneurs but the numbers are growing thanks to initiatives such as Acorns for rural-based early-stage female entrepreneurs and other State-backed programmes that focus on encouraging female business leaders.  However, women entrepreneurs still struggle to access venture capital funding. 

A recent report from Enterprise Ireland found that less than 10% of venture capital funding is secured by companies with women founders.  The 2020 Action Plan for Women in Business also found that only 3% of angel investors are women.  That represents a drawback for women entrepreneurs who are pitching for funds for their start-up businesses.

Vanessa Tierney, who founded Abodoo with husband Ben Wainwright, says although she hasn’t experienced discrimination because she’s a woman, she recognises that there is a different style of pitching.  “You realise you probably really need to up your confidence and your projections and be a bit bolder,” she says.  Abodoo, a technology platform that matches workers with companies that support smart ways of working, has worked with companies such as Shopify, Vodafone, Citibank, Automattic, and Deloitte.  It has also expanded its services, partnering with the public sector to map talent across the country.  To date, Abodoo has raised a total of €1.1m.  

Source:  Irish Examiner

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