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The call for ambitious female entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses to join the latest cycle of Going for Growth, the award-winning business development programme is now open.

Going for Growth is a six-month part-time programme, supported by KPMG and Enterprise Ireland, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations. The programme, which is now in its 12th year, is seeking applications from female entrepreneurs – across all sectors – who are strongly focussed on growth. Ideally, businesses should be well established and trading for at least two years. Sixty places will be available for this 12th cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2020. There is no charge for those selected. Anyone interested is encouraged to register their interest in receiving an application form at

Spotlight Oral Care

One past participant who participated in the last cycle of Going for Growth is Dr. Vanessa Creaven, from Spotlight Oral Care. Established with her sister and fellow dentist Dr. Lisa Creaven, the company produces safe and effective oral care products, with clinically proven active ingredients.

The company, which launched in 2016, has products for sale in Boots, Tesco, Dunnes Stores as well as in pharmacies across the country. They also export to 15 countries and have recently signed a deal with Target and Ulta Beauty in the US.

“When I began on the Going for Growth cycle, I expected I would gain a lot of expertise, but I had no idea as to the extent of that expertise, or the friendships I would make along the way,” said Vanessa Creaven.

Most owner/managers agree that growing a business can be a very isolating experience and it can be difficult to find someone on your wavelength who understands the issues involved. The Going for Growth initiative is designed to address these challenges and those selected will join interactive round table sessions led by Lead Entrepreneurs.

Measurable results

The Lead Entrepreneurs are successful business women with personal experience of growing a business. These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in driving growth in their businesses.

Some of this year’s Lead Entrepreneurs include four previous Going for Growth participants: Dr. Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare; Chupi Sweetman-Durney, Chupi; Claire McHugh, Axonista and Oonagh O’Hagan, owner of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group.

Previous participants report significant progress. At the conclusion of the most recent cycle (11th), 64 participants reported:

  • combined turnover of €45.9 million – an increase in reported sales of €8m over the cycle;
  • the creation of an additional 81 new jobs over the cycle, bringing to over 593 the total number employed;
  • three first time exporters, increasing to 35 the number of participants with export experience.

Entrepreneurs are critical to the future success of the Irish economy. As advisors to a wide range of family and privately-owned businesses, we applaud the proven record of Going for Growth in helping women in business realise their full potential. At KPMG we work with many businesses in overcoming challenges and creating opportunities and we’re delighted to continue our support for this exceptional programme. In doing so, we recognise the key role of Enterprise Ireland, all of the Lead Entrepreneurs and the contribution of so many hugely committed individuals. I have no doubt that the 12th cycle will prove highly valuable to all of the participants.

Olivia Lynch