On the 21st of January the 12th cycle of Going for Growth got underway in Dublin. The initiative is designed to go beyond helping women set up businesses and to actively encourage growth in their sector. The programme is the brainchild of Paula Fitzsimons. Funded by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG the programme has 83 female participants. The list of entrepreneurs is formidable, collectively producing an annual turnover of €170.6 million and employing just over 2,401 people. As CEO of the Team at Fioru Software Solutions and Veri I am really proud to have been selected as a participant.
The success of Going for Growth rests with the lead entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to mentor a group. These leaders have considerable experience when it comes to growing their business. The belief within the programme is that entrepreneurs learn best from each other not from consultants or trainers. The fantastic lead for Veri and me as CEO is Áine Denn. Áine’s insight is informed by more than 25 years’ experience in enterprise software, business development, operations and customer engagement. Áine was the co founder of Altify which was recently acquired by US technology company Upland Software (UPLD) in a deal worth nearly €76 million.
The take home after two meetings with Áine is the importance of a product development road map. Design Partnership has been our model from the get go. Without input from initial innovators like Bernie Stephenson at the Irish Red Cross, Niamh Fitzgerald from Impact training and Liz Doran at Barrow training we would not have the fit for purpose tool that we have today.
As we grow into new sectors, trying to ensure this model keeps to a customer needs focus while ensuring we are following international developments in data and training management systems, is something we are going to resource more. Recently we have had wonderful inputs from Grant Thornton’s People and Change practice. The team of specialists focus on people challenges facing organisations today and have a huge focus on digitisation and change management. We are learning all the time.
Last week saw I attended my second workshop session run by Geraldine Kelly who is a non-Executive Director at Bank of Ireland Mortgage Board. This round table strategy session uncovered many thought provoking insights. The table was a varied group of impressive women; Glenda Hahn who has a healthcare management platform, Jennifer Lawlor who helps families be organised through her beautiful products, Pamela Doyle co founder of Job Alert and Ellen Gunning director of The PR Training company. It is privilege to be in such company.
Looking forward to the inspiring days ahead with Áine, the ladies in my group and the learning!