EMPOWER GROWTH 2021/2022 Applications are now open

The Empower Programme is a FREE Female Entrepreneurship Programme delivered by GMIT Innovation Hubs for Female Entrepreneurs in the West & North West of Ireland. GMIT Innovation Hubs have a successful track record in delivering entrepreneurship programmes across the region. EMPOWER delivers two different programmes: EMPOWER START and EMPOWER GROWTH.

EMPOWER I commenced in October 2017 with 34 females being selected onto cycle one and 30 being selected onto cycle two in October 2018. EMPOWER II commenced in July 2020. Twenty female entrepreneurs have completed the first cycle of the START Programme and there are currently thirteen female entrepreneurs on the first cycle of the GROWTH programme which is due to complete in May 2021.

Applications for the next EMPOWER GROWTH programme opened on March 8th 2021. The closing date for EMPOWER GROWTH applications is Friday, April 30th at 12 noon. This programme will commence in June 2021.

Applications for the next EMPOWER START Programme will reopen in Summer 2021.


Applications will reopen in Summer 2021

Who is it for?

A group of 20 early-stage female-led businesses (with an early stage idea or in business less than 18 months).


12 week programme, delivered weekly online, with individual mentoring and networking opportunities.


To gain confidence, think creatively, go through the start-up process and develop pitch / business model. Networking will be encouraged and a start-up community will be created.

Examples of Topics:

Problem, Solution, Opportunity, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams. Areas such as Confidence, Leadership, Communication etc will also be developed during the Programme.

EMPOWER START Testimonials

We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Empower 2017 Programme. The course was well organised and structured with informative and appropriate speakers and presenters each week but most of all we gained a lot of knowledge, insight and advice from our peers/participants on the course.

Emer Bourke & Siobhan Hennelly

Co-Founders, Food Fitness Fertility Ltd

The EMPOWER Programme has opened up a new network of people and supports which I could not have accessed myself but the best part was meeting Maria and all the participants who have been so encouraging, fun to meet and I look forward to seeing us all develop over the next two years.

Mary Finn


The Empower Programme reawakened the confidence in myself. It gave me a clearer vision in my business and great guidelines to follow in order to improve it From the programme you learn what others see and think about you and your business, it removes the wool from your eyes if you are willing to listen and learn.

Rachel Dubber


Applications are currently open

Who is it for?

A group of 12-14 female-led businesses who are in business  18 months + and are looking to scale and grow.


Delivered over 10 days, one day a month, on Saturdays including individual mentoring and networking opportunities.


To build a strong network of like-minded female CEOs in the West and North West of Ireland who are looking to scale and learn from experienced business people.

Examples of Topics:

Sales (online selling, branding, distribution), Risk Management, Investment, Innovation, Strategy, Team Building etc. Topics will be based on need assessments of the group.


I found the EMPOWER GROWTH programme to be a fantastic experience. Goal setting at each monthly meeting helped me to focus and made me accountable for my own progress. Speakers were interesting, relevant and inspiring and Maria, our co-ordinator, could not have been more helpful, creating connections for me to relevant people and businesses. It was also great to be in a group of like-minded ladies who were a source of inspiration, wisdom, encouragement and fun. Thanks Maria, Declan and all the ladies on EMPOWER GROWTH.

Niamh Ryle

Women in business in the West of Ireland may find themselves up against many barriers, but through the invaluable support of the programme Mentors and peers, EmpowerHer has provided me with the tools to overcome any challenge my business may face. Since commencing the Start programme, my business has already started to achieve traction within the market and I am excited about what the futures holds for Hawthorn Handmade Skincare.’

Elaine Kennedy

Hawthorn Skincare

The Empower Growth programme is a brilliant option for female entrepreneurs when growing their business. All the speakers were excellent and the information is invaluable, but the biggest benefit for me was the mentoring and networking provided by the group itself. It really helped to increase my confidence in myself as a businesswoman and in my product. We’ve created a lasting relationship and I believe we will continue to provide help and support to each other beyond the programme into the future.

Mary Corrigan

Noo Chocolates

Contact Us

Sandra Divilly Nolan, EMPOWER Programme Manager, GMIT iHub Mayo

telephone: +353 (0) 91 742850  |  email: EMPOWER@gmit.ie


This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.