A soda bread bakery and café located in the heart of Limerick city has won the coveted She’s Next Grant Programme
Lord knows, the local businesses of Ireland will need a lot of help over the coming months, as inflation rises, electrical bills soar and belts tighten. One business in Limerick city will feel a little bit of respite from the bills, as she was recently announced the winner of the She’s Next Grant Programme.
Sodalicious, which is owned and run by Jane Conlon, was named as one of the five female business owners who took home a variety of prizes:
Micro business: Siobhan McKenna, Moss and Cable, Donegal
Early-stage business: Fiona Fahy, Feed Me Mother, Waterford
Sustainability: Ellen Ryall, ReFunk Upcycling, Dublin
Innovation: Maria Hall, Hub Planning Ltd, Sligo
Conlon will receive a grant of €10,000 and one year of business coaching through IFundWomen, a funding platform for women entrepreneurs, to support, grow and expand their businesses.
Speaking of the win Conlon said, "this is such a huge boost for all our staff in Sodalicious and a big stepping stone in bringing our business to the next level."
The entries to this year's competition were up by more than 60% with over 350 applications received following the campaign’s successful debut in 2021, which was launched as an extension of Visa’s global She’s Next Grant programme. This year saw Visa double the funding as the company continues its mission to address the unique set of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.
"The quality of entries received this year has been truly incredible and it is encouraging to see so many extremely talented female business owners in Ireland," said Mandy Lamb, Managing Director of Visa’s global She’s Next Grant UK & Ireland programme. “We know that many women businesses still need support, which is why we’re delighted to be able to offer five worthy winners an even bigger grant this year, on top of the coaching offered by IFundWomen. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners – it’s fantastic to be able to make a difference to their businesses and we look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength,” she added.
While Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO at IFundWomen said, “it’s really encouraging to see the increase in applications this year for the second She’s Next programme in Ireland.
Globally, female entrepreneurship is growing, with 153 million women operating established businesses. Studies show that women are more apt to launch a business than men 47% to 44%, according to earthweb.com.