Training female entrepreneursLessons from the FEIW project

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253 - 260
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2009
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The purpose of this paper is to outline the authors' experiences of designing and implementing an enterprise development programme for female entrepreneurs. The programme targets those women who already have a business and wish to grow it further.

The paper describes the motivation for the programme and the range of issues which is encountered in its design and delivery. It concludes with a brief assessment of lessons learned.

In addition to the importance of design and focus, the experiences of the Female Entrepreneurship Ireland‐Wales (FEIW) project indicate the need for appropriate programme presentation and marketing; networking and mentoring aspects are also hightlighted.

Research limitations/implications
As this is a pilot project with flexibility to adapt to the needs of the participants, it is not possible to apply a robust evaluative framework, although such a framework will need to be developed in due course. That said, the qualitative data collected pre‐, during and post‐programme delivery offer valuable insights to the needs of female entrepreneurs; this learning may be incorporated into the design of future programmes.

Practical implications
The FEIW programme is essentially a pilot initiative and is delivered in only two regions. Thus, it is difficult to generalise findings.

As a case study, the experiences of the FEIW project contribute valuable empirical evidence regarding the design and implementation of an enterprise programme for female entrepreneurs.


  • Education and training, Entrepreneurialism, Entrepreneurs, Networking, Women