Here at Fitzsimons Consulting we are dedicated to making a difference through our focus on the areas of entrepreneurship and growth. Equally at home with entrepreneurs, policy makers, development agencies, and academics, Paula Fitzsimons and her team provide a bridge connecting all four through consultancy assignments, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research, and the development and management of highly innovative initiatives such as Going for Growth, ACORNS and Senior Enterprise, which have been recognised for their excellence.



Going for Growth features in latest publication from OECD and European Commission – 25th May 2016
As part of their joint work on inclusive entrepreneurship, the OECD and European Commission have published Inclusive Business Creation – Good Practice Compendium. The report features 20 programmes from across Europe that support business creation by people from under-represented groups, including women.  Going for Growth is featured from Ireland. Click here to read.

Going for Growth featured on the European Commission blog
On Friday 6th May, Going for Growth was featured on the European Commission blog in connection with the winning of the European Enterprise Promotion Award last November.



Pilot programme now completed

The pilot of the ACORNS programme has now been completed. The final event was a residential Forum held on the 4th/5th April 2016 in Portlaoise. Participants who successful completed the programme were presented with certificates by Ann Derwin, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs, Anne Reilly (Paycheck Plus), Caroline McEnery (The HR Suite) and Anne Cusack (Critical Healthcare)ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs, Anne Reilly (Paycheck Plus), Caroline McEnery (The HR Suite) and Anne Cusack (Critical Healthcare) pictured at the Residential Forum, April 2016.


Going for Growth featured on Euronews Business Planet

Paula Fitzsimons, Director, Going for Growth features with Volunteer Lead Entrepreneur, Caroline Keeling, of Keelings Fruit and Participant, Isolde Johnson of the Cool Bean Company.

In this edition of Business Planet (March 2016), host Giacomo Segantini visited Dublin to meet Paula Fitzsimons, a woman at the heart of female entrepreneurship initiatives in Ireland. Going for Growth, which is funded by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, is based around peer-led roundtable sessions. Each roundtable is hosted by an experienced business leader, known as a ‘Lead Entrepreneur.’

Click here for more.

8th Cycle of Going for Growth Launched
On Thursday 21st January 2016, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched a new cycle of the Going for Growth Initiative at the Marker Hotel, Dublin.

Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, the award winning programme will support 95 female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses over the next six months. Drawn from across Ireland, between them these ambitious women entrepreneurs already have annual sales of €58 Million, 1,060 employees and 43% are currently exporting. The participants aim to significantly increase their turnover and expect to make considerable additional economic impact in terms of jobs creation and export sales over the next few years.


From left to right: Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland (Going for Growth Sponsor), Olivia Lynch, Tax Partner, KPMG (Going for Growth Sponsor), Richard Bruton TD, Cora Murphy, The Care Team (Past participant), Heather Reynolds, Eishtec (Lead Entrepreneur)

Going for Growth wins European Enterprise Award
Going for Growth was announced as the winner of the Investing In Entrepreneurial Skills category at the European Enterprise Promotion Award 2015. The awards took place in Luxembourg on the 19th November 2015.



New initiative supporting early stage female entrepreneurs

ACORNS is focused on unleashing the potential of female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland who have recently started a business or who have taken concrete steps towards setting up a business.

As the programme was fully funded under the CEDRA 2015 Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, there was no charge for the 48 successful participants. ACORNS began on the 30th September, at a residential Development Forum in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.


Paula Fitzsimons, Director, ACORNS, Minister for Rural Affairs, Ann Phelan TD & ACORNS Lead Entrepreneur, Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath

2014 GEM Report launched

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for Ireland 2014 was launched by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD on Wednesday, 2nd of September 2015.

Enterprise Ireland, supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, sponsored the publication of the GEM report for Ireland 2014, which was authored by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting and Dr Colm O’Gorman Professor of Entrepreneurship, DCU Business School.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Starting Strong: End of Cycle Celebration

The 2015 Starting Strong programme was successfully completed on the 8th July with a Celebratory Event in the Conrad Hotel, Dublin. The event recognised the significant progress made by the 21 Starting Strong participants who completed the cycle. Click here for more.

Participants with Paula

From left to right: Jennie McGinn (Opsh), Ollwyn Moran (Creeper Crawlers), Elaine Lavery (Improper Butter), Paula Fitzsimons (Director, Going for Growth), Melissa Curry (Melissa Curry Jewellery) and Bernice Moran (The Be Sweet Company).

Networking Event with Overseas Managers, Bord Bia

In June 2015, Paula spoke on the value of networking to a group of overseas Managers from Bord Bia in Dublin.

Forum on Female Entrepreneurship

Paula Fitzsimons presented on “How Entrepreneurial are Women in Ireland?” at the Forum on Female Entrepreneurship, in Thurles on Wed 22nd April 2015. The event was organised by the Tipperary Local Enterprise Office. Click here for more.


From left to right: Rachel Doyle (Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven), Paula Fitzsimons (Going for Growth), Veronica Molloy (Crossogue Preserves), Majella Ryan (Ivowen Limited), Jean O’Sullivan (Enterprise Ireland) and Sinead Carr (Tipperary County Council).