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New programme empowering women to THRIVE in STEM

08 September 2021

A new programme THRIVE from Regional Development Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, AIB and Local Enterprise Offices Louth, Cavan and Monaghan, has been introduced to support women launch STEM careers and businesses. The programme builds STEM capability, confidence and connections for female entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, non-STEM management or work returners. The THRIVE programme will bring participants through the NPD (new product development) process for new products and services within the pharma, tech, mechanical, electronic or food manufacturing sectors from idea to execution.

The programme is designed to support women bringing new products and services to market in the STEM sector. It will also support women in management in other sectors, or work returners, to pivot their existing skills and experience to enter management and leadership positions in STEM industries.

According to Athena STEM Project Manager, Lavina McGahon;

This programme will suit entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs within industry, who wish to take a product/service from an idea all the way through to market entry. If you have never brought a new product or service to market before and would like to demystify the process, for example, choosing a contract manufacturer, dealing with a supply chain, managing the dynamics of purchasing and shipping, as well as understanding compliance, industry standards and regulations, then this is the programme for you.

THRIVE will also appeal to women outside the STEM sector who see the growing opportunities and career potential in this sector with increasing diversity and gender balance in senior management teams. The programme can support those who bring their own management skills and experience and give them the technical overview to allow them to lead and manage in a STEM field with confidence.”

Speaking today, Head of Innovation & Business Development at DkIT, Aidan Browne said,

“This is a welcome and timely commitment by all the partners involved to address a significant market failure and career disparity for women in STEM focused businesses. The development of the THRIVE Programme under the ATHENA STEM Project recognises the role and contribution of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship to women’s economic empowerment, to economic growth, and to society in general in Ireland. Its multi-faceted suite of supports including: Thrive Innovate, Thrive Execute and the exciting Thrive Network, provide an important catalyst to addressing the challenges that exist.”


Aidan McKenna, Regional Director North East and North West Regions, Enterprise Ireland said 

ATHENA STEM has been supported by Enterprise Ireland through the Border Enterprise Development Fund which provides funding for innovation and collaborative projects with the aim of sustainable job creation in the regions. Congratulations to Dundalk Institute of Technology and all the stakeholders in this project on addressing the disparities in the number of women-led start-ups and women in middle and senior management roles in STEM-related industries. This project shines a light on the North East Region as an innovator in driving the participation of women entrepreneurs and business managers in STEM sectors.”

Further information on THRIVE: Contact / 085 8776318

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