Paula Fitzsimons is the founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting, which specialises in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth. A recognised expert on entrepreneurship, Paula has been the national coordinator for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for Ireland since 2000.
Recognising that fewer women start new businesses and of those that start fewer have significant growth ambitions than do men, Paula Fitzsimons designed and developed Going for Growth.Going for Growth is focused on peer support as a means of assisting women entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses. The Going for Growth initiative is funded by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG (www.goingforgrowth.com)
With the 8th cycle recently completed, Going for Growth has supported over 450 women entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions and measures its success in terms of the participants’ increased turnover, additional employment created and the number of new exporters.
Going for Growth has been recognised separately by the EU, OECD, and European Institute of Gender Equality. The European Enterprise Promotion Award 2015, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, was presented to Fitzsimons Consulting in recognition of the achievements of the initiative.
Paula developed a new initiative ACORNS, aimed at supporting early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland. That pilot initiative was sponsored by CEDRA through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and has recently been successfully completed.
Paula is a judge on a voluntary capacity in several national entrepreneurship awards and has been an expert on entrepreneurship for the OECD LEED and EU Commission for a number of years.