The EMPOWER programme is a free initiative run by the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Innovation Hubs that aims to promote and fast-track female entrepreneurship. It is open to applicants from the counties of Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, and Donegal and is a strong source of economic growth for the region.

EMPOWER delivers two distinct programmes. START is designed for those with an idea who are seeking to validate their business concept while GROWTH is for established entrepreneurs wishing to scale and grow their business.

Funding for the EMPOWER I & II programmes was granted by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the European Social Fund Agency and an application will be made in 2023 for funding to advance a third cycle of this programme, EMPOWER III.

If you are interested in applying for a programme, please visit and register your interest.


Who is it for?

A group of 20 early-stage female-led businesses (with an early stage idea or in business less than 18 months).


12 week programme, delivered weekly online, with individual mentoring and networking opportunities.


To gain confidence, think creatively, go through the start-up process and develop pitch / business model. Networking will be encouraged and a start-up community will be created.

Examples of Topics:

Problem, Solution, Opportunity, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams. Areas such as Confidence, Leadership, Communication etc will also be developed during the Programme.

EMPOWER START Testimonials

The EMPOWER START Programme gave me the push necessary to confidently begin and believe in my journey as an entrepreneur. It prepared me to face the reality of the business world (pitching, marketing), helped me to envision the next steps for my company and connected me with the business world. You transformed people with ideas into real professionals. This was invaluable training and I am so grateful to have been a part of it! Thank you again.

Clémence Guiraut

Co-Founder, Coolin Soaps

The EMPOWER Programme has helped me acquire relevant skills to run my own business. The course instils the importance of group work and networking with team interactions applying principles of critical thinking, problem solving and sharing. The lecturers were engaging covering topics such as lean canvas, market research, financials, networking, funding sources and data protection. I have gained more confidence in my ability to structure my company and position it in the marketplace. Thank you to Maria Staunton our leader, motivator and friend.

Fran Best

CEO, Lissawell Coaching & Training

I found the EMPOWER START programme exactly that, empowering. The sense of support and the genuine will for participants to succeed in their businesses from all involved, the trainers, mentors and directors, was incredible. I feel prepared to take the next steps in my business, with the knowing that I have the skills and information needed to address any future challenges.

Lisa Gallagher

Founder & CEO, Be Yew - Elemental Energy and Sound Healing


I applied for EMPOWER GROWTH because I wanted to connect with likeminded women. Being a solo businesswoman is a lonely journey. I also wanted to understand how I could push my business idea. It’s been a wonderful journey on EMPOWER GROWTH. I’ve connected with some incredible women, I’ve met some new mentors and I’m growing my business. I would highly recommend applying for EMPOWER GROWTH if you, like me want to further your career and your journey.

Melissa Moore

Founder, The Retail Advisor

The EMPOWER programme helped me clarify my vision for growth and mapped the road towards achieving it. I am now getting ready to launch a new online PR service from my website. It’s a big innovation and it offers a great new way for small businesses to secure affordable, quality PR services. The support of the EMPOWER mentors, participants and webinars played an essential role in helping get me to this stage. EMPOWER gives you the focus, the tools and the confidence to grow. I highly recommend it.

Trish Hegarty

Director, Inis Communications

The reason why I applied for EMPOWER Her was I feel that being an entrepreneur especially a woman in business, can be quiet a lonely experience and what I’ve learned from the programme is having a network or a tribe of women behind you to discuss, chat or just have somebody to bounce ideas off is priceless. So would I recommend the EMPOWER her programme, 100%. It has been such an amazing, motivating, inspiring and empowering programme to be part of and I would highly recommend it.

Charlene Flanagan

Co-Founder, Ella & Jo Cosmetics


Who is it for?

A group of 12-14 female-led businesses who are in business  18 months + and are looking to scale and grow.


Delivered over 10 days, one day a month, on Saturdays including individual mentoring and networking opportunities.


To build a strong network of like-minded female CEOs in the West and North West of Ireland who are looking to scale and learn from experienced business people.

Examples of Topics:

Sales (online selling, branding, distribution), Risk Management, Investment, Innovation, Strategy, Team Building etc. Topics will be based on need assessments of the group.

Contact Us

EMPOWER Team, ATU iHub Mayo

telephone: +353 (0) 91 742850  |  email:

This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.