Having fewer female entrepreneurs results in fewer ideas being realised, less innovation, less export potential and fewer jobs being created.
That is according to Enterprise Ireland (EI) in a tender where the agency has revealed that it is to spend €180,000 this year on a range of programmes aimed at increasing female entrepreneurship in high-potential start ups.
The tender said that by continuing to place a specific focus on female entrepreneurship and allocating resources to it, EI can accelerate the pace of change and Ireland can benefit sooner from the economic impact.
It said that long-established cultural and societal norms require continued focus and active intervention in order to bring about change more quickly.
The impact of putting a focus on female founders has been significant according to EI, resulting in an increase in the number of these startups by women from 7pc in 2011 to 22pc in 2018.
EI said that female entrepreneurs at all stages continue to face particular challenges in confidence, senior management experience, limited professional networks and additional pressures of family responsibilities.
The state agency selected Fitzsimons Consulting and the Rubicon Centre to submit a tailored work programme addressing the challenges to female entrepreneurship.