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STEM Programme For Female Entrepreneurs

The Rubicon Centre in Cork has launched a new programme for female entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors.

The Exxcel programme, which is due to begin in September, will be a flexible part-time programme that will run for six months and allow women in these sectors the opportunity to develop and progress their business idea while staying in the workforce.

Cork Institute of Technology, Rubicon Centre and Enterprise Ireland are the initial partners on the programme. 

Through the programme, potential entrepreneurs will be able to focus on driving their idea from concept to reality. This approach uses knowledge experts who will transfer their expertise and experience to participants primarily on a one-to-one basis.

The Exxcel programme will initially carry out a needs analysis on participants and will offer part-time, focused modular and mentoring learning experiences, as well as the opportunity to meet and share in the experiences of existing entrepreneurs.

The high level of one-to-one mentoring will be tailor-made to meet each individual's knowledge and experience gaps. It is hoped that on completion, participants will be in a position to move on to the next stage of their business development.

The Rubicon Centre has engaged a full-time resource to manage the programme, which will leverage the CIT ecosystem and other regional and national supports.

Exxcel programme manager Kathleen Fitton says: “I am delighted at the prospect of working on this programme. This will provide women with the opportunity to fulfil their true potential and enable them to set up their business and generate employment.”

The Rubicon Centre in CIT houses over 50 knowledge-based startups on 3,000 sq m and is one of the country's most successful innovation centres for high-potential startups. Set up in 2006, the centre has seen nearly 250 companies graduate from its programmes and go on to create more than 2,500 jobs.

The Rubicon Centre is now accepting applications from interested participants online at (September 2014)

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