From 2013 to 2017, participants on women entrepreneurship programmes sponsored by Enterprise Ireland were asked about their opinions of existing peer support schemes. 109 qualified women entrepreneurs who took part in the programmes were surveyed during the four-year period.
The research found that the vast majority of participants on these programmes deemed peer support – where people in similar positions share knowledge or experience, and provide emotional, social or practical help to each other – to be either very or extremely important to their venture.
The study also interviewed domain experts who identified the need to promote awareness of the benefits and understanding of the value of a peer support network at key stages of venture development.
Fullen explained how her work with female founders at NDRC influenced the study: “I could see the central role that peer support played in their venture development, and I wanted to get a better understanding of the impact of peer support on a national scale.”