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. Now in its 8th cycle, Going for Growth has supported over 400 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 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.

Paula Fitzsimons • Tel: +353 1 845 0770 • E-mail:

COLM O’GORMAN is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Dublin City University Business School. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth in new firms and in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Specifically he has studied the growth strategies of SMEs, the nature of managerial work in high growth SMEs, mission statements in SMEs, and internationalisation processes in International New Ventures, and in SMEs. He has explored the emergence of high-tech firms in the context of cluster dynamics, including a study of the factors that led to the rapid emergence of the software industry in Ireland during the 1990s. He has examined innovation processes in large firms.

Colm has published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, European Planning Studies, Journal of Small Business Management, International Marketing Review, Organisational Dynamics, R&D Management, Small Business Economics, and Venture Capital. He has completed several European Union funded research projects. He is co-author of ‘Enterprise in Action’, a text book on entrepreneurship for Irish students. He has co-authored eight teaching cases studies on entrepreneurship published by the European Case Clearing House, including several award winning cases.

Colm O’Gorman • Tel: +353 1 700 6941 • E-mail: