Visa has doubled the funding offered under its 'She's Next' grant programme, which aims to support female business owners.

Five grants of €10,000 each will be given to women entrepreneurs to run, fund and grow their business.

The programme, which is now in its second year here, also provides one year of coaching to the grant recipients, which is provided by IFundWomen, a funding marketplace for women-owned businesses.

Applications are now open until 16 August on the IFundWomen website.

"Women who own and manage businesses face a unique set of challenges including access to capital and peer networks," said Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Visa.

"That's why we’re excited to help make a difference to women business-owners across Ireland today through the second She’s Next Grant programme."

Research carried out by Visa shows that women are less confident than men in growing their business.

Just 38% of Irish women surveyed said they believe they have the necessary skills to start a business compared to 58% of men.

For those that have started their own venture, the research shows that this disparity in confidence remains.

43% of women business owners surveyed said they were very confident in evolving their business compared to 65% of men.

Aine McGurk, founder of children's clothing brand, Dainty Bear received one of last year's grants and took part in the coaching programme.

She said the coaching was invaluable in raising her confidence.