The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has launched the latest cycle of ACORNS, the female entrepreneurship development initiative, calling for applicants.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for rural-based female entrepreneurs and I urge them to apply to participate in this exciting initiative,” Minister Creed said.
“Each year, the participants give an overwhelming endorsement of the role ACORNS has played in supporting them to grow their business. Once again, female entrepreneurs have the opportunity to avail of ACORNS and all that it has to offer to help them realise their ambitions.”
Entering its fourth cycle, the ACORNS programme (Accelerating the Creation of Rural Nascent Start-ups) is focussed on developing the potential of female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, who wish to start and develop new businesses or have recently started a business.
The programme runs over six months, from October 2018 to April 2019, and the deadline for application is 21 September.
The programme is based on peer support and collaborative learning, with participants working in interactive roundtable sessions facilitated by successful female entrepreneurs.
“The female entrepreneurs that I have met on previous cycles of ACORNS have shown tremendous commitment and drive. This programme is about helping such women to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions,” said Paula Fitzsimons, founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting.
“I am delighted that this opportunity is being offered once again to other female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland. The support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the contribution of the voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs is greatly welcomed and is critical to making this happen.”
Over 150 female entrepreneurs have taken part in ACORNS to date. Many report increased sales, exports, and job creation.
Participants reported an increase in annualised sales of 97% over the six months of the cycle and nine of which became exporters for the first time.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.