50 Early-Start Female Entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland sought for new ACORNS 7 Programme

The call for applications for the latest cycle of ACORNS, a highly-successful development initiative to support early-stage entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, is looking for 50 new female entrepreneurs to join the programme. The free initiative will run over six months from October 2021 to April 2022 with the deadline for applications midnight on September 10, 2021.

ACORNS, which is funded under the Department of Rural Innovation and Development Fund and the latest cycle, ACORNS 7 is for early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural areas of the country (anywhere outside the administrative city boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford).

Shannon Chamber would encourage female entrepreneurs in the Mid-West to consider joining this programme. Members of the ACORNS community from Co Clare include Maeve Sheridan, Western Herd Brewing, Caitriona Considine, Moher Cottage, Louise Egan, I-Spy, Denise Rocks, Little Green Growers and Bronagh O’Rourke, Burren Farm Experience.

Based on a belief that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, the ACORNS initiative is focused on interactive round table sessions that are facilitated by female entrepreneurs who have started and successfully grown businesses in rural Ireland. Working with a group of about eight participants each, the Lead Entrepreneurs will facilitate round table meetings, addressing enterprise challenges and supporting participants to consider how best to start, develop and position their businesses for sustainability and growth.

To be considered for ACORNS, applicants must:

  • Have set up a new business which has generated sales no earlier than the 1st January 2019; or be actively planning a new venture and have made good progress towards getting the new venture off the ground. Indicators of actively planning a business would include organising the start-up team, sourcing equipment / facilities, money saved for the start-up, writing the business plan, etc.
  • They must own or part-own the business which must be located in a rural area, that is in an area outside the administrative city boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
  • If selected, applicants must be available to attend the launch Forum and first round table session on 11th and 12th October,2021. It is hoped that this can take place in person, subject to prevailing circumstances and government guidelines.

Thanks to the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, through the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, there is no charge for those selected to participate in the programme.

If you are interested in participating in the programme,  you can register your interest here and you will be sent an application form as soon possible. If you would like to find out more about the initiative please feel free to contact info@acorns.ie, phone 01 845 0770, download the brochure here.

The deadline for submitting completed applications is 10th September.

ACORNS is funded under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


Pictured at the launch with Charlie McConalogue TD,  Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine,  are  (l-r) Larissa Feeney, Accountant Online and ACORNS Lead Entrepreneur, and ACORNS previous participants Joanne Butler, OURganic Gardens and Anna Carmody, Little RED Edu.

Photo: James Connolly