New cycle of ACORNS launched

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New cycle of ACORNS launched - a call for candidates for ACORNS has recently opened.

ACORNS is focused on early stage female entrepreneurs, whose businesses are located in rural Ireland.  The initiative is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


ACORNS is based on peer support in Lead Entrepreneur facilitated round tables. All the Lead Entrepreneurs have come from the Going for Growth Community and all have started and grown businesses themselves in rural Ireland.


If you are interested, please click on the website and an application form will be issued to you. The closing date for the receipt of completed applications is21st September.


Check the brochure for the latest cycle for further information. There is also a short video on the website homepage which explains the initiative in three minutes.


There is no charge for those selected.  The outcomes from previous cycles are very encouraging in terms of participants reporting increased confidence, motivation and enhanced networks, as well as increased revenues, employment created and new exporters.


To be  the eligible for participation on ACORNS 4 applicants must:

  • Have set up a new business which has generated sales no earlier than the 27th of June 2016; 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;
  • They must commit to attending the Launch Forum over two days in October 2018 (15th/16th); the ACORNS Community Forum on 8th and 9th April 2019; the monthly meetings from November 2018 to March 2019; and give the required personal commitment to advancing their business ideas over the six-month programme duration; and
  • They must expect to become an employer within three years.

All the round table sessions and events are held outside Dublin.   

As in previous years, the ACORNS team will work closely with the LEOs and their clients to bring added benefit to all.