Deadline nears for initiative aimed at helping female entrepreneurs

Fully-funded programme seeks to help rural-based businesses make it big

Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (Acorns) is a six-month part-time development programme focused on assisting over 50 female entrepreneurs from outside of the country’s biggest cities to make it big.

Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (Acorns) is a six-month part-time development programme focused on assisting over 50 female entrepreneurs from outside of the country’s biggest cities to make it big.

 

The deadline for applications for a new fully-funded initiative aimed at helping early-stage rural-based female entrepreneurs to build their business is fast approaching.

Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (Acorns) is a six-month part-time development programme focused on assisting over 50 female entrepreneurs from outside of the country’s biggest cities to make it big.

The programme is funded by the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (Cedra) and implemented by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

“The objective of Acorns is to equip these early stage entrepreneurs with the appropriate knowledge, confidence and networks to successfully start and develop sustainable businesses,” said Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting, the organisation which has developed the programme.

Collaborative

“The Acorns approach provides a safe, supportive, challenging, informative and highly collaborative environment where entrepreneurs help entrepreneurs, learn from each other, and benefit from positive peer pressure,” she said.

A pilot programme with 44 entrepreneurs ran last year during which time eight businesses began to trade, employee numbers at participating firms rose by 13 per cent, and a quarter of entrepreneurs made export sales.

Applicants for the scheme must have set up a new business no earlier than June 29th, 2014, or be actively planning a new venture.

Deadline for applications is Thursday 22nd September. Further details on the programme can be found at www.acorns.ie