Helping hand for rural female entrepreneurs

Applications are now being sought for a new programme offering early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland the knowledge, support and networking opportunities to advance their businesses.

Entitled ACORNS — Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups — the programme is focused on unleashing the potential of female entrepreneurs who have recently started a business or taken concrete steps towards starting.

ACORNS seeks to assist up to 50 start-up female entrepreneurs living outside the city boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

It is free for successful participants, thanks to full funding by the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) 2015 Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Costs for residential elements of the programme are also covered.

Applicants must have set up a new business no earlier than July 9, 2013, which they own or part-own. Those not already trading must be actively planning a new venture (organising the team, looking for equipment/ facilities, saving money, or writing the business plan).

The selection process is competitive (see www.acorns.ie ). The deadline for completed applications is Friday, September 11, 2015, and the pilot programme will begin on September 30, at the ACORNS residential development forum in Portlaoise.


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