Rural female entrepreneurs funding initiative seeks applications

Business, Finance | Tue 25 Aug | Author – Business & Finance
Acorns lead entrepreneurs
Pictured (L-R): Acorns lead entrepreneurs Mary B Walsh (Ire Wel Pallets), Alison Ritchie (Polar Ice) and Deirdre McGlone (Harvey’s Point)

Acorns is a new start-up programme aimed at funding early-stage female entrepreneurs in rural areas of Ireland.

The programme is funded under the CEDRA 2015 Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Up to 50 female entrepreneurs living in rural areas, as defined by CEDRA, will benefit from the scheme.

There is no charge for those selected to participate and to qualify for consideration, a woman must have recently set up a new business (no earlier than July 9th 2013) which she owns or part owns, or must be actively planning a new venture and have a clear idea of what she wants to achieve.

Lead entrepreneurs will be seeking out those who are prepared to fully engage with the programme who can demonstrate a determination to advance their fledging businesses and are prepared to work hard in pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals.

The deadline for applications from interested candidates is September 11th and the pilot programme will begin on September 30th at the Acorns residential Development Forum in Portlaoise.

The initiative was developed by Fitzsimons Consulting. Founder Paula Fitzsimons said: “I believe that significant untapped entrepreneurial potential exists among women in rural Ireland and 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.

“Working with the team of volunteer lead entrepreneurs and with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and CEDRA, I am convinced that we can harness that potential for the good of the individuals concerned, their local communities and the wider economy.”

For more information on how to apply for the Acorns initiative, visit the website.