Call for Applications

Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (ACORN) Programme 2018 for Early stage female entrepreneurs in Ireland

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Application Deadline: 21st September 2018

Early stage female entrepreneurs, living in rural Ireland, are invited to apply for a place on the ACORNS programme,
now in its fourth year. The intention is to provide up to 50 entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support and networking opportunities to meet and even exceed their current aspirations. The programme will run from October 2018 until April 2019.
Selected participants will be those who, on a competitive basis, best demonstrate their potential to advance their businesses and
their commitment to fully engage in the initiative.
This innovative programme is funded through the Rural Innovation and Development Fund by the Department of
Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). Thanks to this funding, there will be no charge for those selected to participate
in ACORNS and their accommodation costs associated with the residential elements of the initiative will be covered.


  • ACORNS is designed for nascent female rural entrepreneurs.
  • To qualify for consideration, a woman (i) must have recently set up a new business which she owns or part owns, and which has generated sales no earlier than 27th June 2016 or (ii) must be at an advanced stage of planning a new venture and have a clear idea of what she wants to achieve. If she is not already trading, activities such as organising the start-up team, looking for equipment/facilities, saving money for the start-up, or writing a business plan would all be considered as active commitments to starting a business.
  • She must also be living in a rural area. These are all areas of the country outside the administrative city boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
  • There is no restriction on the sector in which the new business is focused. Favourable consideration will be given to those who expect to grow their business and to employ others over the next three years.
  • If selected, applicants must be available to attend the first residential session on 15th October/16th October 2018 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
  • Please register your interest on the website in the first instance and you will be sent an application form by email.
  • Complete the application on your system and return it to us by email attachment.
  • Application forms can also be sent and received by post. Please contact us on 01 845 0770, if you would like a form posted to you or if you have any difficulties in registering online.
  • Closing date for receipt of completed applications is the 21st September 2018. No applications received after this date can be considered

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (ACORN) Programme 2018

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