ACORNS 8 – Calls for applicants now open

Early-stage female entrepreneurs, living in rural Ireland, are invited to apply for a place on the ACORNS programme, now in its eighth year. The intention is to provide up to 50 entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support and networking opportunities that will help them to meet and even exceed their current aspirations.

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 end June 2019 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.

(iii) 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.

The programme will run from October 2022 to April 2023. 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.

How to Apply

Please register your interest on the website in the first instance and you will be sent an application link by email. Closing date for receipt of completed applications is the 23rd September 2022.

If you would like to find out more about the initiative or have any questions about ACORNS, please feel free to contact us at or phone the office at 01 8450770.

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 any residential elements of the initiative, will be covered.

Read the Full Programme Brochure.

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