Deputy Fergus O'Dowd with Minister Michael Creed.
They say that from small acorns grow mighty oaks and now local women with new businesses or well-developed business ideas are being urged by Deputy Fergus O’Dowd to apply for funding under the ACORNS programme.
ACORNS is an acronym for Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups which is the highly successful development initiative to support female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, who wish to start and develop new businesses or have recently started a business.
Deputy O’Dowd said: “There has been an increase in early-stage female entrepreneurs in Ireland over the past year. On average, 850 women are starting a new business every month in Ireland. The rate of nascent female entrepreneurs in Ireland is now ranked 5th across Europe.
“Over 200 female entrepreneurs have taken part in ACORNS to date and 50 new participants are being sought for ACORNS 5.
Advertisement - continue reading below
“The ACORNS programme is a tremendous opportunity for early stage female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland to help them realise their ambitions.
“I would urge those who have recently started or are about to start a new business to apply to participate in this exciting initiative, as it is an opportunity not to be missed.
“Each year, the participants give an overwhelming endorsement of the role ACORNS has played in supporting them to start and develop their businesses.
“I am delighted my Fine Gael colleague Minister Michael Creed is continuing to support this initiative through his Department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund.”
O’Dowd concluded: “The programme will run over six months from October 2019 to April 2020. The deadline for application for this year’s cycle is 20th September 2019.
“Any woman with a new business based in rural Ireland — or an idea for a new venture they want to get off the ground — can get more information and download an application form at www.acorns.ie. There is no charge for participation.”