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06 Oct 2022

Leitrim female entrepreneur urges others to apply for programme to support new rural businesses

Leitrim female entrepreneur urges others to apply for programme to support new rural businesses

Helena Golden of of Willow Woman and Annamarie McNally

A Leitrim female entrepreneur is urging others from the county to join the latest cycle of ACORNS – a highly-successful development initiative to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland. 

The call for applications for the latest cycle of the programme — ACORNS 8— was launched earlier this month by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.  ACORNS is funded under the Department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund. 

Programme organisers are looking for female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, who wish to start and develop new businesses or who have recently started a venture.   A total of 50 new entrepreneurs will be selected and the free initiative will run over six months from October 2022 to April 2023 with the deadline for applications midnight on September 23, 2022.

More than 350 female entrepreneurs have taken part to date and a significant proportion of these are still actively involved. Past participants from Leitrim include Helena Golden of Willow Woman, a company providing basket weaving courses and workshops in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Helena was a participant on ACORNS 7.

Helena says:  “ACORNS provided me with a supportive and safe networking environment where I learned from others who were at a similar stage in business and I made many new and beneficial contacts.” 

Based on a belief that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, ACORNS is centred on interactive round table sessions facilitated by successful female entrepreneurs who have started and grown businesses in rural Ireland. These are known as ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs, and they give their time free of charge to encourage and support the new business owners.

There is no charge for those participating in ACORNS, thanks to the continuing support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the voluntary contribution of time by the Lead Entrepreneurs.

This year’s voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs are Anne Reilly, Paycheck Plus; Caroline Reidy, The HR Suite; Deirdre McGlone, Hospitality & Tourism Advisor; Eimer Hannon, Hannon Travel; Larissa Feeney, Accountant Online; Mary B Walsh, Ire Wel Pallets; Triona MacGiolla Rí, Aró Digital Strategies. 

Any woman with a new business based in rural Ireland — or a well-developed idea for a new venture they want to get off the ground — can get more information and register to receive an application form at www.acorns.ie .  There is no charge for participation. 

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