Who qualifies for the programme?
ACORNS is designed for nascent female rural entrepreneurs. To qualify for consideration, a woman must have set up a new business within the last 2 years, 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. 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 defined as 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 for the first residential session on 23rd/34th October in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
How to apply?
Please register your interest on the website here in the first instance and you will be sent an application form by email. 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 has been extended to Wednesday 27 September 2017. No applications received after this date can be considered.
It is expected that there will be many more applicants than there are places available. Accordingly, it will be a competitive selection process. Preference will be given to those who expect to employ others over time. The ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs will be central to the selection of successful candidates. They will be seeking out those who are prepared to fully engage with the programme; demonstrate a determination to advance their fledging businesses; are prepared to work hard in pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals; and expect to become employers.