The ACORNS pilot ran from September 2015 to April 2016. Forty-four early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland completed the pilot ACORNS programme. At the end of the cycle, all participants reported that participation in ACORNS was of value to their business.
- Eight businesses began to trade for the first time during the pilot.
- Of the 35 trading at the end of the cycle, 86% increased their combined sales by 43% during the pilot.
- 10 participants made export sales during the six months of the pilot, including five for the first time.
- Participants increased their total number of employees by 13%.
- The pilot participants expected to achieve significant further growth in sales, employment and in the number of exporters by the end of 2016.