ACORNS: Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups

Our Aim

The ACORNS programme has been designed to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland and runs over six months part-time. Based on a belief that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, the ACORNS initiative is centred around interactive round table sessions that are facilitated by female entrepreneurs, known as ‘Lead Entrepreneurs’, who have started and successfully grown businesses in rural Ireland.

Our Sponsors

ACORNS is funded under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. To read more about our sponsor, click here.


Call for Applications
The call for applications for ACORNS 9 is now CLOSED. If you are interested in participating in the next cycle,  you can register your interest here and you will be sent an application form when they become available (August 2024). If you would like to find out more about the initiative please feel free to contact us at, phone the office at 01 845 0770, download our brochure here or view the short video below. 

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for consideration, the entrepreneur (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 2021 or (ii) must be at an advanced stage of planning a new venture and have a clear idea of what she wants to achieve. 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.