Based on the belief that entrepreneurs learn from each other, the ACORNS initiative is focused on interactive round table sessions that are facilitated, not by consultants, academics or professional trainers, but by female entrepreneurs who have started and successfully grown businesses in rural Ireland. They have the practical knowledge that comes from the direct experience of owning and managing a successful business in rural Ireland. They believe in the philosophy of entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs and are giving their time to assist on a voluntary basis. They are known as ACORNS Lead Entrepreneurs.
These voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the ACORNS initiative. They are not, and cannot be, experts in every area of business, but they have first-hand experience of the challenges of starting and growing a business. All are past participants of the Going for Growth programme and understand the benefits of peer learning through the round table approach. All seven are entrepreneurs with businesses based in rural Ireland. Working with a group of up to eight participants each, the Lead Entrepreneurs facilitate round table meetings, addressing enterprise challenges and supporting participants to consider how best to start, develop and position their businesses for sustainability and growth.