Pictured (L. to R.) are Mary B Walsh, (Ire Wel Pallets), Triona MacGiolla Rí, (Aró Digital Strategy), Maeve Sheridan, (Western Herd Brewing), Anne Marie Feighery, (Feighery’s Farm Beetroot Juice), Dara Calleary, TD, (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine) and Aisling Kelly, (WB’s Coffee Shop + Sligo Oyster Experience). Pic. Michael Dillon



‘I am committed to supporting sustainable enterprise and entrepreneurial activity in rural areas, as this will underpin sustainable community development. I also wish to see the full economic potential of women harnessed. Against this background, I am delighted that my Department, through the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, will continue to support the ACORNS initiative. ACORNS provides valuable peer support to early stage female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland, who have recently started or are about to start a business. In the challenging circumstances that we find ourselves in, this support is needed now more than ever. I encourage nascent female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland to apply without delay’.Read the full press release here.

Dara Calleary TD
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine



This innovative programme is funded under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Its objective is to encourage a stronger level of enterprise development in rural areas by seeking out and assisting start-up female entrepreneurs living in rural areas to grow and develop their businesses. Following a competitive tendering process, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary TD has selected the ACORNS initiative developed by Fitzsimons Consulting as the most suitable to achieve the stated objectives. It is designed to unleash the potential of female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, who have recently started a business or who have taken concrete steps towards starting a business. The objective is to equip these early stage entrepreneurs with the appropriate knowledge, confidence and networks to successfully start and develop sustainable businesses.