Being a participant on ACORNS, I had the opportunity to be guided by and work with a wonderful group of women. I was supported over the last six months to develop and promote my business based on my own ideas for it. As a result, my confidence in business has grown, I have a network of business peers and my business has developed and is in process of more growth. Thank you very much to all at ACORNS for an opportunity which I feel has accelerated my path to success.
Aisling Brennan, True Self, True Art
I found my time as an ACORN invaluable. To have the support and input of other ladies going through the same challenges as I was and two amazing Lead Entrepreneurs that calmly and unbiasedly looked at our business and what we had planned and discussed plans for going forward – baby steps. My other ACORNS also gave me lots of input to help me look forward and give me ideas on how I could reach my goals. Being a sole trader can be incredibly lonely and you second guess yourself a lot. Having others as part of your team, to bounce ideas off and to ask for suggestions, was brilliant. Do it, it is great!
Andrea Keenan, The Foot Care Centre
The ACORNS programme has been a truly rewarding experience for me on my entrepreneurial journey to date. To meet such a group of supportive, focused and positive women was truly inspiring and incredibly motivating alongside the wealth of knowledge and vast experience offered up by our Lead Entrepreneur. I am very grateful to the ACORNS Network and proud to be a part of it.
Anne-Marie Feighery, Feighery’s Farm
ACORNS provided me with so much motivation and encouraged me to push the boundaries and try different avenues that I never would have without their mentoring and general group advice. It also really made me accountable for various things I said I would ‘like’ to do and I was made put a timeline on them. I would still be talking about doing them if I wasn’t part of this powerful female group. I would recommend anyone out there working as an entrepreneur to grab the opportunity to work with the ACORNS group. It was nothing but a very positive productive move for me and my small business.
Brenda Ward, AcuWellness
I found the ACORNS programme hugely beneficial to me in giving me the focus, drive and confidence to accelerate the growth of my start-up business venture. Along my ACORNS journey I forged new friendships and met many inspiring women. Overall, it was an extremely positive experience and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to participate.
Ciara Morris, Tykillen Farm Honey
ACORNS has been monumental in growing my business and achieving my goals. The ACORNS programme and its network have given me the confidence, tools and resources to grow my business.
Clare Tully, Jackonary
ACORNS is that support group you dream about being a part of come true. Like minded, business focused women who are there to support you and give you the advice that you need. I would recommend it to any female entrepreneur who feels slightly lost and looking for clarity…this is the place you’ll find your voice and get a clear vision of what you set out to achieve with your business.
Eimear Reynolds, Bakealicious
ACORNS has been an extremely positive experience for me over the past 6 months. The guidance and support shown by my Lead Entrepreneur has been of the highest quality. I have made wonderful friends with the other like-minded women from whom I learnt a great deal. They have given me unlimited support and comfort through the unavoidable challenges I have encountered. ACORNS has been a professional outfit from the start, from Paula, the Lead Entrepreneurs and all involved in organising the programme I cannot thank you enough.
Elizabeth Maree, Midlands Fertility Clinic
I participated on ACORNS 5, joining the programme when my business Green Outlook was seven months old. I benefited greatly from meeting fellow like-minded entrepreneurs, hearing their personal highs and lows, and acknowledging that I was not alone as a female start up business. Green Outlook continued to grow over the programme, and I was supported with a monthly meeting where we each took time to work on our businesses. I’m delighted to now be a part of a Community of inspiring businesswomen. I would encourage any female led start up to join the ACORNS community
Fiona Smiddy, Green Outlook
I loved my ACORNS experience. Being able to have the freedom to talk about my venture within a group of like-minded people without feeling I had to play it down was hugely beneficial to me. They encouraged me to think big!
Helen Finn, Tokenator
I would highly recommend any entrepreneur to invest in the ACORNS Programme. It was perfect for me as a newly established operator to help me scale and grow my business. The timing was so right as I was really at a crossroads as to which direction to take but my Lead Entrepreneur guided me with experience and confidence. She believed in my potential and brought the best out of me. It was also so beneficial and inspiring to work alongside another group of entrepreneurs and budding business ladies who all supported and helped one another. Thank you so much Paula, Mary and all involved in ACORNS ; it’s a much valued experience that will be benefiting us all for years to come.
Irene Treacy, Smovey Health
I found my ACORNS journey to be extremely positive. From the minute I signed up, the support and communication was excellent. I felt I belonged and was very proud to be involved. Becoming an ACORN helped me within my own community and made me stand out as a female business owner. The journey helped me grow confidence in myself as a woman in business and in turn helped me grow my business and take it to the next level and beyond. I would encourage anyone thinking of applying to ACORNS to take it as an amazing opportunity and one you won’t regret. With the help of ACORNS, my mentor and my team, I have achieved the goal of stepping out of my comfort zone and into a whole new world of female entrepreneurship. I am so proud to be part of the ACORNS family.
Joanne Butler, OURganic Gardens
ACORNS has been a program I have enjoyed immensely and achieved so much from it. I have met my tribe! To meet so many other ambitious female entrepreneurs has been such a huge benefit to me. I am ambitious for my business and it has been fantastic being around other women who are also ambitious for their business too! I couldn’t speak highly enough of ACORNS and recommend it to others.
Laura Bourke, Aspire Recruitment
If you are afforded the opportunity to participate in an ACORNS cycle, grab it with both hands. You won’t regret one moment of it.
Lucy Bracken, Leafy Greens Café
The support is unreal. The realisation that there are many people similar to you doing something some people think is unattainable is just inspiring and motivating. Extremely sound and unbiased advice.
Máire Griffin, OrganiGo
ACORNS has benefited She Means Business hugely, and I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this amazing programme. The framework has provided clarity over the services offered, which has helped me to grow my business, as well as boost my confidence and enjoyment of life in business. My group, led by our Lead Entrepreneur provided a network of like-minded businesswomen (the board I can’t yet afford), and they have been a pillar of support throughout the start-up phase, which just happened to overlap with the pandemic. Without this invaluable peer to peer support, it could have proved very difficult to continue in business in the current climate, but thankfully, She Means Business is still going strong and looking forward to the future.
Marion Kane, She Means Business
The ACORNS initiative is a fantastic community to be a part of for women at any stage of their business start-up. I am grateful to have met so many wonderful, inspiring women, and to learn from them even when our businesses are completely different. I couldn’t recommend the programme enough. The best part is, that when the programme is over, it’s not really over, because now you have an amazing network of people to be a part of and to turn to when you need.
Mary-Thea Brosnan, Kerry Kefir
I was absolutely bowled over by the women in ACORNS 5. Amazing, resourceful, strong, intelligent women. I was in awe!!!
Mary O’Donovan, Everun Ireland
If I were to sum up the ACORNS programme in one word it would be ‘trust’. Trust is crucial if you want to get as much as possible out of any programme. The ACORNS community is very trustworthy and supportive. It has given me the opportunity to bounce ideas off the other participants and helped me to learn and grow. I would recommend ACORNS to any woman starting a business – you have nothing to lose but so much to gain.
Nora Irwin, ARONA
I really wanted to get on the ACORNS programme as I had heard great things. I got an amazing bunch of girls who I will most certainly keep in contact with after the programme finishes. We all helped each other and motivated each other so much. At our meetings we would discuss how our business was going and having fresh eyes and ears meant we all saw potential ideas for each other to expand on. I would highly recommend ACORNS as it has positively impacted my business. Thank you all for this highly professional and well organised programme.
Sarah-Jane Foster, SJF Productions
ACORNS is amazing! Such a great support for rural women entrepreneurs. We gained fantastic wisdom from the incredible Lead Entrepreneurs. It’s been fabulous to bond with other women business owners in my group and connect to the wider ACORNS community. A brilliant programme. Well organised and wonderful.
Sharon Johnson, Boss Level Leadership
ACORNS is a wonderful community for women starting in business. It really took me out of my day to day stresses and gave me a clearer direction of where my business needed to go. The roundtable sessions gave me the courage and skills I needed to bring my wonderful team along with me. I’m extremely grateful to Paula, Deirdre and my lovely Donegal ACORNS for all of the advice and opportunities over the last few months.
Sinead Fox, The Salty Fox Coffee Shop
I would highly recommend joining the ACORNS programme. The Lead Entrepreneurs are experts in their fields are so supportive in every way. I found it very comforting being able to meet with like-minded businesswomen each month and discuss and find solution to similar problems that we faced.
Sue Glackin, Donegal Food Tours