I am very appreciative of the opportunity to participate in ACORNS 6. I have met so many inspiring women in business and being part of a like-minded tribe is a truly powerful place to be. Thank you to all involved, your efforts are very much appreciated.
ACORNS is a wonderful support for businesswomen across Ireland. Even with Covid restrictions, small communities of female entrepreneurs are still able to support and help each other online. I was delighted to have had the chance to exchange ideas and information with a variety of female-led businesses in the West of Ireland and would recommend any female entrepreneur to apply for ACORNS. It is a safe place to get feedback and support.
Barbara Marin, Bright Days Media
The ACORNS 6 programme gave me the time and space in a structured and safe environment to concentrate on my business. It was almost as if I had my very own Board of Directors led by an exceptional Chairperson that I met with on a monthly basis. They challenged, guided, educated and supported me and my business. They made it fun and easy to make decisions about my business while at the same time I got a wonderful opportunity to learn from such wonderful female entrepreneurs with such diverse backgrounds.
ACORNS has provided me with access to a network of wonderful business women, who champion the sisterhood, encourage and support start-ups, share their experience and knowledge, and provide a safe, confidential space for us to express our concerns and fears. This network of women has been a powerful tool in my inventory.
It starts with an idea, and then it develops. The female entrepreneur needs support. I can’t express how magical, vital and practical the support I experienced as being part of ACORNS 6. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth trying to design your work pathway but being part of this programme definitely infused encouragement, stamina and motivation into my starting process.
ACORNS turned lots of ideas in my head into action. Action in an organized manner with a sense of gentle accountability each month. Hearing stories of other women really inspired me to just go for it, make it happen. I really appreciated this programme.
Carol Keenan, Carol Keenan Guidance
I would highly recommend ACORNS to anyone thinking about applying. It has been a wonderful, professional and confidential programme from start to finish. I have enjoyed every minute of it, gained confidence and made lifelong friends.
Being part of the ACORNS Community made a big difference to both me and my business. Attending monthly meetings with the support and expertise of the Lead Entrepreneur and my fellow ACORNS resulted in the growth of my business and myself. Having these ladies to be accountable to, receiving feedback and advice from them, and having the support from the whole community is priceless.
They say ‘once an ACORN, always an ACORN’ and I believe this to be true. I feel a strong sense of community from participating in the programme and am grateful for the continued support from not only my Lead Entrepreneur and group but the entire ACORNS family. It has been a tremendous honour to learn from and be inspired and guided by so many incredible women in business.
Eilise Sullivan, Anam Valley Farm
An entrepreneurs journey can be isolating – the ACORNS programme solves this problem and more! It creates a community of like-minded women, leadership and mentorship from business women that have walked in your shoes before, a mirror of self-reflection and accountability each month that inspires and uplifts! I am proud and energised to have taken part in the ACORNS 6 cycle and look forward to always being a member of this amazing and uplifting community of women in the future!
Emma Lynch, Quadrant 2 Medical
ACORNS is an excellent female entrepreneurial programme where we can be honest and open about our business highlights and low points. It is focused on growth and encouragement and I would recommend it to anyone at an early stage in their business. The mentoring from the Lead Entrepreneur was excellent.
Finola Fegan, Finca Skin Organics
ACORNS has been a huge step in the right direction for my business. Our round table sessions helped me to focus on all of the key areas of the business and how to further develop them. I would highly recommend the ACORNS programme to every business owner.
I thoroughly enjoyed my ACORNS experience. Meeting like-minded, driven and inspirational women on a monthly basis was such a joy. Being part of ACORNS gave me further confidence in my abilities, a sounding board to explore ideas and a confidential space to navigate my fears. I’d highly recommend it.
ACORNS has been such an amazing experience, the advice and support from the other ACORNS and from our Lead Entrepreneur has been hugely beneficial and allowed us to share our ideas and ultimately grow our businesses.
I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be part of this fantastic programme. The ACORNS structure has provided clarity around every aspect of my business. I met so many inspiring, intelligent women on this journey who have been pillars of support and encouragement. Having them to lean on through the process has been fantastic, and I know that we will be there for each other in the future. If you get the opportunity to be part of ACORNS, take it in both hands and run!
Being part of the ACORNS programme was a game changer for my business. We make an eco-friendly wedding app called Be Our Guest (www.beourguest.app) and this year has been challenging for us. ACORNS helped us to take a step back, strategize and really look at our revenue streams long term. The programme helped us to really see what our competitive advantages are and to focus our development, marketing and business strategy on these strengths. It also helped to set goals and targets and to work towards them. Being part of a group of female entrepreneurs was great from a personal perspective as well. Having your own business can be lonely and it is great to seek advice, share advice and meet other likeminded individuals.
A wonderful programme of support and networking for rural female entrepreneurs.
Louise McGrath, Deenamic
I’ve participated in many courses and ACORNS is one of the most practical, delivering both connections and doable changes to improve any type of business. It’s inspiring and heart-warming to see the innovative approaches nationwide. The Lead Entrepreneurs have a wealth of expertise and experience shared with grace and real honesty. They also instil a belief in yourself that you can start and run a successful business because they have – ‘If you can see it, you can be it’. I thoroughly recommend the programme and commend the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for their continuing support. I would love to see the rural women who were caught in long commutes being targeted to set up their businesses and benefit themselves and the local community. Thank you for all you do in the programme and managing to run it virtually. I’m delighted I had the structure and connections, especially during these interesting times!
Being part of ACORNS 6 has brought so much more than I expected. The support of the group was just fantastic. Being able to get open and honest positive feedback and a safe space to be vulnerable was such a joy. I now am proud to be an ACORN going forward and have the confidence to grow Naivilo better than I would have being alone.
When I started ACORNS, I didn’t really know what I needed, I just knew I needed support with my business and I needed a community. Through the ACORNS programme, I received all of that and more. This really is a business masterclass that every passionate and motivated entrepreneur should aim for. Since starting the programme, I have attained all of my goals and in almost half the time I thought it would take. Connecting with other entrepreneurs when you’re isolated in a rural part of the country is hard, especially through Covid. ACORNS managed the process online brilliantly. I really felt like I was in the room and I didn’t feel I missed out on anything, except for maybe a handshake and a hug. I feel honoured to have been selected for the programme. My business has developed in ways I didn’t even think of before I started and it’s thanks to the amazing support I had from our Lead Entrepreneur and the group of incredibly talented businesswomen I was lucky to meet. I feel part of a family and I will make it my business to stay in touch.
ACORNS kept me focused during the Covid pandemic. I had practical support during unpredictable times. I would highly recommend the ACORNS programme.
Thank you ACORNS! Being accepted into ACORNS feels like such an endorsement in itself, and your confidence just grows from there. Being in a network of inspiring women to learn from and be motivated by is the best thing ACORNS offers – but the practical advice, real business tools and ways to think about my company and growth more strategically were invaluable. Thank you to my group, our Lead Entrepreneur Triona and to Paula and all the ACORNS family.
Roisin Keown, The Brill Building
I was so pleased to be selected for the ACORNS 6 programme. Applying to these programmes can sometimes seem daunting and you wonder will you have the time with other business and family commitments. Looking back on the programme, this time was invaluable to my business vision, and taking the time to commit to the programme was worth every second. Sometimes juggling life and work stops us seeing or business strategy clearly as we are too caught up in the day to day. For me setting this time aside to listen to other female entrepreneurs talk through their businesses has been of great help to me. Our Lead Entrepreneur Larissa was a huge support. The programme allowed me to set clear SMART business goals which I achieved throughout the programme. These included securing two multinational clients to my portfolio and securing work overseas in the U.S., all throughout a global pandemic. Thank you, ACORNS! I look forward to a long lasting relationship in this programme with an incredible group of women.
Sarah Hoban, OHS Consulting
ACORNS 6 led me to be more strategically focussed and helped me to gain more confidence with driving our business forward rather than getting caught up in the general day to day work. It also made me realise that there’s a powerful community of like minded female led businesses in rural Ireland and that not everything needs to be in the cities to succeed!
ACORNS have helped me to drive my business forward. Sales have increased and I feel I have more control over my business. I have moved from working in my business to working on my business. This has been a real game changer for me.
ACORNS was extremely beneficial to me and my business in very challenging times. The comradery and support from my Lead Entrepreneur and fellow participants was exceptional. I am so looking forward to continuing my journey and thriving with ACORNS.
Participating in ACORNS was a very positive learning journey for my business and I would recommend it to any business women in rural Ireland.
Suraya Diaz, Dr.Suraya Diaz Ltd.