Local female entrepreneurs urged to join ACORNS

Ellen Fagan, Dimple Design, Roscommon and Annamarie McNally, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Pic Orla Murray Coalesce

Roscommon female entrepreneurs are urging others from the county to join the latest cycle of ACORNS – a highly successful development initiative to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland.

The call for applications for the latest cycle of the programme – ACORNS 8 – was launched earlier this month by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. ACORNS is funded under the Department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund.

Programme organisers are looking for female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland, who wish to start and develop new businesses or who have recently started a venture.

This is the eighth year of the ACORNS programme and over 350 female entrepreneurs have taken part to date and a significant proportion of these are still actively involved.

Past participants from Roscommon include Ellen Egan of Dimple Design.

Dimple Design is graphic design and creative services company. Founder Ellen Egan delivers creative branding solutions as well as personal illustrations for print and digital use.

Speaking about her experience, Ellen said: “It’s hard when you’re starting out in business. It can be very lonely and confusing. Having a network of like-minded people to go through the ups and downs with really made such a difference. Although our businesses are different, our problems were similar and it was great to be able to support one another when we needed it most. A win for a member of your ACORNS group is a win for us all and I can’t wait to watch us all flourish.

“Having a Lead Entrepreneur to look up to but also to ask you the difficult questions and guide you is invaluable. My confidence in myself and how I communicate my business has developed so much in six months and I have this wonderful programme and network to thank for it”.

There is no charge for those participating in ACORNS, thanks to the continuing support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the voluntary contribution of time by the Lead Entrepreneurs.