ACORNS scheme for ru­ral fe­male entreprene­urs

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

A num­ber of Wick­low’s fe­male en­ter­preneurs have par­tic­i­pated in a pro­gramme to help de­velop their fledg­ing busi­nesses.

ACORNS is a devel­op­ment ini­tia­tive to sup­port fe­male entreprene­urs liv­ing in ru­ral Ire­land, who wish to start and de­velop new busi­nesses or have re­cently started a busi­ness.

The Cool Food School and Love Mo Chuisle were par­tic­i­pants in the re­cent fourth round of the peer sup­port and learn­ing project.

Founded by Deirdre Doyle, the Cool Food School teaches chil­dren about the joys of healthy eat­ing. Deirdre com­pleted a BTEC in Nutri­tion and Health Coach­ing and an ITEC in diet and nutri­tion at the Ir­ish In­sti­tute of Nutri­tion and Health in 2016 and de­cided to com­bine this train­ing with her pas­sion for healthy eat­ing to have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on chil­dren of all ages. The Cool Food School brings the healthy mes­sage to chil­dren in preschools, pri­mary schools and li­braries through fun and in­ter­ac­tive work­shop

Anna Dob­son, founder of Ir­ish Tweed cloth­ing brand Love Mo Chuisle, re­cently ex­panded the brand to in­clude new Ir­ish gift stores, Tweed in the Valley in Avoca and Gorey in County Wex­ford.

Now, they are en­cour­ag­ing other fe­male busi­ness own­ers from the garden county to ap­ply for the fifth round of the ACORNS pro­gramme.

‘Par­tic­i­pat­ing in ACORNS has been a fan­tas­tic jour­ney. Meet­ing amaz­ing busi­ness women and hav­ing their sup­port has pushed me to fol­low my goals and suc­ceed,’ said Anna Dob­son of Love Mo Chuisle.

Over 200 fe­male entreprene­urs have taken part in ACORNS to date and 50 new par­tic­i­pants are be­ing sought for ACORNS. The pro­gramme will run over six months from Oc­to­ber 2019 to April 2020. The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is Septem­ber 20.

ACORNS is based on peer sup­port and collaborat­ive learn­ing. Each par­tic­i­pant will have the op­por­tu­nity to learn from suc­cess­ful fe­male entreprene­urs.

Act­ing in a vol­un­tary ca­pac­ity, these lead entreprene­urs will share their in­sights and ex­pe­ri­ence with the group and help the par­tic­i­pants to ad­dress the is­sues and chal­lenges they face in pro­gress­ing their busi­nesses. They also act as role mod­els for start­ing and grow­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness in ru­ral Ire­land.

The Lead Entreprene­urs are: Ali­son Ritchie, Po­lar Ice, Laois; Anne Cu­sack, Crit­i­cal Health­care, West­meath; Anne Reilly, Pay­check Plus, Louth; Caro­line McEn­ery, The HR Suite, Kerry, Deirdre McGlone, for­merly Har­vey’s Point Ho­tel, Done­gal; Eimer Han­non, Eimer Han­non Travel, Meath; Mary B. Walsh, Ire Wel Pal­lets, Wex­ford; Tri­ona MacGi­olla Rí, Aró Dig­i­tal Strate­gies, Gal­way.

The 46 par­tic­i­pants in the fourth round re­ported progress dur­ing the six-month pe­riod in­clud­ing in­creased turnover, ex­ports and job cre­ation. Past par­tic­i­pants also have the op­por­tu­nity to re­main con­nected to the sup­port net­work of busi­ness con­nec­tions.

Any woman with a new busi­ness based in ru­ral Ire­land can get more in­for­ma­tion at www.

Deirdre Doyle, The Cool Food School.

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