Tralee-Based Businesswoman Encourages Women To Apply For ACORNS Programme

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Caroline McEnery

Caroline McEnery of the HR Suite.

A TRALEE-BASED entrepreneur is encouraging women to apply for a programme aimed at early stage rural based entrepreneurs.

Caroline McEnery of the HR Suite is one of six Lead Entrepreneurs for the ACORNS programme looking for 50 rural start-up female-led businesses.

ACORNS – Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups – is a programme is focused on unleashing the potential of female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland who have recently started a business or who have taken concrete steps towards setting up a business.

It is dedicated to seeking out and assisting up to 50 start-up female entrepreneurs living in rural areas as defined by CEDRA – the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas. These are all areas of the country outside the administrative city boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Caroline McEnery set up her business, The HR Suite, in response to the demand for an outsourced expert HR department being necessary and accessible for all companies who employ people. The company has been growing steadily over the last six years, employing eight full-time staff they now have over 200 clients throughout Ireland.

Applications are being sought for a new fully funded programme aimed at providing early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland with the knowledge, support and networking opportunities to advance the development of their businesses.

However, the deadline is fast approaching and anyone interested must submit their application before the September 11 deadline.

ACORNS is fully funded under the CEDRA 2015 Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, so there is no charge for successful participants.

To qualify for consideration, Applicants must have recently set up a new business (no earlier than the 9th of July 2013), which they either own or part-own.

Those who are not already trading must be actively planning a new venture and have a clear idea of what they want to achieve. If they are not already trading, activities such as organising the start-up team, looking for equipment / facilities, saving money for the start-up or writing the business plan would all be considered as active commitments to starting a business.

There is no restriction on the sector in which the new business is focused. However, the selection process is competitive.

The deadline for applications from interested candidates is Friday 11 September and the pilot programme will begin on the 30th September, at the ACORNS residential Development Forum in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Female entrepreneurs interested in applying for the ACORNS programme can access information and register their interest at Application forms will be sent to interested applicants immediately.

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