Friday, September 09, 2022


Joanne Browne of Jo Browne Ireland

CARLOW female entrepreneurs are urging others from the county to join the development initiative to support early-stage female entrepreneurs 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, TD.

ACORNS is funded under the department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund.

A total of 50 new entrepreneurs will be selected and the free initiative will run over six months from October to April 2023, with the deadline for applications at midnight on 23 September.

Past participants from Carlow include Joanne Browne of Jo Browne Ireland, a producer of luxury perfume, skincare and homewares products.

Jo Browne Ireland is stocked in Arnott’s, Brown Thomas and The Kilkenny Shop, as well as many independent retailers in Ireland and abroad.

Joanne paid tribute to the initiative’s impact: “ACORNS held me accountable and opened up my network. I found the collaboration with other participants particularly helpful,” she said.

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.

Based on a belief that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, ACORNS is centred on interactive round table sessions facilitated by successful female entrepreneurs who have started and grown businesses in rural Ireland. These are known as ACORNS lead entrepreneurs, and they give their time free of charge to encourage and support new business owners.

There is no charge for those participating in ACORNS. You can check out more information and register to receive an application form at 


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