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CEDRA - Female Rural Entrepreneurs

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced a competitive public procurement procedure under the 2020 Rural Innovation and Development Fund for the provision of a Service for the Development and Delivery of a Programme for Nascent Rural Female Entrepreneurial Development seeking proposals from suitable, experienced service providers who have the capability and vision, to develop and implement a tailored work programme to address the skills, enterprise and capability gaps of rural nascent female entrepreneurs and takes into account the barriers which can limit entrepreneurial activity in rural areas.

A Request for Tender (RFT) was published on 6th May 2020 on the eTenders website and the Official Journal of the European Union (ID No. 169260) with a deadline for submission of tenders of 12 June 2020. The tenders were evaluated and the contract awarded to Fitzsimons Consulting who will run the ACORNS programme.

ACORNS (Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups) programme is designed to encourage a stronger level of enterprise development in rural areas targeted at emerging female entrepreneurs. It provides a tailored, focussed approach that takes into account the specific challenges which face female entrepreneurs generally as well as barriers which can limit entrepreneurial activity in rural areas.  The Acorns 6 programme runs from October 2020 until April 2021 and provides up to 50 entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support and networking opportunities to meet and exceed their aspirations.  Further information is available from