• Deirdre’s Diary

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Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

(American Proverb)

ACORNS Accelerating the Creation of Rural Nascent Start-ups is an exciting new opportunity to develop the potential of female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland who have recently started a business or have taken concrete steps towards setting up a business. This innovative programme is funded under the CEDRA Rural Innovation and Development Fund through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and will run from October 2016 until April 2017.

Having completed the ‘Going for Growth’ initiative, – the brainchild of Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting, which was based on the idea of ‘entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs’, I was delighted when Paula approached me to be a Lead Volunteer in the ACORNS Pilot programme last year. So I went from being mentored to being a mentor. A daunting enough transition, but one that has been richly rewarding. My role as Lead is to facilitate round-table meetings over a six-month period at which the participants share their stories and experiences and the group acts as an advisory board to assist each other. I am proud to be in a position to help women in business develop their new business ideas. I understand the challenges (and opportunities) that exist when building a business outside the main urban areas. Twenty-seven years of developing Harvey’s Point in the hills of Donegal has taught me so much.


Acorns Forum Launch

The ACORNS 2 Residential Forum, held recently held in Mullingar, was organized by Paula and her team and it was an intensive but inspiring event. We were joined by the forty three enterprising ladies who completed the pilot programme. It was incredible to hear their stories of success during the past year. Sales were up, jobs were created and there is no doubt that this has had a positive impact on the local and wider economy. During the time we worked together on the round- table sessions last year, there was laughter, there were tears and above all, there was a great sense of community, collaboration and friendship amongst the participants.

Thanks to additional government funding, fifty-seven early stage female entrepreneurs, living in rural Ireland, have been selected to participate in ACORNS 2. The Residential Forum gave everyone an opportunity to meet and introduce their business to the group. There were topic-based workshops on Strategy, Finance and Website Development. There was a high level of engagement and dynamic energy in the conference room as discussions took place. Looking around, I could only marvel at the level of talent, skills and expertise in the group. What amazed me most was the level of interaction during the networking sessions. Women helping women, offering contacts, advice etc.

The participants are at various stages of start-up. Some have their ‘office’ at home on the kitchen table, some are juggling domestic and or motherly duties with fine tuning the perfect business idea. But all share the same passion for their individual goals and dreams.

According to a lovely quote from Paula Fitzsimons in ‘Women Mean Business’ magazine;

“Rural Ireland is being revitalized, one new business at a time, and many of these are being started by women. The future is in good hands”.

Deirdre McGlone

October 2016

Deirdre McGlone
Autumn Breaks Ireland - Autumn Offers at Harvey's Point
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Romantic Autumn Escape

Enjoy a Romantic Autumn Escape in one of Ireland's most stunning locations, whether it's strolling hand in hand on a country walk, relaxing in a private hot tub for two or lounge in front of one of our many log fires...

Dinner Cabaret Show

Dust off your party frock and pull out your dancing shoes and join us. Our superb Cabaret runs from 27th June to 31st October.
Sunday Sleepover at Harvey's Point

Sunday Sleepover

Enjoy a chilled out Sunday with our Sunday Sleepover Offer. Take in the views of Lough Eske while enjoying a scrumptious five course lunch in our Lakeside Ballroom before checking in to a palatial suite for some "Us Time".
Girly Breaks

Girly Getaway

Whether it's a girly getaway with your girlfriends or a Mother & Daughter treat or pre-wedding wedding get together Harvey's Point is the ideal location to get the girls together.

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