ACORNS alumni Edel Hayes through Accelerate Accounting Solutions is focused on helping nascent businesses avoid financial disaster by working with them virtually from her base in Kildare town.
We talk to rural women entrepreneurs from across Ireland who recently took part in the ACORNS programme.
Women in rural Ireland with new businesses or at least with well-developed ideas are being invited to join next phase of the programme ACORNS 8. The ACORNS programme is designed to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland through a peer learning approach. Thanks to the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the voluntary contribution of time by Lead Entrepreneurs, there is no charge for those selected to participate.
“I had worked as a financial controller in various companies and in that time a lot of my friends became entrepreneurs”
The call is now open for applicants for ACORNS 8 and 50 female entrepreneurs from across the country will be selected to participate. Anyone interested in receiving an application form ahead of the midnight 23 September deadline for ACORNS 8 should register their interest here
Accelerate Accounting Solutions
It wasn’t until Edel Hayes saw the struggles of the entrepreneurs among her circle of friends that the certified chartered accountant realised where a business of her own could add value.
“I had worked as a financial controller in various companies and in that time a lot of my friends became entrepreneurs. I could see they were having difficulty with their accounts and from that I knew I was going to move into this space,” she says.
The result is Accelerate Accounting Solutions, a virtual accountancy service for SMEs operating out of Edel’s home in Kildare town.
She explains that most businesses require support with their accounts, tax and finances, but are too small to engage an accountant on an ongoing basis. “This often leads to financial mismanagement and, sadly, business failure.
“Accelerate Accounting helps avert disaster and bridge the knowledge gap for entrepreneurs who pay to retain the company’s services for a set number of hours in a given period.”
The company has achieved remarkable success in its first three years, recording a 30% increase in revenue since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Edel attributes the growth figure to businesses being forced to embrace virtual services due to the closure of in-person offices during the public health emergency.
Edel is a full-time employee of Accelerate Accounting and is supported by three part-time staff who work across accounts and administration. She hopes to grow the staff to between five and ten people in the near future.
The firm’s founder hails the influence of ACORNS on her success. “The Lead Entrepreneurs were so knowledgeable and really set the standard for our group sessions which had a variety of voices offering high-level feedback.”