Westmeath-based ACORNS alumni Sarah Fitzpatrick and her co-founder at Lakeland Digital & Print realised there is still an unmet need for Irish firms when it comes to digital and social media.
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.
“We spotted a gap in the market when we realised that a lot of Irish companies were too busy to address their digital marketing and social media needs, whereas UK companies were already outsourcing them to agencies”
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
Lakeland Digital & Print
Sarah Fitzpatrick, from Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, was working remotely as a social media manager for a UK company when she and her business partner, Anita Loughlin, who worked for the same UK company, decided to branch out on their own with Lakeland Digital & Print in June 2021.
Lakeland Digital & Print is a boutique digital marketing partnership that helps business owners grow in the online space through the power of social media, branding, imagery, blogging and copywriting.
“We spotted a gap in the market when we realised that a lot of Irish companies were too busy to address their digital marketing and social media needs, whereas UK companies were already outsourcing them to agencies.”
The partners wanted greater flexibility and control over their own time as both have young families.
“We also wanted to go down a completely tailored route with their business, where we would get to know our clients’ companies inside out and create bespoke marketing plans for their needs and budgets.
“After trading for a few months and acquiring clients from a number of sectors, the company was in a position to add print services to the business, and now offers design and printing of personalised business merchandise, including business cards, posters and other printed promotional material to support and strengthen the digital side of marketing.”
Sarah has found since participating in ACORNS that she has gained more confidence in herself. She also found that her group were incredibly supportive, always helping each other to progress their businesses.
Sarah and Anita’s next priority is to secure a premises to set up and expand their print shop. They also aim to hire an inhouse team as their client list grows.