The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has announced a competitive public procurement procedure under the 2024 Rural Innovation and Development Fund for a Programme for Nascent Rural Female Entrepreneurial Development.

DAFM is seeking proposals from suitable, experienced service providers to develop and implement a tailored work programme to address the skills, enterprise and capability gaps of female entrepreneurs.

Proposals submitted must take into account the barriers which can limit entrepreneurial activity in rural areas, according to DAFM.

The request for tender (RFT) was released for publication on May 7, and the two year contract is expected to cost over €1 million, excluding VAT.

DAFM funding

Funding is currently being made available for the development and implementation of the programme.

The service will be co-financed from the Rural Innovation and Development Fund set up by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to support “innovative, small scale pilot initiatives”.

The rural female entrepreneurs initiative aligns with the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) plan.

The plan made 34 recommendations to government which the commission stated would support the further development of the rural economy

The closing date for the receipt of tenders for the entrepreneurial initiative programme is Monday, June 10, 2024 at 5:00p.m.

One single provider of the service will be chosen, which may be a person(s), firm, company, partnership, corporation or other commercial entity.

Tenders will be assessed through a competitive process for funding of proposed projects.


Teagasc is also currently inviting tenders from service providers for agricultural education and training services.

The agriculture and food development authority has said that the four-year multi-party framework will cost around €3.36 million overall, excluding VAT.

As part of a multi-party framework agreement; tenderers successfully included on the framework under their selected lot(s) will compete for contracts under the framework via mini-competitions.