Quick guide: where to get a business start-up grant in Ireland

If you are thinking about starting a business in the coming months you might be wondering about supports particularly grants provided by the Enterprise Agencies in Ireland. The list of organisations might seem overwhelming but it is worth taking some time to understand the type of businesses that each support and when the supports become relevant. I would like to discuss five good starting points:

 

Business Start-Up Grants

The first step is to build a relationship with a contact in your local and/or sector-specific organisation(s) - the same applies to your local financial institutions and membership associations. 

Click here for a more comprehensive updated list of 500 enterprise support organisations from around Ireland.

 

1. Short-Term Enterprise Allowance

Gives support to people who have lost their jobs and want to start their own business. The Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 1 year.

 

2. Your local Enterprise Office

Provide financial assistance to manufacturing and internationally traded service micro-enterprises (employing less than 10 people). Full details of the three grant types is available from local enterprise office website.

  • Priming Grant ... business less than 2 years old - 50% of the investment or €80,000 whichever is the lesser (€150,000 limit in certain cases). Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of €15,000 per full-time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support granted.
  • Business Expansion Grant  ... business trading for more than 2 years - same conditions as per Priming Grant
  • Feasibility ... - 50% of investment or €20,000 in S&E region (60% in BMW)

However, the soft supports are arguably more valuable. I highly recommend attending Start Your Own Business programmes and other relevant training provided by your local enterprise office.

 

3. Leader

Support individuals, rural enterprise and farm families under the Rural Development programme. A list of all LEADER organisations is available from National Rural Network.

  • Capital and other projects to include tourist accommodation - funding of up to 75% is available for eligible projects, with a maximum of up to €150,000.
  • Analysis and development projects may receive 75% with a maximum grant of €30,000.
  • Training – 100%

Business Achievers author Helena Deane has compiled a fantastic list of ten commandments to follow when applying for Grants. In her post, she stresses the importance of meeting all the terms and conditions. The Galway Rural Development website has a great guide in this regard.

 

4. Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland are the premier Enterprise Agency in Ireland. But their services are primarily available only to clients. They are very focused (rightly so) on businesses with international growth potential. This page outlines the process that Enterprise Ireland suggest is followed when you seek their support. The first step is to meet a Startup Advisor in your local office. Enterprise Ireland have a suite of enterprise and management development supports to include

 

5. Mentoring

In addition to the Enterprise Boards and Enterprise Ireland, mentoring can be requested from SCCUL Mentors and Business Achievers. Our author Helena Deane has also compiled a fantastic blogpost on financial supports to assist a small business to recruit new personnel.

 

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