In the dynamic world of business, finding the right resources and support can be the difference between success and struggle. If you’re a startup or a small business based in Ireland, you’re in luck. This country offers a vast array of funding and support options from both the government and private entities. Ready to dive in? Let’s explore the types of support and grants for businesses in Ireland available to fuel your venture’s growth and success.
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Government Support Programs
Ireland, recognised as one of Europe’s top locations for businesses, offers an array of innovative initiatives and well-established funding programs aimed at business development and growth. The government’s strategic goal is to foster a robust entrepreneurial culture and to provide a conducive environment for businesses at all stages, from startups to multinational corporations.
Support and Grants for Businesses in Ireland from Local Enterprise Office
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) provide a ‘first stop shop’ for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland. These locally accessible offices are available to businesses in all sectors and at all stages of growth.
Agile Innovation Fund
The Agile Innovation Fund is an initiative by the LEOs to promote innovation within local businesses. The fund allows companies to access up to 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers financial assistance of up to €2,500, along with training and advice, to help small businesses trade more online. The scheme is designed to enable businesses to expand their customer base and build their market presence.
Priming Grants are designed to assist small businesses in the startup phase. These grants can cover up to 50% of the investment needed for a new business, up to a maximum of €150,000.
Business Expansion Grant
The Business Expansion Grant is intended for businesses that are in the growth phase after the initial 18 month start-up period. This grant can cover up to 50% of the investment needed for the expansion of a business, subject to a maximum grant of €150,000.
Grants and Support from Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.
The Research & Development Grant is designed to assist companies to develop new or substantially improved products, services or processes. The grant gives up to 25% of your R&D expenditure as a tax credit on your activities carried out in a wide range of science and technology areas. These include software development, pharmaceutical, financial services, medical devices, horticulture, and agriculture.
Intellectual Property Strategy Offer
The Intellectual Property Strategy Offer provides funding for companies to devise a strong IP strategy. This is particularly important for high potential startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as it helps protect their intellectual assets and gives them a competitive edge in the market.
High Potential Startup Support (HPSU)
The High Potential Startup Support (HPSU) is a grant provided to start-up businesseses in Ireland that have the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within 3 to 4 years of starting up. This support involves a range of financial and non-financial supports including investment, mentorship, and access to networks and potential customers.
Support from Private Bodies
In addition to government support, there are many private organizations that offer different forms of assistance to businesses in Ireland. These may include accelerators and incubators, venture capital firms, angel investors, and various business networks. They can provide financial investment, mentorship, workspace, and many other resources.
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland
The Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is a non-profit organization that provides funding, mentoring, and support to individuals with innovative ideas to tackle Ireland’s social problems. The organization has a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs to scale their impact and build sustainable organizations.
The NDRC is an early-stage investor in tech companies. They offer a combination of investment capital and a highly focused accelerator program to Irish startups.
Furthr is a climate tech accelerator based in Ireland. They offer a 12-week program that includes funding, mentorship, workspace, and more to startups with solutions that can help tackle the climate crisis.
Business Innovation Centers
The Business Innovation Centers in Ireland support entrepreneurs as they build their innovative companies. They offer a variety of services including advice, coaching, mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to finance.
Support for Women-led Businesses
Recognizing the crucial role of gender diversity in business, several initiatives exist specifically to support women entrepreneurs in Ireland. These programs provide a range of services, including funding, mentorship, training, and networking opportunities, all geared toward facilitating the success of women-led businesses.
HPSU for Women
The HPSU for Women is a specific initiative of Enterprise Ireland that provides tailored supports for women-led startups that show high growth potential. These supports include access to funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
Going for Growth
Going for Growth is an initiative designed to support women entrepreneurs living in Ireland. It offers peer support, the collective wisdom of seasoned entrepreneurs, and access to an extensive business network.
Accelerating the Creation Of Rural Nascent Start-ups (ACORNS)
ACORNS is a program designed for early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland. It offers participants the opportunity to increase the success of their startup through facilitated peer learning, networking, and the sharing of experiences.
Support for Startups Moving to Ireland
For foreign entrepreneurs considering Ireland as a business destination, there are several programs aimed at easing the transition. These include immigration programs, financial incentives, resources to help find the right location for your business, and practical assistance to navigate the legal and regulatory requirements.
IDA Ireland works with foreign companies, encouraging them to invest in Ireland. It offers a range of incentives to overseas businesses, from tax benefits to grant assistance, as well as practical supports such as help finding the right location for their business.
Startup Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)
The Startup Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) allows non-European Union/European Economic Area nationals and their families to establish businesses in Ireland and reside in a country on a full-time basis. STEP program, is available for individuals who have not been convicted of criminal offences, have €50,000 funding available, and have an innovative business proposal.
Back for Business
The Back for Business is a unique initiative for returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years. It assists them in starting and developing businesses in Ireland.
Government Programs of Individual Support
The Irish government also offers programs aimed at individuals who are considering starting a business, especially those transitioning from unemployment. These programs provide financial support, training, and resources to help individuals start and grow their businesses.
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA)
The BTWEA encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the BTWEA scheme, you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.
Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA)
The STEA helps support people who have lost their job and want to start their own business. It provides a weekly allowance that helps bridge the financial gap in the early stages of a new business.
Wrapping Up – Grow your Business with Support and Grants Programs in Ireland
Ireland’s reputation as a business-friendly destination is well-deserved. The country offers a robust ecosystem for businesses to grow and flourish. With a wide array of support systems ranging from financial grants to advisory services, government and private organisations stand ready to assist businesses at all stages. By leveraging the multitude of support and grants for businesses in Ireland available, local entrepreneurs can pave their way to business success.
At Chern & Co, we’re committed to helping entrepreneurs establish and grow their business in Ireland. If you’re looking for assistance with registering business as a sole trader or limited company, don’t hesitate to contact us. We provide a full scope of company formation, accounting, and tax registration services to streamline your entrepreneurial journey in Ireland!