Anyone interested in starting their own business should in the first instance contact their Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The LEOs support the indigenous micro-enterprise sector in the start-up and expansion phases and stimulate enterprise potential at local level. They are the first port of call in terms of advice, direction, training and grant support for anyone who wishes to start or expand a business.
The LEOs are required to give priority to enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sector, which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio.
In addition, any start-up can use the LEOs as a gateway to accessing finance from Micro Finance Ireland, which offers support in the form of loans of up to €25,000 to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 people with viable business propositions that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. The Fund has a significant entrepreneurship focus and is open to anyone with a viable business proposal. Applications for the Microfinance Fund should be channelled through the local LEO.
Also, locally trading businesses, including start-ups, can avail of non-financial assistance from their LEO in the form of a wide range of business advice and information services, management capability training and development programmes, e-Commerce training initiatives etc. Training courses include such topics as internet marketing, ideas generation and negotiation skills.
Contact details for LEO Dublin City are: Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, 5th Floor, O’Connell Bridge House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6351144.