My Department, through the industrial development agencies under its aegis, provides support for the establishment and development of indigenous enterprises nationally. The 35 city and county enterprise boards provide support on a national basis for the establishment and further development of micro enterprises. The boards, which were established nationally in 1993, provide a source of support for small businesses with ten employees or fewer.
The function of the boards is to develop indigenous enterprise potential and to stimulate economic activity at local level. The boards provide a single point of contact at local level and complement the activities of the other industrial development agencies. The boards support individuals, firms and community groups, provided that the projects have the capacity to achieve commercial viability.
In accordance with its legislative and policy basis, Enterprise Ireland provides support to indigenous companies that are market led and export driven and operate primarily in the manufacturing and internationally trading services sectors. Assistance is provided in accordance with EU limits for support. Enterprise Ireland's strategy is to work with companies on a case by case basis, to assess the development needs of each individual company. A business plan, covering a three to five year period, is required by Enterprise Ireland to assess all projects, which must also meet certain defined criteria. Levels of financial support are determined by the regional location of the project. Any expenditure incurred on a project prior to the initiation of discussions with Enterprise Ireland is ineligible for support.
Given the absence of specific details with regard to the company referred to in the question, it is not possible to provide a specific response to the issue raised. However, I can confirm that Enterprise Ireland can assist with the establishment of injection moulding companies which fulfil the following criteria – they have a real potential for growth in export markets and they intend to develop value added products. Should the company in question wish to pursue possible assistance from Enterprise Ireland, I will be happy to supply contact details directly to the Deputy if he wishes.
FÁS, the training and development agency under my Department's aegis, may also be able to assist the person in this instance. Any person who wishes to establish "a wholly owned Irish company" may contact FÁS for advice on human relations development related issues on running a business, including "owner manager development". In addition, a customised training budget is available from FÁS to provide limited training grants to a person who wishes to establish a business subject to normal conditions.