Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the main agencies for supporting new start-up businesses across every region of the country.
In 2018, EI ran 9 Competitive Start Funds calls targeting a range of areas of focus, such as international entrepreneurs, graduates, fintech, agritech and female entrepreneurs. 50 companies were funded through this initiative.
New Frontiers is EI’s national entrepreneur development programme for innovative and early-stage start-ups. The programme is based in 14 Institutes of Technology and two participating Universities across the country. In 2018, there were 171 entrepreneurs on the New Frontiers programme.
Furthermore, 82 High Potential Start Ups (HPSUs) have been supported by EI in 2018.
Through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Enterprise Ireland has invested €60 million in 42 projects, with many of these projects falling within the manufacturing and services sectors. This will help to support businesses in all regions, and help manufacturing and services firms to achieve their potential.
With regard to identifying new markets, EI’s Market Discovery Fund, launched in January 2018, helps clients to research new markets for products and services. The fund is designed to help companies of all sizes to meet the key challenges of market research. There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.
The Local Enterprise Offices are providing a range of training programmes to support new businesses including ‘Start Your Own Business’ and ‘Management Development’ courses. Up to 31st December 2018 there were 33,372 people on LEO training programmes and 3,921 people on Start Your Own Business courses.
All of these supports ensure that we have a continuous pipeline of start-up businesses which will create jobs across the country.