List of Start Up & SME Supports





In order to avail of Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funding the company comply with the following requirements:

Grants and supports available to companies:

Scheme Title Available to Start-up Description Fund Contact Fund Email
Vantage Plus Start-up Bord Bia Vantage is the online support centre for small food and drink businesses. Supports include market information, consumer insight, business development and export as well as information on relelvant industry events. Eimear O’Donnell
Shop Front Improvement Scheme Start-up In many areas Local Authorities provide a Shop Front Improvement scheme for Retail Premises. Contact your Local Authority for more details. Your Local Authority
Tourism supports Start-up There are a range of supports that boost tourism to the area. Contact your local County Council for more detailed information. Your Local Authority
Fire Safety Supports Start-up Local Authorities can provide guidance and advice on Fire Safety. This includes Fire Safety consultations, Fire Safety Certificate Applications pre-submission meetings, Fire Safety Inspections and information on Fire Safety Legislative requirements. Your Local Authority
Rates Incentive Scheme Start-up Local Authorities operate rates incentive schemes to encourage occupation of vacant commercial properties around the area. Contact them your Local Authority for more information. Your Local Authority
Pre-Planning Advisory Session Start-up Your local Council provides a pre-planning service for individuals and companies considering commercial development. Your Local Authority
LEADER 2014-2020 Start-up LEADER will fund enterprise development and job creation, rural tourism, social inclusion through building community capacity, training and animation, basic services for hard to reach communities, rural youth initiatives, renewable energy, the protection and sustainable use of local water resources, protection and improvement of local biodiversity. Contact the Local Action Group
JobsPlus Start-up JobsPlus is an incentive to encourage and reward employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. Grants of €7,500 and €10,000 are available subject to eligibility criterial. Employment Supports Services
Jobs Ireland Start-up Jobs Ireland is a service for employers who want to advertise job vacancies to jobseekers on and in Intreo Centres LoCall 1890 800024 Jobs Ireland – National Contact Centre
EURES Start-up The European Employment Services (EURES) team can help employers who have difficulty recruiting staff in Ireland or who wish to broaden their skill base with access to jobseekers in other EU and EEA countries. European Employment Services
The EmployAbility Service Start-up The nationwide EmployAbility Service provides an employment support service for people with a health condition, injury, illness or disability and a recruitment advice service for the business community. Your local EmployAbility Service
The Wage Subsidy Scheme  Start-up The Wage Subsidy Scheme provides financial incentives to employers to employ disabled people who work more than 20 hours per week. Your local Intreo Office
Supports for Employers of People with Disabilities Start-up A number of practical supports and allowances are available to companies to proactively assist the participation of people with a disability in the workforce. Your local Intreo Office
Seed and Venture Capital Scheme Start-up The Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2019-2024) is aimed to stimulate job creation and support the funding requirements of early-stage innovative Irish companies with global ambitions. Banking Relationship & Growth Capital Department
New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme  Start-up New Frontiers is the national programme designed to develop entrepreneurs, delivered on behalf of Enterprise Ireland by Institutes of Technology and Universities. Development Advisor or Regional Office
Microfinance LEO Loan Start-up Loans are provided from €2,000 up to €25,000, from 3 to 5 years, with flexibility on repayment terms and a reduced interest rate for LEO clients. Your Local Enterprise Office
Feasibility Study Grant Start-up These grants are designed to assist with researching market demand for a product or service and examining its sustainability. Your Local Enterprise Office
Mentoring Start-up The Mentor Programme is designed to match up the knowledge, skills, insights and entrepreneurial capability of experienced business practitioners with small business owner/ managers who need practical and strategic advice and guidance. Your Local Enterprise Office
Priming Grant Start-up A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant, available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up. You Local Enterprise Office
Business Advice Clinics Start-up A confidential meeting with a Business Advisor  providing general advice and details on the various supports available, as well as signposting to other Government supports and possibilities to be involved in the LEO network’s flagship events. Your Local Enterprise Office
Business Expansion Grant  Start-up This grant is to help support domestically traded manufacturing and service businesses with the potential to trade internationally. –

  • Capital items
  • Salary costs
  • Consultancy/Innovation/Marketing costs
  • General overhead costs</li>
Your Local Enterprise Office
Start Your Own Business Programme Start-up This programme is for people who have a business idea and want to assess its viability and decide whether to proceed. Your Local Enterprise Office
Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ Grant Start-up Part-funding of costs that can be incurred in investigating and researching export markets, e.g. exhibiting at Trade Fairs, preparing marketing material and developing websites specifically targeting overseas markets Local Enterprise Office
Lean for Micro Start-up The Lean for Micro programme involves working with a ‘Lean’ consultant who will introduce Lean principles and help the business to complete a specific cost reduction project to improve efficiency. Your Local Enterprise Office
Various VAT measures to reduce burden on SMEs Start-up A number of VAT measures facilitate small businesses including:

  • cash accounting for SMEs earning up to €2 million per annum
  • retention of 9% VAT rate for tourism services
  • VAT exemption or reduced VAT filing for businesses with low turnover.
Your Local Tax Office
Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) Start-up The Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) offers individuals who invest in new ordinary shares in qualifying SMEs up to 40% tax relief on their total income, in return for a four year investment period. Revenue
Startup Relief for Entrepreneurs (SURE) Start-up Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) is a tax relief incentive scheme. It allows entrepreneurs to claim an income tax refund of up to 41% of the capital they invest in starting a company. Your Local Tax Office
Tax Relief for new start-up companies Start-up A tax relief from Corporation Tax can be available for new start-up companies who have a corporate tax liability of less than €40,000, subject to certain conditions being met. Your Local Tax Office
Research & Development Tax Credits Start-up A tax relief from Corporation Tax can be available for companies engaged in high value add Research & Development (‘R&D’) activities. The R&D Tax Credit gives a company a 25% tax credit for their expenditure on qualifying R&D in a given year. Your Local Tax Office
Revenue Guide for Starting a business Start-up Information about the tax and customs implications of starting a business, paying your tax and the initiatives available for start-up businesses. Revenue
Skillnet Learning Networks Start-up Join a Skillnet Learning Network to benefit from high quality training that is subsidised, relevant to your sector or region, and delivered at a time and in a location that suits your business. Skillnet Ireland
MentorsWork Start-up The MentorsWork 12-week business-support programme is free to SMEs nationwide and is designed to provide the skills and supports to help business owner-managers and leaders sustain and improve their business. MentorsWork comprises of an integrated approach of mentoring, masterclasses and workshops, and a first-of-its kind self-assessment tool to identify the competencies impacting your business. MentorsWork is brought to you in partnership between Skillnet Ireland, SFA, Ibec, SCBI and Microfinance Ireland Liz Thomas
Trading Online Voucher Start-up The Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required. Enterprise Information Centre
E-Merge programme Start-up The E-Merge programme provides €2,800 consultancy support to help cross-border businesses develop online sales and eCommerce solutions. Enterprise Information Centre
Credit Review Start-up The Credit Review Offices provides an independent, impartial credit appeals process for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and farms who have been refused a loan by a bank (AIB, BOI, PTSB and Ulster). Credit Review Office  – Jane Rogers
LEADER Start-up LEADER is an EU programme to support activity in rural areas. LEADER is delivered as part of the Rural Development Programme by the network of Local Development Companies.

– The programme supports seven measures to improve the quality of rural life and the rural economy which include:

  • Assisting farmers to diversify into non-agricultural activities
  • Support for the creation and development of micro-enterprises
  • Support for tourism activities
  • Provision of basic services for the rural economy and population
  • Village renewal and enhancement
  • Support for conservation and upgrading of rural heritage
  • Training to develop skills and build the capacity of local communities to develop local strategies.
Your Local Development Company
Training Start-up Local Development Companies provide a range of training course including Start Your Own Business programmes. Contact your Local Development Company for details of training available in your area. Your Local Development Company
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Start-up All 50 Local Development Companies (LDCs) deliver the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and Short Term Enterprise Allowance Schemes on behalf of the Department of Social Protection.

The scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed by allowing them to keep a percentage of their social welfare payments for up to two years.

Your Local Development Company Start-up is the free, online safety statement and risk assessment tool developed by the Health and Safety Authority. BeSMART helps SMEs to manage health and safety in a way that is both easy-to-do and cost-effective. Using a simple four-step process, business owners or managers work through their selected business type on to produce risk assessments and a safety statement specific to their workplace.
In raising safety awareness and prompting business owners to take action to prevent accidents and ill-health in their workplace, supports business viability and compliance with health and safety laws.
Business and Education Support Team
HSA Learning Start-up The Health and Safety Authority has developed online health and safety courses
that are free of charge and available 24/7. Courses include assessment and learners  can download certificates of completion, when the assessment is complete. There is also a group management function that employers or managers can use to register a learners on a course.
Business and Education Support Team
Microfinance loan Start-up Small loans through the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund to microenterprises . The purpose of the fund is to help start ups and established businesses to start up a small business or expand your existing business. Loan Advisor
Credit Guarantee Scheme Start-up The purpose of the CGS is to encourage additional lending to SMEs by offering a partial Government guarantee (currently 80%) to banks against losses on qualifying loans to eligible SMEs.  It is targeted towards companies who are unable to access credit because of inadequate collateral, the market, sector or technology is perceived by lenders as higher risk, or there is a need for re-financing caused by the exit of the SME’s lender from the Irish market

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Product Market Fit
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Accounting Terms Glossary
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