Grant Aid – Local & National

There are a range of financial and other supports available for qualifying businesses. The primary aim of the government support agencies is to provide assistance to new and existing businesses in the areas of niche manufacturing or internationally traded services, in order to allow the project to achieve its full potential. Local factors such as employment generation and impact on the local economy are also considered. In general, preference is given to manufacturing and service businesses with the potential for international trade. The relevant funding agency applicable to any qualifying business will depend on the following key factors:

-       Job creation potential

-       Domestic or export market

Whether you have a specific idea in mind, or are just curious as to the opportunities available, we have the expertise to assist you through the various funding measures, the rates of grant aid available per measure and the application process Who are the main grant providers? The main funding providers are as follows:

County Enterprise Boards

Primary Focus : Potential Employment: 1 to 10  employees

Every county in the country has a County Enterprise Board whose function it is to offer a range of financial support packages to qualifying small businesses. Eligible enterprises include those employing 10 or less full or part time employees and satisfy the criteria set out below.

Eligibility Criteria for Financial Supports

  • Projects in niche manufacturing or niche internationally traded services, which in time can graduate to the Enterprise Ireland Portfolio.
  • Participation by the Enterprise Board with other agencies (local authorities, state agencies, chambers of commerce and private sector interests) in the provision of industrial space for small enterprises or advanced technological facilities for small business.
  • Other worthwhile commercial ventures promoted by long term unemployed or those made redundant, which will contribute to national competitiveness and local development but will avoid job displacement.
  • Promising projects emerging from work in second or third level colleges.
  • Priority will be given to those projects who are engaging in manufacturing or internationally traded services, which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland Portfolio.
  • Capital Grant (Refundable Capital) – Capital Grants may be approved covering up to 50% of qualifying capital costs up to a maximum of €75,000.
  • Employment Grant – up to €7,500 per new employee up to a maximum of 10 employees. Employment grants may also apply to a person starting up his/her own business.
  • Feasibility Study Grant – for the purpose of assessing market demand for a proposed new product or service. Up to a maximum of €5,100 for eligible projects.

Synopsis of Financial Supports

LEADER – Rural Development Programme

Leader programmes are generally speaking more locally focused. The LEADER Programme has been a driving force in grassroots local development within counties since 1995, investing in literally thousands of projects across the country through grant aid, technical specialist supports and training initiatives. The new Leader programme will be available to private promoters and community organisations with financial and technical support on offer under the following measures:

  • Diversification into non-agricultural activities
  • Business creation and development
  • Encouragement of tourism activities
  • Basic services for the economy and rural population
  • Village renewal and development


Taking the mystery out of local development

To keep things simple, we set out below a guide to the most relevant information across the range of initiatives Leader programmes apply to.

  • Tourism
  • Craft
  • Enterprise
  • Food
  • Alternative agriculture
  • Environmental
  • Specialist Support
  • Training
  • Analysis & Development

Community / Voluntary

  • Village enhancement
  • Heritage and history
  • Culture / music
  • Conservation / promotion of nature
  • Youth Supports
  • Social Inclusion
  • Training
  • Analysis & Development


Figures/rates are correct at time of print but may be subject to department changes

* In exceptional circumstances, and subject to prior written approval by the Department, grant aid up to €200,000 may be awarded.

** In exceptional circumstances, and subject to prior written approval by the Department, grant aid up to €200,000 and €500,000 may be awarded to private and non-commercial community projects respectively. (A & D = Analysis & Development)

Enterprise Ireland

Primary Focus: Export Orientated.

Employement Prospects: Potential employees > 10

Enterprise Ireland is the government agency responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous business sector. Their mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.

Through their extensive network of Irish and international offices, their function is to assist and help grow Irish companies in international markets.

Enterprise Itreland’s key focus, for Irish companies is covered under the following five areas of activity:

  • Achieving export sales
  • Investing in research and innovation
  • Competing through productivity
  • Starting up & scaling up
  • Driving regional enterprise

They also provide assistance for international companies who are searching for world-class Irish suppliers and we can help international companies who want to set up food and drink manufacturing operations in Ireland. Contact us for more details.

Enterprise Ireland provide advisory and financial support to High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) businesses and encourage all forms of entrepreneurship from people living in Ireland and from Irish people living abroad.

As a HPSU, the support you can get from Enterprise Ireland depends on where you are in the three stages of our start-up development process.

1) Starting a Business

2) Challenging and Validating the Business Idea

3) Seeking Advice and Funding to Develop an Investor-ready Business Plan

High potential start-ups (HPSU) eventually need to attract investors. At this start-up development stage it is essential that HPSUs develop a commercially sound business plan that can draw solid investment.  We offer various supports to help you achieve this.

Advice for developing investor-ready business plans

The advisory support available includes:

  • A development programme that helps you build an investor-ready business plan.
  • Access advice, guidance, training and business mentoring tailored towards helping you to develop a commercially aware business plan.
  • Help and guidance on raising finance.If you are preparing for an investment phase you will assigned a Development Advisor who will guide and work with you to develop your business plan and help you to present it to potential investors.  We offer assistance in the preparation of all levels of business planning. Contact us for more details.

Funding for investor-ready business plans

When you have developed a strong, investor-ready business plan Enterprise Ireland can consider co-investing in it. Our co-investment takes the form of an equity stake (preference or ordinary shares) following a commercial due diligence process

IDA Ireland

Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency, IDA Ireland partners with foreign investors, helping them to set up and develop their business in Ireland.

IDA Ireland provides ongoing assistance to companies that locate here.

For further assistance on Grant Aid for your business please contact or contact our Drogheda office or our Clondalkin office or call (041) 9836707