How to start your own business in Ireland

Are you an entrepreneur looking to start or scale your business in Ireland?

Read on to learn more about the variety of resources available on the next step of your start up journey.
  • Start-up grants are available from the government via the Local Enterprise Office, and for larger companies, Enterprise Ireland provides seed funding and access to networks of contacts and courses.
  • Accelerators and incubators which help strengthen your skills as an entrepreneur, making it easier than ever before to take control of growth — NDRC, Dublin BIC, New Frontiers
  • Networking and training events — Meta Boost Leaders Network,
  • Exploring which regional supports start-up grants could be beneficial if you live in the Midlands, the West or South of Ireland.
  • If you are in the food industry Dublin Food Chain or Food Academy, Bord Bia’s ….

As Ireland continues to emerge as a global epicentre for entrepreneurship and start-up companies, a ton of support is available. As a small business owner working in the start-up space for a number of years, I have first-hand knowledge of many really beneficial programmes.

The Irish government has taken a proactive approach to supporting new small business owners.

a great way for businesses in Ireland to gain international expansion while gaining invaluable insight into success along the way.

Local Enterprise Office Supports

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) provides grant funding and resources to entrepreneurs across various sectors, enabling them to kick-start their ideas or expand on existing businesses. I’d recommend making this your first stop. Organise a chat with a business advisor, and if you can organise some one-to-one mentoring in the area you feel you need extra support.

The Local Enterprise Office also offers courses in areas such as social media marketing, website design, and e-commerce for those interested in taking their venture online. For established businesses, LEO’s Training & Recruitment Grant can offer assistance with hiring new workers or apprenticeships. At the same time, Retail Development Awards can provide financial aid to upgrade storefronts or create new products. Whatever the venture may be, Ireland is committed to helping its citizens succeed by giving them access to the necessary resources they need to thrive. With an ever-increasing demand for start-ups and an abundance of government-sponsored grants and supports available in Ireland–it has never been easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality!

LEO Grants to Support your Start-Up in Ireland

  • 1.
    Start-up Grant
  • 2.
    Trading Online Voucher Scheme
  • 3.
    Priming Grant
  • 4.
    Feasibility Study Grants
  • 5.
    Training & Recruitment Grant

Learn more about LEO Grants here.

How Enterprise Ireland Can Help Your Business Grow

Enterprise Ireland works with over 2,500 new start-up businesses each year, as well as assisting existing businesses of all sizes across the island of Ireland. Its goal is to help Irish-owned companies become “high-performance” businesses that can compete successfully in global markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

A grant is a sum of money given by an organisation to support a specific project, programme or activity. 

The main difference between a grant and a loan is that grants don’t need to be repaid, whereas loans must be paid back with interest.

The difference between a grant and an investment is that grants are usually given for specific projects like research or development, while investments are made into businesses or products expecting returns in the form of dividends or capital gains from their sale later on.

Eligibility criteria for grants vary depending on the provider but typically involve factors such as the applicant’s location (geographic), type of project/activity, industry sector etc., and the financial capacity to carry out the project without assistance from other sources besides the grant itself.

Depending on the granting body you are applying with, you may have different application submission methods. Some applications may require paper-based submissions, while others will use online forms available through their websites where you can submit details about your proposal and budget needs..

The maximum amount you can apply for will depend on the particular grant provider, as well as the type of project you are applying for and your financial capacity to carry out the project without assistance from other sources. Typically, there is a maximum limit defined by each provider and it’s important to check their guidelines before submitting your application.

Conditions are attached to receiving startup business grants and support in Ireland. Generally, businesses must meet certain criteria, such as having an innovative product or service, creating high-value jobs, have a viable plan for growth along with other requirements to be eligible for grant funding. Additionally, grant recipients will typically need to report on their progress and adhere to any grant conditions offered by the granting body.

The selection criteria for grant recipients typically involve factors such as the quality of the applicant’s proposal, the project’s impact on its intended audience, budget management and sustainability of outcomes. Grants are also given to those who demonstrate financial need and/or can provide a strong argument for how it will improve their current situation compared to other applicants. Selection is usually based on merit and potential benefit to society or a community after evaluating all applications received. Other criteria may include evidence that resources have been secured from other sources (in addition to requested funds) to complete proposed activities successfully