The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Grants in Ireland

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Starting a small business can be a challenging venture, especially when it comes to financing. Fortunately, the Irish government offers several grants and funding opportunities for entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. In this ultimate guide, we will cover everything you need to know about small business grants in Ireland, including types of grants, eligibility requirements, and application processes.

  • Grants Available in Ireland
  • Getting Help from the Government to Start Your Business
  • Getting Free Money for Your Business
  • SEDA Grant
  • Types of Grants
  • Most Popular Grant
  • How to Get Government Funding for Your Startup
  • What You Can Claim When Starting a New Business
  • Do You Have to Pay Back a Grant?

Grants Available in Ireland

Here are some of the grants available for small businesses in Ireland:

  • Business Expansion Grant: This grant is designed to assist businesses that are planning to expand, hire more staff, or increase their productivity. The grant can cover up to 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €150,000.
  • Feasibility Study Grant: This grant is intended for businesses that want to investigate the viability of a new product or service. The grant can cover up to 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €15,000.
  • Priming Grant: This grant is for businesses that are starting up or expanding in a new market. The grant can cover up to 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €150,000.
  • Agile Innovation Fund: This grant is for businesses that want to develop new or improved products, services, or processes. The grant can cover up to 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €300,000.

Getting Help from the Government to Start Your Business

In addition to grants, the Irish government also provides support for entrepreneurs in the form of mentoring, training, and advisory services. Here are some of the programs available:

  • Local Enterprise Offices: The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) provide advice, training, and support for small businesses across Ireland. They offer a range of services, including business planning, marketing, and financial management.
  • Enterprise Ireland: Enterprise Ireland provides funding, mentoring, and support for high-potential startups and growing businesses in Ireland. They offer a range of programs, including the Competitive Start Fund and the High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding.
  • Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: This department provides support for unemployed individuals who want to start their own businesses. They offer the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, which provides financial support and mentoring for eligible individuals.

Getting Free Money for Your Business

While there are no “free” grants for small businesses in Ireland, there are some programs that can provide funding without the need for repayment. Here are some options:

  • Accelerator Programs: Accelerator programs offer funding, mentorship, and support for startups and growing businesses. Some programs, such as NDRC and Wayra, provide equity-free funding to participants.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow businesses to raise funds from a large group of people, often in exchange for rewards or pre-orders.

 SEDA Grant

The Sustaining Enterprise Fund (SEDA) is a grant designed to support eligible companies that have been impacted by COVID-19. The grant provides financial support and advice to help businesses sustain their operations during the pandemic. Eligible companies can receive up to €800,000 in funding.

Types of Grants

There are four main types of grants available to small businesses in Ireland:

  • Capital Grants: Capital grants are designed to help businesses purchase or upgrade equipment, facilities, or land. These grants are typically used to improve productivity, expand operations, or increase capacity.
  • Employment Grants: Employment grants are intended to help businesses create new jobs or retain existing ones. These grants can cover a portion of the costs associated with hiring new employees or upskilling existing ones.
  • Research and Development Grants: Research and development (R&D) grants are designed to support businesses that are developing new products, services, or technologies. These grants can cover the costs associated with R&D activities, such as hiring researchers or purchasing equipment.
  • Training Grants: Training grants are intended to help businesses improve the skills of their employees. These grants can cover the costs of training programs, including workshops, seminars, and online courses.

Most Popular Grant

One of the most popular grants available to small businesses in Ireland is the Business Expansion Grant, which we mentioned earlier. This grant is popular because it offers a significant amount of funding and can be used for a variety of purposes, including hiring new staff and increasing productivity.

 How to Get Government Funding for Your Startup

If you are starting a new business in Ireland and are looking for funding, here are some steps you can take:

  • Research available grants and funding programs to determine which ones you are eligible for.
  • Prepare a business plan that outlines your company’s goals, strategies, and financial projections.
  • Gather any required documentation, such as financial statements and tax returns.
  • Submit your application to the appropriate agency or organization.
  • Wait for a decision on your application.

What You Can Claim When Starting a New Business

When starting a new business in Ireland, there are several expenses that you can claim as tax deductions, including:

  • Rent or mortgage payments for your business premises
  • Office equipment and supplies
  • Legal and professional fees
  • Marketing and advertising expenses
  • Training and education expenses

Do You Have to Pay Back a Grant?

In most cases, grants for small businesses in Ireland do not need to be repaid. However, some grants may require you to meet certain conditions, such as creating new jobs or reaching certain revenue targets, in order to keep the funding. If you do not meet these conditions, you may be required to repay a portion or all of the grant.

Conclusion

Small business grants in Ireland can be a valuable source of funding for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. By understanding the types of grants available, eligibility requirements, and application processes, you can increase your chances of receiving funding and achieving your business goals. Remember to research your options, prepare a solid business plan, and seek guidance from experienced advisors to help you navigate the process.