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FUNDING OPTIONS FOR IRISH STARTUPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES by Michael McLaughlin, 18th March 2015

See: http://www.inspiredstartups.com/startup-tips/funding-options-for-irish-startups-and-small-businesses

 
Feasibility Study / Innovation Grant:

Source: Enterprise Boards and Enterprise Ireland.
What you get: 50% of costs excluding VAT capped at €15,000.
Advantage: No Payback.
Disadvantage: Risk of going beyond the feasibility study phase and being too late to claim.
Contact: www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/Company/HPSU-Funding/HPSU-Feasibility-Study-Grant-.html

 
 
Refundable Priming Grant:

Source: Enterprise Board
What you get:  50% of costs excluding VAT average amount. Employment grants of €10,000 per employee are obtainable. Grants are usually capped at €80,000 depending on the number of jobs created.
Advantage: Great for traditional businesses with a product to shift.
Disadvantage: Difficult to obtain as there are many rules.
Contact: www.localenterprise.ie/DublinCity/   

 
Innovation Voucher:

Source: Enterprise Ireland
What you get: The max you can apply for is €5000 and it has to be used with a 3rd level institution.   
Advantage: Only a short application to be completed.
Disadvantage: Some universities are not as helpful as others.
Contact:  www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Research-Innovation/Companies/Collaborate-with-companies-research-institutes/Innovation-Voucher.shortcut.html


New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme:

Source: Enterprise Ireland
What you get:  Total amount receivable totals €15,000 if you proceed to phase 2.
Advantages: Along with the cash injection you will learn key skills in areas such as sales and accounts.
Disadvantage: Only 10 people are selected to proceed to phase 2, so it can be competitive.
Contact: www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Start-a-Business-in-Ireland/Supports-for-High-Potential-Start-Ups/New-Frontiers-Entrepreneur-Development-Programme.html  

 

Competitive Start Fund:

Source: Enterprise Ireland
What you get: €50,000 for a 10% equity stake
Advantage: Considerable sum of money with few restrictions.
Disadvantage: Might involve several pitches.
Contact: www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/Company/HPSU-Funding/Competitive-Start-Fund-CSF-.html  

 

Other sources of Government Funding: 

Credit Review Office: 

Provides a simple review process for Small and Medium Enterprises who have had requests for credit refused or existing credit facilities reduced or withdrawn.  
Contact: www.creditreview.ie

Credit Guarantee Scheme:

This Government scheme enables the State to act as a guarantor to the bank for your loan application. The purpose of the scheme is to guarantee SMEs that have been declined credit due to inadequate collateral and/or lack of understanding of the business model.  
With over €100,000 on offer through various government grants you should think long and hard before looking for alternative sources of finance and bringing 3rd party investors onboard. As a startup your priority should be building traction with customers but down the line as the business expands you may need to think about more long term funding options. 
Contact: https://sbci.gov.ie/sme-credit-guarantee-scheme-cgs

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