Government Support 

To Start Up companies, Small, Medium and Large Enterprises can apply for funding to over 80 different sources of government finance & support. Over €2billion of  government aid, grants and loans are available. These business funding initiatives are managed through 29 government departments, state agencies and joint ventures with third parties.

A good document to base funding requests on is to be found at... 

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. EI works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets to sustain economic growth, regional development and secure employment. Substantial financial Grants & Vouchers for Start Ups, established SMEs and large companies  is available.


Local Enterprise Offices

Over 31 Local Enterprise Offices provide a range of financial supports designed to assist with the establishment and/or growth of local businesses employing up to ten people.


LEOs also have an excellent SME online tool that helps narrow down your search for information on aid and supports for business. 



Údarás na Gaeltachta

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the regional development authority funded by Government to promote the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht, with the overall objective of maintaining Irish as the main communal language of the region.  Údarás offers enterprises a choice of incentives and supports to start up, develop, expand or locate their business in the Gaeltacht area. It also has a wide range of business premises available for lease.  Assistance is available for job-creating enterprises in eligible sectors including, pharmaceutical and medical devices, niche and modern manufacturing, food processing, 

audio visual and digital media, information technology, financial and customer services, aquaculture and fish processing, language based enterprises and tourism. 


Is é Údarás na Gaeltachta an t-údarás forbartha réigiúnach atá maoinithe ag an Rialtas chun forbairt teanga, chultúir, shóisialta, fhisiciúil agus eacnamaíoch na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn. Tá sé mar mhóraidhm aige an Ghaeilge a chothú mar theanga phobail an réigiúin. 

Cuireann Údarás na Gaeltachta réimse dreasachtaí agus tacaíochtaí ar fáil d’fhiontair le gnó a thosú, a fhorbairt, a mhéadú nó a lonnú sa Ghaeltacht. Cuireann an tÚdarás réimse leathan áitribh ar fáil ar cíos freisin. Tá tacaíocht ar fáil d’fhiontair i réimse earnálacha, ina measc - cógaisíocht agus feistis leighis, déantúsaíochta nideoige agus nua-aimseartha, próiseáil bia, closamhairc agus na meáin dhigiteacha, teicneolaíocht faisnéise, seirbhísí airgeadais agus custaiméara, uisceshaothrú agus próiseáil éisc, fiontair teangabhunaithe agus turasóireacht.

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

If you have big plans for your small business, the SBCI can help you fund them.

A new, strategic SME funding company, the SBCI’s goal is to ensure access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs by facilitating the provision of:

Flexible products with longer maturity and capital repayment flexibility, subject to credit approval;

Lower cost funding to financial institutions which is passed on to SMEs;

Market access for new entrants to the SME lending market, creating real competition.


InterTradeIreland is the only organisation which has been given responsibility by both Governments to boost North/South economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of Northern Ireland and Ireland. By encouraging better use of our collective resources we help to expedite trade and business growth across the island and create an environment where it is easier to do business. We support SMEs across the island to identify and develop North/South trade and innovation opportunities.

Credit Review Office

In the December 2009 budget, the Minister for Finance announced that a simple and effective review process would be set-up for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), sole traders and farm enterprises that have been refused credit from banks participating in the NAMA scheme, and to examine credit policy to assist the Minister in deciding what further actions may be necessary to increase the flow of credit.

MicroFinance Ireland Ltd

Like a bank MFI offers interest-bearing loans but, unlike a bank, they operate on a not-for-profit basis. Helping to create or sustain a job is at the heart of MFI business. SMEs may have difficulty in accessing credit from banks – due to economic difficulties or for reasons such as lack of security, current level of bank debt, difficulty with existing borrowings, or lack of a track record. Microfinance Ireland has been initiated by the Government to provide another funding avenue to assist people who are finding it difficult to access credit, which in turn will help to create and sustain employment. Irish based SMEs can apply to MicroFinance Ireland for unsecured business loans from €2,000 up to €25,000.

National Pension Reserve Fund

The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has made investment commitments of €375m to three new long-term funds which will provide equity, credit and restructuring / recovery investment for Irish small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-sized corporates. In June 2013, the Government announced its decision to establish the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and make the NPRF’s €6.4 billion of resources available for investment on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.

BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit

The BlueBay fund, to which the NPRF has committed €200 million, is a €450 million credit fund that will provide loans to larger SMEs and mid-sized businesses in Ireland. BlueBay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a specialist asset manager of fixed income credit, corporate loans and alternative products.

Loan amounts are expected to range in size from €5 million to €45 million and BlueBay is able to access additional capital for situations that require larger amounts. The loans can be used by borrowers for a variety of purposes such as refinancing existing liabilities, acquisition finance or investment expenditure. Pure real estate finance is not intended to be included. 

Arts Council

As the Irish Government’s development agency for the arts, the Arts Council is the major funder of the arts in Ireland. The Arts Council's grant from the Irish Exchequer in 2015 is €56.9 million.

Bord Bia

Step Change Programme

Step Change Programme €400,000 fund for small food, drink and horticulture businesses. The grant scheme is aimed at companies, with a turnover between €100,000 and €5 million, embarking on a new project to take their business to the next level. In 2015, Bord Bia expects the 'Step Change Programme' will benefit at least eight high potential Irish businesses with individual grants of up to €50,000.

Marketing Assistance Programme

Marketing Assistance Programme financial programme provided 186 companies with a total of €976,000 in marketing grant aid in 2014. 

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

BIM’s mission is to grow a thriving Irish seafood industry; expand the raw material base, add value and develop efficient supply chains that together deliver on the Government’s Food Harvest 2020 targets for seafood and create sustainable jobs.

We help to develop the Irish seafood industry by providing: technical expertise, business support, funding, training and by promoting responsible environmental practices. BIM ‘s Strategy 2013-2017 is an action plan to deliver 1200 jobs and €1 billion seafood sales by building scale and enhancing competitiveness in the Irish seafood sector. BIM has 20 schemes aiding Irish seafood industry.  

Cork Business Innovation Centre

CorkBIC is a private-sector led organisation, specifically set up to identify and build knowledge intensive companies based on promising technology and capable innovative people.

It plays a hands-on role helping entrepreneurs navigate the minefield of raising finance, sorting out business propositions, arranging agreements with shareholders and investors, and, perhaps most important of all, finding customers.

Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland’s annual funding allocation for 2015 is €2.5m. The next deadline for receipt of grant applications is 15 June 2015. Applications may be made by either the Irish artist or company or the international presenter or partner. Applications are not accepted outside of the regular grants round, unless an exceptional case can be made that the event is high profile and could not have been known by the deadline, for example a film to be screened in a major international festival. 


Dublin Business Innovation Centre 

Raising finance to fund growth strategies is essential for most businesses in development phase. Drawing on the extensive and hands-on experience of our consultants, Dublin BIC enables clients become investor ready and then assists them through the fundraising process. Dublin BIC’s has one of the most successful track records in the market for securing funding for developing companies. Over two decades, Dublin BIC has assisted 167 businesses raise over €70 million. Dublin BIC is fund manager of the AIB Seed Capital Fund which has a current total of €53 million under management, Halo Business Angel Partnership, also managed by Dublin BIC, has invested over €40 million.

Fáilte Ireland

National Festivals and Participative Events Programme 2015: Festivals and events have been identified as being an important component of the Irish tourism product offering. Festivals provide opportunities to showcase culture, people and places, thereby greatly improving the visitor experience of Ireland. They also help improve the distribution of tourism revenue around the country. Consequently, Fáilte Ireland provides considerable support to festivals, investing approximately €4million in 210 festivals and events in 2014.

Foodworks Ireland

Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc are working together to find and foster a new group of entrepreneurs.  We’ve pooled our resources to make sure we support you and your vision in the most efficient way possible. 

Irish Film Board

The amount of grant-in-aid made available for 2014 to Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (BSÉ/IFB) by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for capital funding purposes is €11,277,000 (a 5.2% reduction on the 2013 allocation). An additional €2,000,000 of recouped investment will be added to this, bringing the total figure for 2014 to €13,277,000. Of this, the majority will be used to enable the development, production and distribution of new Irish films for cinematic exhibition and/or exploitation of television and/or online. The remainder will be allocated to support training and a variety of ancillary film-industry activities. There is a separate administration budget for the overhead and staff of BSÉ/IFB, which in 2014 is €2.7m.

Funding for development, production and distribution is provided through a range of programmes. 


Funding for Training: Skillnets receives funding from the National Training Fund (NTF) through the Department of Education and Skills (DES). Funding (€15m in 2014) is made available through grants to approved training networks enabling member companies of the networks to avail of significant discounts on market training rates. The member companies also contribute match funding to a ratio agreed by the training network and Skillnets. Under the current Training Networks Programme (TNP) up to 50% of the cost of all eligible network activities is provided.

South East Business Innovation Centre

Funding a new business is one of the greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs. South East BIC, can assist you in identifying the most appropriate funding methods for your business and help you prepare your business plan to access the most appropriate finance for your stage of development.  

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

SME Support Centre: Businesses can cut up to 20% off energy bill s. The SME Support Centre provides advice and training for businesses that are looking to reduce their energy spend and benefit their bottom line. Businesses need to register online to avail of these free services. 


Teagasc is the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland. Its mission is to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. Various grant aid is available. 

West Business Innovation Centre

WestBIC is a support partner to drive and deliver high quality start ups. Established in 1997, WestBIC is the Official EU Business and Innovation Centre for Irelands Border, Midlands and Western Region. On a Public Private Partnership basis, WestBIC has already invested in making the global standard of innovation support available in the Region to start ups, early-stage SMEs and to wider stakeholder networks. 

Western Development Commission

The WDC Investment Fund (WIF) is  a WDC­managed fund providing risk  capital (seed  and venture capital and loan finance) to micro, small and medium­sized (SMEs) and social  enterprises in the Western Region covering the counties of Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim,  Mayo, Sligo & Roscommon.   ­

   - Small and medium­sized enterprises (SMEs) through our SME Investment Fund ­

   - Community and not­for­profit enterprises through our Community Loan Fund

   - Micro enterprises through our Micro­Loan Fund for the Creative Industries

Other Supports

Employment and Investment Incentive (EII)

The scheme allows an individual investor to obtain income tax relief on investments up to a maximum of €150,000 per annum in each tax year up to 2020. Relief is initially available to an individual at up to 30%. Up to a further 11% if investment is made before 1 January 2015, or up to a further 10% if investment is made on or after 1 January 2015, will be available where it has been proven that employment levels have increased at the company at the end of a period of 3 years from investment or where evidence is provided that the company used the capital raised for expenditure on research and development.

R&D Tax Credit

The Research and Development Tax Credit is a valuable tax-based incentive that is designed to encourage investment in R&D by companies in Ireland. A 25% tax credit for qualifying Research and Development expenditure exists for companies engaged in in-house qualifying research and development undertaken within the European Economic Area. This credit may be set against a company's Corporation Tax liability. The first €100,000 of all qualifying R&D expenditure will benefit from the full 25% R&D tax credit from 2012. This is of particular benefit to SMEs. For larger R&D expenditure, the tax credit will continue to apply only to the amount by which expenditure in 2012 exceeds that incurred in the base year 2003.

Starting your own business

Seed Capital Scheme

If you start up and work full-time in your own company, you can claim back the income tax you paid in the previous six years to invest equity into a company (subscribed as shares) engaged in a qualifying trade. The amount of relief is restricted to the amount of the investment. Since November 2011, the scheme is open to a much wider range of sectors and the ceiling on recoverable tax can now be up to €100,000 in each of the six look back years.

Three Year Corporate Tax Exemption

The scheme provides relief from corporation tax on the trading income and certain gains of new start-up companies in the first 3 years of trading. There will be full relief on income and gains relating to the trade where total corporation tax liability in any of the first 3 accounting periods does not exceed €40,000. There will be marginal relief where the tax liability falls between €40,000 and €60,000. You can earn €320,000 tax free per year for the first 3 years. The relief available is now based on the amount of employers’ PRSI paid by an employer in respect of their employees.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

If you have been signing on for over 12 months and you would like to become self-employed, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) allows you to keep your social welfare payment for 2 years (Year 1: 100%, Year 2:75%). To qualify, you must be setting up a business that a Local Integrated Development Company or a Facilitator has approved in writing in advance.

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) gives support to people who have lost their job and want to start their own business. It is paid instead of Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 1 year. It ends when the entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit ends (that is, at either 9 months or 12 months).


Revenue Job Assist

Revenue Job Assist offers both employers and workers an incentive where people who have been 12 months on the live register (or disability allowance) are employed:

The employer gets double write-off of the wages plus employers PRSI for three years – even at the minimum wage, it is worth €2,500 per year to a company and up to €8,000 per year to a sole trader.

Employers Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme

The Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme is open to employers who create new and additional jobs. Under this scheme, employers do not have to pay the employers' portion of the PRSI contribution for certain employees for 18 months. To qualify for this scheme both the job created and the person employed must meet certain criteria.