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Looking for funding for your business?

Across the country, the network of Local Enterprise Offices work with small businesses providing advice, information and support in starting up or growing a business. With 31 dedicated teams across the country, LEOs are a good first-stop-shop for small business and entrepreneurs for information on training, mentoring, incubation space, funding and general advice.

Whether starting with a business idea, looking to make that jump to starting your own business, or thinking about expanding, funding and accessing finance is always a key concern for entrepreneurs and small business. Along with training and mentoring, Local Enterprise Offices provide valuable financial supports to small businesses.
Small businesses can avail of up to €150,000 over a three year period through the Local Enterprise Office.

We've put together this handy guide with all you need to know about financial supports provided by your Local Enterprise Office.

For more information on the next steps for accessing these supports, take a trip to your Local Enterprise Office and introduce yourself to their team.

Want to know more about financial supports available?

We're focusing on 3 key financial grants offered by Local Enterprise Offices:

  • Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Grants

These financial supports are available to new and existing enterprises to help with establishing and developing the business with the hope it will flourish into a successful commercial entity.

Keep reading to find out more information on these grants.

Feasibility Study Grants

The aim of a Feasibility Study Grant is to help start-up companies or individual entrepreneurs with the cost of researching their proposed business or new business idea to see if it could be viable and sustainable.

The study should help the promoter to reach firm conclusions about their business idea and give them the information they need to draw up a full business plan.

LEOs will consider making Feasibility Study Grants to applicants whose potential new business or service may be eligible to apply for further grant assistance from the LEO if the business goes ahead.

What does the Feasibility Study Grant cover?

Feasibility Study Grants are designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and to examine the sustainability of that product or service.

The grant helps with innovation costs including specific consultancy requirements, hiring expertise from third-level colleges, private specialists, design, patent costs and prototype development.

Click here for more information and eligibility criteria.

Priming Grants

A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up. Micro enterprises (Limited Companies, Designated Activity Companies, sole traders, cooperatives and partnerships) can apply for a Priming Grant to help them get the business started within the first 18 months of start-up.

What does the Priming Grant cover?

A Priming Grant may be paid to buy new equipment, help with direct business costs such as salary, rental costs, utilities, marketing, consultancy costs, and so on. Grant assistance is not available for the purchase of a building, land or mobile assets.

There is an element of refundable aid in Priming Grants (grant money that you have to pay back). The LEO’s Evaluation and Approvals Committee will determine this amount.

Click here for more information and eligibility criteria. 

Business Expansion Grants

The Business Expansion Grant is designed to assist the business in its growth phase after the initial 18-month start-up period. Micro enterprises can apply for a Business Expansion Grant to help them to expand the business after the first 18 months of trading.

If a business received a Priming Grant, it cannot apply for a Business Expansion grant until 12 months after the date of approval of the Priming Grant.

What does the Business Expansion Grant cover?

Grant expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Capital items – including fit out of workspace, office equipment, machinery, fixed technology costs, and so on.
  •  Salary Costs – for the first year of employment.
  • Consultancy, Innovation, Marketing Costs – these may include packaging, brochures, business cards, trade fairs, website development, consultancy fees and other marketing initiatives.  
  • General Overhead Costs – these include, for example, utilities and rental or accommodation costs.

There is an element of refundable aid in Business Expansion Grants (grant money that you have to pay back). The LEO’s Evaluation and Approvals Committee will determine this amount.

Click here for more information and eligibility criteria.

For more information

To find out more about your Local Enterprise Office, click here

LEO financial supports_INT

Click on the thumbnail above to download a useful leaflet with more information on LEO Financial Supports.