An extra €55 million is to be made available for start-up firms in an expansion of the Enterprise Ireland programme which supports high-potential new companies. Last year Enterprise Ireland supported 73 such firms but this is expected to rise to 85 next year and 100 by 2016.
Enterprise Ireland has a dedicated unit for new export-oriented firms that have an innovative product or business model. They are expected to generate sales of over €1 million annually within three years and employ ten people. Each year between 200 and 250 potential entrepreneurs are given feasibility grants of €15,000 after their business ideas are evaluated. Just over a third of these go on to develop their proposals and become designated high-potential firms.
Currently, Enterprise Ireland has an annual budget of €22 million for these start-ups – an extra €55 million will be provided over the six-year timeframe to expand the programme, according to the Sunday Business Post. “It is Government policy to support Irish early-stage entrepreneurs with increased funding so that we can drive export-led growth in the domestic economy, create jobs and generate investor confidence,” Enterprise Minister Batt O’Keeffe was quoted as saying.

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