Entrepreneurs and early-stage start-up companies in Cork are in with a chance of landing a grant of up to €25,000 to develop their business concept as part of a new State-backed fund.
The new €200,000 Enterprise Ireland Competitive Feasibility Fund — officially launched, yesterday, by Jobs and Enterprise Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor — is being viewed as “a key measure” of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and is targeted at stimulating small business in the Cork region.
“The purpose of this fund is to help develop and support new, or early stage, businesses, which will, in turn, stimulate the creation of new jobs. As Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation I am committed to job creation in all regions across rural Ireland and this fund will go a long way to helping businesses grow and expand in this region,” Minister Mitchell-O’Connor said.
The fund is open to individuals, early-stage companies, or prospective businesses involved in manufacturing and internationally traded services in sectors such as Internet, games, apps, cloud computing, enterprise software, life sciences, food, beverages, consumer products, industrial products, engineering, medical devices and e-health.
Martin Corkery, Enterprise Ireland’s regional manager for Cork, said: “A priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies to start up. The purpose of this fund is to give successful applicants the ability to assess the viability and market potential of their business ideas.”
“Enterprise Ireland is seeking to support business ideas that are likely to achieve significant growth within three to four years, with sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10 or more people. Eligible applications for funding will be considered on a competitive basis and short-listed.
“All shortlisted companies will then present their idea to a panel in the Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen. The subsequent support, if awarded, will be determined by that panel,” he added.
Applications for funding are now open and close on Thursday, October 27.
Enterprise Ireland is also holding a brief information session on the fund, for potential applicants, next Thursday, October 20, at the agency’s Cork office.
The fund is not open to businesses or projects that have been previously approved for financial support from Enterprise Ireland — via equity investment, feasibility grants, CORD grants or previous competitive start funds — or which are focused solely on the domestic market.
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