Govt announces €55m extra funding for start-up firms

The Government is announcing extra funding for start-up firms.

The Government is announcing extra funding for start-up firms.

An additional €55m has been set aside to give entrepreneurs a capital boost in getting their projects off the ground.

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe says the extra investment will support 100 high potential start ups over six years.

It brings total Government investment in this type of start-up to €187m between 2011 and 2016.

The Government expects the number of new high-potential start-ups (HPSUs) generated by supports from its indigenous job creation agency, Enterprise Ireland, to rise from 70 this year to 100 by 2016 following the extra funding injection.

Last year, Enterprise Ireland supported 73 HPSUs, with the same number forecast for this year.

Enterprise Ireland’s annual budget for the HPSUs is €22m.

"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," said Minister O’Keeffe.

A HPSU is an export-oriented firm that has an innovative product or business model and would be expected to generate sales of over €1m annually within three years and employ more than 10 workers.

It must also be led by an experienced team with a mixture of technical and commercial skills.

"In addition to the immediate job creation potential, many of these HPSUs will continue to grow and generate significant numbers of high-quality new Irish jobs over many years," said Minister O’Keeffe.

Separately, the Government has allocated €6m to a programme called Lean Business, run by Enterprise Ireland, which aims to make up to 400 firms more competitive by grant-aiding cost reduction and productivity projects.

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