New €500,000 Competitive Start Fund for Graduates from Enterprise Ireland to support start up businesses – Minister Bruton

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has launched a new €500,000 Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund targeted at stimulating new start-up business activity for graduates. This fund will provide for up to €50,000 in support for each successful applicant. The fund will open for applications on Wednesday 9th July and closes at 3pm on Wednesday 23rd July 2014. Applicants must have graduated with a FETAC level 8 qualification in the last 3 years.

Young entrepreneurs and third level students are a seed bed for future business start-ups and as such they should be part of Ireland getting back on its feet, and the drive to stimulate more micro and small business activity.

Today’s announcement forms part of a broader strategy, laid out in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at encouraging a higher level of entrepreneurship and start-ups. In recent weeks the Government announced a new county-based competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total of €2million available to invest in winning businesses.

This €500,000 Competitive Start Fund for graduates will help start up and early stage companies to get off the ground and launch new products and services in the international marketplace. The priority of the Fund is to provide graduates with the critical early stage funding for the key commercial and technical milestones that will ensure delivery of their product or service, and help them get their project to a key funding milestone.

Applications are welcome from Manufacturing & Internationally Traded Services sector to start up businesses involved in activities such as Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Cleantech and Industrial Products.

Announcing the fund, Minister Bruton said: “In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs and start-up businesses – we just don’t have enough of them. That is why we have specifically targeted, as part of our Action Plan for Jobs, an improved performance in this area, by putting in measures like the new county-based competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. The fund we are announcing today will provide investment of up to €50,000 for businesses run by graduates, and is aimed at encouraging more graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice. I urge any graduate with a good business idea to get involved”.

Lisa Vaughan, Head of Scaling and High Potential Start Ups at Enterprise Ireland, added: “By introducing a targeted Start Fund for early stage graduates aiming to start up their own businesses, Enterprise Ireland is emphasising the importance of this new initiative as part of the Action Plan for Jobs and contributing to the creation of a positive environment to encourage more start up businesses in Ireland. This Fund is the first of its type for graduates and will provide a package of financial and developmental supports. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis and the financial support will be in the form of equity investment. The support will be towards costs associated with developing the business and achieving key milestones.”

Full details of the Fund, including the Application Form, are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site:


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