Enterprise Ireland reveals €2m Competitive Start Fund

10 Jul 2020

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Two €1m funding competitions will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding to successful projects.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups will have the opportunity to apply for one of two newly opened funding competitions from Enterprise Ireland.

The Competitive Start Fund (CSF) opened applications for two competitions on 7 July – the All Sectors competition and the Women Entrepreneurs competition – each with funds of €1m.

Enterprise Ireland will approve up to 40 investments, providing up to €50,000 in equity funding to successful projects.

In addition to funding, successful applicants in the Women Entrepreneurs competition will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Dublin BIC Innovate accelerator programme.

This programme is delivered over a 12-week period and is designed to support and mentor participants in the development of their business. It also aims to build a peer network of entrepreneurs to support progression to seed investor readiness.

Difficult business environment

Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up division manager Jennifer Melia acknowledged the importance of supporting businesses through the current pandemic.

“In an increasingly difficult business environment, the provision of Enterprise Ireland’s funding and advisory supports for manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors has never been more important to enable companies to innovate and pivot,” she said.

“In addition, the drive to transition to a low-carbon economy and tackling the impact of climate change presents market opportunities for innovative solutions, and applications are also welcome from eligible enterprises within this category.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said getting a business up and running even in a buoyant economy can be difficult, let alone during the Covid-19 crisis.

“We need to continue to encourage new ideas and cultivate our start-up culture, as we emerge from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. For successful applicants, the Competitive Start Fund may deliver the boost needed to scale up and bring their business to the next level.”

Melia added that increasing the number of women starting high-growth enterprises is a key objective of Enterprise Ireland’s six-year Strategy for Women in Business.

“Both the ‘Women Entrepreneurs’ Competitive Start Fund and the separate All Sectors Competitive Start Fund can help attract new entrepreneurs and achieve greater diversity in the business community,” she said.

Full details on both CSF competitions, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be found on the Enterprise Ireland website. Applications close at 3pm on Tuesday, 18 August 2020.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic