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Community Enterprise Initiative

The €5m Community Enterprise Initiative Fund is to stimulate and support enterprise and job creation at a local, community and regional level. This fund is part of the Government’s €250m Regional Enterprise Development Initiative aimed at accelerating economic recovery in every part of the country. The competitive call for applications is open to new and existing organisations, groups and alliances, who collaboratively seek to promote entrepreneurship, create jobs, foster innovation and enhance export opportunities for small business. A prerequisite for proposals is the need to demonstrate innovative solutions to fostering and creating employment. Priority will be given to new approaches that build on, and strengthen, the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the country. Through the utilisation of existing infrastructure and the leveraging of nationally available enterprise supports, the specific objectives of the scheme include:
  • Fostering an increased collaborative, networked and linked approach to regional and local enterprise development and job creation
  • Establishment of hubs, accelerators, networks and clusters or other partnerships based on regional strengths, opportunities and uniqueness. Within this is the establishment of partnership activities where innovative start-ups can be established in a supportive network before graduating to other support mechanisms or self-sufficiency
  • Proactively seeking out, encouraging and supporting applications from economically disadvantaged areas and areas facing potential economic shock to foster potential opportunities for job creation and supporting enterprise
  • Promotion of a progression pathway for companies as they start, develop and scale.

What is the maximum funding available?

The fund size will be €5m and is cash limited. This is a competitive fund and due to limited funding available under the fund, it may not be possible to award aid to all eligible projects. While there will be flexibility in the funding model to allow applications to be innovative, under the Community Enterprise Initiative Scheme the following financial support is available:
  • 50% of costs for a feasibility study/local business plan up to a maximum of €25,000
  • 50% of cost* of suitably skilled personnel who can deliver and develop the project and leverage the support of other agencies and private sector supports
  • 50% of building modification costs up to a maximum of €200,000 per facility to upgrade and enhance the infrastructure to meet current and emerging business needs where justified by the criteria set out
  • 50% of costs for delivery of new services as a result of wider collaborations up to a maximum of €200,000 such as the establishment of hubs, incubators, clusters, networks, mentoring or other partnerships to promote job creation through new start-ups, business expansion, innovation and exports. Other innovative solutions stimulating the start-up culture, enterprise capability and job creation potential of the region is also encouraged.
*maximum €50,000 over a period of 2 years Phase 1 of the programme opened for applications on Friday 15th May 2015. The closing date for applications is 6pm, Friday, 10th July 2015. Fore more information contact Gillian Slattery
Envelop icon Gillian Slattery Programme Manager – Micro Enterprise and Small Business Unit, Enterprise Ireland Tel: +353 61 429927
Or your local Regional Enterprise Ireland office.