SME Business Guide

Start Up Business Grants and Government Start Up Support in Ireland

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is an exhilarating adventure, and for start ups in Ireland, it's comforting to know that there are various grants and financial support available to fuel those initial stages of growth. In our latest blog, we'll dive into the dynamic landscape of start up grants in Ireland, exploring the avenues that can provide the much-needed boost for emerging businesses. From Enterprise Ireland initiatives to local support from the vibrant start up ecosystem, discover how these grants can turn innovative ideas into thriving enterprises.

Enterprise Ireland:

Enterprise Ireland is a government organisation that provides support to Irish businesses, including start ups. They offer various funding and support programs, such as the High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding.


High-Potential Feasibility Study Grant: Access up to €30k to test how feasible your business idea is. 


Innovation HPSU Fund: This fund, managed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, supports innovative and high-potential start ups. Co funded equity investment up to €800k to accelerate high potential start ups developing new technologies with ambition for international markets. 


Pre-Seed Start Fund: Apply for investment of up to €100k once you have stress tested your strategy and developed an MVP. 


Innovation Vouchers:

Innovation Vouchers are offered by Enterprise Ireland and provide funding for small businesses to work with knowledge providers like universities or research institutions.


Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs):

LEOs provide support and services to small businesses and start ups at the local level. They offer grants, training programs, and mentorship opportunities.


Financial supports include: 


  • Feasibility study grants 

  • Priming grants

  • Business expansion grants 

  • Technical assistance for micro exporters

  • Research, development and innovation supports 

  • Brexit supports for your small business

  • Microfinance loans

  • Trading online voucher scheme

  • Energy efficiency grant


They also offer a Start Your Own Business course aimed at guiding you in assessing your idea and its viability.


Start up Accelerators and Incubators:

Joining a start up accelerator or incubator program can provide not only funding but also mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources. 


SBCI (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland):

The SBCI works with banks and other lenders to provide affordable funding to Irish SMEs, including startups.


Employment and Investment Incentive (EII):

The Employment and Investment Incentive scheme provides tax relief to individuals who invest in qualifying start ups.


Microfinance Ireland:

Microfinance Ireland offers loans to small businesses, including start ups, that may have difficulty securing traditional bank finance. They lend from €2000 - €25000.


Reach out to each provider to gather more information about each grant and explore additional available support options. Please also, take the opportunity to examine the eligibility criteria for each.


Santiago SME Finance only provides finance to companies that are trading for at least 1 year. If you are in the start up stages, take advantage of the support available for your business. We do hope that you consider us in the future once the business is up and running for future financial requirements. We’d be delighted to be your chosen financial partner to grow with your business.