How to access business grants in Ireland

There is an extensive range of state supports available to companies that base themselves in Dublin. It’s one of the many reasons investment in the city is so strong. The support and financial grants available will depend on your company’s size, sector and plans for R&D.

Here’s an introduction to the business grants and supports you may be able to access. If you’re already running a business in Ireland, you can also check out our page on Covid-19 supports.

For foreign direct investment

For both established and emerging multinationals, the IDA provides a comprehensive range of services. It is a long-established, semi-state agency that is uniquely qualified to help overseas companies establish or expand their operations in Dublin.

From arranging introductions with key government and industry officials, through to providing grants and other investment incentives, the IDA is a crucial point of contact for every company moving to Dublin.

Enterprise Ireland is another relevant government organisation. It’s responsible for funding and supporting high potential international startups. You can find out more about its wide range of programmes and funding for startups here.

For Irish-owned companies

Enterprise Ireland is also responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets – whatever stage of development they’re at. Funding, mentoring and training are among the support services it offers. It will also help businesses find potential collaborators for R&D initiatives and overseas expansion.

There are also four Dublin-based Local Enterprise Offices: one in the city centre, one in south Dublin, one in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and one in the Fingal area. Through grants, funding, mentoring and training, they support startups and micro-enterprises with up to ten employees.

For businesses in the food, drink or horticultural sectors, the Irish food board – Bord Bia – also offers a range of supports. Lots of other business networks and industry associations provide business grants and supports too. So be sure to research the Irish organisations relevant to your company’s sector.

For companies interested in R&D initiatives

For companies interested in research and development, the IDA has a range of specific grants and programmes that can help. This includes funding and support mechanisms, like employment and training grants. There are also generous tax incentives, including a 25% R&D tax credit, to encourage investment.

A wide range of research centres are also based in Dublin. These innovative labs and research spaces fuel and support business innovation. Individual centres specialise in everything from nanotechnology to marine science.

Here’s a list of the facilities located in Dublin:

  • ADAPT – Centre for Digital Content Platform Research
  • AMBER – Advanced Materials and Bio-Engineering Research
  • BEACON – Bioeconomy Research Centre
  • CONNECT – SFI Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications
  • Enterprise Ireland – The Technology Centre programme
  • FutureNeuro – SFI Research Centre for Neurological Diseases
  • iCrag – Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences
  • iForm – SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing
  • INSIGHT – Big Data and Analytics Research Centre
  • UCD research institutes
  • TCD research institutes
  • TU Dublin – DIT college of sciences and health research institutes

Other sources of business loans and funding

Business loans are available from Irish banks like Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. However, many alternative sources of  finance are available too.

Here’s some popular options:

Venture capital firms in the city

Many venture capital firms in Dublin can also assist with business funding. These include:

Venture capital firms

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has significantly grown in recent years and is now a considerable source of business funding in Ireland. It is a great option for startups and SMEs, in particular. Dublin-based crowdfunding platforms include Spark CrowdfundingLinked Finance and FundIt.

Right now, crowdfunding is an unregulated activity in Ireland. But from November 2021, European legislation will apply.

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