What are the different ways in which Enterprise Ireland supports Start-Ups?

Enterprise Ireland stands in the forefront of start-up support in Ireland, helping Irish businesses to grow and scale.

Enterprise Ireland, the national economic development agency, is a beacon of support for businesses of all sizes, particularly those within the manufacturing and internationally traded sectors. Through a comprehensive suite of funding opportunities and support programmes, the agency aids businesses at every stage of their development. Here, we delve into the specifics of these offerings, shedding light on how businesses can tap into this wellspring of support.

The Jewel of Ireland’s Economic Crown: Enterprise Ireland 

Enterprise Ireland is a state-backed agency that plays a pivotal role in the development of manufacturing and internationally traded service businesses. The agency’s support spans from fledgling entrepreneurs harbouring high-potential start-up ideas to large corporations that intend on expanding their operations, enhancing efficiency and boosting international sales.

Enterprise Ireland’s support is not confined to financial aid alone. The agency also provides comprehensive advice, mentorship, and invaluable introductions to help businesses venture into overseas markets. The ultimate goal is to simplify the process of starting and growing a business in Ireland and to facilitate penetration into global markets.

Unravelling the Funding Opportunities for Start-Ups   

Funding and support are the lifeblood of start-ups. In Ireland, a wealth of support programmes and experience awaits businesses via Enterprise Ireland. The funding and investment opportunities are available to early-stage companies and those in growth phases, through both public funding grants and private sector sources. 

The New Frontiers Programme for Early-stage Start-ups

The New Frontiers programme is an excellent initiative for businesses in the early stages of development. This programme, delivered at a local level by 18 Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology across Ireland, is designed to transform your innovative idea into a booming start-up.

High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Funding: The Gateway to Investment

Businesses with the potential to create an innovative product or service for international markets could be eligible for High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding. If the start-up has the potential to generate 10 jobs and €1 million in export sales within three years, they may qualify for assistance from Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-Up.

Furthr supported many start-ups from the Leinster region that received HPSU approval throughout their journey.

Feasibility Grants: Nurturing Your Idea from Seed to Sapling

Enterprise Ireland provides Feasibility Grants to help businesses reach the investor-ready stage. This grant supports various activities such as market research, business plan development, technical research and prototyping.  

Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF): Catalyst for Start-Up Growth

Replacing the Competitive Start Fund, the Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) offers investment in the form of a convertible loan note. This fund is designed to help start-ups cover operational costs while undertaking key tasks such as developing a market-ready product or building critical skillsets within the team.

Furthr hosts online workshops to help the applicants gain a better understanding of the Pre-Seed Start Fund process and Enterprise Ireland’s requirements for a successful application. 

Established SME Funding

Established SMEs, i.e., companies with more than 10 employees, can avail of a broad range of support from Enterprise Ireland. These supports help with market research, internationalisation, research and development, innovation, leadership and management, business improvement, and expansion.

Large Company Funding: Promoting Expansion and Innovation

Large companies employing over 250 employees can tap into Enterprise Ireland’s support to aid their growth. The categories of support are adapted to suit the needs of larger businesses and offer a comprehensive suite of funding, programmes, workshops, and grants.

A list of other supports and grants provided by Enterprise Ireland. Please stay updated with the changes on the website.


Empowering Women Founders and Leaders

Enterprise Ireland recognises the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles across Ireland and is committed to bridging this gender gap by empowering them. They run several capability-building programs such as Going for Growth and Exxcel,  specifically designed to support women entrepreneurs. Enterprise Ireland’s website has a dedicated Female Entrepreneurship page that provides valuable resources and information. They have established a Female Entrepreneurship Unit that aims to support female-led businesses. The six-year Action Plan for Women in Business by Enterprise Ireland is another initiative aimed at increasing the participation of women in entrepreneurship. They launched an action plan in 2020 that aims to usher more women into business at all levels, notably senior roles, and support female-led businesses. The plan is continually evolving, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any new opportunities it offers. Enterprise Ireland also provides support through initiatives like the Women in Business Networks.


Enterprise Ireland is a cornerstone of Irish business development, offering a wealth of resources to businesses at every stage of growth. The agency’s diverse range of funding opportunities and support programmes can provide the vital support businesses need to thrive on both domestic and international stages. With a focus on innovation and international trade, Enterprise Ireland is an essential partner in the journey towards business success.

Want to know more about the support provided by Enterprise Ireland and how Furthr can help? Talk to us at hello@furthr.ie.  

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