Enterprise Ireland announces Graduate Entrepreneurship €500,000 Competitive Start Fund to accelerate growth of start-ups

28th March 2018

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Minister Heather Humphreys TD with Sarita Johnston, Enterprise Ireland and Niall Harty, Harty Nutrition Ltd.

Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for recent graduates will open for applications on Tuesday 10th April 2018. The €500,000 fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 10 successful applicants. The fund closes to applications at 3pm on Tuesday, 24th April 2018.

The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets and the graduate entrepreneurship call specifically is to encourage entrepreneurship among graduates.

The CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up companies (HPSUs) that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years. Applications from final year students and graduates with a third-level qualification within the last three years are invited to apply.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “We have a pool of talented and ambitious entrepreneurs in this country, who are still in university or recently graduated, and are making valuable contributions to the economy through their start-ups. For these entrepreneurs, supports like Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund are vital. Together with crucial funding, the initiative provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey, and provides a platform from which they can progress their business.”

Commenting on the announcement, Sarita Johnston, Department Manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A key priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies with global ambition to start and grow their businesses internationally. Entrepreneurship can be embarked upon at different stages of life and there are real opportunities right now in Ireland for graduates to travel the exciting journey of starting a high potential business. Graduate entrepreneurs can sometimes be overlooked; however, we understand the value in their ideas and their businesses to the start-up ecosystem. This CSF call is a kick-start for innovative early stage companies led by graduates to get off the ground while receiving a critical funding boost of up to €50,000.”

In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch. Full details on the Competitive Start Fund for Graduate Entrepreneurs, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website: www.enterprise-ireland.com/graduatecsf

In partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Dublin BIC will be hosting a free-to-attend CSF Application Support Day on 17th April. Prospective applicants for the CSF for graduate entrepreneurship can register here: http://www.dublinbic.ie/our-programmes/investor-ready-preparation/smart-start/csf-application-support-days

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About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland. www.enterprise-ireland.com

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For further information please contact

Aoife Kelly

Press & Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

Aoife Kelly

+353 1 727 2344

+353 87 410 1818