Support for start-ups

Enterprise Ireland – Partnering for success

World Leading Funding and Support programmes for Start-Ups

Funding and support are always critical issues for start-ups. If you choose to start a business in Ireland there is a wealth of programme support and experience available to you from Enterprise Ireland.  In addition, there are many funding and investment opportunities available to early stage companies and those in growth phases through public (government) funding grants and private sector sources such as VC funds and other venture capital providers.

Government Supports through Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland offers a comprehensive range of supports to high potential, export focussed entrepreneurs and companies to make it as easy as possible to start a business in Ireland and to grow into global markets.

Our supports include:

  • Funding Business
  • Advice, mentoring and introductions
  • Practical help to enter overseas markets

A key programme under which we are funding investment in business is the €10m fund. Launched in October 2011, this investment fund has been ring-fenced to attract entrepreneurs to relocate to Ireland and establish their start-ups here.

The level of support available from Enterprise Ireland is related to the project’s potential benefits to Ireland and is subject to specific terms of eligibility.

Think of us as your partner in Ireland. Click to view full details on all our supports for start-up companies.

Private Sector Funding Sources for Start-Ups and Early Stage Companies

  • A strong and growing network of local Business Angels, Seed Funds and Venture Capitalists (VCs). On a per capita basis, the level of money available is high by international standards
  • In recent years, over 35 overseas VCs have invested in Irish start-ups or early stage companies, attracted by the quality of the start-ups, the advantages of the Irish business and tax environment and the fact that we are only 1-2 hours frequent flight away from the main European VC centres. Enterprise Ireland has relationships with many of these VCs and can arrange introductions where required
  • Ireland has a network of both state and privately owned start-up accelerator programmes. An independent study from has shown that Ireland has three of the top eight such programmes in Europe, despite accounting for less than 1% of the European population. Almost all of these provide some form of funding to participants in addition to mentoring, incubation space, workshops and more

It’s worth noting that you may have the potential to raise money from these sources in addition to any funding you secure from Enterprise Ireland.

We can also assist with advice and introductions to other investors in Ireland.


Tax Based Incentives and Funding for Start-Ups

12.5% Corporation Tax

Ireland’s very favourable tax regime helps make companies based in Ireland more attractive to investors. This includes a low corporation tax rate of 12.5% (the lowest of any serious tech centre) combined with favourable double tax agreements. This generous tax regime is also very beneficial after you become profitable. If you are hoping to sell your business, it can make your company a significantly more attractive acquisition target.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

Generous R&D tax credits are available to start-ups in Ireland.  Even if you are in the loss making start-up phase, these tax breaks may provide immediate cash flow benefits. For example, you could eliminate or reduce your social security contributions by crediting them against your R&D spend. Click here to learn more about the R&D Tax Credit Scheme.

Tax Incentives to Irish Investors in Eligible Start-Ups

Employment Investment and Incentive Scheme (EII) provides tax relief for Irish taxpayers who invest in certain companies.  Most of these programmes meet Enterprise Ireland’s investment criteria.  Click here for information from Revenue.

More reasons to locate in Ireland