Start Up Development Programmes

Learn the skills to start and develop your business

Local Enterprise Offices

Your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is your ‘first-stop-shop’ for advice and information to help you start or develop your business.

The LEOs organise the Start Your Own Business Programme. The programme will guide you through the various aspects of business and business planning.  The objective is to assist you in assessing your idea, its viability and to decide if you should proceed or take a step back.


EnterpriseSTART 2 “Challenging and Validating your Business Idea”

Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with the four Business Innovation Centres (BICs) in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford – has developed a programme designed to help entrepreneurs tease out their business idea and develop a comprehensive business proposition.  The programme is designed for entrepreneurs and early stage start-up companies that have a business idea but need to develop it to a point where it can be considered by Enterprise Ireland’s as a high potential start-up.  The programme involves two half-day group workshops and two one-to-one mentoring meetings with experienced business consultants.  An initial screening meeting is required to identify suitability to participate. Details available at  EnterpriseSTART2  or contact Sandra Reynolds +353 1 6713111 or email


New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme

New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme run in partnership with the Institutes of Technology. The programme is designed to support entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas who are planning to establish and run their own company. A range of supports including mentoring, incubation space and a €15,000 scholarship payment are provided to help accelerate your business development and to equip you with the skills and contacts that you need to successfully start and grow your company.

The programme has three phases: Phase 1 consists of a series of evening and weekend workshops designed to help you tease out your business idea. Participants are then selected through a competitive process to progress to Phase two. This is a full-time intensive six-month incubation programme designed to get a project to an investor ready stage. Phase three offers further incubation facility support. Details available at: New Frontiers


Foodworks Ireland  

The Food Works Programme is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Teagasc. The aim of the programme is to find and foster a new group of food entrepreneurs. Food Works 2016 is currently open for enquiries. Please register on-line for an Introductory Meeting. Details available at: Foodworks Ireland.


Bio Innovate Programme  

BioInnovate Ireland is a national medical technology innovation training programme that aims to act as a neutral territory in which academia, clinicians and industry can collaborate to develop novel medical technologies. The programme is a partnership between multiple universities (NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork), engages with hospitals all over the country, and is supported by Enterprise Ireland, IMDA and multiple industry sponsors. Details available at: BioInnovate.


More information

For more information on state supports for start-ups and SMEs, please use the SME Online Tool.

For more information on how Enterprise Ireland supports High Potential Start-ups (HPSUs), go to the Start a Business Section.