Local Enterprise Office & Support for Your Business
Your local enterprise office (LEO) is a place to go if you need advice, support, and information to help grow or start a business in Ireland. This blog outlines what your Local Enterprise Office does, the types of LEO grants and supports available to entrepreneurs and which support might suit your business best. Each county has a LEO that supports the needs of local businesses. You can find a list of LEO locations here.
What do LEO do?
LEO provide support, mentoring and grants to entrepreneurs at various stages of their business. You can visit the Local Enterprise Office when you are trading or before you begin trading. Meeting with an advisor at your LEO will help them learn about your business and provide advice in relation to the supports available. As your business scales in size, LEO can connect you with Enterprise Ireland and other organisations, allowing you to benefit from more grants and supports. It is a good idea to begin connecting with LEO from the early stages of your business and creating a strong support network for your business.
Types of Supports Available to Entrepreneurs in Ireland.
We have outlined a summary of the different types of supports available to entrepreneurs in Ireland.
Microfinance COVID-19 Business Loan
Businesses can apply for business loans from €5,000 to €50,000 from your LEO. These loans have no interest payments for the first six months and are administrated through microfinance Ireland. After six months, LEO clients benefit from a reduced interest rate of 4.5%. Click here for more information.
If you have a business idea that needs to be explored, you can apply for the feasibility grant from your LEO. This offers 50% of the investment or €15,000 to assist with researching the sustainability of your product. Businesses are offered the lesser amount. Click here for more information.
Trading Online Voucher
This business grant offers €2,500 towards implementing e-commerce elements to your business website. Businesses must also invest €250 of their own money to spend on online activities. This grant is only available to businesses that have been operating for at least 6 months and attend a training workshop. Click here for more information.
The Priming Grant is a Start-up business grant for businesses that have been operating for less than 18 months. This grant is used to help hire staff. You can receive up to €15,000 to help financially support your employees. Click here for more information.
The Expansion Grant is for businesses that have been operating for more than 18 months and can be used to support employment. Click here for more information.
Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters
Businesses that need help developing new markets can avail of this support. The Technical Assistance For Micro Exporters (TAME) grant part-funds the cost of investigating and researching export markets. Click here for more information.
Innovation vouchers are for small, limited companies that need assistance building links between Ireland’s public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses. Click here for more information.
Agile Innovation Fund
This fund offers up to 50% in support of innovation projects with a total cost of up to €300,000. The business grant supports the development of new or sustainably improved products, services, or processes. The level of support depends on the business size. Click here for more information.
GradStart is an Enterprise Ireland business grant designed to support the recruitment and retention of graduates within its client companies and it’s open to LEO clients. The fund offers financial support of €15,000 per year or 50% of individual graduate salary costs, whichever is the lower amount. Click here for more information.
Online Training & Mentoring
Each LEO has weekly online events that are generally free. These events tend to be 2-hours long and can be booked online. Additionally, LEO offer mentoring services. There is usually a charge of €50 per mentoring meeting, which tends to last 2-3 hours long. Click here for more information.
The best thing to do is find your local LEO and visit their website. Additionally, working with a professional accountant can help you identify which grants and supports are best for your business. Gallagher Keane provides a full range of advisory services to start-ups, small and medium sized enterprises, private companies, and individuals. Our approach entails coming forward with ideas and solutions that bring added value to clients, based on a comprehensive understanding of each client’s particular business. If you have any queries, please get in touch.