People regularly ask questions on what financial supports are available and how to access them. The following is an article written by Eibhlin Curley, Assistant CEO of the Dublin City Enterprise Board (www.dceb.ie) on the grants and financial supports available through Dublin CEB. Although this is specific to one enterprise board it gives a good introduction to the types of funding and eligibility rules that apply to many public agencies when funding start-up ventures. Many thanks Eibhlin:

Grants & Financial Support

Dublin City Enterprise Board’s priority is job creation and exports for micro businesses.

Eligibility for financial support

We provide financial assistance to certain types of businesses only.

Irish businesses that are eligible for support include businesses that export a service, for example, selling technology outside Ireland, Irish businesses that manufacture an innovative product in Ireland for example a bakery or tourism businesses that attract foreign tourists to Ireland are also eligible for financial support.

Dublin City Enterprise Boards can help small businesses with 10 employees or less based in Dublin city. We can help, owner managers of established businesses, start up businesses and Entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business.

You must be creating at least one new full-time paid position to be eligible for funding.

Types of grants available

Business Development funding is available for established businesses. Funds can be used for new employee salaries, marketing and manufacturing equipment and fit-out costs.

Priming funding are for new businesses and help fund salaries, marketing and equipment costs. They are for businesses that are trading less than 18 months.

Feasibility/ Innovation grants which help towards prototype development, market research and patent costs.

The Priming grants and Business Development funds are partly refundable.

The average size of grants in Dublin City Enterprise Board are Business Development €20,000, Priming €12,000 and Feasibility €7,500 depending on the number of new jobs created.

Application Process

An application form and the Promoter’s CV is required for feasibility study/ innovation grant applications. In the case of Priming and Business Development funding a Business Plan, Promoter’s C.Vs, 12 month projected cashflow and 3 years of projected Profit & Loss accounts are required. For existing business the applicant must submit their recent accounts. The applicant must make a strong case and provide as much evidence as possible of commercial viability, job creation and exports.

Assessment

The County & City Enterprise Boards work on behalf of Ireland Inc. The priorities are job creation and exports. Commercial viability of the grantees is essential.

The applicant meets an Enterprise Board executive who explains the process and ensures that there is comprehensive information for the assessment. The written grant applications and supporting documentation (Business Plan and financial information) are circulated to the Evaluation Committee in advance of the meeting and decision making. There are five people on the Evaluation Committee; an Accountant, Bank Manager, Business person, Enterprise Ireland Manager and Dublin City Council Manager.

The Evaluation Committee make recommendations about whether the application should be rejected, deferred (if they need clarification on particular issues) or approved. In the case of an approval, they will specify the level of funding and which costs in particular should be funded. They might also include some terms and conditions that apply to the funding. Their recommendations are circulated to the Board of Directors along with a summary of the application. The Board make the final decision. There are 14 people on the Board of Directors. Neither the Evaluation Committee nor Board members are paid for their contributions.

The reason why applications are rejected is because of sector, deadweight, displacement and commercial viability.

Grant Claims

A business Tax Clearance Certificate is required for all payments. Payments towards salary costs are based on payslips of full-time employees. The payment is paid in two instalments. The first month’s payslip of the new employee and the second instalment is paid on the 6 month’s payslip. All over approved expenses are paid on a receipts basis (excluding VAT), between the Board approval date and the expiry date of the grant offering. No retrospective expenses are paid for costs incurred before the Board approval date.

Follow Up

Dublin City Enterprise Board have regular follow up with grant clients and onsite visits. An annual employment survey of all businesses that have received financial assistance is carried out to identify the number of jobs sustained and created.

Summary

• Dublin City Enterprise Boards financially support innovative niche market businesses involved in manufacturing or exporting a service in Dublin city employing less than 10 people

• The business must be creating at least one new full-time job

Don’t forget Dublin City Enterprise Boards offer business advice, training, networking and mentoring to a wider range of businesses and potential Entrepreneurs too. For full details about financial assistance and other DCEB supports check out http://www.dceb.ie or telephone 01 6351144

Note: DCEB are funded through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and EU Structural Funds

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