For Irish businesses looking for funding and support, there are plenty of options at Enterprise Ireland to investigate. Cristina O’Sullivan offers a summary.
Key Enterprise Ireland grants and funds in 2023-24
- Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme
- Crisis Response Business Financial Planning Grant
- Evolve Strategic Planning Grant
- Green Transition Fund
- Digital Transition Fund
Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme
The scheme is aimed at businesses experiencing significant difficulty as a result of increased energy costs and the impact on the business as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Eligible companies: manufacturing and internationally traded services companies.
Two streams of support:
- Stream 1: is a liquidity measure to help viable manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services companies experiencing trading difficulties to access funding up to €2m. Companies must show a 15% reduction in EBITDA between 2021 and 2022/2023. Funding is considered in line with the reported EBITDA decrease amount up to max €500k.
- Stream 2: is a state aid support for eligible energy intensive companies who are experiencing severe increases in energy costs in 2022 and 2023 compared with 2021. The businesses to have at least 3% of turnover in 2021 or 6% of turnover in 2022/2023 expended on energy costs. Companies must demonstrate that their unit energy costs increased at least 1.5 times, that they have seen a 15% decrease in EBITDA, and the decrease is as a direct result of increases in energy input prices and not from other supply chain or inflationary issues. A 50% contribution in the form of grant and/or repayable advance as deemed appropriate will apply to any unit energy charges in 2022/2023 more than 1.5 times the 2021 cost.
Crisis Response Business Financial Planning Grant
This grant assists companies in preparing a detailed financial plan and to assess the impact of currently emerging developments on their business.
Funding of up to €5,000 (100% of expenditure) is available for engagement with an approved external consultant to a max rate of €900 per day. The external consultants’ scope includes: understanding the impact of the war in Ukraine, understanding any immediate liquidity issues, creating a financial plan to secure external finance, developing a framework to manage the finances of the business
Eligible companies: The grant is open to existing clients of Enterprise Ireland that meet these criteria:
- High Potential Start-ups (HPSUs) – >5 full time employees and post EI equity investment, SME or large company
- Actively trading
- Engaged in eligible activities
- Have been impacted by the war in Ukraine, increases in input and energy costs, currency fluctuations and/or supply chain disruptions.
Evolve Strategic Planning Grant
This grant assists businesses to develop a strategic response to address a business disruption or new opportunity, offering up to €5,000 (80% grant aid) to Enterprise Ireland supported companies to help cover costs associated with a short assignment to determine how the company might respond to the threats and/or opportunities that have arisen as a result of changes to the trading environment.
- Researching opportunities as the market evolves and changes.
- Exploring the product and service innovation elements of the business.
- Reviewing commercial aspects of the business, including costs, pricing, and logistical arrangements.
- Exploring new opportunities in new markets.
- Exploring approaches to optimise supply chains.
- Scenario planning for markets over the next 2-3 years.
- Analysing the challenges of operating in affected markets.
- Reviewing challenges affecting the current business strategy, priorities, and operating models.
- Fees of external consultants to cover the following areas:
strategy, market development, innovation, operations, people, and finance.
- Employee travel and travel expenses related to the project.
- External training provider costs to cover recognised/certified professional training courses.
Green Transition Fund
The Green Transition Fund accelerates the decarbonisation of Irish enterprise. There are two streams of funding; the Climate Planning Fund for Business, and the Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund.
Climate Planning Fund for Business, building company capability to develop plans for lower-carbon products, processes, and business models. Supports available include:
- Climate Action Voucher: support to develop an initial economy action plan – €1,800 grant
- Green Start: consultancy grant to hep companies to introduce environmental best practices: max €5,000 (80% of eligible costs)
- Green Plus: support for training projects – max €5,000 (50% of eligible costs)
- Strategic Consultancy: to assist large energy users – max €35,000 (50% of eligible costs)
Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund, supporting capital investment and research, development & innovation in decarbonisation. Supports available include:
- Capital Investment for Energy Monitoring & Tracking systems: supporting companies to put in place monitoring systems to begin accounting for their activities’ carbon footprint – max €50,000 (50% of eligible costs)
- Capital Investment for decarbonisation processes: investment in carbon reducing technologies in manufacturing combustion processes – max €1m (30%-50% of eligible costs)
- Innovation Vouchers: assistance to explore a business opportunity – €5,000
- Exploring Innovation: grant to support research & development in areas of sustainability – max €35,000 (50% of eligible costs)
- Research & Development/ Agile Innovation: supporting the development of new products/services in the areas of sustainability – funding depending on the project type and size.
Digital Transition Fund
This fund aims to drive change in the digital transition of Irish business as a key driver of sustainable productivity. There is a large range of grants and supports offered here, including:
- Digital Discovery: consultancy grant to develop a digital strategy – €5,000
- Digital Process Innovation: project grant to implement new lean-digital processes in the business covering production, delivery or organisational methods – max €150,000 (50% of eligible costs)
- Digital Marketing Capability: training grant to develop in-house digital marketing capability – max €35,000 (50% of eligible costs)
- Exploring Innovation: grant is to support planning of research, development or innovation projects – max €35,000 (50% of eligible costs).
To get started with Enterprise Ireland, contact your Regional Development Advisor through your local office. The Cork office details are here.
There are significant supports available but ensuring eligibility and the application process can be complex. We recommend talking to a specialist who understands both your business and the complexities of the supports available. For more information on EI supports and what’s available to you, contact your own accountant or reach out to us at email@example.com.