Written answers

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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75. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the supports Údarás na Gaeltacht can provide to small businesses in Gaeltacht areas that want to start up or expand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37353/20]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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Údarás na Gaeltachta can provide a range of financial incentives in the form of grant assistance to assist start-up companies. Support incentives include: 

Start Up Assistance

- Feasibility Study grantsare paid towards assessing the viability of business idea. Costs associated with market research, development of prototype, consultancy and other overheads incurred as a result of the study may be included.

- Development of Micro-Enterprise Schemeoffers funding to eligible start-up businesses towards the costs associated with capital expenditure.

- ‘Chéad Chéim’ Scheme (First Steps)provides funding towards the initial costs associated with starting a business.

- Innovation Voucher Schemeprovides vouchers worth €5,000 to assist early stage companies to work with a registered college or knowledge provider to explore a business opportunity or solve a technical problem.

- Mentor Schemeprovides support for a business mentor to assist in the start-up phase or to advise on specific areas of a business plan.

- Competitive Start Fundis designed to assist the development of a high potential start-up company or individual entrepreneur to investigate the viability of a new business venture. It is available through an open call process through Enterprise Ireland.

Company Expansion Supports

- Capital grantsare paid towards initial investment in material and tangible assets such as building, plant and machinery and assets created by the transfer of technology through the acquisition of patent rights, licences, know-how or unpatented technical knowledge.

- Employment grantsprovide support towards the recruitment of additional employees.

- Training grantsprovide assistance for training programmes that train or up-skill employees.

- Share Capital Investment - An tÚdarás can take an equity stake in small and medium enterprises in the start-up and expansion phases where this is of strategic importance to the development of the enterprise.

Marketing and Export Supports

- Market Developmentincludes grants such as Strategic Marketing Review, Market Access, Internationalisation and Business Links supports towards the costs of researching and exploring new and/or existing international business opportunities.

- Graduates 4 International Growth Programmematches graduates with companies to develop and execute plans to grow in key markets and provides support towards the graduate salary and training.

Research and Development and Innovation Supports

- RD&I Grant Supportprovides support to commercially focused, industry led projects in innovating services, products and processes.

- Innovation Vouchers and Partnershipsassistance is available for companies to work with a registered college or knowledge provider to explore a business opportunity or solve a technical problem. 

- Horizon 2020and other EU Research Funding Programmes. 

- Innovation 4 Growthis targeted at ambitious companies seeking to drive growth through innovation.

Management Development Supports

- Mentor grantscan be used to investigate the feasibility of developing a new product, process, technology or service offering. 

- Strategic Consultancygrants support the cost of planning or implementing a new strategic development initiative.  

- Key Managergrants offer support towards the cost of hiring a Key Manager, critical to the company's future development and who introduces key skills and expertise to the company's senior management team. 

-  Platform 4 Growth / Leadership 4 Growthare designed to challenge SMEs/larger companies to scale and grow their business.

Productivity and Business Process Improvement Supports

- Lean Start, Lean Plus and Lean Transform grantshelp companies to improve and increase performance and competitiveness by undertaking ‘Lean’ assignments. Eligible costs include fees for an external Lean consultant/trainer and employee training and associated costs. 

- GreenStart & GreenPlus grantsare offered to assist companies in adopting greener strategies in areas such as resource efficiency (energy, waste, water) and reductions in carbon footprint. 

- Business Process Improvement Grantssupport short-term company projects that are designed to develop management capability and drive company efficiencies and business process improvements. Eligible projects include LeanPlus or GreenPlus.

Údarás na Gaeltachta also offer an extensive range of specific Covid-19 and Brexit related supports in line with other state agencies. Further details regarding the supports which can be provided to small business in Gaeltacht regions can be accessed of course by contacting Údarás na Gaeltachta directly.

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