What Supports are there for Small Business?

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are a key target of European Union funding. The European Union describes Small and Medium Enterprises as those with staff of under 250 and a total turnover of less than €50 million. A Microenterprise is one that employs 10 people or less and has a turnover below €2 million.

Under the four programmes listed below, supports include financial support, training and mentoring programmes (like those under the Microenterprise Scheme) and market access (this is funded by schemes like the Seafood Processing Capital Investment Scheme). Under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the LEADER Programme also supports enterprise throughout the country.

Funding for Support for Small Business: 69.2million euro from the Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme, 58 million euro from the Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme, 300.3 million euro from the Rural Development Programme and 71.5 euro from the EMFF Operational Programme for Ireland.

Examples of Support for Small Business Projects

Drombeg Premium Irish Spirit - an ERDF Beneficiary

Microenterprise Scheme

European Regional Development Fund

Local Enterprise Offices around the country administer European grants for a wide range of schemes targeted at businesses with less than 10 employees. Learn about the kind of projects supported by these grants by reading this case study.

For details about the supports offered by Local Enterprise Offices, take a look at the Local Enterprise Offices’ website.

Dunmore East

New Fishermen Scheme

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

This scheme, managed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, helps applicants under 40 acquire their first fishing vessel.

The grant provides 25% of the cost (up to €75,000) of acquiring the vessel.

For more details about this scheme, and other schemes managed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, take a look at their website.

Dunmore East


Seafood Processing Capital Investment Scheme

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

This scheme, also managed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, provides grants for 15-30% of capital investment costs to Seafood Processing SMEs or SMEs seeking to expand into Seafood Processing.

To learn more about this scheme, and the full list of areas supported, take a look at the Bord Iascaigh Mhara website.

Which Funds invest in Support for Small Business?

Each of the Funds below invest in Support for Small Business. Click on these tiles to explore the other investments made by each Fund.