Guide to Grants for Irish Startups

Ireland is truly a land of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Here is our guide to grants in Ireland for start ups.

Early Stage Supports For Companies

Tax Refunds

If you’ve set up a new business, you can claim back the previous six years’ income tax you paid to invest into the company. €250 is the minimum and the maximum investment is €100,000 per year. If you’re a professional service company or deal in land, petroleum or mineral activities you can’t avail of this.


Three-year corporate tax exemption

The sheme gives relief from corporation tax (earn up to €120,000) on your trading income, and a few other gains new companies may acquire, for the first three years.


The Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EII).

This scheme allows individual investors to get tax relief on investments they make in other companies. Companies seeking EII relief must directly seek certification from the Revenue Commisioners.

R&D Tax Credit

Great for SMEs, you can get 25% tax credit for research and development expenditure. R&D must be in-house and within the European Economic Area.

Start Your Own Business Scheme

These are a popular option for early-stage companies. A seed capital fund involves your receiving an investment in exchange for equity in your company.

Enterprise Ireland currently support €124 million in seed capital funds. There are four main seed funds for companies in Ireland:


Short Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) gives support to people who have lost their job and want to start their own business. Replacing Jobseeker’s Benefit, you can receive it for 9 months.


Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

This allowance is for those out of work for more than a year. When you set up a business, you can keep all of your welfare payment for the first year. In the second year, this is cut down to 75% and in the third year you can still keep half of your welfare payments.


OPTIMISE eCommerce Fund

OPTIMISE provides Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with a range of eCommerce supports. Companies can win 10 days of professional consultancy, training and development.


Innovation vouchers

Innovation vouchers act as bridges between a company and a registered knowledge provider (usually universities or institutes of technology) to explore a businesss opportunity or problem. If you own or manage an SME, you can apply for an innovation voucher worth €5,000.


High Potential Start-Up Feasibility Study Grant

The (HPSU) Feasibility Grant is to help new companies look into the viability of a new export-orientated business or proposition. You can get 50% of this, VAT-exclusive, up to €15,000. You also don’t have to pay back the money!


New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme

Incredibly competitive, New Frontiers is an Enterprise Ireland programme that gives successful competitors €15,000 and invaluable training and advice.

Enterprise Ireland’s portfolio of top startup funds

The Competitive Feasibility Fund for Female Entrepreneurs

The Competitive Start Fund

The High Potential Startup Unit

Graduate Start Fund

Google Ventures




Participants receive an initial cash investment of between €30,000 and €100,000, strategic business development advice and intensive mentoring by experts in digital enterprises, innovation, finance, investment, marketing and communications.


The NDRC Launchpad

Still in the initial idea stage? The NDRC will give you €20,000 pre-seed money during the three-month kick off programme. You’ll also have access to expert mentors to help you get your idea of the ground.


NDRC’s Female Founders

This incubator is for women with high-tech business start up ideas and is run by the NDRC, AIB and Enterprise Ireland. They can give you details of all the grants you’re entitled to and help give your business an extra push in the right direction.



Mentoring,free legal/tax/marketing advice, securing funding help.


Ignite Incubator Programme

University College Cork (UCC), a six months office space free-of-charge at the National Software Centre in Mahon.


Invent Centre DCU

Help finding state funding.


Incubation Centre at Maynooth University

How to commercialise research.


The Nexus Innovation Centre University of Limerick

Programmes tailor-made for startups.


Food Academy Start Programme

Food business startups help from the Local Enterprise Office, Board Bia and SuperValu.



NDRC VentureLab

If you’re a start up in tech healthcare, eCommerce, energy efficiency, functional foods, carbon reduction and image recognition, Venturelab can help you with investment of up to €100,00


Propeller Venture Accelerator

If you’re a start up in tech healthcare, eCommerce, energy efficiency, functional foods, carbon reduction and image recognition, Venturelab can help you with investment of up to €100,00


Female Propellers

Open to female founders of startups less than five
years old.
Trinity College Dublin


Open to Trinity students, participants receive funding, office space and mentorship.



A European pre-seed and seed stage acceleration fund.

Cash Prize Competitions For Start Ups


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