Funding for Community Enterprise projects announced

Enterprise Ireland: Community Enterprise Initiative

The overarching goal of the €5m Community Enterprise Initiative Fund is to stimulate and support enterprise and job creation at a local, community and regional level.

The competitive call for applications is open to new and existing organisations, groups and alliances, who collaboratively seek to promote entrepreneurship, create jobs, foster innovation and enhance export opportunities for small business.

Phase 1 of the programme opened for applications on Friday 15th May 2015. The closing date for applications is 6pm, Friday, 10th July 2015.

Examples of the expected type of collaboration would be:

  • A chain of Community Enterprise Centres could collaborate that would have the capacity to offer better support services
  • The recruitment of Enterprise Partners could give access to a greater level of practical problem solving expertise (financial, taxation, internationalisation etc.)
  • The forming of alliances with the local Higher Education Institute (HEI) or Education & Training Board (ETB) could give access to domain expertise (marketing, exporting, prototyping, design etc.) that could strengthen the capability of clients etc.
  • Establishment of a volunteer mentoring initiative operating on a regional basis.

Essential Requirements

A prerequisite for proposals for funding under the Community Enterprise Initiative Scheme is a business plan which clearly communicates the potential to create jobs, promote start-ups and to support an increased level of exporting including through the development of enterprise hubs and partnerships.

Priority will be given to new initiatives that can yield economic additionality at the community and regional level and to those working across multiple locations with a regional focus. The focus of the proposal should be one or more of the following:

  • Pre and new start-ups
  • Expanding existing businesses
  • New Job creation
  • Added value to existing jobs
  • Creation of new networks, hubs and clusters
  • Creation of a platform for the provision of expertise, upskilling, management development, mentoring etc.
  • Innovation
  • Filling gaps identified in regional enterprise strategies
  • Leveraging of other enterprise supports e.g. mentoring, funding, etc.
  • Enterprise supported and ‘championed’ by the private sector networks, entrepreneurs etc.

What is the maximum funding available?

  • 50% of costs for a feasibility study/local business plan up to a maximum of €25,000
  • 50% of cost* of suitably skilled personnel who can deliver and develop the project and leverage the support of other agencies and private sector supports
  • 50% of building modification costs up to a maximum of €200,000 per facility to upgrade and enhance the infrastructure to meet current and emerging business needs where justified by the criteria set out
  • 50% of costs for delivery of new services as a result of wider collaborations up to a maximum of €200,000 such as the establishment of hubs, incubators, clusters, networks, mentoring or other partnerships to promote job creation through new start-ups, business expansion, innovation and exports. Other innovative solutions stimulating the start-up culture, enterprise capability and job creation potential of the region is also encouraged.

*maximum €50,000 over a period of 2 years


For more information contact:

Anne Caldwell Tel: + 353 42 9354429



Visit for more info and to download application form


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