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Enterprise; Trade and Employment | Incentives for small and start-up enterprises

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the incentives currently available for small and start-up enterprises; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) located within the 31 Local Authorities promote entrepreneurship, foster business start-ups, and develop existing micro and small businesses to drive job creation by providing accessible high-quality supports.

The LEOs provide training and advisory programmes to small businesses, as well as acting as a ‘first stop shop’ providing signposting for all firms to find out about assistance available from government departments and agencies.

Subject to certain eligibility criteria, the LEOs can offer direct grant aid to businesses operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors following the lifecycle of Pre-Start, Start and Grow.

The extension of the LEO mandate, developed in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, will allow them to target new exporters by providing direct grants to firms operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors with more than ten employees.

The LEOs also provide a wide range of high-quality business and management development programmes, including the very successful Start your Own Business Programme which assists entrepreneurs in assessing their business idea, its viability and helps them decide if they should proceed or take a step back.

As set out in the recently published White Paper on Enterprise Policy the LEOs will continue to enhance their advisory services to help businesses improve productivity, particularly around digitalisation and reducing energy and carbon emissions, which will have positive effects on the wider economy.

Scaling and growing the export and start-up base continues to be a key priority for Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland helps SMEs with business planning, mentoring and development advice, feasibility funding and finance.

Enterprise Ireland’s new three-year strategy, launched earlier this year, sets out strategic ambitions for Irish enterprise over the period 2022-2024 and beyond. This includes initiatives to diversify export markets, increase the number of start-ups by 20% and to improve our productivity.

The Government is taking a coordinated approach to ensuring the long-term productivity, competitiveness and growth of our SME sector. The SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan, which was published last year, provides us a blueprint, directly from the business community, on how to create a better business and regulatory environment for our SMEs and entrepreneurs.______________________________________________

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