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Local Enterprise

The objective of this sub-programme is to provide financial and technical support for the development of micro enterprises. A network of 35 County Enterprise Boards (CEBs) has been established to implement this programme at a local level. It is aimed at businesses, community groups, individual entrepreneurs, small and micro-enterprises. The total funding for local enterprise in the period 1994-1999 is £113.6 million. The European Union provides approximately 55% of this and the State provides the remaining 45%. The following measures can be supported:

Preparation/Review of County Enterprise Plans/Promoting Enterprise/Culture
Each County Enterprise Board (CEB) has prepared a plan in consultation with public authorities, the social partners and the voluntary sector. The plan will aim to provide a socio-economic overview of the County, identify the objectives for the Board and set down the actions the Board will undertake to achieve its objectives. Copies of plans can be obtained from CEBs.

Business Information/Advice, Counselling and Mentoring Support
CEBs are a first point of contact for advice and direction on establishing and developing enterprises. CEBs provide the following types of service:

  • Information of grants and loan schemes Advice on establishing and running a small business.
  • Support in the preparation of applications for funding.
  • Assistance in developing business plans.

Many CEBs run Mentoring Programmes which allow small businesses the opportunity to avail of expertise from experienced business people free of charge. Mentors can provide hands on advice across a broad range of areas - marketing. personnel, production, finance, distribution, sales, planning.

County Enterprise Fund/Financial Assistance
The fund is to assist through grant-aid the establishment of small viable enterprises. Grants from the fund will support:

  1. Individuals, group or community projects, providing products or services which have the capacity to achieve commercial viability.
  2. The preparation of feasibility studies and business plans aimed at assessing the viability of projects.

County Enterprise Boards will not normally consider proposals involving grant support in excess of £50,000, or projects with investment costs in excess of £100,000.

The following grant levels will apply: -

  • A maximum of 50% of the cost of capital and other investments or £50,000 which ever is the lesser.
  • A maximum of 75% of the cost of preparing a feasibility study/business plan subject to an overall limit of £5,000 in the case of a single project.
  • Employment grant scheme allows for up to £5,000 per employee.

Projects are evaluated by a board which will make recommendations on the most appropriate level and form of assistance. Consideration is given to the quality of projects, local relevance, cost effectiveness and viability and whether the funding of the projects would result in displacement of existing jobs and business.

Management Development
For many small companies the lack of appropriate management skills is a barrier to growth. CEBs offer various different types of management development programmes to assist small companies to overcome this barrier and maximise their growth potential. CEBs will provide financial aid to the self-employed and to small firms towards

  • Upgrading skills.
  • Building business planning expertise.
  • Establishing appropriate records and management information systems.

The level of support for management development training of individual entrepreneurs is not expected to exceed £1,500 per trainee.

Overall administration of the programme is the responsibility of:
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment,
Local Enterprise Section,
Davitt House,
Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2,

Tel: (01) 661 4444

A network of 35 County Enterprise Boards were established in 1993 to implement the Local Enterprise Sub-Programme. For further information, contact your local County Enterprise Board.

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