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Enterprise Support Grant

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What the Enterprise Support Grant is

The Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) allows the department to provide financial support for new enterprises, in addition to income support under Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA), to jobseekers that are approved for those schemes. The grant is only available to current recipients of BTWEA or STEA.

How to qualify

The primary focus of this grant is on supporting new enterprises set up under BTWEA or STEA. A Case Officer can approve a grant for someone seeking employment under this scheme where:

An applicant must be able to demonstrate (by way of documentary evidence – a bank statement or similar) if requested by a Case Officer that they are able to make a matching contribution of at least 20% to access the level of grant support available.

In general, funding will relate to start-up expenses but can be accessed over the duration of the BTWEA/STEA scheme.

The projected costs looking to be supported by this grant should be included in the business proposal and the plan submitted in respect of the BTWEA/STEA, as should the ability of the applicant to provide matching funds. Costs that are not anticipated in the planning process can be considered during the lifetime of the enterprise support where the participant remains in contact with the case officer and advises him/her on ongoing progress.

Rates of Payment

A maximum amount available is €2,500 (to the upper limit for each business category in the table below) for the 24 month period of the BTWEA claim. For those on STEA it will be on a pro-rata basis €937 Max (9 months) and €625 (6 months).

The level of funding that is granted, if any, is at the discretion of the department Case Officers. This is a discretionary fund and operates within the principles of administrative law.

A jobseeker does not have an entitlement to access this programme other than by way of meeting the eligibility criteria, meeting quality requirements, and subject to the provision of sufficient funds to meet the costs arising.

    Category Annual Limit Aggregate Applicant Minimum Contribution
    Accountancy and related services, including legal advice Up to €500 20%
    Advertising and marketing aids (business cards, flyers) Up to €500 20%
    Business equipment, including such items as office machinery, computers/printer, other equipment Up to €1,000 20%
    Business mentoring (may be offered free or at a reduced rate by LEO/LDCs) Up to €500 10%
    Business registration costs and fees Up to €250 20%
    Compliance, guidance and training (including, manual handling, health and safety and similar training, Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP)). Up to €250 20%
    Job specific tools/equipment Up to €1,000 20%
    Office supplies/stationery Up to €250 20%
    Personal protective clothing and equipment Up to €250 20%
    Public Liability Insurance costs associated with starting up a business – no other insurance is eligible. Up to €1,000 20%
    Short-duration training/instruction relating to book keeping, regulation, roll-out of business plan, IT courses, start-your-own-business and courses of training related to the business start-up Up to €500 10%
    Signage Up to €500 20%
    Upgrading to premises where the premises is owned by the applicant. Up to €1,000 20%
    Website registration, related services & production Up to €500 20%
    Combination of above in any 24 month period €2,500

Make an application

All referrals for support must be made via a Case Officer at your local Intreo Centre.

The customer should provide two quotations from providers for the measure for which funding is sought. The case officer should obtain clear evidence in the form of an original invoice marked paid and evidence of payment (in the form of an official receipt or similar proof of payment) that the customer has paid for the item(s) concerned.

Payments may be made either directly to the customer or to the provider of goods and services (in the event that the customer is unable to purchase in advance).

There are no circumstances in which advance payments will be made to a customer.

Operational Guideline

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.

Operational Guidelines: Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)