Established SME Funding

This section sets out the main funding supports and programmes for established small and medium sized enterprises in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors. An Established SME client is a company that is not a HPSU client, has an established trading record, the company (or its group of companies) employs between 10 and 250 employees, has either an annual turnover of less than €50m or an annual balance sheet of less than €43m. Note: Previous funding approved by Enterprise Ireland may impact on your eligibility for the following supports. Please consult with your Enterprise Ireland Adviser (DA) to discuss.

Funding decisions are determined by the;

  • Need for financial support for the project
  • Potential employment and sales growth
  • Previous funding provided to the company
  • Regional location of the company

If your DA instructs you that this is an ERDF project, click on ERDF Information for Clients.

Market Research and Internationalisation Supports

  • Be Prepared Grant
    Supports the costs of SME clients in preparing a plan to mitigate risks and optimise opportunities arising from Brexit. It can be used to help cover consultancy, travel and out of pocket expenses associated with researching the direction of their Brexit action plan. This might involve investigating the feasibility of diversifying to new markets and market segments; investment in innovation; improvement in operational competitiveness; enhancement of strategic financial capability.
  • Strategic Marketing Review Grant
    Grant support to undertake an approved programme of work in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland advisers and an approved external consultant. This support is targeted at established companies that have experience in selling internationally and who are interested in reviewing and developing their market development strategy.
  • Market Discovery Fund
    The aim of the Market Discovery Fund is to incentivise companies to research viable and sustainable market entry strategies in new geographic markets. It provides support towards internal and external costs incurred when researching new markets for products and services.
  • Market Access Grant
    Now ceased.
  • Internationalisation Grant
    Now ceased.
  • Business Links Grant
    Now ceased.
  • Graduates for International Growth (G4IG) Programme
    The programme matches graduates with companies to develop and execute plans to grow in key markets. Support available for the graduate salary and training. Call close date applies.
  • Acumen Programme
    A cross-border Business Development Programme designed to stimulate cross-border trade (between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) and develop other forms of commercial co-operation amongst SME's throughout the island of Ireland. 
  • Excel at Export Selling
    Excel at Export Selling is a series of workshops aimed at rapidly embedding the proven tools of good international selling practice into the sales teams of Irish companies across all industry sectors.
  • International Selling Programme
    Targeting company management and sales staff, this 10 month programme enhances company ability to access new markets and accelerates export sales growth. Delivered in conjunction with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in partnership with a panel of world-class experts and practitioners.

Supports for Product, Process or Services Development including RD&I Funding

  • Be Prepared Grant
    Supports the costs of SME clients in preparing a plan to mitigate risks and optimise opportunities arising from Brexit. It can be used to help cover consultancy, travel and out of pocket expenses associated with researching the direction of their Brexit action plan. This might involve investigating the feasibility of diversifying to new markets and market segments; investment in innovation; improvement in operational competitiveness; enhancement of strategic financial capability.
  • Exploring Innovation Grant
    Can be used to investigate the feasibility of developing a new product, process, technology or service offering.
  • In-house Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) Fund
    Supporting the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes.  Projects may range from solving technical challenges (R&D) to innovations in services delivery or business models (Business Innovation).
  • Agile Innovation Fund
    Agile Innovation projects supports companies in sectors with rapid design cycles to maintain their technology position. The benefits of this grant are that it allows for a very simple application process and delivers a very fast response from application to approval.
  • IP Strategy Support
    Supports companies to develop a strategy to manage and exploit IP coming from an RD&I project. This could include patents, designs, trade secrets, copyright and brands.
  • Innovation Voucher
    Innovation Vouchers, worth €5,000, are available to assist a company to work with a registered college or knowledge provider to explore a business opportunity or technical problem.
  • Innovation Partnership Grant Programme
    Offers financial support to companies who engage in collaborative research projects with Irish universities and Institutes of Technology. The proposal process and administration of the project is managed by the participating third level research institution.
  • Horizon 2020 and other EU Research Funding Programmes
    If your company is interested in working on collaborative research projects with research partners across Europe, there are a range of international research programmes designed to foster collaborative cross-border research between companies in different member states.
  • Innovation 4 Growth Programme
    Targeted at ambitious companies seeking to drive growth through innovation, this programme supports companies through an end-to-end innovation learning and practice journey to deliver on one or more innovation initiatives. 

Supports to Enhance and Develop your Management Team

  • Mentor Grant
    Can be used to investigate the feasibility of developing a new product, process, technology or service offering.
  • Strategic Consultancy Grant
    Used to support the cost of planning or implementing a new strategic development initiative in your company. Cannot be used to support routine consultancy costs.
  • Key Manager Grant
    Grant to support the cost of hiring a new Key Manager. Must be critical to the company's future development and introduce key skills and expertise to the company's senior management team.
  • Go Global 4 Growth
    Go Global 4 Growth is targeted at ambitious SME top teams from all sectors, committed to adapting and evolving their business functions to prepare for global growth. The programme offers participants world-class, SME-customised management education, delivered by Ireland's fastest growing University; Dublin City University. Together, Enterprise Ireland and DCU have designed a unique and innovative blended learning programme where top teams will learn from the best and apply that learning in-company to support their global growth.

Productivity and Business Process Improvement Supports

  • Be Prepared Grant
    Supports the costs of SME clients in preparing a plan to mitigate risks and optimise opportunities arising from Brexit. It can be used to help cover consultancy, travel and out of pocket expenses associated with researching the direction of their Brexit action plan. This might involve investigating the feasibility of diversifying to new markets and market segments; investment in innovation; improvement in operational competitiveness; enhancement of strategic financial capability.
  • Capital Investment Initiative (CII) Fund
    The aim of the Capital Investment Initiative (CII) is to assist Enterprise Ireland client companies improve productivity and competitiveness through the acquisition of new capital equipment and technology. The fund provides grant support up to a maximum of €250,000.
  • GradStart
    The GradStart initiative offers support to Enterprise Ireland client companies to hire up to three graduates at any one time, for a graduate contract duration of two years. It is a broad based graduate placement across all disciplines and sectors. Enterprise Ireland has designed and developed a dedicated website for its graduate offers and initiatives - www.gradhub.ie. To support client companies to attract and recruit graduates, companies can advertise their opportunities via this website.
  • Lean Start Grant
    Used to support the costs of undertaking a “Lean Start Assignment”. This is a short assignment undertaken by a Lean consultant/trainer. Eligible Expenditure is limited to the cost of hiring a Lean consultant/trainer for a maximum of 7 days.
  • GreenStart Grant
    Used to support the costs of undertaking a GreenStart Assignment. This is a short assignment undertaken by an Environmental consultant/trainer. Eligible Expenditure is limited to the cost of hiring a consultant/trainer for a maximum of 7 days.
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
    Enterprise Ireland offer’s two levels of support for clients who wish to scope out and then implement a digital roadmap to drive growth within their organisation. BIM-Enable is a 7-day strategic consultancy programme which assists companies to set out a digital roadmap and consider how they can apply BIM within their organisation. BIM-Implement places an emphasis on training and the learning and implementation of BIM across the organisation.
  • Business Process Improvement Grant
    Grant to support short term company projects that are designed to develop management capability and drive company efficiencies and business process improvements. Eligible Projects include either 1) LeanPlus, 2) E-Marketing or 3) GreenPlus.
  • Lean Transform Grant
    Used to support a “Lean Transform Project". This is a large scale, extensive and holistic company transformation programme delivered by an external consultancy team of international reputation. Eligible cost include Fees for an external Lean consultant/trainer and Employee training costs and associated training costs.
  • Operational Excellence offer
    Grant to support a company transformational project.  Used to encompass Lean Transform, Business Innovation and the Capital Investment Initiative into a single project.

Company Expansion Packages

  • Job Expansion Fund
    Funding to support new employment. The fund provides grant support up to a maximum of €150,000 towards the recruitment of new employees. Applications for funding will be accepted on specific call close dates.
  • Tailored Company Expansion Packages
    If you are planning to undertake an ambitious expansion of your company that will create employment and grow your sales in international markets, Enterprise Ireland can discuss a tailored financial support package for your company.