SMEs represent over 94% of Irish businesses and employ more than 69% of the workforce. These businesses are the backbone of the Irish economy and giving them the supports they need to grow and thrive is a national priority. While there are many state-backed funding supports, advice services and other types of assistance available to SMEs nationwide, not all are widely known. We have selected some key State offices and agencies that SME business owners and managers can speak to today to access important supports available for their business.
Local Enterprise Office (LEO)
Local Enterprise Office is the ‘first-stop-shop’, providing advice, information and support to start-up or grow a business. With 31 dedicated teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland, LEOs offer businesses a wide range of experience, skills and services. The Local Enterprise Office is for people interested in starting up a new business or already in business including entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start-ups and small business looking to expand.
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. They work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets to support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.
InterTrade Ireland helps SMEs in Ireland, North and South by offering practical cross-border business funding, information, advice and support. Their services include supports for sales growth and innovation, business funding and business insights to SMEs across the island looking to grow their businesses. InterTradeIreland also helps companies to prepare for the British Exit from the EU through a range of supports and services suited to all businesses no matter what stage they are at with their Brexit plans.
Microfinance Ireland provide loans to small businesses through the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. The purpose of the fund is to support small businesses with less than 10 employees and with an annual turnover of less than €2m who may be having difficulties in accessing funding for their business from banks and other commercial lenders
“Supporting SMEs” Online Tool
The Supporting SMEs online tool is part of the Irish Government’s campaign to increase awareness of the vast range of Government supports for start-ups and small businesses. With over 170 Government supports available to Irish start-ups and small business, this online guide helps businesses navigate the range of supports to identify which might be most suitable for their business.
Skillnet Ireland Management Development
Creating a highly talented workforce in SMEs underpins Ireland’s national competitiveness and Skillnet Ireland is committed to supporting learners at all levels in the workforce. These supports manifest in a suite of high impact, subsidised management development programmes nationwide, helping SME business owners, managers and management teams succeed in business.
Want to Learn More?
Discover more about the State offices and agencies listed above, and many more, at the upcoming Taking Care of Business event on Tuesday 25 September at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ennis Road, Limerick. This free half-day event has been specifically designed to help small and start-up businesses understand and benefit from the services provided by State offices and agencies.
For more information on this free event and to book your place, please click here.