New Enterprise Ireland fund targets graduate entrepreneurs

A new €500,000 fund aimed at graduates is hoping to encourage more young entrepreneurs to strike out on their own.

The Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund, which will open to applications on July 9th, will offer up to €50,000 in support for each successful applicant.

Targetted at businesses involved in activities such as the internet, games, apps, mobile, SaaS, cloud computing, enterprise software, lifesciences, food, cleantech and industrial products, the fund is designed to help start up and early stage companies launch and offer new products and services in the international marketplace.

“This fund is the first of its type for graduates and will provide a package of financial and developmental supports,” Lisa Vaughan, head of scaling and high potential startups at Enterprise Ireland said. “Applications will be considered on a competitive basis and the financial support will be in the form of equity investment. The support will be towards costs associated with developing the business and achieving key milestones.”

Those wishing to apply to the programme must have graduated with a Fetac level eight qualification in the past three years.

“In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs and start-up businesses – we just don’t have enough of them,” Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said. “The fund we are announcing today will provide investment of up to €50,000 for businesses run by graduates, and is aimed at encouraging more graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice. I urge any graduate with a good business idea to get involved”.