Grants Process

Step 1 - Eligibility for funding - only certain types of business are eligible for grants. If you are receiving certain types of other state aid you are not eligible for funding (PLEASE READ IN DETAIL)

  • Please note that it is essential to fully investigate the eligibility requirements of these grants before applying.
  • Financial assistance is for businesses with manufacturing or a potential to export its products and/or services. If you have any queries please contact us to discuss your application (Tel: 021 4961828).
  • Local Enterprise Office, Cork City can offer funding to start-ups or established small businesses which:
    • Operate from Cork City
    • Have fewer than 10 employees. We fund sole traders as well as partnerships and limited companies  
    • Operate in the areas of Manufacturing (including software development) and/or Internationally Traded Services (i.e. businesses which export or which have the real potential to do so). We also fund businesses whose activities attract tourism to Ireland
      • Note: Retailers (e.g. coffee shops) and local services are NOT eligible for any funding 
      • If you meet the criteria, finance is available for qualifying projects by way of grants and repayable loans (Click here to see the types of grants available). 
      • Your grant application and approval should be before you incur any costs or before you hire a new employee (in the case of employment grants).  

Step 2 - Develop Your Business Plan

The Local Enterprise Office offers a range of business seminars for exploring your business idea and 'Start Your Own Business' training courses that help you develop your Business Plan and financial projections (Click here for details).

 Once you have a Draft Business Plan it is useful to get some feedback. You might consider booking a Business Advice Clinic in which you can speak with a business advisor for 90 minutes about whichever area of your business or business plan you need help with (Click here for details).

Step 3 - Other Sources of Finance for Your Small Business

Step 4 - Grants & Refundable Financial Assistance 

Please note that most financial assistance includes a refundable loan. In some cases the financial assistance may be 33%, 50% or 100% refundable.

Step 5 - Applications for Eligible Businesses

If you have applied for or received Enterprise Ireland funding/Innovation Voucher or JobsPlus funding you will need to declare this. This excludes you from receiving Local Enterprise Office funding. We double check but this saves us time.

Please note we can only accept a limited number of applications per round. It is advisable not to wait until the deadline day to submit your application. Any applications which are submitted after our quota has been reached will be put forward to the next round.

Please note that businesses assisted from Local Enterprise Office are considered; ‘beneficiaries of aid under the 07-13 ROP and must accept their inclusion in the list of beneficiaries published in accordance with point (d) of Article 7(2) of the Implementation Regulation.’


Frequently Asked Questions regarding Grant Applications