Eligibility Criteria

Local Enterprise Offices can assist in the establishment and/or development of new and existing enterprises (limited company, individuals/sole trader, cooperatives and partnerships) provided that such enterprises/projects are capable of attaining commercial viability and subject to the following eligibility criteria:

  • The enterprise must not employ more than 10 people;
  • The enterprise must be a registered business entity in the Republic of Ireland; 
  • The enterprise must be established and operate within the geographic location of the Local Enterprise Office;
  • The enterprise must operate in the commercial sphere;
  • The enterprise must demonstrate a market for the product/service;
  • The enterprise must have potential for growth and new job creation; 
  • The enterprise must demonstrate access to match funding/overall funding requirement; 
  • The enterprise must be in the added-value manufacturing or services with the potential to trade internationally sectors.

Within the above eligibility criteria there are certain priorities and restrictions:

  • Priority will be given to enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sectors which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio;
  • Salary support only may be offered to unique tourism services projects that are focused predominantly on generating revenues from overseas visitors and which do not give rise to deadweight and/or displacement in the local economy;
  • This grant aid does not support those areas such as primary food production, retail enterprises, personal services (eg hairdressers, gardeners, creches etc), professional services (accountants, solicitors etc), construction/local building services, wholesaling, distribution and transport. These are  considered to give rise to displacement (where the projects simply displace business from other players in the market).
  • The sector of the economy in which an enterprise is operating or intends to operate 
  • The size or proposed size of the enterprise
  • Any expenditure incurred, prior to receipt of application form, will not be eligible for grant support.

In general Local Enterprise Office Donegal cannot offer grant aid to:

  • retail businesses;
  • personal & professional services businesses;
  • construction sector;
  • primary agriculture businesses & primary food production;
  • other local services that duplicate existing local businesses.