€5 Million Community Enterprise Initiatives Fund

The overarching goal of the Fund is to stimulate and support enterprise and job creation at a local, community and regional level. The competitive call for applications is open to new and existing organisations, groups and alliances, who collaboratively seek to promote entrepreneurship, create jobs, foster innovation and enhance export opportunities for small business. A prerequisite for proposals is the need to demonstrate innovative solutions to fostering and creating employment. Priority will be given to new approaches that strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Regional and local community groups and alliances have the potential to contribute to enterprise development and job creation through the development of enterprise hubs, enterprise centres and enterprise space, networks, clusters and other alliances and by encouraging and facilitating an entrepreneurial culture. The Government’s Community Enterprise Initiative will act as a catalyst to bring local, community and regional groupings together to form such alliances.


The Community Initiatives Fund is competitive scheme open to proposals from new and existing organisations and groups with innovative ideas to create jobs, promote entrepreneurship, boost innovation and promote exports. A prerequisite of this scheme is to build on, and take full advantage of infrastructure, investment and supports already made by various enterprise partners such as the LEOs, EI, the Community Enterprise Centres, Skillnets, Chambers of Commerce, ETBs, HEIs, Local Development Companies as well as private sector entities in a collaborative and networked manner.

Objectives of the Community Enterprise Initiative Scheme (2015 -2017)

The overarching goal of the €5m Community Enterprise Initiative is to stimulate and support enterprise and job creation throughout the country at local, community and regional level. Through the utilisation of existing infrastructure and the leveraging of nationally available enterprise supports, the specific objectives of the scheme include:

  •  Fostering an increased collaborative, networked and linked approach to regional and local enterprise development and job creation
  •  Establishment of hubs, accelerators, networks and clusters or other partnerships based on regional strengths, opportunities and uniqueness. Within this is the establishment of partnership activities where innovative start-ups can be established in a supportive network before graduating to other support mechanisms or self-sufficiency
  •  Proactively seeking out, encouraging and supporting applications from economically disadvantaged areas and areas facing potential economic shock to foster potential opportunities for job creation and supporting enterprise
  •  Promotion of a progression pathway for companies as they start, develop and scale.