Small Business Financial Assistance FAQ

What are the criteria for financial assistance?   

Financial support can be given by the Local Enterprise Office Fingal to promoters in Fingal, North County Dublin with less than ten employees. Promoters must be in the commercial sphere and demonstrate there is a market for the product/service. In addition, there must be a capacity for growth and new job creation. In particular, a project promoter should be able to demonstrate:

  • There is a market for the proposed product or service
  • Adequate overall finance will be available to fund the project
  • They possess the management and technical capacity to implement the proposed project. Projects to be assisted should add value so as to generate income or supplement income for those involved and should have the capacity to create new direct employment either full/part-time/seasonal or should at a minimum, contribute directly to the maintenance of employment in existing enterprises.

What sort of business projects can be assisted?  

We can assist businesses that:

  • Are Commercially viable
  • Have job creation potential
  • Can demonstrate that labour shortages do not exist

We may not be able to assist businesses that:

  • Are already working with other agencies e.g., Enterprise Ireland
  • Are covered by an existing EU grant scheme

A project, which can proceed without grant assistance only by taking market share from existing businesses, cannot be assisted financially by Local Enterprise Office Fingal. This means that most retail, professional services and consultancies would not be eligible for financial assistance.

Are there grants for starting a business?  

At Local Enterprise Office Fingal, we provide a range of supports for starting a business including business advice, business grants, training and mentoring. Businesses that can receive grant aid from us are those that have been identified as having the potential for providing long-term viable jobs. Therefore, we are interested in the areas of business that are innovative, fill new market niches, replace imported products or services, demonstrate good management skills and have the financial viability necessary to succeed. Although most start-up businesses do not receive cash grant aid, all can avail of training and advice

Find out more about available business grants

If a project does not qualify for grant assistance can it avail of any other assistance?  

Yes, in fact, a wide range of non-financial supports are available to businesses regardless of whether or not they qualify for grant assistance. These services are geared specifically to the needs of small Fingal based businesses.  

Do projects from the service sector qualify for grant assistance?  

It depends, service sector projects may qualify for financial assistance if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have a real capacity to develop into internationally traded services and/or have strong growth potential
  • The market served is one where there is potential for growth, but not at the expense of businesses already in the market i.e. no displacement
  • The service offered will foster innovation, either within the supported business or within the business to which the service is being provided
  • The service offered will improve the quality of the service provision in the sector

How does Local Enterprise Office Fingal select projects for grant assistance?  

Local Enterprise Office Fingal conducts a systematic appraisal of all project proposals. Applications are assessed by our Evaluation & Approvals Committee.

 The key selection criteria are as follows:

  • The quality of the project proposal and its local relevance and economic benefits
  • The commercial viability of the enterprise and of the project proposal
  • Availability of matching finance/current funding position of the enterprise and proposed sources of funding
  • The cost effectiveness of the proposition
  • The contribution of the proposal to the development of the enterprise in terms of internal capacity 
  • Potential for deadweight or displacement
  • Impact on poverty, equality, rural development and the environment

Priority must be given to:

  • Manufacturing and internationally traded services, which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio
  • Tourism projects aimed predominantly at overseas visitors
  • Locally provided services being proposed by someone who is currently unemployed, recently made redundant and also women re-entering the workforce 

What grant aid is available?  

Local Enterprise Office Fingal has three types of financial assistance available:

How do I apply for grant assistance? 

Contact us today to discuss your proposal with a Business Adviser, in confidence.

How do I get an incubation space in an Enterprise Centre?

There are currently 3 Enterprise Centres in Fingal that may have incubation spaces available that suit your business. Please contact these directly.

  1.  BASE Enterprise Centre, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
  2.  BEaT Enterprise Centre, Balbriggan
  3. Drinan Enterprise Centre, Swords