Start & Scale solutions to support emerging and scaling entrepreneurs launched

New Start Up & Scale Up supports available to potential and existing enterprises in South East with the launch of Brightstart & Lighthouse

The South East Local Enterprise Offices as part of the Local Authority Network in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, SEBIC and the Ireland South East Office have launched a new suite of programmes to support companies with the economic challenges and opportunities around Covid and Brexit.

For early stage start-ups the BrightStart South East Start-Up programme has been designed to help new start-ups define their business idea and have a step by step action plan to deliver their business goals in this changing business world. The start-up journey can be tough and requires resilience and endurance. Through the BrightStart programme OCO Global’s internationally respected business mentors will show entrepreneurs how to set their start-up business on the right growth path.

What sets the BrightStart programme apart is that high potential start-ups will be given the opportunity to pitch their idea to Enterprise Ireland, South East Business Incubation Unit and their Local Enterprise Office to apply for accelerated grant support and services which can fundamentally boost a start-up business’s growth potential. Topics include Female-Led Start-Ups, Green Technology Start-Ups, New Normal (Brexit/Covid-19 innovations) Start-Ups, and Remote Working Start-Ups.

Each sector will have a dedicated webinar focusing on start-up supports and entrepreneurial culture required for successful business development growth. After the webinar businesses will have completed essential work that will frame the strategic thinking for their business. Mentoring support will be provided to assist participants to develop a a prioritised action plan for the business concept. This plan will form part of the pitch to funding agencies to apply for accelerated grant aid and business supports.

For developing companies, the Lighthouse South East programme delivers a rapid assessment of a company’s innovation capability and will also test their innovation concept through one to one mentoring with innovation experts in order to build a pathway for new opportunities for grant aid and support for innovation. This one to one practical mentoring programme will be led by Laurence Knell of Strategic Innovation Partners Ltd.

Speaking on behalf of the Local Authorities in the South East, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council stated, “Over recent months barriers to innovative business solutions have fallen away and we are seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs coming to us with new start-up business ideas and also new challenges which will lead to opportunity. In response to this we have developed these new regional programmes in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. The Chief Executive continued to say “The BrightStart & Lighthouse programmes offer practical support to entrepreneurs at different stages to realise their potential”.

Maria Couchman, Economic Development Officer with the Local Enterprise Office and Co-ordinator of the Regional Programmes said “The value of support for each programme is €1,000 per place and we would encourage people to take up this opportunity and treat it as an exploration of your growth potential where your business or idea will be supported by a team of some of Irelands leading enterprise development professionals.”

To confirm your interest in this programme please complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form available as per links below

BrightStart programme

Topic                                                                                  Application closing dates
Female Led Start-Up  EOI                                                             04.11.2020
Green Technology Start-Up  EOI                                                   06.11.2020
New Normal Start-Up (Brexit / Covid Innovations) EOI               20.11.2020
Remote Working Start-Up EOI                                                      31.12.2020

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny contact: Catherine Hennessy

Lighthouse Programme 

 Application closing date 04.11.2020

Mentoring Dates

Phase 1: November & December
Phase 2: January and February 

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny: Aileen McGrath