Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for recent graduates

IBYE National Finalist Niall Harty of Harty Nutrition Ltd in Kerry has helped to launch Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for recent graduates.

The €500,000 fund opens for applications on Tuesday 10th April 2018 and will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 10 successful applicants. The fund closes to applications at 3pm on Tuesday, 24th April 2018.

Harty is one of 24 finalists that has reached the National Final of this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition on Sunday, April 22nd and is representing Local Enterprise Office Kerry in the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category. A manufacturer of health food bars and snacks, Harty has previously won investment funding through Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund.

The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets and the graduate entrepreneurship call specifically is to encourage entrepreneurship among graduates.

The CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up companies (HPSUs) that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years. Applications from final year students and graduates with a third-level qualification within the last three years are invited to apply.Competitive Start Fund

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “We have a pool of talented and ambitious entrepreneurs in this country, who are still in university or recently graduated, and are making valuable contributions to the economy through their start-ups. For these entrepreneurs, supports like Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund are vital. Together with crucial funding, the initiative provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey, and provides a platform from which they can progress their business.”

Commenting on the announcement, Sarita Johnston, Department Manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A key priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies with global ambition to start and grow their businesses internationally. Entrepreneurship can be embarked upon at different stages of life and there are real opportunities right now in Ireland for graduates to travel the exciting journey of starting a high potential business.  Graduate entrepreneurs can sometimes be overlooked; however, we understand the value in their ideas and their businesses to the start-up ecosystem. This CSF call is a kick-start for innovative early stage companies led by graduates to get off the ground while receiving a critical funding boost of up to €50,000.”

Oisin Geoghegan of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “Investments of up to €50,000 are available through this Competitive Start Fund, which could be an excellent opportunity for you business. If you’re a recent graduate or final year student and you’re active in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sector, this funding could be used to evaluate overseas market opportunities or to build prototypes for example.”

In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch. Full details on the Competitive Start Fund for Graduate Entrepreneurs, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website: www.enterprise-ireland.com/graduatecsf

In partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Dublin BIC will be hosting a free-to-attend CSF Application Support Day on 17th April. Prospective applicants for the CSF for graduate entrepreneurship can register here: http://www.dublinbic.ie/our-programmes/investor-ready-preparation/smart-start/csf-application-support-days

A €2 million initiative from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, the National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition takes place on Sunday, April 22nd. Over 1,470 young entrepreneurs, all aged between 18 and 35, applied through the LEOs for this year’s competition.

See all 24 IBYE National Finalists in action here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-4L2O-PaYx3oxIW9EkxMg/feed