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Frequently Asked Questions

I have an idea for a new business - Where do I start?

It is our business to help your business, so we should be your first point of contact. Simply get in touch and we will discuss your idea and see how we can assist you.

Who or What is the Local Enterprise Office?

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is a part of a national network of LEOs established by the Government to assist with the start-up, expansion and development of small businesses. Tipperary Local Enterprise Office receives the bulk of its funding to deliver upon its strategic objectives from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and from the EU through Ireland's National Development Plan 2007-2013.

The LEO is a company limited by guarantee. It comprises of Board Members drawn from the main organisations with a role and remit for enterprise development in CountyTipperary. The LEO draws on the services of a specialist Evaluation Committee to advise on project assessments and make recommendations with respect to the allocation of Financial Assistance.

Who are the Members of the Local Enterprise Office at present?

Please visit the Our Team page for details.

What is the function of the Local Enterprise Office?

The Tipperary Local Enterprise Office (LEO) helps stimulate the establishment, development and growth of small business. If you are in business or thinking of setting up a business, we are your first point of contact. We encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise development at local level by:

  • Promoting an enterprise culture in local schools and among the wider community;
  • Assisting new business start-ups through the provision of information and advice, organisation and delivery of enterprise training and the provision of selective financial assistance;
  • Assisting the expansion and growth of existing small business through the provision of information and advice, organisation and delivery of management development support, the provision of mentoring assistance, technical assistance and/or selective financial assistance;
  • Facilitating local community and business interests to provide infrastructure projects to assist small business (e.g. provision of incubation and enterprise workspace);
  • Initiating and stimulating local economic development projects and programmes.

The Tipperary LEO offers a 'First Stop Shop' service to anyone thinking of setting up or expanding a business in Tipperary. If you are in business or thinking of setting up in business, then we are here to help. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

What is the core target client base for the Local Enterprise Office?

If you are in business or thinking about starting a business in Tipperary then the Local Enterprise Office is here to help you. Our main target clients are micro-enterprises i.e. businesses that employ less than 10 people. Micro-enterprises are an integral part of the local economy, but many face a range of obstacles that adversely affect their ability to start-up, to survive, and to grow. Our objective is to provide a full range of supports and to help create a supportive environment, which facilitates the establishment of micro-enterprises and assists owner-managers in overcoming the obstacles they face, so that they can grow their businesses to their full potential 

What support is available for starting or expanding a business?

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) provides an array of supports for people either expanding or considering starting a business including:

  • The provision of information and advice about your business idea. You can arrange an appointment to meet with a member of the LEO staff to discuss your idea
  • Organization and delivery of enterprise training.
  • Organization of a specialist mentoring service
  • Provision of direct financial assistance for eligible projects
  • Provision of technical assistance

What types of financial assistance are available from the Local Enterprise Office?

We offer a variety of financial supports to assist the start-up, development and expansion of small businesses in the manufacturing and services sectors (based upon eligibility criteria) as follows:

  • Priming Grants for businesses trading <18 months of 50% of eligible investment costs up to a maximum level of €80,000
  • Business Expansion Grants for businesses trading >18 months of 50% of eligible investment costs up to a maximum level of €80,000
  • Feasibility/Innovation Grants of 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of €20,000

For more information on financial assistance click here

 If you are setting up or expanding a business then contact us to see if you are eligible for support.

What are the criteria for financial assistance?

Tipperary LEO will give priority to eligible projects seeking financial assistance in the manufacturing and internationally traded services area. Projects must also ideally meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • They must be commercial and must be capable of attaining economic viability, without ongoing support or subsidy
  • There must be a definite market demonstrated for the proposed product or service
  • There must be adequate overall finance available to fund the project
  • The promoters involved must have the requisite management and technical capacity to implement the project
  • The project must comply with existing policies on tax and certification matters
  • The project must be a micro-enterprise employing no more than 10 people
  • The project must add value, be of relevance to and economic benefit to the locality
  • The project must have the capacity to sustain and/or create new direct employment, commensurate with the level of financial assistance being provided

Projects cannot be assisted financially where they do not substantially comply with the criteria outlined above, or where any of the following apply:

  • Primary agriculture production is involved
  • The project involves wholesale, retail or transport services
  • The project is a professional service
  • The project is a construction trade
  • The provision of financial assistance from the LEO has the potential to lead to job displacement or result in unfair competition
  • The provision of financial assistance duplicates support available from existing programme and/or other agency
  • The project can be implemented without financial assistance from the LEO
  • The proposal is at variance with national and/or EU policies (e.g. de minimis rules)

Please note that financial assistance cannot be provided retrospectively.

If you are setting up or expanding a business, then contact us to see if you are eligible for financial support.

How do I go about applying for financial assistance?

Please see The Application Process for information on the application steps when applying for financial assistance.

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

Where a project is deemed to be ineligible for financial assistance from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), we may be able to provide you with other supports. Our wide range of non-financial supports are normally available to all small businesses, regardless of whether they qualify for grant-aid or not.

What type of enterprise training does the Local Enterprise Office provide?

The day-to-day management of micro-enterprises is generally solely in the hands of the owners. Like large firms, micro-enterprises face financial, production, sales, marketing, administrative, compliance and personnel challenges. Unlike large firms however, micro-enterprises do not have financial, production, sales, marketing, and personnel specialists to deal with these challenges. The owner-managers of micro-enterprises are very often responsible for all the operational and administrative functions within their business. The more successful micro-enterprises tend to be promoted by owners that pay particular attention to detail, that have proper management controls and information systems in place and that have an ability to respond quickly to change. Our range of enterprise training is aimed at developing these features and improving upon the management capability of owner-managers. You can view our full range of enterprise training programmes in our Training Schedule.

What is the Mentoring service?

Tipperary LEO complements the provision of financial assistance and enterprise training and management development supports with a Mentoring service. The mentoring service aims to provide each participating owner-manager with a temporary business advisor to help identify and overcome obstacles in their development. We have access to a panel of experienced business advisors on our 'mentor panel' who act as a confidential sounding board by listening, advising and suggesting solutions to problems encountered by owner-managers. The owner-manager of the small business in conjunction with a member of LEO staff identifies an area where specialist advice is needed. We then select the mentor best suited for the assignment from our mentor panel. The mentor is then briefed on the assignment. The mentor then meets with the client and agrees a plan of action for the completion of the assignment. Throughout the assignment, there is regular contact between the LEO, the mentor and the client to ensure that the objectives of the assignment are being met. The assignment is usually carried out over a period ranging from six weeks to six months.

for more information on mentoring click here

I've got another question/query?

Just contact us and let us know your query and we will get back to you as soon as we can.