LEO launches the Productivity Challenge Voucher

It’s not easy being an SME. You’ve survived start-up and it’s time to build your business into a more viable, productive player in an increasingly challenging market. There’s a lot of potential to be tapped, a lot of things you need to fix, a lot of improvements needed to survive the challenges ahead. And to top it off, you’ve built a working team that depends on your leadership.

Develop A More Productive, Efficient, Streamlined Business

We are ready to help you make it happen, if you are ready. Ready to take a hard look at your business? Are you ready to use what you’ve got to improve your operation? Are you receptive to expert advice? If so, join the Productivity Challenge – a national programme that wants to help your small business do better; by funding, resourcing and advising you towards a more productive future.

The Scheme is a competitive funding initiative for a limited time only.

Productivity Vouchers Explained


If you are an Irish SME with the potential to grow business productivity and are eager to be more efficient, this initiative is for you.

The Productivity Challenge is a national programme that supports Ireland’s small businesses and enterprises, by providing them with the right advice and training resources to enhance productivity and efficiency.

It aims to increase your business productivity in any of the following ways:

 Improve the quality of your products

  • Reduce your delivery times
  • Lower your costs of production
  • Reduce waste in your business
  • Increase your ability to generate more revenue

The initiative comprises a pilot productivity voucher scheme supported by 500K in Government funding. You will find the scheme promoted under your Local Enterprise Office “Making it Happen” campaign.


Small Irish businesses or enterprises can now apply for one of 200 productivity vouchers valued at €2,500 each, to help them develop a more efficient and productive business operation. Your Local Enterprise Office will receive additional funding in order to pilot this competitive fund.

To qualify, you should examine your current operations and identify opportunities for addressing productivity gaps or improving efficiency in your business. There is a finite quantity of vouchers, so it is a competition to find the most deserving applicants. You must make a convincing case, demonstrating how your business could make the best use of this funding opportunity.

For example, you should identify:

  • Ways you could improve margins either by lowering the costs of production or raising the quality of your products and subsequently pricing.
  • Ways you could increase production by reducing waste, saving time, changing the way you do things, or training your workforce
  • Ways to increase your revenue through better sales techniques, accessing new markets or developing new products. ​

How Productivity Vouchers Help Your Business

In short, the Productivity Voucher aims to improve the quality of what you make, reduce the costs of running your business and help you deliver more, faster.

It will help you find new ways to implement more efficient processes, innovative production techniques, improved delivery systems or find new ways to streamline the organisational methods within your business.

Use it to improve the way your business works through the:

• Adoption of lean practices and principles• Identification of cost reduction initiatives• Identification of Green sustainable practices• Introduction of waste-reducing plans• Enhancement of customer experience• Enhancement of performance management


How to Use Productivity Vouchers

The Productivity voucher can be used by participating in small businesses to:

  1. Engage and leverage experts, who can consult with you and help you assess your business’ value chain and operations. This process can cover supply chain management, internal business and production operations, right through to logistics and your distribution network.
  2. Invest in training & capability development. It will support the development of a more effective, capable and efficient workforce through relevant training. ​Click on this link to see how this process will work in various sectors - ​ “Scenarios” (Case Studies).


The programme is relevant to any domestically focused small business (across all sectors) with the focus and drive to succeed.

You must also have a turnover or balance sheet total of less than €10M and a workforce of fewer than 50 people. More information is available ​HERE​.



More details are available on the application process here: ​How to Apply​ ​. Use our easy-to-use online application form to avail of a €2,500 Productivity Voucher.

Which Sectors May Apply?

If you are an SME based in Ireland, you are invited to apply for the productivity vouchers. If you represent a not-for-profit business or social entrepreneurship, you may also apply but must operate on a commercial basis.

Here are some of the sectors that may apply:

 Administrative Support

 Consumer Retail Products and Retail businesses

 Construction and Engineering

 Data centres


 Energy and Energy Products

 Environmental and Cleantech Products & Services

 Finance & Insurance

 Hospitality & Accommodation

 Marketing & Advertising

 Health and Beauty

 Transport systems


 Media and Entertainment

 MedTech & Bio Pharma Engineering

 Motor Trade

 Pharmaceuticals & Lifesciences

 Print and Packaging

 Public Sector Products and Services

 Real Estate & Property Management

 Software & IT Services

 Telecoms and Internet providers

 Trade Missions

 Travel & Tourism

 Wholesale Trade

These Sectors May Not Apply

Some types of business sectors are not eligible to apply for productivity vouchers. Your business must NOT be operating within the following areas:

❏ The Primary production of agricultural products, fishery and aquaculture

❏ The Sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages where consumed on the retail premises

❏ Activities relating to the gambling sector, including ‘gaming’ (as defined in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956),

❏ Activities relating to Adult entertainment

❏ Activities relating to Tobacco products