Sport to Start-Up in partnership with Sport Ireland

Sport to Start-Up Social Card 1.jpg


The Sport to Start-Up initiative by the Local Enterprise Offices is an opportunity for full-time sportspeople to engage in an online programme to help them build entrepreneurship skills and see how they can transfer their existing skillset into a potential new business.
Based on the Local Enterprise Offices Start Your Own Business programme, and run in partnership with Sport Ireland, it will help participants to research and evaluate their idea and bring it right through to business plan stage.

The programme is not just aimed at those who want to start their own business but will give participants a grounding in how a business is set up and should operate, which is beneficial for those that may look to invest or partner in a business in the future.

The programme requires the commitment of 3 hours per session once a week across 3 months and it is delivered exclusively online. There are breakout groups and online networking to enable participants to engage with each other on their business ideas and problems outside of the online sessions.


Each participant will be paired with a mentor specific to their business idea or development to enable them to work independently in their own time on their idea and receive expert advice as they move forward.
At the end of the Sport to Start-Up programme the participant will be at business plan stage that they can implement and will be linked in with their Local Enterprise Office on the next steps to take with their business if they want to pursue it at that stage.


• Starting / Getting Started / The Idea
• Identifying, understanding and researching our target market
• Tax, law, HR and insurance
• Financial planning (pricing / costing)
• Sources of funding
• Promoting your business
• Smart tools and tech for Start-ups
• Sales and service
• Networking
• Basic bookkeeping
• Developing your business plan

The applicant must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for inclusion in the programme:

1. Be an active participant in a sport which is recognised by Sport Ireland -
2. Have taken part in this sport at a competitive level within the last 12 months.
3. Over 18 years of age on the 1st June 2021.
4. Currently compete at a “high performance” level in their sport, such as (but not necessarily exclusive to):

  • Olympic & Paralympic sports / Sport Ireland recognised sports – compete at an international level
  • Soccer – compete in the League of Ireland and/or internationally
  • Rugby – compete inter-provincially and/or internationally
  • Gaelic Games – compete at inter-county level

“To register for the Sport to Start-Up programme, fill out an application form here

For more information on how to apply for the programme contact:

Eoin Rheinisch – Sport Ireland –
Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland / Local Enterprise Offices –

Or contact your Player / Athlete Development Representative