Government gives go ahead for €12m fund to help enterprise centres

Funds available to centres renting space and offering supports to businesses

The Government has given the go-ahead for a new €12 million fund to assist enterprise centres, which offer co-working spaces and other supports for small businesses.

The fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, with up to €150,000 available for applying enterprise centres, which in addition to providing space and training for companies, also administer grants.

The Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, will launch the fund at an event at the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin's Liberties. The smallest grant available is €10,000, with the funds earmarked for recovery plans designed to help centres "reboot" over the next six to 12 months.

Mr Varadkar said the centres “provide space, training, finance and advice to entrepreneurs and their services will be especially important over the coming months. This funding will help them put in place a recovery plan which will ensure they can continue to deliver for all parts of Ireland”.

Julie Sinnamon, the chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, said the centres "provide a critical regional infrastructure for entrepreneurs, start-up companies and small enterprises". She said the fund would "provide financial support to help eligible enterprise centres to continue to provide important services to start-ups in towns and villages across Ireland.

“These Enterprise Centres have a key role in supporting regional enterprise and contributing to economic recovery, post Covid-19.”

The fund will cover 80 per cent of costs detailed in a recovery plan submitted by applicants, who will have to demonstrate the ability to finance the balance of funding, which can take the form of revenue generated through the centres activities over the duration of the plan.

In order to be considered eligible, the centres – which can be for profit or not – must be headquartered in Ireland and provide rented accommodation space to enterprise and other supports and services through programmes offered.

The applicants will also have to demonstrate they need funding to cover operational costs over the next six to 2 months.

Applications are open from Wednesday.