Irish agri-business sector to get €200,000 funding boost

Enterprise Ireland is aiming to create jobs and growth in the Irish agri-business sector with a new €200,000 Competitive Feasibility Fund (CFF), which was launched today.

Enterprise Ireland is looking to support businesses that have the capability of employing 10 or more people and reaching sales of over €1m/year.

The purpose of the CFF is to enable entrepreneurs to assess the viability and market potential of their business ideas, according to Enterprise Ireland.

The fund, which can provide up to €25,000 per initiative, was launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Applications for the fund from entrepreneurs and early stage start-up companies will open on August 23, and will close on September 6, 2016.

The fund is open to applications from individuals, early stage companies or prospective businesses operating in the agri-business sector including:

  • Machine design and manufacturing.
  • Fabrication.
  • Engineering and technical activities.
  • Life sciences products with application in the agri-sector.
  • Farm related software and related services.
  • Vet-pharma.
  • Animal health and chemical products.
  • Early stage food companies with the potential to export.

Launching the fund, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said Ireland has a strong and dynamic agri-business sector, while the CFF aims to develop new businesses.

Competitive Feasibility Funds are all about developing new businesses that will create jobs in every region in Ireland – something this Government is deeply committed to.

“If you are a potential entrepreneur or early stage business in the agri-business sector, this Competitive Feasibility Fund can help you get started,” said Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

One of the priorities of Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies start up and grow, according to CFF Programme Manager, Denis Duggan.

“Ireland has a world-class agri-business eco system, which offers tremendous potential for entrepreneurs and existing businesses to carve out opportunities for innovative products and services.

Agri-businesses sustain and create jobs in many rural areas and are significant contributors to their local economies.

“Irish agricultural machinery exports alone are valued in excess of €100m per annum. With this €200,000 Competitive Feasibility Fund, we aim to support the next generation of Irish agri-businesses that can grow to compete in export markets, creating valuable jobs here into the future,” said Duggan.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Full details of the fund, including application form, are available on the Enterprise Ireland website.