Enterprise Support Grant

What the Enterprise Support Grant is

The Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) allows the department to provide financial support for new enterprises, in addition to income support under Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA), to jobseekers that are approved for those schemes. The grant is available to current recipients of BTWEA or STEA.

Enterprise Support Grant for businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be available for self-employed people who are closing their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment after 25 June.

How to qualify

The primary focus of this grant is on supporting new enterprises set up under BTWEA or STEA. A Case Officer can approve a grant for someone seeking employment under this scheme where:

An applicant must be able to demonstrate (by way of documentary evidence – a bank statement or similar) if requested by a Case Officer that they are able to make a matching contribution of at least 20% to access the level of grant support available.

In general, funding will relate to start-up expenses but can be accessed over the duration of the BTWEA/STEA scheme.

The projected costs looking to be supported by this grant should be included in the business proposal and the plan submitted in respect of the BTWEA/STEA, as should the ability of the applicant to provide matching funds. Costs that are not anticipated in the planning process can be considered during the lifetime of the enterprise support where the participant remains in contact with the case officer and advises him/her on ongoing progress.

Rates of Payment

A maximum amount available is €2,500 (to the upper limit for each business category in the table below) for the 24 month period of the BTWEA claim. For those on STEA it will be on a pro-rata basis €1000 Max (9 months) and €625 (6 months).

The level of funding that is granted, if any, is at the discretion of the department Case Officers. This is a discretionary fund and operates within the principles of administrative law.

A jobseeker does not have an entitlement to access this programme other than by way of meeting the eligibility criteria, meeting quality requirements, and subject to the provision of sufficient funds to meet the costs arising.

CategoryAnnual Limit AggregateApplicant Minimum Contribution
Accountancy and related services, including legal adviceUp to €50020%
Advertising and marketing aids (business cards, flyers)Up to €50020%
Business equipment, including such items as office machinery, computers/printer, other equipmentUp to €1,00020%
Business mentoring (may be offered free or at a reduced rate by LEO/LDCs)Up to €50010%
Business registration costs and feesUp to €25020%
Compliance, guidance and training (including, manual handling, health and safety and similar training, Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP)).Up to €25020%
Job specific tools/equipmentUp to €1,00020%
Office supplies/stationeryUp to €25020%
Personal protective clothing and equipmentUp to €25020%
Public Liability Insurance costs associated with starting up a business – no other insurance is eligible.Up to €1,00020%
Short-duration training/instruction relating to book keeping, regulation, roll-out of business plan, IT courses, start-your-own-business and courses of training related to the business start-upUp to €50010%
SignageUp to €50020%
Upgrading to premises where the premises is owned by the applicant.Up to €1,00020%
Website registration, related services & productionUp to €50020%
Combination of above in any 24 month period€2,500

Make an application

All referrals for support must be made via a Case Officer at your local Intreo Centre .

The customer should provide two quotations from providers for the measure for which funding is sought. The case officer should obtain clear evidence in the form of an original invoice marked paid and evidence of payment (in the form of an official receipt or similar proof of payment) that the customer has paid for the item(s) concerned.

Payments may be made either directly to the customer or to the provider of goods and services (in the event that the customer is unable to purchase in advance).

There are no circumstances in which advance payments will be made to a customer.

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.

Operational Guidelines: Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)

Source: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection 

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