News & Events

Regional Enterprise Development Fund open for applications

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD today (29th May) launched a new Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up to €60m.

This competitive funding has been provided by the Department of Jobs, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development. The Fund is aimed at accelerating economic recovery in every part of the country by delivering on the potential of local and regional enterprise strengths. The Fund will support significant collaborative regional initiatives to build on specific industry sectoral strengths and improve enterprise capability, thereby driving job creation.

Under a competitive process, Enterprise Ireland is now seeking applications for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:

  1. Major Change Projects - €2m up to €5m per project,
  2. Regionally Significant Projects - €250,000 up to €2m per project,
  3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project
  4. Industry Clusters- €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.

Competitive feasibility funding to support the development of high quality regional projects is also available as part of this initiative.

Launching the Fund, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, “The Regional Action Plans aim to ensure that regional Ireland gets its fair share of economic growth and investment. I want to see collaborative projects that will boost the regions by supporting enterprise and creating jobs. Through this fund, I am delighted to be backing local stakeholders to drive their own futures by putting forward their own innovative proposals to deliver sustainable employment.”

Also speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD said, “Unlocking opportunity in regional Ireland is essential to underpin the future performance of our indigenous companies who are making a huge contribution to the recovery. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach to developing regions won’t work. We want to invest in the unique strengths of each region in the drive to maximise employment and value add to the Irish economy.”

Commenting on the Fund, Minister of State for Skills and Training John Halligan TD said, “This Fund will help to ensure the benefits of our growing economy are felt in every region. Harnessing the talent of people in the regions, linking enterprises to the third level sector, keeping entrepreneurs connected, supporting innovation, and putting in place various development programmes for our companies is something we must keep working on.”

CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon said, “Supporting Enterprise development is a key role of Enterprise Ireland. This fund will provide an important infrastructural mechanism to drive growth in developing enterprise in every region. The fund will also support the development of industry clusters which will facilitate knowledge transfer, innovation and collaboration among organisations. These are important drivers of enterprise growth and job creation, and we look forward to supporting more regionally-based companies through this initiative.”

The Regional Action Plans for Jobs seek to build on the strengths and opportunities in each region and to build a regional ecosystem including a diversity of companies and sectors, sectoral clusters, a spirit of innovation and collaboration, a good physical and digital infrastructure and appropriate research and technology capability.

Details of the competitive process are available on Enterprise Ireland’s website

The closing date for applications is 18th August 2017.

Contact: Press Office, Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation,

Phone: 01-6312200 or

or Marie McMahon 0871255572


Notes for Editors

For further information contact – Conor O’ Donovan, Communications Officer, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272000.


The Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) initiative, 2015-2017, is working to promote regional job creation by bringing stakeholders in each of 8 regions together to deliver innovative and practical actions to boost job creation in the regions.

To complement the RAPJ process, Enterprise Ireland, with the support of DJEI, is launching a competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up to €60million to grow and sustain jobs across the regions.

Fund Overview

This competitive funding is aimed at accelerating economic recovery in every part of the country by delivering on the potential of local and regional strengths.

Funding of up to €60m will be available over a period of four years to 2020.

A maximum of up to 80% is available for projects, with the balance to be leveraged from the private, community or public sector.

The Fund will support major new collaborative and innovative initiatives that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the region/across regions or nationally to build the unique USP capabilities to grow the regions. This will be achieved by co-financing the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain and add to employment at a national; regional, county and community level.

The overarching aim of this Fund is to drive enterprise development and job creation in each region throughout Ireland. Projects must be impactful, with the principal impact being jobs.

A feasibility grant of up to €22,500 or 50% of eligible costs (whichever is the lesser) can be offered to help promoters develop projects for progression and consideration.

The Applicant will be not for profit entities that have already, or propose to, set up a distinct legal entity that comprise national/regional, county and local stakeholders, with a purpose of benefiting the wider needs of the community and region/nation as defined in the four streams outlined below.

Applicants can be promoted by private or public organisations, which for example might include:

  • Higher Education Institutes
  • Semi State Commercial bodies
  • Local Enterprise Development Groups
  • Local Authorities

Composition of Fund

The fund will consist of 4 streams, as follows:

Stream 1: Major Regional Change Projects

Investment of €2m up to €5m per project (min of 20% to be leveraged from the private, community or public sector) for major initiatives with high impact on enterprise development of the region and ability to create jobs e.g.

–Specialised Incubators,

–Hubs in Design; Med Devices; Fintech, Agri-tech; Food; etc.

Stream 2: Regionally Significant Change Projects

Investment of €250,000 up to €2m per project (min. of 20% to be leveraged from the private, community or public sector) for initiatives with high impact at regional/multi-regional level; e.g.

–Developing e-working centres;

–Stimulating the development of SME outreach from 3rd level;

–Projects to accelerate start ups

Stream 3: Local & Community Enterprise Development Initiative

Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 20% to be leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to stimulate the development of community based enterprises & networks that can grow and sustain jobs in their area/county/region. E.g.

–    Start Up/Scaling Academies

–    Local Networks/ Consortia to deliver sectoral growth

–    Addressing sectoral challenges around Green, Energy, Digital, Innovation

Stream 4: Industry Clusters

Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 50% to be leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to maximize the benefits of collaborative opportunities through industry clusters (both established and new).

Industry Clusters initiatives are defined as structures or organised groups of independent parties (at least five companies) designed to stimulate innovative activity through promotion, sharing of facilities and exchange of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to knowledge transfer, networking, information dissemination and collaboration among the undertakings and other organisations in the industry cluster.