Local Enterprise Office

County Enterprise Boards

The local county enterprise boards in Ireland, formarily CEB, now Local Enterprise Boards should be the first point of call for all new business.

The supports available range from providing an initial “First Stop Shop” service where individuals can receive advice on the steps involved in setting up a business, to the provision of grants for feasibility studies, provision of financial support for the establishment of new businesses or expansion of existing ones and the provision of a range of soft supports such as training and mentoring. The range of supports is designed to assist businesses to grow stronger and bigger by being able to provide targeted, and appropriate, assistance at each stage of their development.

Start up funding

The CEB do not hand out money to every business that comes along. The CEB boards funding are primarily aimed towards manufacturing and export oriented enterprises. They offer other enterprises advice with training and mentoring in the next stage of growth for your enterprise.

Priming Grant

A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant, available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up.  Priming grants may be available for sole traders, partnerships, community groups or limited companies. The maximum Priming Grant payable must not exceed 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser. See your local CEB website for more information.

Business Expansion

The Business Expansion grant is designed to assist the business in it’s growth phase after the initial 18 month start-up period.  Micro enterprises that have availed of a Priming Grant are ineligible to apply for a Business Expansion Grant until 18 months after the final drawdown date of the Priming Grant, except in exceptional circumstances.

Feasibility / Innovation Grants

Feasibility/Innovation Grants are designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and examining it’s sustainability.  It includes assistance with innovation including specific consultancy requirements, hiring of expertise from third level colleges, private specialists, design, patent costs and prototype development. The maximum Feasibility/Innovation Grant payable must not exceed 50% of the investment of €20,000, which ever is the lesser.


To assist small business in meeting these challenges, the CEBs provide a wide range of “soft” supports, which are geared to meet specific business needs. The range of “soft” supports on offer can vary from Board to Board but would typically include training programmes, work-shops, seminars and mentoring services. All training programmes are business-specific in content and are designed through consultation with participating enterprises. Flexibility of approach is the key consideration involved. CEBs frequently sub-contract the provision of these supports to specialist providers, where this is more efficient and/or most cost effective.

Common programmes are ever popular and in high demand. Examples are start-your-own-business-programmes, management development courses, sales /marketing courses, financial management training, e-commerce and IT skills training, etc. Various women-in-business initiatives and networks are also in place with a view to encouraging higher female participation in entrepreneurial and business activity

Training Programmes

The skill requirements on entrepreneurs can be vast, from the managing director of the enterprise to financial controller, the general operative and even janitor. Today, entrepreneurs need to be highly accomplished in good management techniques, in budgeting and in resource planning. They need adequate knowledge in the regulations that affect the sphere of their business, both inward and customer focused, whether in the field of corporate governance, health and safety or workers rights. Their employees too must have the necessary knowledge and skills to enable the functions of business, manufacturing and service provision to be performed efficiently, competitively and in a manner conducive to long-term sustainability.

Business Networks

Women in Business:

Many of the CEBs support women in business through dedicated business and networking events. Such initiatives generally focus on how to address the particular issues facing women entrepreneurs and comprise business owners/managers coming together to meet and exchange views and information on being in business.

PLATO Ireland Network:

Plato is a European wide business development and support network for owner-managers and entrepreneurs. Each Plato region runs its own programme of events, network linkages and business/management development activities in partnership with a range of support agencies including the County and City Enterprise Boards.


Skillnet is an enterprise-led support body whose mission is to enhance the skills of people in employment in Irish industry to support competitiveness and employability. Skillnets is responsible for the operation of the Training Networks Programme – a government initiative to ensure that private sector, Irish industry employees are incentivised to train, upskill and keep their professional skills at the best international standards. Skillnets operate in many sectors both for employees and job seekers alike.


This programme seeks to match up the knowledge, skills and capability of the entrepreneur to that of experienced business practitioners. The mentor contributes independent, informed observation and advice to aid the decision making and planning activities of the entrepreneur, but does not become involved in the daily operations of the enterprise. The specialist fields for mentor engagement typically include general management, financial structuring, production planning, marketing, distribution, corporate organisation and strategic planning. The CEB complements the provision of financial assistance and enterprise training and management development supports with a Mentoring service.

Your Local Enterprise Boards:   http://www.enterpriseboards.ie/

Antrim                                      www.enterpriseni.com

Armagh                                    www.enterpriseni.com

Carlow                                     www.carlow-ceb.com

Cavan                                        www.cavanenterprise.ie/

Clare                                         www.clareceb.ie

Cork City                                  www.corkceb.ie

North Cork County                www.nceb.ie/

South Cork County                www.sceb.ie

West Cork County                  www.wceb.ie

Derry                                       www.enterpriseni.com

Donegal                                   www.donegalenterprise.ie

Dublin City                              www.dceb.ie

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown        www.dlrceb.ie 

Fingal                                      www.fingalceb.ie

South Dublin                          www.sdenterprise.ie

Fermangh                                www.enterpriseni.com

Galway                                     www.galwayenterprise.ie

Kerry                                        www.kerryceb.ie

Kildare                                     www.kildareceb.ie

Kilkenny                                   www.kceb.ie

Laois                                        www.laoisenterprise.com

Leitrim                                      www.leitrimenterprise.ie

Limerick                                   www.limceb.ie

Limerick County                     www.lcoeb.ie 

Longford                                  www.longfordceb.ie

Louth                                       www.lceb.ie

Mayo                                        www.mayoceb.com

Meath                                      www.meath.com

Monaghan                               www.mceb.ie/

Offaly                                       www.offalyceb.ie

Roscommon                           www.roscommon.ie

Sligo                                        www.sligoenterprise.ie 

Tipperary North                    www.tnceb.ie 

Tipperary South                    www.southtippceb.ie 

Tyrone                                     www.enterpriseni.com

Waterford City                       www.waterfordceb.com

Waterford County                  www.enterpriseboard.ie 

Westmeath                              www.westmeath-enterprise.ie 

Wexford                                   www.wexfordceb.ie

Wicklow                                    www.wicklowceb.ie

Northern Ireland                     www.enterpriseni.com 

CEBs are a first port of call for those needing information and advice on how to go about setting up or expanding a micro business venture.

We can help with mentoring, business plans and giving your business a focus for growth.


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