Business Funding in Ireland

Have you ever felt that funding was only available for the bigger guys? Or, are you too big to qualify? Have you ever wished all programmes for micro-enterprises were available to those over the grand old age of 35, not just some? Do the forms seem daunting and the process threatening? Read on. There are lots of options. And, lots of support in completing those forms.

Collaborative Networks (NI only)

“Up to £25,000 funding is available to industry-led networks that would like support to co-ordinate and scope out, innovative, collaborative projects.

We are particularly interested in projects in the areas of digital media, connected health and life sciences, big data/IT, agri-food, advanced materials, advanced engineering and sustainable energy. For more information on these sectors”

See InvestNI

Innovation Vouchers (NI only)

“An Innovation Voucher offers you £4000 to ‘purchase ‘ specialist knowledge from one of 39 respected universities, colleges and research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This knowledge can help you to expand, improve or create new products, services and processes.” See InvestNI

Enterprise Ireland

Support is available for business development, research and development, export, productivity and education. See Enterprise Ireland

DJEI (Ireland only)

This link lists support (including financial support) available to help companies grow, compete, create jobs and improve productivity. See DJEI

Microfinance Ireland

This organisation offers loans for 3-5 years, and funds expansion and job creation. SEe Microfinance Ireland

Kickstarter

Crowd-funding is everywhere! Have you considered asking the general public to fund your idea, concept, innovation or book? Does it sound a bit mad? Then take a look at projects that have been funded across Ireland and the UK. See Kickstarter

Do you need assistance with applying for grant funding? We help individuals and organisations to complete applications for universities, jobs, grants and funding, proposals, ITTs, PQQs and tenders. Get in touch if you’re losing the plot!

Image credit: communitiesuk

Not The Apprentice?!

Every year, we sit down to subject ourselves to be entertained by The Apprentice candidates’ overstuffed personal introduction videos. This is my advice to the candidates having watched episodes 1 and 2.

Learn the difference between an adjective and a verb

Anyone else feeling deflated that the decline of the English language is no longer the fault of the hoodie-wearing, mobile-addicted school dropouts of urban legend? No it ‘s all down to the BBC ‘s The Apprentice candidates. From their pompous self-introductions and taxi rants to their post-task analysis, I ‘m not sure I ‘d trust any one of them to tweet for one of our clients, let alone decide how to spend £100,000! Did this escape the notice of the selection panel? I ‘d have slotted in an interview task requiring candidates to construct an elevator speech without using superlatives.

How will they manage to chair meetings, run presentations or write a business plan?

If you must talk in clich√©s, for pity ‘s sake, get them right!

  • The world is full of far too many wafflers. I get the job done, I walk the walk, I talk the talk and I dance the dance.

This is classic Apprentice-speak. Cliches are either misquoted, embellished (badly) or mashed together to form an editor ‘s ultimate nightmare.

Try to avoid sexism when you ‘re pitching for a large investment, in which you ‘re judged by both a male and a female

  • I am an alpha male. I can make women do what I want in the business world and, come to think of it, some men.
  • Most men will buy from females because females are more attractive to look at

The men part has been added in, I think, only after he heard himself aloud, and realized perhaps that it sounded at least a little creepy. As for Sarah, feminists up and down the country will have been pounding their fists into their cross-stitch, following a day spent floating decoratively around the office in their flattering twinsets after typing up the boss ‘ dictation.

Realise that your grandiose statements paint a picture of insanity

  • I see myself as a mix between Gandhi and the Wolf of Wall Street.
  • I believe I am right about everything.
  • I regret not becoming a scientist so I could clone myself.

Honestly people, if an interviewee came out with this one, we ‘d be guffawing into our mid-afternoon soya mochas. I feel na√Øve have they been told what to say by a room full of comical teenage scriptwriters?

@thesensei is making me watch. I ‘m slurping another large mouthful of Earl Grey as I hide behind a protectively oversized mug. But, I ‘m also feeling somewhat Karren Bradyesque. The Apprentice is great for the ego of a hard-working micro-enterprise owner in this wee corner of Europe.

Thankfully the sea separates me from The Apprentice candidates. Otherwise, I ‘d appear mid-show, disguised as an English teacher and give them what for .

What makes you roar over your wagon wheel apple and tea? Do tell.

Image credit: foolstopzanet