Business Feasibility Study and Innovation Grant

Local Enterprise Offices may provide financial support to those who are researching the market demand for a new product or service and considering whether to develop it.

Feasibility Study Grants are designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and examining its sustainability. It includes assistance with innovation including specific consultancy requirements, hiring of expertise from third level colleges private specialists, design and prototype development.

The maximum Feasibility Study Grant payable for the S&E Region shall be 50% of the investment or €15,000 whichever is the lesser. The maximum Feasibility Study Grant payable for the BMW Region shall be 60% of the investment or €15,000 whichever is the lesser. 

Expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Market Research
  • Consultancy Costs
  • Technical Development/Prototype/Innovation
  • Salary/Own Labour Research
  • Miscellaneous Costs
  • Only businesses or individuals intending to explore the feasibility of a manufacturing or internationally traded service sector business may apply.
  • The enterprise must not employ more than 10 people.
  • The business must operate in the commercial sphere.
  • The enterprise must be established, registered and operate within the geographic location of the Local Enterprise Office
  • The enterprise must demonstrate a market for the product/service.

LEOs can assist in the establishment and/or development of new and existing enterprises (limited company, individuals/sole trader, cooperatives and partnerships) provided that such enterprises/projects are capable of attaining commercial viability and subject to the following eligibility criteria:

Within the eligibility criteria there are certain priorities and restrictions:

  • Priority must be given to enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sectors which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio;
  • Salary support may be offered to unique tourism services projects that are focused predominantly on generating revenues from overseas visitors and which do not give rise to deadweight and/or displacement in the local economy;
  • This grant aid does not support those areas such as retail enterprises, personal services (eg hairdressers, gardeners, creches etc), professional services (accountants, solicitors etc), construction/local building services, as this is considered to give rise to unacceptable deadweight (where the project would have proceeded anyway) and/or displacement (where the projects imply displace business from other players in the market).
  • The sector of the economy in which an enterprise is operating or intends to operate
  • The size or proposed size of the enterprise
  • Any expenditure incurred, prior to receipt of application form, will not be eligible for grant support.
  • The grant aid is considered to not give rise to unacceptable/ineligible business activities or deadweight (where the project would have proceeded anyway)

Ineligible Businesses

  • Enterprise Ireland / IDA / Údarás na Gaeltachta clients
  • Domestically focused retail, personal services, professional services and construction services.
  • Are operating in the coal or steel sectors.
  • Are involved in activities that Local Enterprise Offices considers as ineligible or as involving an unacceptable reputational risk. Ineligible activities include activities relating to:
  1. The gambling sector, including "gaming" (as defined in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956)
  2. Adult entertainment
  3. Tobacco and tobacco related products.
  4. Cannabis-based products which are not authorised as medicines.

Any queries in relating to the eligibility will be directed to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment/Enterprise Ireland Policy department who will assess the case.