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Setting up or running a business can be a rewarding yet time consuming effort. There are many sources of support available that offer everything from help with feasibility studies and business planning to mentoring, training, funding and office facilities. Below is an overview of some of the main supports in Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise is responsible for development and growth of Ireland export capability and has over 30 offices globally. Its works with Irelands high potential start ups, manufacturers, large companies and resource based companies. It offers funding support, export assistance, R&D support & collaborations and assists with networking. Its website provides very useful information including its export magazine called ‘The Market’.

InterTradeIreland
InterTradeIreland supports small/medium sized enterprises in Ireland to develop North/South trade and business opportunities for the mutual benefit of both economies. Along with providing financial support for innovation initiatives, InterTradeIreland helps early stage companies to raise venture capital, represent business interests at governmental level, support networking and operate a programme to place skilled graduates with companies.

County & City Enterprise Boards
There are 35 Enterprise Boards around Ireland that support small business and start-ups with 10 or less employees. They provide localised support such as training, networking, mentoring and grant support for feasibility studies or business expansion. The enterprise boards also work to foster Ireland culture of entrepreneurship by engaging with primary & secondary level schools through various awards and programs.

Chambers Ireland
Chambers Ireland have 60 offices around Ireland and represents over 13,000 businesses of different sizes. A chamber consists of local business representatives who join together to promote the economic and social development of their community. Each Chamber is designed to offer locally targeted services, training, networking events, trade visits, export supports and business publications.

Business Incubation Centres
Business incubation centres are designed to support start up business by providing access to office space, training, advice, networking events etc. Some incubators develop an industry specialism such as high tech or bio medical focus. Incubators can be found close to colleges, institutes of technology or central business districts.

Post by Robert Farrell, www.smeevolutions.com

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