Who qualifies for government grants to support new business?


You can get Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (“BTWEA”) if you are:

  1. setting up as self-employed in a new business approved in advance by a DEASP Case Officer and a LDC (Local Development Company).
  2. Receiving social welfare on any of the below schemes continuously for 9 months (234 days)
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional payment (JST)
  • One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)
  • Blind Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance (full rate) – having stopped caring duties
  • Deserted Wife’s Benefit/Allowance
  • Farm Assist – the new business cannot be in relation to the farm holding or the continuation of an existing business
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Widow’s/Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Qualifying from Illness Benefit: 3 out of last 5 years in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment
  • Combination of OFP/JST/JA continuously for 9 months
  • Qualified Adult of someone getting BTWEA already

You can only get an Enterprise Support Grant (“ESG”) if you have been approved for the BTWEA. The business plan you submit as part of your application for the scheme must set out the rationale and requirement for financial support. The ESG can pay a total of €2,500 in any 24-month period. You must be able to make a matching contribution of at least 10% to access grant support. You need to provide documentary evidence of the costs (quotations from at least 2 suppliers or, if a single supplier, the reasons for choosing a single supplier).

You can only get the Short Term Enterprise Allowance (“STEA”) if you are already getting Jobseeker’s Benefit. There is no qualifying period, which means you do not need to have been getting Jobseeker’s Benefit for a certain period of time. However, you will not qualify if you are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit and working part-time.

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Mark Sweetman, ACA

Mark Sweetman, ACA

As a Chartered Accountant I've built my experience working within the SaaS and digital technology industries, growing early-stage businesses from the inside. I help digital entrepreneurs understand their companies and ensure they have all the tools they require to succeed and thrive. I love adopting new tech solutions and making use of these to increase efficiency within our clients' businesses.