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Tuesday, 7th September 2021

Local entrepreneurs and start-ups urged to apply for Competitive Start Funds

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Deputy Fergus O'Dowd.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups in the North East are being invited to apply for funding to provide an innovative product or service aimed at international markets.

Local TD Fergus O’Dowd said: “I am delighted that my colleague Minister Damien English is today inviting early-stage entrepreneurs to apply for two Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Funds (CSFs) which are now open for applications.

“The value of the two funds for ‘All Sectors’ and ‘Women Entrepreneurs’ amount to a combined total of €2 million. “I would ask that any ambitious entrepreneurs and start-ups with an eligible innovative product or service set for international markets to apply for this funding.

“The ‘All Sectors’ Competitive Start Fund and ‘Women Entrepreneurs’ Competitive Start Fund competitions form part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number of diverse High Potential Start-Up companies that have the potential and ambition to succeed internationally.

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“Their aim is to help start-ups reach key commercial and technical milestones,” O’Dowd said.

Details of the Competitive Start Fund, application forms and eligibility criteria for funding can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website at

Applicants can only apply for one competition and must meet the requirements for that specific competition. The closing date for both CSF competitions is in 3 weeks’ time, at 3pm on Tuesday, 28 September 2021.

Speaking today, Minister English said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to continue to cultivate our country’s start-up culture and help our ambitious entrepreneurs to move their business ideas to the next level.

“Getting your own business up and running is challenging at the best of times, so I am encouraging eligible early-stage start-ups with global ambition to apply to the relevant Competitive Start Fund competition, each of which is worth up to €1m.

"I am particularly pleased to see Enterprise Ireland continue to prioritise increasing the number of women entrepreneurs as we know from years of international research that greater diversity delivers better business results.”

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