Support for start-up and growing business

by Gazette Reporter

A WIDER range of budding entrepreneurs can access State supports following the recent opening of the Dublin City Local Enterprise Office.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, launched the service, which will provide financial support and advice to those who want to start or expand a business.
‘‘We have to get in behind our enterprises. Our biggest challenge in all our communities is around employment,’’ the minister said. ‘‘We have to step up and try and do things in a new way that makes it more enabling.’’
The LEO will work with all categories of business, from sole traders to small and medium-sized businesses. It aims to target struggling businesses that were previously too large to access Enterprise Ireland supports.
Businessman Daniel Plewman fostered an idea for a uniform company in 2009 after he lost his job in construction.
‘‘I had to find something else. My wife found these uniforms in America; she’s a dentist and when she came back to Ireland, everyone loved them,’’ he said.
With the help of the Dublin City Enterprise Board, his company Happy Threads has developed, over four years, from being run from the spare room of his home to a two-storey office premises. It is expected to have turnover of €1m in 2015.
‘‘When I set up this business initially I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I’m not a natural entrepreneur.
‘‘They gave me support first in mentoring, which is invaluable, then financial support and employment grants,’’ he added.
Best friends Suzanne Lynch and Catherine Buggy cofounded gourmet Irish food company Boutique Bake with the help of the enterprise board.
‘‘After three months, we knew we had something that was going to work so we got in touch with the Dublin City Enterprise Board,” Lynch said.
‘‘We were delighted to get a grant and a business mentor. It really helped us scale up and gave us the confidence to think, let’s approach the supermarkets.’’
State support will be provided from a range of official bodies including Dublin City Council, Enterprise Ireland, Revenue and the Department of Social Protection.

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