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Funding your new business

Every business is unique but one thing is common to most – a requirement for funding. Cresco have been very successful in assisting companies raise funds from various sources. Accordingly, we have a very strong network of contacts within the relevant agencies.

In addition to access to our contacts, we also provide a business planning and advisory service which will enable you to showcase your business in the most positive way. In our experience, it is quite common for great businesses and solid ideas to miss funding opportunities because they have failed to mention certain items. Quite often, the business owner will have all the relevant information and knowledge but will not communicate it properly. Cresco are aware of what the decision makers expect to see & will assist you in making sure that your application documents and business plan give you the best possible chance.

Funding, and in particular funding for startup / early stage companies, is something that we get asked about on a daily basis. Thankfully, there has never been a better time to be looking for financial support. Every business will have different requirements and the type of funding you seek is a matter than requires careful consideration. We advise clients to have a medium to long term view in mind – there are certain stages and processes most companies will go through and it is important to understand this when starting your search for funding.

We have helped clients secure funding under each of the following schemes / programmes and are very familiar with the processes, requirements and relevance of each:

Enterprise Boards - This is the first port of call for most new businesses. The Enterprise Boards provide an array of supports to new and existing businesses. These Boards are an extremely important part of the small business eco-system. It is important to note that Enterprise Boards are not just for initial funding – they can continue to support their clients companies at various stages and more than once.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) - EI are probably the best know of the support agencies. The range of supports available are varied. For most new companies, their first interaction with Enterprise Ireland is through the Competitive Startup Fund (CSF).

Innovation Vouchers - Innovation Vouchers are aimed at assisting companies with technical and/or scientific challenges. In most cases, an Innovation Voucher will be for €5,000 and will be used by the recipient to fund some research or work through a third level institution or Research Centre. Innovation vouchers are used to asses and/or solve technical challenges and are not available to support general business activities i.e. Marketing, software development, rent etc

Micro-Finance Ireland - Micro Finance Ireland is a state supported not for profit body which lends funds to small and medium enterprises. The objective of Microfinance Ireland is to provide additional lending to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises that have commercially viable proposals but do not meet conventional risk criteria applied by commercial banks. A business which has been refused finance by a commercial bank, can apply to Micro-Finance Ireland for a loan of up to €25,000. Approvals rates are at approx. 50%. Micro-Finance Ireland are actively increasing awareness of the scheme and there is a general feeling that the support is not being used as often as they would like.

Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) - This is a tax related scheme which allows qualifying investors to receive tax relief on investments in qualifying companies. There are rules that govern the scheme but in general it is a flexible and far reaching scheme. EIIS replaced the Business Expansion Scheme (BES). Further details are available upon request.

Seed Capital Scheme - This is another Revenue Tax related scheme. This allows qualifying individuals (usually company founders) to receive tax refunds for tax paid in previous years when they invest in their new qualifying companies. Again, details are available upon request.

Development Programmes / Accelerator Programmes & similar -
Various programmes are in place to develop your idea, grow your busies or boost your sales efforts. Some schemes are state supported while others are private & commercial enterprises. Examples include New Frontiers (EI Supported), Ignite Programme (UCC), Wayra, NDRC. A lot of our clients have been through one or more of these schemes.

Other financial incentives - Over the last number of years, the Government have introduced various measures to support new business and to incentivise job creation. These include tax exemptions for new companies, PRSI reduction, additional tax deductions for employing certain individuals. These incentives have various caveats, terms and conditions and would need to be reviewed in detail based on specific cases. Contact us if you would like to discuss whether any of these would be relevant for your business.

Private / institutional investment - Private investment can come from various sources e.g. family / friends, angel investor, VC, customer / partner. We can assist you with your business plan & approach to such matters.

The process usually works as follows:

  • Initial meeting to discuss your business & your funding needs
  • Preparation of funding plan
  • Initial review of business plan and providing comments & feedback
  • Final review of updated document (further reviews if required)
  • Assistance with preparation of “pitch”
  • Attendance at the funding meeting (if required)

As stated above, every business will have different requirements & a structured plan is recommended to maximise funding opportunities. If you would like to discuss your funding needs, please contact us.