Funding for Your Business


18
Jan 14

Time for Helping Entrepreneurs Long Overdue

Simon Ball – 16 January 2014Small businesses make up over 90pc of the entire enterprise economy of Ireland, with 70pc of the total workforce employed by SMEs.

Support for this sector is long overdue, especially when recent figures show that the amount of new loans to small companies has fallen 82pc since the peak.

The recent Budget was signalled as an entrepreneurial one, and indeed, some helpful inroads have been made.

Among the measures, there is some relief on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for entrepreneurs; the adjustment to the R&D tax credit will allow additional outsourcing to assist smaller companies; and the tax exemption for certain start-ups has been extended. For investors and entrepreneurs, relief for property investments have been extended. However changes in how unearned income is treated for many business owners and their employees will bring more people into the annual tax filing net.

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4
Nov 13

New €125m First Development Capital Fund in Ireland to Invest in SMEs

New €125m First Development Capital fund in Ireland to invest in SMEs

 The Irish Government has announced a new €120m investment fund – dubbed First Development Capital – to invest in Irish small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, has announced.

MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland will manage the €125m fund, which will be used to help innovative and export-driven SMEs scale up faster, reach new markets, and ultimately create homegrown jobs for Ireland.

Broken down, Enterprise Ireland has made a €25m commitment, under the Government’s Development Capital Scheme, to the first and final close of the fund. This scheme was set up last year.

As part of the fund, a total of €75m in funding has been made available from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

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2
Oct 13

Entrepreneur’s Indiegogo Campaign Crowdfunds for New Internet Router Technology

Entrepreneur’s Indiegogo campaign crowdfunds for new internet router technology  Justin Collery with the Mutipath technology. Image via Patrick BrowneTechnician-turned-entrepreneur Justin Collery is today launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise US$30,000 by the end of October for his innovation: a router technology by the name of Multipath Networks.

 

Based out of Waterford, Ireland, the aim of this technology is to split internet traffic across all internet connections – in order to help keep connectivity levels stable.

According to Collery, this “disruptive technology” will increase internet speeds for users.

He runs Multipath Networks out of the Arc Labs Innovation Centre for early stage ventures, which is based in Waterford City.

Collery initially came up with the idea for Multipath Networks after he moved from Dublin City to Co Waterford.

Following the move, he struggled to get what he describes as “fast and reliable” broadband.

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28
Aug 13

EU Funds Available for Web Entrepreneurs.

EU funds available for web entrepreneursAnyone developing an online business is being encouraged to apply to a new €130 million EU fund aimed at supporting e-commerce.

Budding tech entrepreneurs whose applications are successful can expect to get funding in the range of €50,000 to €150,000 under the European Commission-run scheme.

The grants are being rolled out under the third phase of the Future Internet Public Private Partnership (FIPPP), part of the Startup Europe initiative of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Applications must be submitted by a deadline of December 10th, 2013, and information is available on the website www.fi-ppp.eu/.

Commenting on the funding opportunity, Fine Gael MEP for the North West Jim Higgins urged all Irish web entrepreneurs to apply for grants to help launch their product or service online.

“Ireland has a reputation as a technology hub, but online businesses will only grow if consumers can trust the reliability and security of the websites themselves.

“Web developers need to continually update their software to become faster, more interactive and user-friendly. This fund will help web entrepreneurs start, maintain and grow innovative businesses across Europe,” said Mr Higgins.

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11
Jun 13

Loan approval rate for small businesses at highest level in four years

ISME boss Mark FieldingMORE small firms are being approved for credit than rejected for the first time in four years, according to a new report. 

The latest ‘bank watch’ survey from trade group ISME found that 52pc of applications were approved by the banks in the last three months, compared to 44pc at the start of the year.

That is the first time since 2009 that the survey has shown more approvals than refusals, while the wait time for applications to be processed fell from five weeks to four.

Not surprisingly demand for credit is rising, say ISME.

The report claims more than 40pc of respondents had requested additional or new bank facilities in the last three months, an increase on the 35pc in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the survey results, ISME boss Mark Fielding said the results were “positive”.

“Hopefully they are the start of a trend back to ‘normal’ banking.

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21
Jun 12

IMF sees G20 focus on growth, jobs, euro crisis

IMF sees G20 focus on growth, jobs, euro crisis

A Group of 20 summit in Mexico next week will likely focus on ways to spur global growth, job creation and on the euro zone debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

The meeting of developed and developing countries will also assess progress made in raising new resources for the IMF, Gerry Rice, spokesman for the IMF, told reporters. He denied there was backtracking or delays by some donors to make good on their promises to bolster the IMF’s war chest by USD 430 billion.

Frustrated with the slow pace of IMF voting reforms, Brazil has said it would not contribute fresh money to the IMF until there was headway in giving emerging economies greater say in the fund.

Rice said the G20, at the leaders’ summit next Monday and Tuesday in Los Cabos, Mexico, will review progress in coming up with the new money. “Discussions have continued with the various donors, and it was never expected the package would be completed with every detail fixed by this time,” he added.

The G20 meeting comes just after Greek voters go to the polls on Sunday in an election that is expected to determine whether the debt-stricken country stays in the euro zone.

Rice said the IMF was ready to engage with Greece’s new government on the future of a 130 billion euro international bailout package, partly funded by the IMF, once the election was over.

“We need to take this one step at a time,” Rice said. “We should respect the democratic process in Greece and once there is a new government, the IMF will engage in a dialogue with it.”

Meanwhile, Rice said an IMF assessment of the Spanish economy, part of annual consultations with the government, will wrap up its work on Friday in Madrid. He said the Spanish authorities had not requested IMF financial help to deal with the country’s banking crisis.

Rice said the IMF believed that the 100 billion euro EU backstop to deal with troubled Spanish banks agreed last Saturday was the “right step.”

“It is also important that the reform program that the Spanish government has undertaken continues to be implemented, as they are doing, and there has been no request for IMF financial assistance nor are there any plans at the IMF for such assistance,” he added.

He said the IMF thought it “desirable” that the Europeans strengthen their crisis management instruments and stand ready to use a pan-European facility to take direct stakes in banks, as opposed to doing it through governments.

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1
May 12

Startup of the day: Bullet

John Farrelly and Peter Connor,

Funding: Leitrim Enterprise Board

For many SMEs, managing accounting and payroll can prove a very expensive process. So how can a company file tax returns without paying a fortune to an accountant?

Bullet was set up by John Farrelly and Peter Connor to provide an automated accounting and payroll solution for the SME market. The Leitrim and Dublin-based company is launching its product at DublinBeta today.

After Farrell had been audited due to his accountant not filing the returns, he looked for another solution. Bullet’s application allows customers to reduce their accounting fees.

The web-based solution includes an iPhone app to track expenses by taking photos of receipts. Bullet’s application also tracks mileage using the iPhone’s location finder.

“There are two big differentiators with it,” said Connor. “We incorporate payroll as standard and we automate all your tax returns.”

Ahead of the full product launch, Bullet has signed up over 250 users. According to Connor, the company built their application for a total cost of €1,400.

While the product can scale for different company sizes, the company is targeting companies of ten employees or less.

“From day one we had simplicity,” said Connor. “We did user testing on our parents. I got my 78-year old mother to do a return.”

The product will automatically generate all the relevant tax filing, with no accounting expertise required. Based on the cloud, the product’s user interface was designed separately from the accounting backend to ensure a simple user experience.

The company is about to hire a graphic designer and received funding from the Leitrim Enterprise Board which will go toward staff costs.

“We are going to have to differentiate ourselves,” said Connor. “We will target a strategy around infographics and using design as a differentiator.”

Connor has previously worked on a range of technical projects during his ten years with Rabobank Ireland. In 2008 Connor left Rabobank to set up Green Apple Media, an internet development company specialising in online business creation.

Farrelly has experience as a software engineer and started his own consultancy service to the telecommunications sector three years ago.

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17
Apr 12

McManus among investors in €1m midwest seed fund

Start-up businesses were given a major boost yesterday at the launch of a new €1 million seed fund, set up for industries across the midwest.

The Enterprise Ladder Fund, provided by JP McManus and other private investors, has been set up through Limerick Institute of Technology.

The fund, announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, will allow qualifying companies to receive funding of between €10,000 and €25,000.

Investors hope to make a big return on their investment while benefiting from tax incentives.

“I want to congratulate LIT on developing this fund,” Mr Noonan said. “Start-up companies are key to our ongoing economic recovery and the ELF will provide critical support for qualifying companies at LIT and wider region as they seek to get their businesses up and running.”

The fund will provide much-needed early-stage financial equity for start-up companies already based at the institute’s Enterprise Acceleration Centre, and to start-up firms in the greater Limerick region.

The college has already secured €350,000 of the targeted €1 million through philanthropic contributions from donors around the region. It is hoped that the remaining two-thirds of the fund will be secured by the end of the year through similar tax-incentivised means.

“Accessing early-stage funding is a significant challenge for start-up companies and the ELF will bridge that gap for many start-ups at our centres in this region,” LIT president Dr Maria Hinfelaar said.

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12
Apr 12

AIB invests €1.3m in five technology firm start-ups

AIB has invested more than €1m in seed capital for technology start-ups, the bank said yesterday. The lender said it put €1.3m into five firms during the fist quarter of the year as part of the bank’s seed capital funds.

Limerick-based environmental software firm ManageCO2 Software Ltd, networking firm SkillPages, and Dublin businesses, Pilot Photonics, data mining firm Polecat, and Redeem & Get Ltd, all received payments under the scheme.

Two follow-on investments were also made with companies AIB had already invested in; Maravo Medical Devices, in Galway, and Movidius, a technology company with offices in Dublin, Hong Kong and Romania. AIB is the largest provider of seed capital funding in Ireland with funds worth €75m.

The AIB Seed Capital Fund has a total of €53m under management by Enterprise Equity Venture Capital and Dublin Business Innovation Centre.

Since it was launched in 2008, this fund has made some 75 venture capital investments in 48 early stage businesses, supporting an estimated 300 jobs, according to the bank.

Separately, the AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund has a total of €22m, of which Enterprise Ireland put in €2m.

That fund is managed by ACT Venture Capital. It has made a total of eight investments and supported approximately 108 jobs since its launch last year, AIB say.

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12
Apr 12

ISME: Government scheme ‘could create 1,300 jobs’

Irish Small and Medium Enterprise (ISME) chief executive Mark Fielding said today that a new scheme aimed at freeing up credit could create up to 1,300 jobs.

The Credit Guarantee Bill was launched by the Enterprise Minister yesterday, and has received a cautious welcome from the business association.

The plan will see banks offered a 75% State guarantee against losses on loans that qualify.  Fielding said that it will be a shot in the arm for many companies.

“It’s not a silver bullet, it’ll bring a good number of businesses across the winning line,” he said.

“We hope that it will lend to about 1,800 businesses.

“Those, in the normal course of events, will create somewhere in the region of 1,300 jobs so that alone will be good for the economy.”

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