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Fine Gael TD for Cork East and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, is calling on recent graduates to apply for the Government’s new €500,000 Competitive Start Fund. The fund to encourage graduates with early-stage start-ups has been launched by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.


“Final year students and graduates with a third-level qualification within the last three years, who have a start-up company, can now apply for the Government’s new start-up fund. Up to 10 successful applicants will be awarded up to €50,000 each”, said Minister Stanton.


“The goal of this new fund is to assist start-up companies that have the capacity to succeed in global markets.  It will support high potential start-ups who employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.  It is aimed at those working across manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors including cloud computing, enterprise software, cleantech, gaming, mobile, apps and life sciences.


“Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs has overseen a steady reduction in unemployment from a peak of 16% in 2012 to 6% in March 2018 with Cork County experiencing a 14% decrease year on year.  A major part of Action Plan for Jobs is encouraging entrepreneurship.  Aside from providing financial assistance, this new initiative provides a platform for innovative entrepreneurs and start-up companies to progress their businesses with business support and networking.


 “Applicants must apply though Enterprise Ireland at where there is further information on the fund and eligibility criteria. In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch.  The deadline for receipt of applications is 3pm, Tuesday, 24th April 2018.