WestBIC, the Business Innovation Centre of the Western region, helped secure over €10m of funding for enterprises in the west in 2016.
Over a quarter of this was from the EU’s Horizon 2020 fund paid directly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Donegal to Galway in the form of grants.
This funding helps businesses across a range of sectors develop their innovative products and services increasing job creation in the region.
The backing is principally in the form of grant assistance which means that entrepreneurs do not dilute ownership of their businesses or take on a heavy debt burden.
“Horizon 2020 funding is ideally suited to the SME sector because it has simplified the process of bidding for funds for smaller businesses”, says Joe Greaney, Director of WestBIC.
“For example, the SME Instrument scheme allows enterprises to apply for grant funding of up to €60k without the need for a European partner.
WestBIC has collaborated with 17 other BICs across Europe to help smaller undertakings apply for funding. They have invested in research on the matching businesses to the right funding scheme and in bid writing capability.
While there is a lot of funding available it is a very competitive area and a well-prepared bid directed towards the right funding source can make the difference between accessing finance or not.
WestBIC offers support for enterprises across the region on this.
Larger enterprises have also been successful in attracting funding and WestBIC’s connections across Europe are vital in helping match them with complementary businesses or research institutions in other countries.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.