FINE Gael Cork North West Deputy, Áine Collins, has today (Thursday) said there is a range of initiatives in place to assist would-be entrepreneurs in starting their own business, with which they should familiarise themselves in a bid to accessing support.
“The Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has put considerable effort into making start-ups a reality for those who want to run their own business. These range from financial supports to mentoring programmes and schemes to reduce the cost of taking on employees.
“In a bid to easing the financial burden on entrepreneurs a number of measures are in place. The Seed Capital Scheme has a potential value of €600,000 for qualifying entrepreneurs who can claim back income tax they have paid in the previous six years, up to this amount, and use it to invest as equity back into a company. The Three Year Corporate Tax Exemption Scheme provides corporation tax relief for new start-ups companies in their first three years of trading. And for would-be entrepreneurs who have been signing on the Live Register for over 12 months, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance allows for social welfare payments to be maintained for up to two years.
“When it comes to taking on staff, schemes such as the PRSI Exemption Scheme, which exempts employers who create new and additional jobs from paying the employers’ portion of the PRSI contribution for 18 months, can provide much needed financial wiggle room. Similarly, employers can benefit from a double write-off of the wages plus employers’ PRSI for three years for taking someone who has been on the Live Register or on disability allowance for 12 months. This can be worth €2,500 per year to a company and up to €8,000 per year to a sole trader.
“The much publicised Micro-Enterprise Fund and the Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme, both of which are in development, are also designed to help those who are having difficulty accessing credit. This could be due to the fact that the business has insufficient collateral or the bank is unwilling to lend due to a perceived risk or lack of knowledge, on their part, of the sectors being entered into.
“Perhaps even more important than the financial incentives available, are the mentoring programmes on offer. The County Enterprise Boards and Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme enable entrepreneurs to gain valuable knowledge of what is involved in getting started in business. They provide a package of supports to help accelerate business development and to facilitate entrepreneurs with the skills and contacts needed to successfully start and grow their own company, helping them to make their dreams a reality.”