Details of the €400,000 fund were shared with over 170 small businesses gathered in Dublin yesterday for Bord Bia’s fifth annual Small Business Open Day. The grant scheme is aimed at companies with a turnover between €100,000 and €5 million, embarking on a new project to take their business to the next level.
Bord Bia expects the ‘Step Change Programme’ to benefit at least eight high potential Irish businesses in 2015 with individual grants of up to €50,000.
“Ireland needs entrepreneurs,” said the Minister of the State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Tom Hayes in opening the conference, “We have to have risk-takers who’ll venture out and set up businesses that directly contribute to economic recovery. Your company’s growth underpins the wider local community and the image of Ireland as a provider of high quality, innovative and sustainable food and drink excellence. Bord Bia and the support agencies are on hand not just today but through your various stages of growth.”
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s Director of Food and Beverages, added, “This new enhanced grants programme has been designed to assist progressive small food, drink and horticulture companies to fund a significant project that will positively impact the company’s growth. Applicants must demonstrate new, innovative developments and activities which will involve a considerable departure for the company – for example, a product launch on a new export market, establishing a new route to market or launching a new brand range”.
Bord Bia’s existing financial programme, the Marketing Assistance Programme, which provided 186 companies with a total of €976,000 in marketing grant aid in 2014, will operate as normal. The closing date for receipt of applications for both the financial programmes is Friday, 6th February 2015.
The new Vantage website (www.bordbiavantage.ie) was also unveiled providing a dedicated resource for small food and drink producers built around the pillars of market information, insight and innovation, business development, export and events. Content is aimed at those starting to grow a food business in Ireland and overseas. It provides valuable signposting for start-ups, category overviews and consumer insights as well as details for all of Bord Bia’s supports and services for small producers.