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The New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme

Make your great idea a reality with funding and guidance from The New Frontiers


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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Are you an ambitious and driven entrepreneur? Do you dream of creating a business or app that will win the hearts and minds of people worldwide and have you grinning all the way to the bank? If you have a great idea and the determination to make it a reality then take a look at Enterprise Ireland's New Frontiers programme.

New Frontiers

This is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology. It is designed to help people who have an innovative business idea, to establish and run their own companies. It provides a package of supports to help accelerate business development and to equip start-ups with the skills and contacts needed to be successful future business leaders.

This programme is open to applications from diverse range of sectors including: food & consumer products, information & communications technology, engineering & electronics, medical devices, biotechnology, pharma, digital media and eligible internationally traded services.

Am I eligble?

  • If you have a desire and drive to build a business on a strong foundation of technology or knowledge.
  • If you are ambitious and intend that your enterprise will achieve turnover greater than €500,000 and create more than five jobs in three to five years time.
  • If you can provide evidence of a commerical market for your proposed product or service.

What is involved?

The New Frontiers scheme is available for entrepreneurs whose idea or business is at a very early stage. This programme involves three different phases, to progress onto each phase you need to prove your idea's worth as well as your determination and belief in the project.

Phase 1 - Testing the Business

  • You will attend workshops part-time over an 8-10 week period where mentors will help you to develop your idea and determine whether it is marketable..
  • Workshops will provide you with information and general start-up training, allowing you to see if your idea can make money.

Phase 2 - Planning the Business

  • Following a competitive selection process, committed participants who have a strong proposition and who can demonstrate that their business has the potential to grow and create jobs may be offered a place on Phase 2.
  • If successful, you will receive intensive support for six months to develop both your own skills and to work up your business proposition.
  • This will entail full-time participation in workshops, mentoring and regular reviews. Using these supports, you will fully detail and validate your business proposition and identify potential customers, sales channels and funding options.
  • You must be available for full-time participation and you will receive up to €15,000 in scholarship funding if reviews of your business' development are satisfactory.
  • The aim of this phase is to support you in your development of an investor-ready business proposition.

Phase 3 - Developing the business

  • On the basis of your potential to develop sales and/or secure investment, business’s emerging from Phase 2 will then be guided to the government supports that can best help them at their particular stage of development. 
  • Further incubator programmes (programmes that fund and support start ups) may also be available to participants who reach this stage.

Previous participants

  • Siansplan.com an online healthy eating application to help parents control shopping, create healthy meals, reduce food waste and eliminate meal time stress. 
  • FiftyFive65 is a unique online clothes shop that offers classic designs from the 50s and 60s in modern sizing and carefully selected fabric. FiftyFive65 presents an alternative to time damaged original vintage clothing. 

How can I apply?

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Published December 5th, 2014
Last updated November 29th, 2016
Tags work entrepreneurship entrepreneur
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

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