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Development/Creation of Micro-Enterprises

Option closed to new applications

Introduction

This measure is about creating the right conditions for rural businesses and communities to flourish, particularly in more remote areas. This will be achieved by supporting a progressive rural economy and business community, and encouraging individual entrepreneurship. Its primary aim is to promote individuality and develop an economic strategy in rural areas which will create employment opportunities, and widen the range of services and facilities in the local communities, as well as the wider population.

What this will achieve

The objectives of this measure are two-fold:

a) to keep the family within the rural community by encouraging non-agricultural managers (i.e. those other than farmers) to diversify or add value to their existing land based enterprises in order to complement or supplement their income from traditional land management activities OR

b) to encourage other potential entrepreneurs to set up or develop unique businesses which will contribute to the vibrancy of the rural community, create employment opportunities and/or meet market demand for the provision of certain facilities and services in rural areas.

What you can do

You may receive assistance towards the setting up or expansion of any diversified (i.e. non-agricultural) enterprise where it can be shown that there is a proven market for the proposed product or service, and that you have, or can acquire, the skills and resources to provide these on a commercial basis.

Who can apply?

Existing micro enterprises [1] or persons wishing to set up a new micro enterprise in a non agricultural business off-farm.

[1] Fewer than 10 workers and turnover of less than €2m

What costs could be supported

Funding will be provided under this measure for you to undertake the same types of diversified activities as those funded under the 'non agricultural diversification measure' for farmers and their families. These include the categories listed below (although it should be recognised that this is not an exhaustive list but is for illustrative purposes):

  • provision of leisure, recreation and sporting facilities
  • retailing of processed agricultural products
  • processing of forest products
  • provision of other commercial services (illustrative list only)
  1. commercial storage
  2. contracting (building, fencing, etc)
  3. farrier
  4. gardening
  5. sheep shearing/scanning
  • provision of or upgrading of existing tourism accommodation and conversion of redundant farm buildings into rent*

*Projects involving provision of tourist or residential letting accommodation must not include more than 20 bed spaces. Housing for rent will require a lease agreement of not less than 6 months. It does not include rent to a member of the immediate family of the eligible applicant or any of the employees of the eligible business. Development will have a recognised demand and be consistent with local housing strategies.

To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Eligibility criteria

The capital investments eligible for assistance will include identified costs related to new or upgraded buildings or structures, the development or upgrading of services or other infrastructural elements, new machinery or equipment including information technology, and general professional costs related to these expenditures, e.g. statutory consents, architects, engineers or consultants fees, marketing and promotional costs.

Rate of support

The maximum amount of assistance for this measure will be in the form of a variable capital grant which is required to allow the proposals to go ahead, capped at 50% of the eligible costs of the project.

In addition to the maximum grant levels, the total amount of grant payable for non-agricultural, commercial activities can be limited because of rules applied in relation to State Aid.

Inspections/verification

You must complete the work as described in your approved proposal including compliance with any notified conditions of statutory consents. It is a condition of funding that you allow any person, duly authorised, to have access to allow an inspection to take place. An inspection may take place at any reasonable time either before or after completion.