Enterprise Ladder Fund (ELF) offers seed funding to early-stage and developmental businesses. The ELF is primarily targeted at start-up businesses served by LIT that have participated in one of the Enterprise Ladder incubation programmes like New Frontiers (Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme housed at the Hartnett Centre), LEAP (Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Platform) or TESS (Tipperary Enterprise Start-up Support). The ELF was instigated by the LIT Thought Leadership and Advisory Group in 2012 as part of its ongoing endeavours to support entrepreneurship and stimulate job creation in the region.
Announcing the fund in 2012, Finance Minister Mr Michael Noonan TD said: “I want to congratulate LIT on developing this fund, which is further evidence of initiatives by Dr Hinfelaar and her team here at LIT aide at supporting start-up businesses in the downturn. Start-up companies are key to our ongoing economic recovery and the ELF will provide critical support for qualifying companies at LIT and wider region as they seek to get their businesses up and running.”
Dr Maria Hinfelaar, President of LIT said “We are delighted to be announcing our Enterprise Ladder Fund, which is all about supporting entrepreneurship and stimulating job creation. Accessing early stage funding is a significant challenge for start-up companies and the ELF will bridge that gap for many start-ups at our centres in this region. The fund would not be possible without the support of our donors and I am sure I can speak for all the companies that will qualify for the funding that LIT is hugely grateful to those who have already donated money to the fund, and others who will follow, for their support.
“The Government, through initiatives like the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) and the Seed Capital Scheme (SCS), has been proactive in addressing capital funding issues for start-ups but we cannot just leave it to Government to come up with the answers. The Enterprise Ladder Fund is LIT’s response to the funding challenge for small, start-up businesses in a diversity of sectors and we look forward to supporting many of them long into the future with this initiative.”
Founding donors include Analog Devices, Grant Thornton, Holmes O’Malley Sexton, BDO, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Group Holdings, and The JP McManus Foundation.
Contact Gillian.Barry@lit.ie for more information.