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Please read the information below carefully to find out if you are eligible to participate on the New Frontiers programme. Remember that places are awarded on a competitive basis – application alone will not guarantee you a place on the programme.

General eligibility rules

The New Frontiers programme is for early-stage founder with little or no experience in starting or building a business who are over the age of 18.
You must be based, and intend to run your business, in Ireland. In addition, applicants must be eligible to live AND work in Ireland. If your current visa status does not allow you to run a business in Ireland, you must regularise your visa situation before being accepted on to the programme. Please refer to current guidelines from the Department of Justice with regard to the status of non-EEA nationals wishing to set up a business in Ireland.
New Frontiers is open to businesses from a wide range of sectors including food & consumer products; information & communication technology; engineering & electronics; medical devices; biotechnology; pharma, digital media; cleantech/renewable energy; and eligible internationally traded services.
It is NOT a requirement that you register your business prior to participating in the New Frontiers programme.

Factors that would exclude you from the programme

Business concepts based on the following ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for support:

Retail outlets and professional services, including consultancies that are not engaged in internationally traded services.
Areas of enterprise which involve displacement of existing jobs or businesses including builders, hairdressers, cafes, pubs, hotels, general printers, construction, trades, etc.
Conferences and seminars.
Businesses which are contrary to public policy, i.e. goods/services for military use, adult entertainment services, tobacco and related ventures, cannabis-based products.
Activities that fall within gambling or “gaming” as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.

How other/previous funding impacts an application to the programme

Individuals are eligible to apply for, or be in receipt of, at any given time, ONLY ONE of the following supports awarded through public bodies: Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers tax-free allowance, Enterprise Ireland HPSU Start Feasibility, Food Works, Enterprise Ireland Pre-Seed Startup Fund (PSSF), Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Feasibility, Commercialisation Fund, or Údarás na Gaeltachta Feasibility.
Applicants are required to disclose any funding either received or applied for at the time of their application to Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme. If funding has been applied for, or previously received, by a co-founder this information should also be declared on the application form.
In the case of co-founders, ONLY ONE co-founder can participate on the New Frontiers programme. No additional state funding can be applied for by another co-founder relating to the same project at any time.
Individuals applying for New Frontiers WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE to receive the New Frontiers stipend if they are already in receipt of funding over the value of €100,000. (i.e., a culmination of state or private funding).

Further information about possible funding conflicts

Feasibility Grants

  • If, when applying for a place on Phase 2 of New Frontiers, an applicant is in the process of drawing down a feasibility grant from any state agency, they must either draw down this grant fully before joining New Frontiers or forego the balance of the funding before commencing New Frontiers. The grant cannot be deferred until after the applicant has completed the New Frontiers programme.
  • An applicant who has already drawn down previous feasibility funding for the same project from any state agency (as outlined above), will only be eligible to receive the New Frontiers tax-free allowance if they can demonstrate, at the time of application, that receipt of the allowance will bring their project to the next stage of development.

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Priming /Business Development Grants

  • If the New Frontiers applicant has already received a LEO Priming Grant or Business Expansion Grant for the same business that they are applying to New Frontiers with, the inference is that the business has already started. Therefore, the applicant may be offered a place on the programme but WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE to receive the tax-free allowance. 
  • There can, however, be an overlap in funding between being in receipt of the New Frontiers allowance and the LEO Priming Grant ONLY for the element covering salary costs for full-time jobs created for an additional employee (i.e., an employee who is not the promoter who is in receipt of the New Frontiers allowance or a co-founder).

Pre-Seed Startup Fund (PSSF)

  • If a New Frontiers participant is in receipt of the New Frontiers allowance and is also subsequently successful in being offered Enterprise Ireland’s PSSF, the allowance will be cancelled at the stage that the PSSF offer has been accepted. The participant will, however, be allowed to continue the New Frontiers programme without the allowance.

If you are unsure of how past funding may affect your participation on New Frontiers/eligibility to participate on the programme or receive the allowance, please contact the Programme Manager at the location you are interested in.