Enterprise Ireland is one of the State agencies actively supporting Irish companies to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit. Achieving market diversification is a priority for EI. Key initiatives include:
1. Brexit Advisory Clinics: Enterprise Ireland has launched its next series of nationwide Brexit Advisory Clinics advising Irish companies on the supports available to help them address their Brexit exposure. The clinics, which include one-to-one meetings with independent experts, will continue in Galway (Tuesday 2 October), Dundalk (Monday 22 October), Waterford (Thursday 8 November) and Limerick (Wednesday 21 November). Companies will be briefed on the broad implications of Brexit, specifically around customs, strategic sourcing, financial management, employment law and the movement of people.
2. Enterprise Ireland launched its Eurozone Strategy with the strategic ambition to increase Irish exports to the Eurozone by 50% to €6.15bn by 2020. Enterprise Ireland recently announced that its clients recorded export sales of €22.71bn in 2017, representing a 7% increase on 2016. Exports to the Eurozone region, which account for 20% of all exports, saw strong growth of 9% to €4.61bn in 2017. Enterprise Ireland supported 89 Irish companies to export to the Eurozone for the first time in 2017. In addition, close to 300 new contracts were secured for Irish companies in the Eurozone with Enterprise Ireland assistance.
3. Trade Missions – Enterprise Ireland will undertake over 200 international and domestic trade events by the end of 2018 to accelerate the number of clients diversifying into new markets, beyond the UK and into the Eurozone and global markets. The number of trade events being undertaken represents a 50% increase on 2017, reflecting the serious challenge that Brexit poses for Irish businesses.
4. New Market Discovery Fund – In support of the international trade event programme, EI has introduced the new Market Discovery Fund to support Enterprise Ireland backed companies when researching new markets for products and services. The new fund is designed to help companies of all sizes to meet the key challenges of market research. There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.
5. New Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit established to support Irish companies to prepare for Brexit.
6. Prepare for Brexit information campaign launched in 2017, as part of a massive drive to support Irish companies to start preparing for Brexit now.
7. New fast track Agile Innovation Fund launched in 2017, gives companies rapid fast-track access to innovation funding; up to 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000. The new measure has been introduced by Enterprise Ireland for companies to respond more quickly to market opportunities and challenges, including those posed by Brexit.
8. Rollout of the Irish Advantage Campaign. As a Brexit response, and as a key Eurozone Strategy initiative, Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Advantage campaign is targeted at European buyers with the aim of generating new business leads for Irish exporters.
9. Operational Excellence Offer – To further strengthen the supports to Irish businesses in the face of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland has just launched a new Operational Excellence Offer to enable Irish companies trading internationally to develop or transform their wider business in order to compete more effectively. The Operational Excellence Offer covers funding, capability building, and capital investment offers for companies trading internationally, to incentivise companies to address their needs across key aspects of their value chain and business operations; from supply chain management, internal business and production operations, and through to logistics and distribution networks
For more information, visit www.prepareforbrexit.com