Enterprise Ireland's €1m Competitive Start Fund (CSF) has opened for applications from founders of early-stage start-ups.  

Companies from all sectors with an eligible innovative product or service set for global markets are encouraged to enter the competition. 

Successful projects can secure up to €50,000 in equity funding.

The CSF aims to increase the number of diverse High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) that have global potential and the ambition to succeed internationally. 

The fund is designed to help start-ups evaluate overseas market opportunities, build prototypes, develop market entry plans and secure third party investment.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar encouraged entrepreneurs to apply.

"A funding boost at the very early stages of starting up a business is always really welcome.

"The Government is committed to nurturing entrepreneurs at every stage of their business development, whether that's through investments, like this one, or networking and mentoring opportunities," said Mr Varadkar.

Manager of Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up Division, Jenny Melia said they are looking for projects across a number of sectors.

"We’re looking for innovative solutions and development plans from entrepreneurs across multiple sectors in manufacturing and internationally traded services. 

"We’re very interested in projects that will drive the digital and green economy where market opportunities continue to emerge and grow.

"If you are an ambitious entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team at the start of your journey developing an eligible product or service, the Competitive Start Fund can really help you to take your business to the next level and I would strongly encourage you to apply," she added.

The fund will close to applications at 3pm on Tuesday, 2 March 2021.