Murnane O’Connor welcomes new €90m fund for Irish start-ups with focus on women-led enterprises

Published on: 10 February 2022

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has welcomed the launch of a new €90m fund for Irish start-ups.


Deputy Murnane O’Connor commented, “We have some brilliant entrepreneurs in this country and this fund will help towards backing them in the early stages with investment. 


“By backing our entrepreneurs, we are also backing job creation into the future. It is heartening to see that there will be a strong focus on women-led enterprises. As has been the case in the past, there has been a lack of funding, compared to male-led enterprises; however, this new fund could help redress that imbalance,” the Carlow TD added.


By investing in several underlying venture funds, the Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme will provide vital capital to innovative Irish companies at the crucial seed stage and will be an important step in developing and growing the Irish equity ecosystem.


Investment will be targeted and prioritised in areas such as regional development, climate change and female entrepreneurship. It will focus on sectors that have experienced difficulty in attracting early-stage investment including:–


  • Lifesciences;

  • Healthcare & Pharma;

  • Fintech;

  • Technology & Digitalisation;

  • Food & Agri-Tech;

  • Sustainability & Climate Change; and

  • Women-Led Enterprises.


A first call for proposals under the programme will launch later this week on the European Investment Fund website.


The fund programme will be led by Enterprise Ireland, with the European Investment Fund acting as fund manager and will be structured as a fund of funds.


A fund of this size, backed by these three experienced partners is an important step in developing the equity ecosystem in Ireland. It aims to attract both new fund managers and new private investors to crowd-in further private equity investment into Ireland.


The fund programme, totalling €90 million, will be made up of a €30 million contribution from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, whilst the European Investment Fund will match this investment by providing a further €30 million. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will seek to co-invest with a further €30 million on selected investments.    

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