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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2022-7/3243 – measures in Ireland

Seed funding for sustainable SMEs

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 09 February 2022
Context Green Transition, Digital Transformation
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2023 (updated 11 July 2023)

Background information

The Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme was launched in February 2022 as a €90 million fund for Irish start-ups. It will provide funding to several underlying venture funds that provide capital to innovative Irish companies at the seed stage.

The funding will be targeted towards companies that focus on sustainability in areas such as clean energy, and are investing in innovative technology, agriculture solutions, waste treatment and energy technology, as well as services and technologies that support financial inclusion.

Content of measure

The €90 million investment is made up of a €30 million investment from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, through Enterprise Ireland, which is matched by a €30 million investment from the European Investment Fund, and a €30 million co-investment from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

The funding will focus on sectors that have experienced difficulty in attracting early stage investment including:

  • lifesciences
  • healthcare and pharma
  • fintech
  • technology and digitalisation
  • food and agri-tech
  • sustainability and climate change
  • women-led enterprises

In June 2023, the first allocation of up to €35 million from the fund was committed to early-stage fund WakeUp Capital.

Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath said: “I very much welcome the first allocation of funding from the €90 million Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme to WakeUp Capital, an early stage fund whose impact themes include sustainable production and consumption, health equity and inclusive and accessible services.

“The deployment of €35 million to WakeUp Capital will support the targeted investment goals of this fund, which includes supporting innovative companies in the sustainability and climate change sector, healthcare, fintech, food and agri-tech, technology and digitalisation.”

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public support service providers
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

Not available.


  • 23 March 2022: Tánaiste and Minister Donohoe launch new €90 million fund for Irish start-ups (
  • 16 June 2023: Ministers Coveney and McGrath welcome first allocation of funding under Irish Innovation Seed Fund (IISF) (
  • 17 June 2023: Irish seed fund gets €35m commitment from Dublin’s WakeUp Capital (


Eurofound (2023), Seed funding for sustainable SMEs, measure IE-2022-7/3243 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.