The Accelerator Programme in partnership with Portal, Trinity College Dublin will provide support to SMEs with strong international export potential across areas including growth, development, international market launches, customer engagement, acquisition, and marketing and sales.
This initiative is not just about financial investment, it’s about providing a robust support system, which encompasses mentorship and networking opportunities to turn local creativity into global success.
Simon Coveney TD
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment
20 companies will be shortlisted by late February and given the opportunity to pitch for one of ten places on the programme. The programme starts in March with ten companies receiving €5,000 during this phase to develop their proposals. They will also attend workshops which cover growth, development, and international market launches. Five shortlisted companies will then progress onto the second stage following an interview with an industry panel. This stage will focus on commercial and investment proposals, with each company receiving an additional €5,000. This part of the programme will look at customer engagement, acquisition, marketing and sales. During this phase, each company involved will receive individual coaching and mentoring, which will focus on sustainability of design and manufacturing, best practice, business policies, etc. The Accelerator Programme will finish with a final showcase event hosted by Design & Crafts Council Ireland in December.
The programme will help support, nurture and mentor DCCI clients on the journey to become international exporters. We take great pride in championing innovative craft and design businesses in Ireland.
CEO, Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Craft & Design Sector Ireland:
The craft and design sector significantly contributes to the growth and global recognition of both the Irish domestic economy and the Irish export economy, A 2022 report from Grant Thornton found:
- Irish craft and design companies saw a total turnover of €10.3bn, up 115% since the post-crash low of 2012, while the sector contributed €4.5bn to the Irish economy in gross value added in 2022, up from under €3.4bn in 2021.
- It is the 10th largest employment sector in Ireland with almost 60,000 people directly employed, which is a 10% growth year-on-year.
- In December 2023, a Central Statistics Office (CSO) publication showed that in 2022, more than *11,300 SMEs exported upwards of €38 billion worth of goods internationally, with micro enterprises exporting over €10 billion of goods.
The Accelerator Programme will provide support to SMEs with strong international export potential across areas including growth, development, international market launches, customer engagement, acquisition, and marketing and sales.
Trinity is at the forefront of promoting Entrepreneurship as an engine for economic growth and for social and cultural development. We are delighted to partner with DCCI and their clients to accelerate growth and development internationally.
Dr Michelle Olmstead
CIEO, Trinity College Dublin