SME supports and funding urges sustainability to be embedded in the everyday

Enterprise Europe Network and the Sustainable Cork Programme at Cork Chamber recently wrapped up the delivery of MODOS Circular economy training programme to SMEs. We were energised to  share this critical topic with our member companies and programme participants. With Ireland and the European Union embedding new policy and regulation for a low-carbon economy, Irish businesses are urged to adapt to the transition from a linear to a circular economy in as many operational areas as possible.

In a circular economy, products, components and materials are kept in use for as long as possible. The principles of a circular economy and circular production models can be instrumental in exploring the opportunities to transform for example what might once have been considered as a waste material into a raw material, an approach that can increase efficiencies and even develop new product lines and market opportunities for businesses. As captured by one of our programme delivery partners Declan Bogan (SustHub), business sustainability and circular economy principles are not nebulous concepts but are all about driving business and stakeholder value.

In tandem, the Chamber Sustainable Cork Programme  is ongoing and continues to provide a platform for members to discuss critical topics such as how sustainability can help business resilience in an uncertain world, the fundamental role of ESG led investment decision making in tackling climate change and the wider sustainability agenda. For example, SMEs are increasingly compelled to measure their sustainability performance and are tasked with demonstrating sustainability in their supply chain when supplying good and services to multinational companies who report non-financial performance (carbon emissions and ESG targets) to shareholders.

However, we know that SMEs often struggle to find funding, targeted support programmes and personalised assistance tailored to their needs. In addition to the aforementioned, there are significant Government supports currently available to boost sustainability amongst SMEs – striving towards meeting 2030 climate action goals.

Sample of current funding opportunities and supports available for SMEs

Review the listing below to see if these current programmes could be of interest and relevance to your business or network.

Deadline, 6 May – explore your sustainable business idea.

Deadline 11 May – programme to link a student with a company to progress a project.

Deadline 28 May – grant scheme to provide support to projects in the Circular Economy space.

Ongoing – two days of mentoring with a specialist Green Consultant

Ongoing – GreenStart, GreenPlus and Climate Action voucher

Ongoing – grants for business owners, communities and large industry to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse emissions.

Programmes, training, and supports offered as part of this national upskilling initiative are fully funded for Irish businesses and employees in the private sector to develop the skills required to mitigate the effects of our changing climate and environment.