Funding Supports for your Lean Programme

LeanTeams are an approved Lean Programme service provider for Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.  We provide approved training in LeanStart, LeanPlus and LeanTransform programmes.  LeanTeams are an accredited consulting practice of the IMCA (Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers).  In addition, we are a registered training provider with Engineers Ireland and Lean Construction Ireland.  Finally, we are an approved training provider of QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland).

Enterprise Ireland Lean Business Offer is designed to encourage their clients to adopt Lean business principles in their organisation.  It aims to increase performance and competitiveness. Lean tools and techniques help businesses to build the capability of their people to identify problems, improve operations and create a more innovative organisation.  Enterprise Ireland Lean Business Offer

IDA Ireland provide a Lean Green Business Offer to their client companies.  This initiative offers their client companies the opportunity to adopt and implement Lean business principles.  This enables them to increase performance and competitiveness while understanding the importance of building environmental best practices into the workplace. IDA Ireland Lean Green Business Offer

In a rapidly changing business environment, Lean tools are proven to assist companies to improve and sustain their competitiveness.  Bord Bia clients have achieved significant cost savings all while increasing their productivity. Bord Bia Lean Production Offer

Lean for Micro is designed for small business owners, managers and key staff members to gain an introduction to Lean concepts.  This programme allows them to gain a practical understanding of Lean Principles.  Participants complete a focused assignment with the support of an expert Mentor.  Above all, companies will receive regular support from an approved Lean Mentor over a 16 week period.  Local Enterprise Office Lean for Micro Offer

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme from the Local Enterprise Office is intended to help small businesses with up to ten employees trade more online, increase sales, and expand into new markets. Participating in this scheme can make online trading much easier for you.

It provides financial assistance of up to €2,500 with a 50% match from the business, as well as training and advice to help your business trade online. Cutting your online trading capacity development costs by up to 50% can make this investment very affordable for many small businesses.

LeanTeams also offer a Lean for Leaders programme through LEO Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Sandyford Business District.

ICBE Advanced Productivity Skillnet is a multi-sector learning network.  Primarily, it is for companies of all sizes within manufacturing and service companies.  Its main aim is to improve the business performance and competitiveness of organisations.  ICBE do this by providing specialised training in innovation, process improvement, Lean and Six Sigma.  Skillnet Ireland Offer

ICBE Skillnet’s aim is to support the growth of member companies by enhancing industry specific skills and knowledge, broadening access to skills development opportunities and encouraging ongoing professional development.  Engineering Skillnet is a business network for all companies of all sizes in the engineering sector, which includes automotive, aviation, energy and environment, construction, agriculture, and core elements of sub-supply sectors such as machinery, equipment, paper, printing, and fabricated products.  There is up to 30% funding available.


MentorsWork is a structured 12-week business support programme.  It consists of an integrated approach of mentoring and targeted learning opportunities.

LeanTeams are leading the Business Processes pillar.  This pillar covers aspects relating to your processes and efficiencies.  It includes creating a lean business model, implementing improved business processes, preparing a business continuity plan and performing business risk assessments.  MentorsWork Offer

Lean Supports for your Business

Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply “lean”, is defined as a systematic method for waste minimisation within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity.

A Lean consultant works with producers in a dedicated one on one basis, looking at the business as a whole, and then selecting an area to focus on.  The process is intensive, and requires a high level of commitment for success, but has resulted in considerable cost savings and increases in productivity.

The projects typically concentrate on big cost centres with in the business, especially labour and energy use.  There is also a heavy emphasis on metrics – e.g. labour performance v last month, v this time last year, and a reduction in waste – what proportion of production is not sold, and why.

A Lean project can provide the ideal framework for a Digitalisation journey for your company, using Lean to map out and measure processes can enable the automation of repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up and equipping staff to work on value-adding activities.

The Lean Business Offer is made up of three levels of support:

  1. LeanStart
  2. LeanPlus
  3. LeanTransform

Each level of support is characterised by increasing levels of capability in implementing Lean business principles and other best practice approaches to drive company awareness, adoption and integration of Lean tools and techniques.

Projects should also consider the environmental sustainability of the business and include training where appropriate to increase the agility and resilience of the company to environmental climate change impacts.


LeanStart provides an introduction to Lean concepts and allows you to gain an understanding of what the tools and techniques can do for you and your company in a short, focused engagement. 

The programme involves up to 7 days support from an external Consultant/trainer working directly with an eligible company, typically over an 8-12 week period.

The goals of a LeanStart project may include;

  • The introduction of Lean or related process improvement principles to a company,
  • The completion of a specific improvement project to show the value of the approach, and/or,
  • The development of a Lean / Organisational Innovation & Digitisation roadmap or action plan (this should normally include an assessment or benchmark of the current situation).

A LeanStart project can be an ideal introduction to a Digitalisation journey for your company, using Lean to map out and measure processes can lay the ground-work for automation of repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up staff to work on value-adding activities for customers. 

Note that LeanStart is not a general consultancy grant and cannot be used for items such as;

  • IT implementation projects (i.e. installation and customisation of new systems);
  • HR consultancy;
  • Health and Safety initiatives;
  • Market research or Marketing

What costs are eligible and what is the maximum funding available?

The eligible costs are for external Training or Advisory Services provided by a suitable Lean Service provider.

Bord Bia will provide grant funding for 100% of the project cost up to a maximum of €6,300. This is based on 7 days Training or Advisory Services.


LeanPlus is a medium-scale business process improvement project facilitated/supported by one or more external Lean service provider(s).

The aim of the project is to improve productivity within the company through a focus on what brings value to the customer, including increased quality, reduced costs/waste and improved speed of delivery. The basis for a good project is to empower and engage the people in the company, by drawing on their skills and talents to embed continuous improvement systems.

The LeanPlus grant can be used to support specific process improvement activities across the organisation as outlined in the application from the company. Note that the output from a project must include a visible step up in terms of new production or delivery capability. The project must not be focused on routine operational changes.

Are there examples?

Examples of LeanPlus process improvements could include (but are not limited to);

  • Identifying waste and reducing costs in your key processes through value stream mapping
  • Improving lead times by optimising layout, workplace organisation and processes, information and materials flow
  • Enhancing communications and teamwork through introduction of visual management systems throughout the organisation
  • Improving quality through introduction of standardisation, structured practical problem solving and continuous improvement systems
  • Increasing capacity at a reduced cost by implementing better processes to get the best out of equipment and systems (e.g. OEE, TPM, automation)
  • Reducing cash flow costs by optimising inventory and stock forecasting through increased visibility and control to match customer demand
  • Increasing profitability through improved product planning, scheduling and supply chain control systems in line with customer needs.

In order to support the change process within the company, the grant can also be used to cover part of the salary cost for up to 10 staff members working on the Lean project activities over the project duration.

Projects may vary in size and scope but will typically be 6-9 months in duration.

What costs are eligible and what is the maximum funding available?

Eligible costs include;

  • External Consultancy Services provided by a suitable Lean Service provider. Supported daily rates for Lean Consultancy Services are capped at €900 per day inclusive of travel and subsistence and all out-of-pocket expenses. Note that actual costs to the company are based on market rates and may be higher.
  • Salary costs for up to 10 staff members on the project team, based on actual base salary paid, subject to a maximum supported rate of €200 per person per day. Base salary excludes employer’s PRSI, overtime or any additional payment. The grant allows for a maximum of 250 days supported in total covering all team members with a maximum for any one person of 100 days.
  • Salary costs can make up a maximum of 50% of the total project cost. The salary costs cannot be higher than the external consultancy costs.

Ineligible costs include;

  • General Consultancy including Market research, IT implementation, Financial review and planning, HR consulting or Health and Safety training
  • Capital equipment, materials or travel and subsistence costs

Maximum Funding;

Bord Bia will provide grant funding for 50% of the eligible project costs up to a maximum of €100,000 (€50,000 grant).


The aim of the GreenStart assignment is to improve environmental performance through greater resource efficiency helping companies achieve competitive advantage and greater market share through enhanced credentials and cost savings. Projects may vary in scope from implementing a structured environmental management and reporting system to understanding the carbon or environmental footprint of products or services.

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring a Green consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment.

Eligible assignments may include:

  • Guidance with basic Environmental Management Systems,
  • Guidance with developing a Sustainable/Decarbonisation Strategy and Action Plan,
  • Guidance with aligning environmental practices to global/Irish sustainability reporting initiatives, e.g., United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, CDP, Origin Green etc.
  • Guidance with Life cycle assessment and/or Circular economy thinking
  • Guidance with a range of activities including Carbon Footprinting, developing a Metering roadmap, Green Procurement, Green Tenders, Sustainable Packaging, Sustainable Logistics, Plastic Management, Developing a Biodiversity action plan, Climate Adaptation, Sustainability Benchmarking, Communications, Employee and Customer Engagement.

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring an Environmental consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment which will introduce environmental best practice systems and structures, achieve cost reduction targets and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects.

GreenStart is funded under the Climate Planning Fund for Business, which is operating under the Green Transition Fund. The overall objective of which is to accelerate the decarbonisation of Irish enterprise, as part of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, funded by the European Union.

All projects supported under the Climate Planning Fund for Business must comply with relevant EU and national environmental legislation and in particular with the ‘Do no significant harm’ Technical Guidance (2021/C58/01).

What costs are eligible and what is the maximum funding available?

The typical cost of undertaking a GreenStart assignment is €6,300.

The maximum grant funding available from Enterprise Ireland is €5,000. If the cost of the GreenStart assignment is less than €6,300 the company is still required to pay the first €1,300 in costs.

Eligible Expenditure is limited to the cost of hiring an Environmental consultant/trainer for a maximum of 7 days. Note that actual costs to the company are based on market rates and may be higher.

The maximum daily fee payable to a consultant/trainer is €900 inclusive of travel and subsistence and all out-of-pocket expenses.

Ineligible costs include;

  • General Consultancy including Market research, IT implementation, financial review and planning, HR consulting or Health and Safety training.
  • Consultancy for design, installation or commissioning.
  • Capital equipment, materials or travel and subsistence costs.
  • Energy audits mandated under the European Energy Efficiency Directive (SI 426 of 2014).

Note: SMEs with an energy spend >€10,000/annum that are not already mandated to get an audit are potentially eligible for €2000 voucher towards an SEAI Energy Audit

Operational Excellence Offer

Enterprise Ireland’s Operational Excellence Offer sets out to support established companies (SME and Large) to address their competitive challenges and growth opportunities through a transformation project that would include investment in:

  • Digital Process Innovation: the implementation of new and innovative production, delivery or organisational methods
  • Capital equipment, including investment in digitalisation
  • Capability building through training in Lean, Leadership, Innovation and Digitalisation

Digital Discovery Grant

Enterprise Ireland’s Digitalisation Voucher closed for applications on Friday 3rd June 2022.  This has since been replaced by the Digital Discovery Grant.

The goal of this grant is to incentivise and support businesses in developing a digital transition strategy. This should include an examination of existing systems, processes, and capabilities, as well as an investigation of new opportunities in an increasingly digital world.

Projects supporting the digital and climate transition of enterprise are being funded through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility under Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) (2021-2026). This offer includes projects that will help the company’s digital transition by driving increased adoption and diffusion of digital technology, as well as projects that will help the enterprise sector decarbonize faster.

The maximum grant rate for Digital Process Innovation is 50% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum grant of €150,000. 

Microfinance Ireland Loan Packages

What is available for growers?

  • COVID -19 Business Loan
  • Start Up-Loan
  • Cash Flow Loan
  • Expansion Loan-
  • Small Loan
  • Brexit Business Loan

Key Features

  • Funds from €5,000 up to €25,000 except Small Loan  from €2,000 up to €5,000
  • Loan terms up to 5 years
  • Free Mentoring available
  • 1% reduction on standard interest rate if application submitted through a LEO.

Microfinance Ireland COVID 19 Business Loan

What is it?

  • Business has been impacted by COVID-19 resulting in =>15% reduction in turnover or profit, and unable to secure finance from other lenders.
  • Working capital or changes required by the business

Who is it for?

  • Any business with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2m and was trading prior to the coronavirus pandemic

Key Features

  • 1st 6 months – 0% interest and zero repayments
  • Repayments will commence in month 7 for the remaining period of your loan.
  • Government rebate for the interest paid in the following 6 months (months 7-12 of your loan)
  • Interest rate after the first 6 months will be: a reduced interest rate of 4.5% APR if submitted through the LEO (or other referral partners) or 5.5% APR if you apply directly
  • Loan terms typically up to 3 years: Capex may be funded up to 5 years.
  • Fixed repayments with no penalty for early repayment
  • 1% reduction on standard interest rate if application submitted through a LEO.

Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI) financial supports

  • COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme
  • Future Growth Loan Scheme for SME’s,Farmers and Fishing
  • Brexit Loan Scheme
  • Energy Efficiency Loan

SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme

What is it?

Provide funds for:

  • Future operational working capital requirements where impacted by COVID 19, and
  • To fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business

Key Features

  • loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million
  • loan period of up to 3 years
  • no security required for loans of up to €500,000
  • competitively priced loans (maximum interest rate of 4%)
  • option to avail of a 3-month interest-only payment period

Funding for Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs, Farmers and Fishing

What is it?

  • long-term loan (7-10 years) to support future growth of a business

Key Features

  • Loans from €25,000 up to €3 million
  • Initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans < €250,000 and 3.5% for loans >= €250,000.
  • no security required for loans of up to €500,000
  • option to avail of a 3-month interest-only payment period

SBCI Brexit Loan Scheme

What is it?

  • fund working capital requirements or to fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Brexit.
  • must satisfy one of the Brexit criteria and one of the innovation criteria

Key Features

  • Loan amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5 million
  • Maximum interest rate of 4%
  • Loan period up to 3 years
  • no security required for loans of up to €500,000
  • option to avail of a 3-month interest-only payment period

Energy Efficiency Loan

What is it?

  • The Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme has been established to support eligible SMEs to invest in the energy efficiency of their enterprises.Assets listed on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Triple E Register for Products are deemed eligible energy efficiency assets that may be financed under this scheme, except for electric vehicles (EVs).

Key Features

  • Loan amounts from €10,000 to a maximum of €150,000 per borrower (loan amounts are dependent on aid intensity and State aid thresholds)
  • Loan terms of 1 year up to 10 years (loan terms are dependent on the purpose of the loan)
  • Loans may be secured only by the asset being funded. Personal guarantees are not permitted security
  • Loans may only be used for the purposes of upgrading the energy efficiency of the enterprise. To be eligible for inclusion, the asset to be financed must be listed on the SEAI Triple E Register for Products
  • Allowable loan types include term loans, hire purchase and asset finance products

Empowering your People to Think and Work Smarter