Back for Business

What is the Back for Business programme?

Back for Business is a free development programme to help Irish citizens who have returned to Ireland to start or develop a business. The programme is funded through the Emigrant Support Programme by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Applications for the current programme are now closed.

If you are interested in participating in the next Back for Business programme, you can register online. You will be sent a link to the application form as soon as they become available

How does the Back for Business programme work?

Back for Business is based on a model of peer support. This is where volunteer Lead Entrepreneurs share their experience of starting and growing a business in Ireland with people who are in the early stages of starting a business.

The scheme runs for 6 months and involves interactive sessions (facilitated by the Lead Entrepreneurs) that focus on achieving goals and milestones for your business. The aim of the programme is to support you to address challenges in starting, developing and positioning your business for sustainability and growth. You must meet with your group and Lead Entrepreneur once per month over the 6 months. There are also a range of other information sessions to help you understand the system for entrepreneurs in Ireland.

If you are selected, you are expected to attend all events. Read about businesses that completed previous progammes and current lead entrepreneurs on the Back for Business website.

If you are not an Irish citizen, read about coming to set up a business or invest in Ireland.

Who can apply for Back for Business?

Applications for the current programme are now closed. If you are interested in participating in the next cycle of the Back for Business programme, you can register here and you will be sent a link to the application form as soon as they become available (November 2024).

If you have any questions, or if there is any difficulty registering online, call Back for Business on +353 1 8450770 or email

How to apply for Back for Business?

You can apply if you are an Irish emigrant who lived outside of Ireland for at least one year and who has returned to Ireland in the last 3 years. You can also apply if you are planning to return to Ireland in the near future.

Your business can be in any sector and you must expect to employ staff within 3 years. You must be a major shareholder and key decision maker in your business.

One of the following must also apply to your business:

  • It is a new business in Ireland
  • It is at an advanced stage of setting up and you expect to make sales in the next 12 months
  • It is an existing business that you are acquiring (buying)

If your business is new or acquired, it must not have made sales or been acquired before 2020.

Who gets selected for Back for Business?

There are 50 spaces on the current Back for Business programme.

To be selected, you must meet the criteria above and show that you are prepared to fully engage with the scheme over 6 months and determined to develop your early stage business.

You do not need to do an interview or pitch to be selected. People who have already returned to Ireland will be prioritised for selection.

The Lead Entrepreneurs will select the successful participants, and you will be notified shortly afterwards.

Further information

Visit the Back for Business website for further information on the programme. Back for Business has also published a brochure on the programme (pdf) and a summary of the available supports for businesses (pdf).

If you are thinking of setting up a business when you return to Ireland, you can read about starting a business and the regulations that apply (for example, paying tax and hiring employees).

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has an online guide to the range of Government supports for start-ups and small businesses.

Local Enterprise Offices provide supports such as advice and grants to local businesses (10 or fewer employees) that are starting up or in development. You can find information about their training programmes and start your own business courses as well as mentoring and financial supports on

Contact details

Back for Business

6 James Terrace
Co. Dublin
K36 Y972

Tel: + 353 1 845 0770
Page edited: 3 May 2024