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Fund helps light the way for start-ups

A SMALL-BUSINESS start-up fund for inner-city Dublin is helping to organise the biggest art-installation festival ever witnessed in the capital.

The not-for-profit Inner City Enterprise (ICE) project was officially relaunched by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton this week, with the goal of helping budding entrepreneurs.

Among its first new clients is art-project director Lesley Tully (pictured), who was behind the highly successful 'Dublin Contemporary' festival in 2011.

Ms Tully is now planning 'Illuminate Dublin', a massive three-day lighting festival to take place in November.

She has described the new ICE project as a godsend and urged anyone interested in starting up a new business to get in touch with the project.

"I can't say enough good things about it," she told the Irish Independent.

"I've been getting help with my business model. They've introduced me to corporate entities, potential sponsors and helped with banks."

Along with sound advice and help with contacts, ICE also helped Ms Tully with financing.

It was first set up in 1991 and helped to create more than 2,500 jobs after assisting 1,250 new businesses get off the ground.

The programme was wound down in 2006 but has now been revitalised and is back in action.

ICE is funded with a mixture of private and public money. State agency Pobal gave it €65,000 this year and other supporters include Microsoft, Bank of Ireland, KPMG, Tesco and CRH.

Irish Independent