MICRO Enhancing Competitiveness of Microentreprises in Rural Areas

Unit 1: Accessing LEADER Funds


Unit 1: Accessing LEADER Funds




This unit provides an Introduction to the LEADER funding and the Application Process

Course on Accessing LEADER Funds


 Module No 4: EU programme awareness/grants for rural micro-enterprise

Unit 1: Accessing LEADER Funds

  What is LEADER? (1/2)

LEADER is Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale - Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development.’

Established by the European Commission in 1991.

Priority - promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.

  What is LEADER? (2/2)

LEADER - a Community Led Local Development (CLLD) approach

LEADER delivers through each EU country’s Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

LEADER delivers EU funding to rural businesses and communities

  Delivery Structure of LEADER

Local Action Group:

Evaluation Committee:

Lead Implementing Partner:

Lead Financial Partner:

  LEADER: Themes/Sub-Themes

Note: consideration is given to projects that address the cross-cutting issues of environment; climate change and innovation

  Local Development Strategy (LDS)

The LDS determines local area needs

LDS developed in consultation with communities.

Funding decisions underpinned by LDS.

LAG makes decisions on investment best suited to address needs.

  Eligibility (1/2)

Who is Eligible?

1.Those located in the area where applying.

2.Any rural business or rural community/ organisation.

E.g. Sole traders, Farmers, Community/Voluntary Group, Companies Limited by Guarantee, Trusts, Partnerships, Limited Companies, Private Individuals

  Eligibility (2/2)

What is Eligible?

•Projects linking to the LEADER themes/ sub-themes

•Projects in line with local LDS

Types of Assistance: 
Capital Costs (incl equipment)
Development of innovative products & activities
Support for networks, collective marketing and training
Analysis and development of feasibility support
Co-operation projects

  Ineligible Activities

Ineligible Sectors:

•Accredited Training


•Childcare/Healthcare/Nursing Homes

•Conventional Motor Vehicles

•Conventional Retail Operations

•Costs Associated with statutory requirements

•General maintenance works of Public Bodies

•Greyhound Industry


•Housing/refurbishment of residential property

Ineligible Activities:


•Litigation legal expenses

•Payments of gifts, donations etc

•Planning Application fees

•Projects with alternative funding sources

•Race & Sport Horse industries

•Reclaimable VAT

•Statutory fines & penalties

•Working Capital

  Rates of Funding Available

  LEADER Application Process

  Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)

Calls for Proposals can be …

  • Time Limited/Targeted Calls: or
  • Rolling Calls/Applications:

•In all cases an EOI must be completed for each project to check eligibility for Stage 2 – LEADER Application

  Stage 2: Application

•If proposal deemed eligible - invited to progress.

•You/your group issued with Application Form/Guidance Notes.

•Complete – No guarantee outcome

  Stage 3: Evaluation

•Projects applications assessed by independent Evaluation Committee (EC).

•The EC - individuals with expertise.

•The EC - recommendations sent to LAG for approval/rejection

  Evaluation Criteria

  Stage 4: Decision

•If approved - Letter of Offer issued.

•Project can only commence when Letter of Offer and Contract accepted in writing by the applicant

•If project application rejected – applicant has a right to appeal.

  More Information

•In Ireland more information can be found at http://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/  or https://www.pobal.ie/FundingProgrammes/LEADER/Pages/LEADER.aspx

•Find out more about LEADER funding in other EU countries at https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rural-development-2014-2020_en

•The European LAG database can be found at https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/leader-clld/lag-database_en


At the end of this module you will be able to: - Know “What is LEADER?” - Know “Who and What LEADER funds?” - Know the “Four Stages in LEADER project Application?” - You can you check your knowledge?


 Related material:
 Training Fiche PPT: