Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

Competition Time

CLDC is please to announce that the Irish Local Development Network Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Awards has returned. If you were supported to set up your business with CLDC through the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or the Short Term Enterprise Allowance between 2015-2018, why not enter this National Award.

2 finalist from Clare will be selected to go through to the Mid West Regional competition in April 2019.

Winners from the regional event will have an opportunity to showcase their business at a National Awards event in May 2019.

Closing date for local competition is 20th March.

Application form available here Application Form ILDN Awards 2019 PDF




The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.  The scheme is run by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and, in Co. Clare, the application process is operated by Clare Local Development Company (CLDC).

To Qualify you will either be:

  • In receipt of JB or JA for 12 months – if you are on JB, you must establish an entitlement to JA and you are paid on this rate
  • In receipt of One Parent Family Payment, Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance, Carers Allowance, Widows Pension for 12 months
  • In receipt of Illness Benefit for 3 years

For more information see below, or contact us on 065 686 6800 and make an appointment to meet one of our staff.


Additional information Enterprise Allowance schemes: 

  •  Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) –

This is a two year scheme with 100% entitlement in year one and 75% in year two.

  • Short Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) –

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 9 months. It ends when your entitlement to Jobseeker’s Benefit ends (that is at either 9 or 6 months).

Steps you will have to complete for your application to receive BTWEA & STEA:

  1. Complete DSP Information Sharing Authorisation Form (Eligibility Form) – get the form from DSP, they have to confirm that you are eligible for the scheme.
  2. Complete BTW2 / STEA1 Application Form – get these forms from CLDC.
  3. Prepare a Business Plan & Cash Flow Forecast to show you have a viable business idea – do this and following steps after meeting with one of our staff.
  4. Register with the Office of Revenue Commissioners for Income Tax (TR1 Form) and submit return letter from Revenue to confirm your registration with your application
  5. Complete BTWEA Declaration & CLDC Registration Forms

Further Information:

  • Continue to sign on and collect your payment from the Post Office until you have received notification from Dept. of Social Protection that your application has been approved and your payment has been changed to BTWEA or STEA.
  • You must not take up self-employment until you have received written approval from the Department of Social Protection.
  • Ensure you take out appropriate Insurances – e.g. Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Product Liability, Employer’s Liability.
  • Adhere to all legislation and regulations in relation to your proposed business
  • Know and adhere to Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act (regulations) download free Safety Statement.
  • Have appropriate and valid training and qualifications to allow you to carry out your work and provide documented evidence of your qualifications prior to your application being submitted.
  • Attend a Start Your Own Business Training Course/Workshops.
  • Enquire about the one-to-one Mentoring Service that is available from CLDC to assist with a problem area when starting your business, i.e. marketing, accounts etc.