The RISE Community Fund is giving €1000 cash grants to empower the digital strategies of businesses, farms, community groups and social enterprises across County Westmeath

The RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and Granahan McCourt has announced that applications for its grants to small businesses, farms, community groups and social enterprises are open throughout March in Westmeath.

Established by Granahan McCourt and NBI Chairman, David McCourt, RISE is providing monthly grants across the country to give an immediate cash injection into local communities seeking to boost their digital ecosystems. 

Following the route of NBI’s deployment of its new high-speed fibre broadband network, the RISE Community Fund launched in early 2022 to empower people’s plans to use technology. Up to five grants of €1000 will be available in March to successful applicants across the county. 

David McCourt, Chairman of RISE, commented: “The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI and Granahan McCourt is calling on small businesses, farms, social enterprises, community groups and Broadband Connection Points in Westmeath to submit their plans to use technology in creative and entrepreneurial ways to deliver maximum impact. We know there are some amazing people doing extraordinary things to bring value to their local communities, and we’re hoping to accelerate and scale their ambitions with the support of these grants.”

Small businesses, farms, community groups and social enterprises with plans to use technology to scale their operations and bring tangible benefits to their local communities are encouraged to visit for entry forms and guidelines. 

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, added: “At NBI, we’re on a mission to connect over 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who don’t have access to high-speed broadband to a world-class, superfast network. Whilst connectivity is a vital utility and a critical first step, it alone can’t solve all of the challenges for businesses, farms, community groups and social enterprises trying to expand the positive impact they’re able to have – both to the local community, and to the wider economy. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to engage local communities with the RISE Community Fund and celebrate innovative uses of technology across Westmeath.”

NBI is reminding Westmeath residents to also visit their website at to check whether their home, farm or business is included in the National Broadband Plan and to sign up for Eircode specific updates on the rollout.  Applications for the cash grants open on 1st March 2023 and close on 26th March 2023. “The application process has been made incredibly quick and easy, and successful applicants will be notified by early April, with money following in quick succession. We can’t wait to see the entrepreneurial ideas from Westmeath,” said Orla O’Malley, Programme Director at RISE.