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 BTWEA scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years. BTWEA is a payment made by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to people aged under 66.
There is also a separate Back to Work Scheme called the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance, which supports people on Jobseeker's Benefit to start their own business
For more information - http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Enterprise-Allowance-Self-Employed.aspx