27 July 2018
A new report highlights the breadth of job creation, enterprise support and training being delivered by Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across the country.
The 2017 Local Enterprise Office Impact Report details the key results and initiatives of the Local Enterprise Offices in 2017, which included the creation of 3,760 jobs (net) across 7,182 LEO-supported companies. These new jobs brought the total number of people employed by Local Enterprise Office-supported clients in 2017 to 37,485.
The Local Enterprise Offices are operated on a partnership basis by local authorities and Enterprise Ireland, with funding for LEO initiatives and programmes coming from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
The report also shows that the Local Enterprise Offices approved €16.6 million in direct financial assistance for 1,131 business projects nationwide, while the 31 LEOs trained over 30,000 people to help them start or grow their businesses last year.
The report also looks at the impacts of Local Enterprise Office initiatives that help to promote entrepreneurship and foster an enterprising culture, such as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), Local Enterprise Week, Food Academy, National Women’s Enterprise Day, National Enterprise Awards and the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships.
The supports that have been put in place to help small businesses prepare for Brexit also feature, with a high level of uptake for Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ grants (TAME) and LEAN for Micro programme in 2017. 289 LEO clients were approved for the TAME grant and 179 LEO client companies participated in LEAN for Micro last year. These supports, along with a range of Brexit-focused events, are helping small businesses prepare for the economic challenges ahead.
Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said; “In a challenging business environment, Local Enterprise Office clients have contributed substantially to economic development throughout the country, especially outside of the main urban centres. I want to pay tribute to the achievements of small businesses, microenterprises, and LEO teams, as they work together in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, to develop local enterprise opportunities and create sustainable jobs.”
Pat Breen, T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, said; “I am a strong believer in doing everything we can at local and regional level to help us create strong companies and good quality jobs all around the country. A home-grown enterprise culture is a perfect complement to attracting and growing larger business. The LEOs have a key role to play in both supporting jobs and in strengthening the potential for local businesses and entrepreneurs to create new jobs. I want to congratulate the LEOs, the LEO staff and all those that contribute to the LEO vision on another tremendous performance in 2017.”