Since the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established in 2014 they have supported the creation of over 18,600 jobs nationwide with 144,830 entrepreneurs and business people trained in a range of skills over the five years. The figures were announced by Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Pat Breen T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection at an event in Russborough House in Wicklow to celebrate 5 Years of the LEO.
All of which have received a range of financial supports including Priming Grants, Business Expansion Grants, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters and Trading Online Vouchers. Acutrace were successful winners of the National Enterprise Awards 2017. Uniformal won the Local Enterprise Awards 2019 and will represent Local Enterprise Office South Dublin in the National Enterprise Awards 2019. Since 2014 the Local Enterprise Offices across the country have approved and contributed funding to over 5,000 business and entrepreneurial projects. The LEOs have distributed €81.5million worth of direct financial assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs, stimulating job creation in communities across the country. In those 5 years, 40,577 people have received mentoring support through the LEO network, while over 17,500 have taken a Start Your Own Business course. Established in 2014 by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide are operated in a partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. Devised as a “first stop shop” for those looking to start a business or for small businesses looking for support, the Local Enterprise Offices are now a significant source of job creation and a hub of entrepreneurship across the country.
Some of the successful companies who have been supported by the Local Enterprise Offices across the country include; Irish Fairy Door Company (South Dublin), GloFox (Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown), Keoghs Crisps (Fingal) and Strong Roots (Dublin City).
Thomas Rooney, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, said; “The figures really do speak for themselves when you look across the 5 years of the Local Enterprise Offices. The Local Enterprise Office South Dublin has played a key role in fostering entrepreneurship in the area and is very much at the fulcrum of the local business community. That positioning has come through trust, expertise and the ability to help businesses over the toughest of hurdles because we have the resources to do so. Looking to the future, we are at the forefront of microenterprise and we have an opportunity to help shape policy and supports that we believe will only increase these impressive figures in the next 5 years and give our entrepreneurs and small businesses an even greater advantage in the market.”
LEOs offer a comprehensive range of supports from mentoring and training to financial assistance and Brexit planning, to entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to help them to plan, start and grow. The Local Enterprise Offices also run some significant programmes to increase engagement and draw entrepreneurs and small businesses into the business support eco-system. These include Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), the National Enterprise Awards, Food Academy, the Student Enterprise Programme and Local Enterprise Week.
Local Enterprise Office Figures 2014 to 2019; 648 jobs created, 132 projects approved for funding, €2,700,019 of direct financial assistance to LEO clients, 502 people have taken start your own business, 4,775 people have engaged in training, 255 entrants to Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), 29 people availed of a Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters (TAME) grant, 2,290 people availed of specialist mentoring through their LEO, 138 received a Trading Online Voucher and 3,795 average yearly entrants to the Student Enterprise Programme
Pictured: Niamh Sherwin Barry of the Irish Fairy Door Company marks the 5th anniversary of Local Enterprise Office South Dublin. The Irish Fairy Door Company has been supported by LEO South Dublin.