Start-ups and small businesses from across the country that have been supported by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have delivered a net total of 3,700 new jobs in 2017.
This brings the total number of new jobs created by LEO-backed companies to 15,000 since the LEOs were set up in 2014.
The jobs results by the LEOs were welcomed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and the Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, the opening of the annual LEO Forum in Athlone today (Monday).
The 31 LEOs nationwide, run in partnership by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities, provide a ‘first stop shop’ for the supports available to entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.
Minister Breen said, “In a challenging environment, LEO clients have contributed substantially to economic development up and down the country, especially outside of the main urban centres. I would encourage the Local Authorities and Enterprise Ireland to maximize the job creation potential that exists at local level.”
Representing the Local Enterprise Offices, Sheelagh Daly said, “These jobs figures are a testament to the determination of local entrepreneurs who are growing their own businesses with the help of their Local Enterprise Office. Every day, thousands of small businesses are accessing a range of supports through LEOs, such as training, mentoring, grants and microfinance loans.”
Brendan Flood of Enterprise Ireland said, “During 2017, more than 80 companies progressed from the LEOs into the Enterprise Ireland portfolio, to help them achieve their global ambition. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work closely with the LEOs and our Local Authority partners to achieve balanced growth throughout every region.”