New figures suggest that 3,700 new jobs were created by Irish start-ups and small businesses in 2017, supported by their Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).
In 2014, a nationwide system of LEOs was launched by the Irish Government, with the aim of leading the economic recovery in all four corners of the country. By offering start-ups and small business owners access to the full range of State support, afforded by local authorities, Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Social Protection, training bodies and much more, it was hoped to support local firms and entrepreneurs to create local jobs.
Last year’s creation of almost 4,000 jobs by LEO-backed small businesses takes the total number of jobs created since LEOs were established to 15,000.
This announcement was warmly welcomed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and the Trade Minister, Pat Breen.
“In a challenging environment, LEO clients have contributed substantially to economic development up and down the country, especially outside of the main urban centres,” said Breen.
At the time of writing, some 31 LEOs exist across Ireland. Aside from the encouraging job creation by LEO-backed firms, over 80 small businesses progressed from their respective LEOs into the Enterprise Ireland portfolio in the last 12 months.
Anna Marie Delaney, Offaly Council CEO and chairwoman of the CCMA Committee on Economic Development & Enterprise, believes the above figures are a clear vote of confidence in the concept of LEOs.
“As these results for 2017 clearly demonstrate, the LEOs are playing a pivotal role in local job creation nationwide,” said Delaney.
According to the latest IrishJobs.ie employment index, the number of job vacancies in total across Ireland increased by 3% year-on-year in 2017, with the hotel and catering sector said to have generated a significant portion of the vacancies.
How to find your Local Enterprise Office
To find your Local Enterprise Office and discover the range of support available to your growing business, visit the LocalEnterprise.ie website. From here, you can search for your nearest LEO by typing in the name of the town or city in which you are based.