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News & Events

Over 3,500 local jobs created by Local Enterprise Offices in 2015 - Minister Mitchell O’Connor

Small businesses supported by the LEOs show jobs growth throughout the country

A net total of 3,533 new full and part-time jobs were delivered in 2015 by the 6,500 small businesses from across the country that have been supported by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), according to the results of the latest LEO annual jobs survey published today by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. 

The results, compiled by Enterprise Ireland, show that overall in 2015 a total of 7,122 new full and part time jobs were created in gross terms. The numbers employed in LEO supported small businesses currently stand at 32,592 overall. The 31 LEOs provide a ‘first stop shop’ for supports and signposting to start-ups, micro enterprises and small businesses nationwide in one easily accessible place. 

Commenting on the 2015 results, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said, “The creation of 3,533 net new jobs in 2015 by clients of the Local Enterprise Offices is a remarkable achievement and testament to the hard work and personal sacrifices being made by entrepreneurs in local communities all around the country. I am very much focussed on ensuring jobs are created in every region in Ireland and the LEOs are playing an important role in this. Ensuring that we have the right environment for job growth is at the heart of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and I will be ensuring that these Regional Action Plans are implemented right across the country.” 

“These figures show a high level of performance which is very encouraging and demonstrates that the local enterprise support structures that we put in place two years ago are producing real results. Great credit is due to the staff in all 31 LEOs for their achievements in this regard and to Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities for their role” she said. 

The annual jobs survey monitors the employment performance amongst micro enterprises employing 10 people or less that have received direct financial assistance through the LEOs. In 2015, 984 business projects around the country were directly supported by the LEOs to the value of €10 million. A total of 23 eligible high performing LEO client companies transferred to Enterprise Ireland during the year under an agreed progression protocol with the LEOs representing a further positive outcome of LEO investment and support. 

LEOs also supported budding entrepreneurs and small businesses with training and mentoring aimed at developing business ideas and building company capacity. Local entrepreneurship and job creation potential are further boosted by other LEO driven initiatives. Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition generated 1,400 applicants in 2015. There were 200 successful loan applications to Micro Finance Ireland (MFI) that were referred through the LEOs nationally. Almost 1,700 small businesses availed of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme through the LEOs last year, which helps to support internet based sales. Details on all the supports available for small businesses and microenterprises through the 31 LEOs are available at www.localenterprise.ie

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, commented: “Under the ‘first stop shop’ business support model, Local Enterprise Offices are delivering services and supports to an increasing number of start-ups, micro-enterprises and small businesses throughout the local authority network, under the guidance of the Centre of Excellence at Enterprise Ireland. As the results from 2015 demonstrate, this partnership approach is working, resulting in over 3,500 new jobs last year. A priority for Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices is to help more Irish entrepreneurs and companies start-up and grow, creating more jobs locally. Together with LEOs and local authorities, we are working hard to achieve this, helping more local businesses reach their growth potential.” 

Speaking on behalf of Local Authorities, Fingal Chief Executive and Chair of the CCMA Committee on Economic Development & Enterprise Paul Reid said “The LEO jobs performance underlines the potential for creating jobs at local level. It is critical that the infrastructure and supports are in place to stimulate local business development and encourage local entrepreneurs. Working as part of the wider economic remit of the Local Authorities, the LEOs are the launch pad for new enterprises, business growth and job creation in every county”. 

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, ph. 6312200 or press.office@djei.ie 

NOTES FOR EDITORS 

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)

As part of a range of reforms carried out by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) in recent years, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established to provide a ‘first-stop shop’ system of enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country. Located in the Local Authorities, the LEOs are operated on a partnership basis by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities and their parent Departments, DJEI and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 

The LEOs provide funding for projects primarily in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector which over time have the potential to develop into strong export entities. There are three main categories of grant under which direct financial assistance is provided – Priming, Feasibility and Business Expansion. The LEOs also provide training and mentoring support to entrepreneurs and businesses to assist business development and performance. 

The LEOs through appropriate referral also ensure that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of the country are able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office, Education and Training Boards etc, – in one easily accessible location within the Local Authority. 

Details on all the supports available for small businesses and microenterprises through the 31 LEOs are available at www.localenterprise.ie. 

LEO employment results 2015 

The LEO employment results for 2015, which were compiled by the Enterprise Ireland Centre of Excellence, using the same systems as applied to the Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland annual surveys, show that overall in 2015: 

  • a total of 7,122 new jobs (full- and part-time) were created in gross terms.
  • taking into account losses, there was a net increase of 3,533 all jobs (full- and part-time)
  • overall at the end of 2015, total direct employment among 6,573 LEO client companies stood at 32,592 (of which 23,641 were full-time and 8,951 were part-time).

 

The detailed results at LEO level are set out in the attached Table 1. 

The LEOs provided a range of development supports aimed at building company capacity and performance among the micro-enterprise sector; in 2015 they:

  • paid out direct financial assistance to 984 business projects, to the value of €10m.
  • of these, 400 were priming grants for start-up companies.

 

In addition to direct financial assistance, the LEOs supported an even wider cohort of entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2015 through: 

  • 1,896 training programmes involving 27,185 participants;
  • provision of one-to-one mentoring support to 8,175 participants;
  • 399 referrals to Micro Finance Ireland of which 200 were approved; and
  • promoting the Trading Online Voucher Scheme with almost 1,700 businesses participating (https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme-/.

 

Strengthening the pipeline of new business start-ups nationwide, the LEOs ran Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition for the second year in 2015 which generated just under 1,400 applicants from young people around the country. 

All of these initiatives are expected to make a contribution to the creation and maintenance of jobs in local communities all over the country in addition to those reported in the survey results.

Table 1:         Local Enterprise Office Annual Employment Survey Results 2015 

LEO   NAME

2015   No of LEO Clients

2015   Client

All   Jobs Total

(FT   & PT)*

2015   Gross

All   Job Gains

(FT   & PT)

2015   Net

All   Job Gains

(FT   & PT)

Carlow

217

1,029

267

78

Cavan

205

1,110

223

121

Clare

194

1,433

170

111

Cork City

119

696

138

45

Cork North & West

229

1,274

263

45

Cork South

179

847

215

131

Donegal

171

1,132

370

226

Dublin City

298

1,572

426

250

Dublin DLR

229

1,271

164

14

Dublin Fingal

174

723

197

164

Dublin South

250

1,105

223

102

Galway

245

900

183

87

Kerry

462

1,881

396

130

Kildare

127

770

222

136

Kilkenny

257

1,278

234

139

Laois

90

451

156

114

Leitrim

144

378

89

37

Limerick

245

1,475

360

210

Longford

238

985

208

86

Louth

218

729

182

79

Mayo

208

1,141

168

141

Meath

205

876

247

156

Monaghan

156

806

153

51

Offaly

202

887

144

80

Roscommon

146

666

145

46

Sligo

213

1,083

127

39

Tipperary

282

1,319

201

122

Waterford

322

1,721

416

209

Westmeath

255

1,299

309

178

Wexford

185

1,167

326

132

Wicklow

108

588

200

74

Grand   Total

6,573

32,592

7,122

3,533

* FT & PT = Full time and Part time