News & Events

Minister Humphreys launches a new Regional Enterprise Plan for Dublin

  • Minister also launches the expansion of the Guinness Enterprise Centre, which received €3.2m from her Department

  • New Plan is one of nine Regional Enterprise Plans to be launched by Minister Humphreys to drive enterprise growth in every region

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, together with her colleague, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, today launched a new Regional Enterprise Plan for Dublin at an event which also saw the announcement of a €10 million redevelopment and expansion of the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC). The redevelopment and expansion at the GEC incubation centre has been part-funded by her Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund to the tune of €3.2m.

The Regional Enterprise Plan for Dublin is one of nine new Regional Enterprise Plans, which are designed to support enterprise growth and job creation in all regions.

Speaking at the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Minister Humphreys said:

“The collaboration in evidence here at the Guinness Enterprise Centre is a great example of what these new Regional Enterprise Plans are fundamentally about. The Plan for Dublin sets out a number of key strategic areas where regional stakeholders, working together, will provide a basis for future enterprise development and job creation that is sustainable in the longer term.”

The Dublin Plan is focused around six Strategic Objectives, which will build on the region’s strengths and address potential vulnerabilities. They have been developed collaboratively by stakeholders including the Dublin Local Authorities, the Enterprise Agencies, the Local Enterprise Offices, enterprise champions, the Regional Skills Forum and others.

They include: ensuring the availability of skills and talent; increasing enterprise engagement in innovation, research and development; building a pipeline of scalable start-ups; enhancing the attractiveness of Dublin as a place to live, work, visit and invest in; facilitating economic pathways for individuals; and supporting Dublin enterprises to adopt more sustainable practices. The Plan also outlines the focus of the enterprise agencies in the Dublin region to 2020.

The Minister continued:

“In general, we talk about ‘the regions’ as being everywhere but Dublin, but the truth is that Dublin is a region in and of itself. We shouldn’t view Dublin as being in competition with our other regions; instead, they should be viewed as complementary to each other.

“You can’t have a strong country without a strong capital, and a thriving Dublin is essential to sustaining continued growth for the whole country. As Ireland’s capital, the city will continue to play a key role in realising our ambition for all of Ireland.”

The new Regional Enterprise Plans are the result of an extensive refocus of the original Regional Action Plans for Jobs (RAPJs) which ran from 2015 to 2017/8. The new Plans complement and add value to the ongoing work of the Enterprise Agencies, LEOs, Regional Skills Fora, and other bodies involved in supporting enterprise development in the regional setting. The Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan is the fourth of nine Plans to be launched by Minister Humphreys, and the remaining five Plans will emerge over the coming weeks.Minister Humphreys added:

“I want to thank Caroline Keeling of Keeling’s Fruit, Chair of the Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee for Dublin, who has played a very significant role in the development of this new Plan along with a wide range of regional stakeholders, and who will oversee its implementation. I also want to thank her for her previous work as Committee Chair for the Dublin Regional Action Plan for Jobs process from 2015-2018.”

Commenting on the redevelopment and expansion plans for the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), Minister Humphreys said:

“This is a very exciting and ambitious development plan for the GEC and I am delighted that the project received over €3.2 million from my Department’s competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

“The Fund is about supporting collaborative initiatives with significant job creation potential, so I want to pay tribute to the GEC for its vision and enthusiasm in connecting the potential of the public and private sectors in support of business growth here in the heart of Dublin 8.

“I am also very pleased to see that the GEC has partnered with more than 40 regional hubs in Ireland in order to support regionally-based start-ups, which can use the GEC when they are in Dublin.”

Also attending the event at the GEC, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, TD said:

“I’m delighted that the new Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 is being launched here today in the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) which to date has made an excellent contribution to the start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem here in Dublin, and which is set to be greatly enhanced with the planned expansion and redevelopment being announced today. 

She added:

“Dublin is a dynamic location for creativity, innovation and new business development which is globally recognised. The Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan is about maintaining that competitive edge in an international context and building on Dublin’s success. The expanded GEC will have an important role to play in delivering to that objective.”

Chairman of the GEC David Varian said “Building on our success to date this expansion enables us to deliver on our vision to scale the GEC to be a global entrepreneurial super-hub, interconnecting the regional centres in Ireland with our global university partners and thereby supporting the creation of world leading companies out of Ireland. The model of open innovation, interconnecting government supports, industry, academia and citizens is at the core of the new GEC and we look forward to the re-imagined GEC playing a catalytic role in the continued re-development of D8 and the promotion of Ireland as a place for entrepreneurial business growth”.


Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020

For further information, contact:

Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or 0871255572


Regional Enterprise Plans:

  • The Dublin Regional Enterprise Plan contains the following Strategic Objectives and specific actions have been set out under each area:
    • Strategic Objective 1: Ensure the availability of skills and talent to realise Dublin’s future economic  potential
    • Strategic Objective 2: Increase enterprise engagement in innovation, research and development to ensure Dublin’s continued competitiveness and productivity 
    • Strategic Objective 3: Build a pipeline of sustainable and scalable start-ups in Dublin and provide quality support 
    • Strategic Objective 4: Strategically build on existing activities to enhance the attractiveness of Dublin as a region to live, work, invest and visit 
    • Strategic Objective 5: Facilitate every individual to realise their full potential through engagement in economic activity 
    • Strategic Objective 6: Support Dublin enterprises to adapt to more sustainable practices 
  • Co-ordinated by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, nine Regional Enterprise Plans have been developed for: Midlands, South-East, South-West, Mid-West, West, North-West, North-East, Mid-East and Dublin. 
  • The launch schedule for the Regional Enterprise Plans by Minister Humphreys is as follows:






6th February (completed)

Mountmellick, Laois


7th February (completed)

Naas, Kildare


11th February


Galway City, Galway


13th February

Dublin City, Dublin


20th February

Lisheen, Tipperary


25th February



25th February



1st March

Skibbereen, Cork


22nd March

Waterford City


  • In developing the Regional Enterprise Plans, each individual Regional Implementation Committee was asked by Minister Humphreys to take into consideration their work to date on the original Regional Action Plans for Jobs (RAPJs), the new challenges, strengths and opportunities that the region currently faces, and to strategically elevate areas where they could support enterprise development in their region through collaborative actions. 
  • The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys TD met with the Chairs of the RAPJ Committees and up to 100 regional stakeholders in Farmleigh in April 2018 to commence the process. 
  • The Strategic Objectives and actions in each of the new Regional Enterprise Plans are set out alongside the Enterprise Agencies’ (EI, IDA, LEOs) core activities. The Plans therefore are aimed at adding value to what the Agencies are doing on the ground, through collaborative actions. 
  • As a ‘bottom-up’ initiative, the Plans complement national level policies and programmes emanating from the ‘top-down’ and in particular, there is strong alignment with Ireland’s recently national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed and the forthcoming Future Jobs Ireland initiative
  • The Regional Enterprise Plans are two-year focused plans to end 2020 and they are also ‘live’ documents, with the expectation that new initiatives can be taken on during their operation by the regional stakeholders working together. 
  • The 2020 targets initially set out under the Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) 2015 – 2017/8 remain in place – that is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with the aim of having the unemployment rate of each region within one percentage point of the State average. The new Plans are also seeking to generate enterprise growth and resilience, and to enable the creation of employment that is of good quality and sustainable over the longer term. 
  • While the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and its agencies are facilitating and supporting the renewal of the regional Plans, if they are to be successful, they need to be owned and delivered by the key stakeholders of the region, with significant private sector involvement continuing to be a critical part of the framework. 
  • ‘Enterprise Champions’ will continue to be a central part of the leadership in each region to help drive the process forward, and the Steering Committees charged with implementing the Plans are chaired by senior business people. 
  • The actions set out in the Regional Enterprise Plans include timelines for delivery, with responsibility allocated to the relevant parties. The intention is that each Plan will be monitored at regional level to ensure local responsibility for delivery, with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation overseeing the process and progress at the national level. 
  • The Regional Enterprise Plans have a strong complementary role to play in the context of Project Ireland 2040, and more specifically in the implementation of the National Planning  Framework and its constituent Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs) at NUTS 2 (Regional Assembly) level. 

The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF):

The REDF is a €60m competitive fund introduced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and administered by Enterprise Ireland. It is aimed at supporting collaborative and innovative projects that can help to sustain and add to employment at a national, regional and county level.

In total, 42 projects have been awarded funding over two completed Calls worth a total of €60m, with projects supported in every region.

The Dublin Region has secured total funding of over €9.3 million across six projects under the two completed REDF Calls: 

  • Dublin Enterprise and Tech Centre (the Guinness Enterprise Centre) – expansion of the GEC 
  • Ghala DAC  -  development of a new innovation centre and iHub at the Trinity Technology Enterprise Centre near Grand Canal Dock 
  • Social & Local Enterprise Alliance DAC  - creation of new enterprise space for innovative and artisan start-ups in Tallaght and Bolbrook 
  • BPO Cluster Ireland CLG  – to support the further development of an indigenous Business Process Outsourcers cluster to support scaling and employment growth in the sector 
  • St. Paul’s Area Development Enterprise CLG – construction, fitting out and running of an innovative food kitchen incubator in the north inner city 
  • Innovate Dublin Communities CLG – creation of a social innovation hub in the Liberties in Dublin 

The Guinness Enterprise Centre:

Established in 1999, the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) is a not for profit, company limited by guarantee. The GEC founding partners are: Diageo, Dublin Business Innovation Centre, Dublin City Council, Dublin City Local Enterprise Office (formerly Dublin City Enterprise Board), Enterprise Ireland and the Guinness Workers Enterprise Fund.