LEO Clients Support over 2000 jobs in 2023

There was a 6% increase in the number of jobs created by companies supported by the Local Enterprise Offices last year, the latest annual figures for the LEO network show.

Four in every five jobs created at Local Enterprise Office supported companies in the year were outside of Dublin, the report concluded.

Total job creation at LEO companies came to 6,640 in 2023 with a net employment gain of 2,131 jobs.

The outcome was achieved despite multiple challenges to the sector in the recruitment and retention of staff.

Small and microenterprises also face further challenges in the year ahead with rising costs hitting businesses on a number of fronts including minimum wage increase, new sick leave entitlements, changes to PRSI and the expected introduction of pensions auto-enrollment later in the year.

Last year was the tenth year in a row of job creation at LEO supported companies.

38,726 jobs are financially supported across the country by the Local Enterprise Offices in 7,167 companies that have availed of grant aid from their LEO.

Thousands more firms receive support via training, mentoring and programmes and initiatives such as the Trading Online Voucher and Lean for Business.

"With 82% of new jobs created outside of Dublin, it is clear that our Local Enterprise Offices are supporting businesses right across Ireland," Minister of State Neale Richmond said of the figures.

"What is also evident is the resilience of Ireland's fantastic small businesses that have continued to adapt to an ever-changing business environment."

John Magee, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said the results were testament to the success of the LEO network, but he said challenges persist in sourcing skills and labour.

"Working within the local authorities and with Enterprise Ireland, we are ensuring that every business has access to support no matter how small and we have local expertise to help them succeed," he said.

"There are continued challenges, particularly in retaining and hiring staff but small businesses have shown resilience and adaptability to overcome bigger challenges in recent years."

Local Enterprise Offices are located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support thousands of small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide.

Since their establishment in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices have provided a range of supports including financial, mentoring, training and sector specific expertise to help guide businesses at any stage of their development.