Local Enterprise Offices Now Supporting Over 36,000 jobs and 7,000 Small Irish Businesses

Minister Humphreys T.D. and Minister Breen T.D. announce Local Enterprise Office (LEO) figures for 2018

LEO Fingal has revealed that 125 net new jobs were created in LEO-supported businesses in the Fingal region last year. 

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) 2018 jobs figures, announced today by Heather Humphreys T.D. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Pat Breen T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, show that 36,666 people are employed by 7,164 LEO-supported companies.

This is the 5th year of employment growth for the LEOs, with 3,656 net jobs created in 2018. There has been an 11% jobs creation increase in current companies within the LEO portfolio since 2017. Since the LEOs were established in 2014 their clients have created over 18,000 jobs in small businesses across the country. The LEOs also approved €18.2m worth of financial assistance to 1,259 projects. The net new jobs figure created in Fingal businesses with the support of Fingal LEO is 125, marking continued commercial success among small businesses in the region.

In 2018 the LEOs worked successfully with 171 of their client companies to help them transfer to Enterprise Ireland (EI) along with 796 associated jobs. This was up from 60 companies making the transition in 2017.

The 31 LEOs nationwide, an initiative of the Government of Ireland, are operated in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. They provide expert training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may want to start, develop or grow their company.

The LEOs have played a key role in preparing small businesses in Ireland for Brexit. This includes Brexit Mentoring, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporting grants for small businesses looking to diversify into new markets, the Brexit SME Scorecard, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for those selling online internationally and LEAN for Micro enabling small companies to trade more effectively and competitively.

The LEOs will also roll out the Brexit Customs Training across the country beginning in February which will enable any small business to learn about the customs import and export procedures that will be required post-Brexit to ensure they can continue to trade effectively with a country outside the single market.

LEO Jobs 2019

Minister Humphreys T.D. said; “The Local Enterprise Offices in Local Authorities and supported by Enterprise Ireland are an integral part of the entrepreneurial eco-system in this country and the 2018 figures highlight the significant contribution they make to the Irish economy. This is a 5th straight year of employment growth for the LEOs, helping indigenous businesses to create jobs locally. Not only are they helping small businesses plan, start and grow but they are also working closely with all 7,000 client companies on minimising their Brexit exposure, ensuring they are protecting themselves and maximising the opportunities that Brexit provides. The LEOs will continue to play a key role in 2019 and beyond ensuring that every small business has access to the support they need no matter what stage they are at.”

Minister Breen T.D., said; “The Local Enterprise Offices have been at the very heart of Ireland’s economic recovery. Entrepreneurship always comes to the fore when economies struggle, and it was the LEOs job to foster that and help these companies grow. They now help support over 36,000 jobs across the country in 7,000 companies from food and textiles to manufacturing and computing. These companies are not just surviving but they are thriving with 171 companies scaling up from their LEO to Enterprise Ireland in 2018. We put €18million alone into 1,200 projects by these companies in 2018 along with the one-to-one mentoring, training, specialist workshops and Brexit preparedness supports to ensure these LEO companies are in the strongest possible position to achieve their goals in 2019.

Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Fingal and Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “These figures highlight the important role that the Local Enterprise Offices are playing in creating jobs and sustaining small businesses all over Ireland. The LEOs are the first engagement any entrepreneur or small business owner should have when they want to develop or grow their idea or company. Every day LEOs help small businesses to get off the ground, overcome challenges, hire new staff, fund innovation, prepare for Brexit and plan for the future. The range of supports on offer from the LEO will help anyone seeking to start or grow a small business through highly practical services such as professional business and management training, mentoring, networking opportunities, finance and much more.”

Mark Christal, Regions and Entrepreneurship Division, Enterprise Ireland, said; “The Local Enterprise Offices are a key component in local business across the country and have been the success story of the strategic partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. The figures announced today show the impact that LEOs make in communities nationwide, enabling small businesses to get off the ground and to grow, helping to create, and support, local jobs. The role that LEOs play in this is getting more and more crucial as many of these companies with global ambition look to build scale and expand reach. The LEO is working with these companies to ensure they are in the best possible position to innovate, compete and diversify in the global market. The fact that the amount of companies transferring from LEOs to Enterprise Ireland has almost trebled in 2018 is a testament to the quality of company the LEOs are helping to create and this will only continue to grow in the years ahead.

Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal County Council on behalf of the CCMA said; “Local Enterprise Offices play a fundamental part in local authority efforts to support economic development in our areas. The LEOs translate policy into practice and delivery on the ground. Their impact is very clear on days like today when we step back and take stock of the very strong employment they help to create. But it is evident also on a daily basis, when talking to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country who are benefiting from LEO support and gaining the increased confidence needed to grow their businesses.”

The LEOs are the first touch point for entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country who require expert advice, mentoring, training or financial assistance in getting their start-up off the ground or growing their existing small business. This includes feasibility and expansion grants, trading online vouchers, LEAN consultancy to improve business efficiency, Brexit supports, export grants, innovation funding, one-to-one business specific mentoring and training for upskilling at all levels of business.

For more information on LEO Fingal and its supports form small businesses in the Fingal area, go to www.localenterprise.ie/Fingal