5 Years of Making it Happen

Minister Humphreys & Minister Breen announce Local Enterprise Office figures from first 5 years

Kildare Coco and Ministers


5 Years of Local Enterprise Offices – National Figures

  • 18,640 net jobs created
  • €81.5million in grants approved
  • Over 140,000 trained
  • Over 5,000 projects approved


Since the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established in 2014 they have supported the creation of over 18,600 jobs nationwide with 144,830 entrepreneurs and business people trained in a range of skills over the five years. The figures were 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 at an event in Russborough House in Wicklow to celebrate 5 Years of the Local Enterprise Offices.


Local Enterprise Office Kildare has made a huge impact locally. In 2018 alone, Local Enterprise Office Kildare helped over 200 clients with financial supports and was responsible for the creation of 285 jobs in Kildare.


Some of the clients that have started and grown with Local Enterprise Office Kildare include:


  • Sonia Deasy (Newbridge) with the award winning global cosmetic company Pestle & Mortar. The skincare line is the toast of the beauty world having racked up positive notices in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Allure and more.


  • Overall category winner for ‘Best Idea’ of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, and Google Award for Best Online Promotion of a Business Award, Matthew McCann (Celbridge) with Access Earth - a free digital platform that allows users find and rate places by their accessibility needs.


  • Brothers Alan and Gary McCormack (Kill) with CarveOn design, a premium customized leather goods manufacturing company, winning ‘Best Export Business' at the National Enterprise Awards 2016.


  • Overall winners at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards, Tom and Padraig Hennessy (Athy) with agri-business, Terra NutriTECH. The two brothers developed an automated mineral dosing system for farmers.


Since 2014 the Local Enterprise Offices across the country have approved and contributed funding to over 5,000 business and entrepreneurial projects. The LEOs have distributed €81.5million worth of direct financial assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs, stimulating job creation in communities across the country. In those 5 years, 40,577 people have received mentoring support through the LEO network, while over 17,500 have taken a Start Your Own Business course.  


Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., said; “Since their inception in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have played a hugely significant role in generating indigenous employment across the country.  There are now over 36,000 people employed by LEO-supported companies, small Irish businesses that are creating jobs in their own towns and villages. Supporting regional enterprise is a big priority of mine as Minister and it’s for this reason that I allocated an additional €5 million to the LEOs in Budget 2019.


Turning to Future Jobs Ireland, the new whole-of-Government plan to secure the country’s economic success, the Minister said:


“A range of measures in Future Jobs Ireland 2019 support balanced regional development and the LEOs will play a central role in the success of the initiative. For 2019, the focus will be on strengthening the capacity of LEOs to provide a comprehensive suite of supports to indigenous Irish businesses and entrepreneurs. We are also working to increase the take-up of LEO productivity supports in particular. Our entrepreneurs are central to ensuring balanced regional development into the future, and I have no doubt the LEOs will continue the success of the past five years in the next five and beyond.”   


Chief Executive Kildare County Council, Peter Carey said; “The figures really do speak for themselves when you look across the 5 years of the Local Enterprise Offices. The Local Enterprise Office Kildare has played a key role in fostering entrepreneurship in the area and is very much at the fulcrum of the local business community. That positioning has come through trust, expertise and the ability to help businesses over the toughest of hurdles because we have the resources to do so. Looking to the future, we are at the forefront of microenterprise and we have an opportunity to help shape policy and supports that we believe will only increase these impressive figures in the next 5 years and give our entrepreneurs and small businesses an even greater advantage in the market.”


Mark Christal, Manager, Regions and Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland said;The Local Enterprise Offices have been a significant success story for Irish small businesses. The LEO’s have played a critical role for regional development, making a significant contribution to ensuring that small businesses receive the very best advice and support to assist in overcoming the challenges they may encounter.  This is reflected in the growing number of LEO client companies that are now transferring to Enterprise Ireland who have the global ambition to scale and expand the reach of their businesses overseas.  Our partnership with the Local Authorities is critical, and our working together with the LEOs has ensured Irish small businesses have the very best support and every opportunity of making an impact on the world stage.”


LEOs offer a comprehensive range of supports from mentoring and training to financial assistance and Brexit planning, to entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to help them to plan, start and grow. The Local Enterprise Offices also run some significant programmes to increase engagement and draw entrepreneurs and small businesses into the business support eco-system. These include Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), the National Enterprise Awards, Food Academy, the Student Enterprise Programme and Local Enterprise Week.  



Local Enterprise Office Figures – 2014 to 2019

18,640 – Jobs created by Local Enterprise Office supported clients

5,080 – Projects approved for funding by the Local Enterprise Offices

€81.5m – Direct financial assistance to Local Enterprise Office clients

17,587 – Taken Start Your Own Business with their Local Enterprise Office

144,830 – Engaged in training with their Local Enterprise Office

7,371 – Entrants to Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE)

752 – Availed of a Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters (TAME) grant

40,577 – Availed of specialist mentoring through their Local Enterprise Office

5,227 – Received Trading Online Voucher

24,245 – Average yearly entrants to the Student Enterprise Programme

1,687 – Approved applications for Microfinance Ireland loans

432 – Availed of LEAN Consultancy through their Local Enterprise Office