Drogheda Nurture Fund

On 6 September, Drogheda Implementation Board, Louth County Enterprise Fund and Louth and Meath Local Enterprise Offices launched a new Microfinance Fund in the Drogheda and Laytown-Bettystown area in The Mill Enterprise Centre, Drogheda. The Drogheda Nurture Fund has been funded jointly by Louth and Meath local authorities through the Local Enterprise Offices with a fund of up to €100,000 available for approved entrepreneurs and enterprises.  Drogheda Nurture Fund will be administered by Louth County Enterprise Fund and was established in response to the Drogheda Report and Implementation Plan and as an output of the Employment, Business and Enterprise subgroup of Drogheda Implementation Board.

Joe English, Chairperson of Louth County Enterprise Fund, Head of Enterprise, Meath Local Enterprise Office and member of Drogheda Implementation Board Employment, Business and Enterprise subgroup stated at the launch:

Meath County Council and the Local Enterprise office in Meath are delighted to support this excellent initiative to support the small business sector in the Drogheda area. The need for this fund was identified by Drogheda Implementation Board and both local authorities were very keen to support such a practical step in ensuring the recommendations of the Drogheda Report Implementation Plan are carried out on the ground. We know the Enterprise Fund will really make a difference in bringing much needed funding to this area.

Louth County Enterprise Fund provides loan finance to entrepreneurs and small businesses that may have difficulties in securing funding from established lending institutions.  Drogheda Nurture Fund will provide a new route to finance for local companies and entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Fund has a wealth of experience in administering funds of this kind.  Originally established in 1989 through funding from the International Fund for Ireland and donations from local businesses, the Enterprise Fund has supported hundreds of enterprises over the years.  This initiative offers companies in East Meath the opportunity to access a locally administered microfinance fund – the management of which will apply local knowledge and discretion to the loan application assessment and the decision-making process. The geographic catchment area for the Drogheda Nurture Fund is available on both the Enterprise Fund and Drogheda Implementation Board websites.

Ronan Dennedy, CEO, Louth County Enterprise Fund said:

On behalf of the Board of Louth County Enterprise Fund, I am delighted to support this Drogheda Implementation Board initiative. It allows the Enterprise Fund to apply its considerable experience and resources beyond the Louth County line – to the benefit of entrepreneurs and enterprises in East Meath. I look forward to meeting, working with and supporting these new applicants, to the economic benefit of the entire region.

Embedded in the local authority network, Local Enterprise Offices are first stop shops for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland.  They are the front door through which all information on State supports for small and micro-businesses can be accessed and signposted to other supports and bodies with programmes relevant to small business.  Local Enterprise Offices also provide a wide variety of services directly to the business community.  The new Drogheda Nurture Fund is a significant collaboration between Louth and Meath Local Enterprise Offices and shows the commitment of both local authorities to supporting enterprise in the Drogheda area.

Thomas McEvoy, Director of Services, Strategic Economic Development, Louth County Council and member of Drogheda Implementation Board Employment, Business and Enterprise subgroup said:

Louth County Council, with Local Enterprise Office Louth, are delighted to provide support to this initiative which responds to a number of actions within the Drogheda Report Implementation Plan and which will provide new access to loan funding for entrepreneurs and small enterprises in Drogheda and East Meath, contributing to a resilient economic base in the area.

Michael Keogh, Chair of Drogheda Implementation Board said:

The Geiran Report identified a need to improve employment opportunities of all kinds in Drogheda.  Small business and entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of any business community in Ireland and provides huge opportunity for local employment. We greatly welcome the generosity of both Meath and Louth Local Enterprise Offices in providing funding of €100,000 to the new Drogheda Nurture Fund and commend the Employment, Business and Enterprise subgroup of the Board for coming up with this innovative response to actions in the Drogheda Report Implementation Plan.

Louth County Enterprise Fund are now inviting applicants who require business loans – whether it be for a start-up or for the expansion of an existing business to get in touch by completing a short enquiry form at www.thefund.ie/nurture-fund/ or emailing info@thefund.ie.