Big Leap in new start-ups expected in Leap Year, say Local Enterprise Offices

A big leap in the number of start-ups is expected in Ireland next year, according to the network of Local Enterprise Offices, which is planning to run more than 260 ‘Start Your Own Business’ training programmes during the Leap Year.

Based within the Local Authority Network, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were set up as the ‘first-stop-shop’ for new start-ups and small businesses looking to grow. In 2015, an estimated 4,000 aspiring entrepreneurs benefited from the LEO ‘Start Your Own Business’ programmes, which were held across every county in Ireland.

Helping a new entrepreneur become ‘start-up ready’, typically these training programmes run over several weeks, focussing on how to prepare business plans, what market research and marketing tools are available, how to manage cash flow and making the most out of technology. According to the LEOs, the majority of those completing the ‘SYOB’ programme successfully start up their own business, creating further employment in local communities.

More positive news comes from the ESRI, the Economic and Social Research Institute, which has revised upwards its outlook for the Irish economy in 2016, forecasting a growth rate of 4.8 per cent.* Ireland has also retained the fourth spot in the ‘Best Countries for Business’ world rankings, according to Forbes Magazine.

The Local Enterprise Offices are also highlighting the other supports that are on offer to new-start-ups in 2016, such as grants, microfinance loans, one-to-one mentoring and business advice clinics. Kieran Comerford, the Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices explains: “2016 is set to become a record-breaking year for starting a business in Ireland when you consider the economic growth outlook for the year ahead from the ESRI and the range of Government supports and tax incentives on offer. Following on from two years of remarkable growth in the Irish economy, we’re encouraging anyone thinking of starting a business in 2016 to talk to the experts at the Local Enterprise Offices, to find out about the supports on offer and to sign up for the ‘Start Your Own Business’ training programme.”

Paul Reid, Chair of the Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Committee with the County and City Management Association (CCMA), said: “Through our local authority network, the Local Enterprise Offices are the first-stop-shop for promoting entrepreneurship, helping to increase the number of start-ups in every area. By fostering business start-ups, we look forward to the creation of more jobs locally in 2016, in every local authority area.”

All 31 Local Enterprise Offices will be offering the ‘Start Your Own Business’ training programmes throughout 2016, with many scheduled to begin in January and February. More details around the supports on offer to start-ups through the Local Enterprise Offices are available through