Local Enterprise Office Graduate Programme

Do you want to play a key role in driving entrepreneurship across Ireland?

  • Do you want to drive the development of local enterprise, putting local micro and small business at the heart of job creation in Ireland?
  • Do you want to drive and support business start-ups and promote a ‘can-do’ business culture?
  • Do you want to increase the job and export potential of new and existing micro and small businesses?

If so, then the Enterprise Ireland Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Graduate Programme is for you.

About the Programme

The Enterprise Ireland’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Graduate Programme is a two-year programme which offers graduates the opportunity to be part of the LEO project, to work closely with LEO customers, supporting them in starting exciting new businesses in Ireland and to drive and embed a culture of entrepreneurship.

The successful graduates will be employed by Enterprise Ireland but assigned to the various 31 Local Enterprise Offices around Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are based in the Local Authorities across the Country.

Key Responsibilities

Some of the areas of responsibility will be:

  • Excellent Customer Service for LEO Client Companies: Establish strong links with local business community to ensure they understand the services and supports available. Establish networks/fora for sharing of information and support for entrepreneurs. Develop/manage website as a customer service and information tool.
  • Manage Client Relationships: Work with an assigned group of client companies, understanding the company capabilities and sales opportunities in order to advise and influence business development strategy. Provide advice on the specific offers and supports available.
  • Provide Research and Analysis by conducting sector and market research for client companies.
  • Encourage and promote an enterprise culture through involvement in the Student Enterprise Awards or the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur award.
  • Build Capability in Client Companies: Promote and encourage participation in relevant business development programmes to enhance management and business skills within client companies. Through the Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland ensure that best practice is identified and shared across the network of LEOs.

What do we offer you?

As a participant on the Programme you will get an opportunity to contribute to the success of the local business community and offers you the opportunity to:       

  • grow and develop your skills and experience within a challenging business environment while undertaking specific training modules;
  • excel in a rounded and challenging role that will assist you in securing employment which allows you to fulfil your potential and career aspirations.

About the LEOs

The establishment of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in April 2014 represented one of the most radical and innovative steps taken by Government  to promote entrepreneurship, foster business start-ups, develop existing micro and small businesses and to drive job creation across Ireland. The LEOs are now the front window for all Government support for job creation and business development in every County in Ireland pulling together State agencies, Local Authorities and the private sector.

The LEOs work with their client companies to provide them with, or direct them to, the most appropriate supports to help them to start or grow their business. This includes providing financial support or identifying and directing them to other more appropriate sources of funding, and offering non-financial supports such as training and mentoring and much more.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is a leading Irish economic development agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.  Enterprise Ireland works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets.  The goals are to support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

The Local Enterprise Offices provide advice and support to micro and small business through the country with the support and back-up of the Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland.

About the Person

This challenging role requires confident, out-going, self-start individuals who are professional, client-focussed and highly motivated, self-starter with the energy, drive and enthusiasm to deliver projects and results. Along with a positive attitude towards proactively performing in the role, excellent communications, network and relationship-building skills coupled with a teamwork and flexible approach are essential attributes.  Successful graduates will be employed on the Enterprise Ireland Graduate Programme but will work with a variety of external and internal stakeholders in the Local Enterprise Office network.         

Learning and Development

Learning and development is a key part of the graduate programme and starts with an Induction Programme in Enterprise Ireland headquarters so that graduates can learn about the role, the activities of the Local Enterprise Office and the Enterprise Ireland Centre of Excellence.  Ongoing on-the-job learning, development and mentoring, along with participation in regular performance development and organisational/team development initiatives are key features of the graduates’ development on the Programme.  

Eligibility Criteria

  • Graduated with a degree or master’s qualification (minimum Level 8 NFQ) from an all-island of Ireland University or Institute of Technology in the last 4 years;
  • Achieved a minimum 2.2 grade;        
  • Eligibility to work under an Irish contract of employment for the two years of the programme is essential;
  • A full driving licence;
  • Relevant work experience is desirable.

Type of Qualifications

Business-related qualifications that incorporate:

  • Sales, Marketing and Business Development;
  • Innovation/Entrepreneurship;
  • Business, Finance, Economics and Social Sciences;
  • Information and Communications Technology;
  • Engineering Disciplines 

Application and Selection Process

Graduate applicants are asked to complete an online application form and to attach their Curriculum Vitae. 

Apply Now

Closing date is 20th January 2015. The planned start date of the programme is 31st March 2015.

The selection process may include the following:

  • completion of on-line tests
  • phone interview
  • assessment centre
  • presentation exercise
  • interview

More information


LEO Graduate Programme Team
Human Resources Department
Enterprise Ireland
The Plaza
East Point Business Park
Dublin 3

Tel: +353 1 7272786