Minister Simon Coveney, T.D, launches the Local Enterprise Office South Cork

Cork, Monday the 12th of May 2014

Local Enterprise Office South Cork is officially open for business! On Monday the 12th May, Minister Simon Coveney officially launched the Local Enterprise Office South Cork. The Action Plan for Jobs has put enterprise and job creation firmly at the centre of government policy, Now with the establishment of the Local Enterprise Offices enterprise is very much places at the centre of local government staffed with professional people with business training, to assist budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses in every county in Ireland.

The mission of the Local Enterprise Office South Cork is to promote entrepreneurship, foster business start-ups and develop existing micro and small businesses to drive job creation and to provide accessible high quality supports for your business ideas. Small businesses face a host of barriers to success, including: not knowing where to find information and resources; weak management, access to finance or lack of marketing and business planning skills. Helping to overcome these challenges are among the many ways that Local Enterprise Offices will serve the practical needs of people in business.

“The Local Enterprise Office South Cork will provide strategic, administrative, technical and financial support and services to start, grow and develop micro and small business in the South Cork region” explained Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Local Enterprise at LEO South Cork.

Tim Lombard, deputizing for the Mayor of Cork County spoke about how twenty years on since their inception the County & City Enterprise Boards have been very successful at providing supports to the micro and small business community across the country. He said “In-particular South Cork Enterprise Board has engaged with over 600 businesses with almost 2000 jobs still in place, distributing nearly €12million in grant assistance.  Many other highlights include 16,000 students engaged in 2nd and 3rd level entrepreneurial activities, 8,000 mentoring visits and 1,200 training programmes with over 17,000 owner managers in attendance. The introduction of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) aims to build on the successful track record of the Enterprise Board.This new collaboration between LEO and Local Authorities now offers us every opportunity to grow on the past successes of the Board and to provide more future successes and even more business wins for Cork.”

Staff Photo with Minister Simon Coveney

With 31 dedicated teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices offer a wide range of experience, skills and services to turn your business idea into a business. “The Action Plan for Jobs has put enterprise and job creation firmly at the centre of government policy”, said Minister Simon Coveney. “Now with the establishment of the Local Enterprise Offices enterprise is very much places at centre of local government. Through its information and advice service, including its new website, the Local Enterprise Office will connect people to all the appropriate information available in the State that they need to start, grow and succeed in business.The Local Enterprise Offices have access to the full range of expertise in Enterprise Ireland with the establishment of a new Centre of Excellence to guarantee ‘best practice’ service and staff training nationally. New Protocols have been developed with key agencies, such as Revenue, Dept of Social Protection, Education and Training Boards, Skillnets. Microfinance Ireland and the Credit Review Office to ensure you will have access to all Government supports.”

Also speaking at the launch, Tim Lucey, County Manager explained “Over the lifetime of the County and City Enterprise Boards many relationships have developed and one of the very strongest has been with Cork County Council.  Working with previous managers particularly through the Economic Development Section of CCC many prospects have left a lasting positive legacy throughout South Cork and beyond. Projects such as CorkMEET, UCC Ignite Graduate Business Innovation Programme, Macroom EIP, SMILE Waste Exchange Network and Green Shoots Initiative continue to deliver economic returns to the region. 

Cork County Council prides itself on having has one of the most progressive economic development sections of any Local Authority and now with the added expertise joining us with our new colleagues from the LEO there will truly be a very comprehensive first stop shop to support our fledging entrepreneurs and those exploring the idea of bringing a new business to life in Cork.”