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Almost 3,700 new jobs created in businesses supported by the Local Enterprise Offices in 2016 – Ministers Mitchell O’Connor & Breen

2016 LEO results mark three consecutive years of local jobs growth throughout the country.

A net total of 3,679 new full and part-time jobs were delivered in 2016 by the 6,846 small businesses from across the country that have been supported by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), according to the results of the latest LEO annual jobs survey published today by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

The results, compiled by Enterprise Ireland, show that overall in 2016 a total of 7,883 new full and part time jobs were created in gross terms amongst LEO supported companies. A total of 40 LEO client companies became eligible for transfer to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio during 2016, representing a further positive outcome of LEO investment and support. The total number of people employed in LEO supported small businesses stood at 34,634 at the end of 2016 according to the survey.

The 31 LEOs nationwide, who are run in partnership by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, provide a ‘first stop shop’ for enterprise supports and sign-posting to start-ups, micro enterprises and small businesses locally in one easily accessible place.

Commenting on the 2016 LEO results, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said “I very much welcome the creation of 3,679 net new jobs in LEO supported companies during 2016. The LEOs have established themselves as a strong force in job creation in the regions with 10 new jobs created every day on average over the past three years in LEO client companies. That is a remarkable performance and is a clear indication of the strong job creation potential that exists in new start-ups and smaller companies right around the country. It also demonstrates that the supports structure for enterprise development at local level delivered through the LEOs is making a real difference. I want to pay tribute in particular to the people working in the 31 LEOs for their hard work in supporting their clients.”

The Minister added, “The LEOs are a key element of the Government focus on driving economic development in the regions. As the first-stop-shop for enterprise development in each Local Authority area, the LEOs are ideally placed to support entrepreneurship and job creation in every county. All micro and small businesses are operating in a challenging environment so I would urge them, and any budding entrepreneurs, to make contact with their LEO to explore the full range of supports on offer.”

Pat Breen TD, Minister for Employment and Small Business also welcomed the results and said. “The strong jobs performance by LEO clients last year is extremely welcome and testament to the can-do attitude in entrepreneurs up and down the country. In a challenging external environment at the present time we cannot afford to stand still and we must continue to support our start-ups and micro companies in becoming more competitive and agile. Under the Action Plan for Jobs this year the LEOs will roll out a Lean for Micro programme and new supports aimed at helping micro enterprises respond to emerging pressures such as the challenges posed by Brexit.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, commented “Enterprise Ireland’s ambition is to help all regions to grow to the maximum potential based on their strengths and capabilities and the Local Enterprise Offices are vital in delivering on this ambition. In the 3 years since the LEOs were established, more than 10,500 net new jobs have been created by LEO client companies. I am also delighted to see that during 2016, 40 companies progressed from the LEOs into the Enterprise Ireland portfolio, demonstrating their ambition and potential to ‘Build Scale, Expand Reach’ into global markets, the key strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland.”   

“The Enterprise Ireland Centre of Excellence will continue to work closely with the LEOs and our Local Authority partners to ensure a continuation of this strong performance. Local enterprise development is an important activity to cultivate and nurture the next wave of successful indigenous Irish companies. It is important that all local and regional development partners including the LEOs, the enterprise agencies, the Local Authorities, education and training providers, Local Action Groups, Community Enterprise Centres etc. work ever more closely together to ensure that the local potential for entrepreneurship and job creation is realised,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the LEOs, Mr Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise, LEO Carlow and Chairperson of the LEO Network said “The strong results across the range of LEO performance metrics is a clear indication that the LEOs are very much open for business and delivering a high-quality service for their clients. The results demonstrate that the LEO supports are making a significant impact in maximising the potential of fledgling or developing micro and small businesses. So, whether you need access to finance, core business training or advice and guidance on overcoming the challenges that all businesses face, drop into the Local Enterprise Office for your area where you can access the support you need”.

Speaking on behalf of Local Authorities, Anna-Marie Delaney, Offaly Local Authority Chief Executive and Chair of the CCMA Committee on Economic Development & Enterprise said “The LEOs are playing a central role in local job creation nationwide as these results for 2016 clearly demonstrate. The suite of enterprise supports available to small and microenterprises and start-ups in every county provided through the LEOs complements the broader local economic development remit of the Local Authorities. I believe that with the LEOs in place, the Local Authorities are now better placed to encourage and support enterprise development.”

The LEO annual jobs survey monitors employment performance amongst micro enterprises employing 10 people or less that have received direct financial assistance through the LEOs. In 2016, 1,040 business projects around the country were directly supported by the LEOs to the value of €11.4 million.

A total of 40 LEO client companies transferred to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio during 2016, of which 32 were HPSU clients, representing a further positive outcome of LEO investment and support.

Alongside direct grant support, LEOs also supported hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses with training, mentoring and referral during 2016, aimed at developing business ideas and building company capacity. More than 27,600 people availed of training programmes facilitated by the LEOs nationwide, while almost 7,500 people benefited from one-to-one business mentoring.

During 2016, the LEOs were again to the forefront in supporting youth entrepreneurship, access to finance initiatives and getting more microenterprises doing business online. A record number of 1,842 young entrepreneurs participated in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) investment programme in 2016; the LEOs guided 208 of their clients nationally in securing successful loan applications from Micro Finance Ireland (MFI); while a total of 1,161 micro businesses availed of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme through the LEOs last year.

Details on all the supports available for small businesses and microenterprises through the 31 LEOs are available at www.localenterprise.ie.

-ENDS -

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, ph. 6312200 or press.office@djei.ie

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)

As part of a range of reforms carried out by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) in recent years, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established to provide a ‘first-stop shop’ system of enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country. Located in the Local Authorities, the LEOs are operated on a partnership basis by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities and their parent Departments, DJEI and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The LEOs provide funding for projects primarily in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector which over time have the potential to develop into strong export entities. There are three main categories of grant under which direct financial assistance is provided – Priming, Feasibility and Business Expansion. The LEOs also provide training and mentoring support to entrepreneurs and businesses to assist business development and performance.

The LEOs through appropriate referral also ensure that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of the country are able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office, Education and Training Boards etc, – in one easily accessible location within the Local Authority.

Details on all the supports available for small businesses and microenterprises through the 31 LEOs are available at www.localenterprise.ie.

LEO employment results 2016

The LEO employment results for 2016, which were compiled by the Enterprise Ireland Centre of Excellence, using the same systems as applied to the Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland annual surveys, show that overall in 2016:

  • a total of 7,883 new jobs (full- and part-time) were created in gross terms.
  • taking into account losses, there was a net increase of 3,679 all jobs (full- and part-time)
  • overall at the end of 2016, total direct employment among 6,846 LEO client companies stood at 34,634 (of which 25,273 were full-time and 9,361 were part-time).

The detailed results at LEO level are set out in the attached Table 1.

The LEOs provided a range of development supports aimed at building company capacity and performance among the micro-enterprise sector; in 2016 they:

  • paid out direct financial assistance to 1,040 business projects, to the value of €11.4m;
  • of these, 469 were priming grants for start-up companies.

In addition to direct financial assistance, the LEOs supported an even wider cohort of entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2016 through:

  • provision of training to more than 27,600 participants;
  • provision of one-to-one mentoring support to almost 7,500 people;
  • 433 referrals to Micro Finance Ireland of which 208 were approved; and
  • promoting the Trading Online Voucher Scheme with 1,161 businesses participating.

Strengthening the pipeline of new business start-ups nationwide, the LEOs ran the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition for the third time in 2016, which generated 1,842 applicants from young people around the country.

All of these initiatives are expected to make a contribution to the creation and maintenance of jobs in local communities all over the country in addition to those reported in the survey results.

 

LEO   NAME

2016   No of LEO Clients

2016   Client

All   Jobs Total

(FT   & PT)*

2016   Gross

All   Job Gains

(FT   & PT)*

2016   Net

All   Job Gains

(FT   & PT)*

Carlow

           221

         1,092

           198

63

Cavan

           208

         1,162

           233

107

Clare

           197

         1,110

           338

173

Cork city

           122

             633

           128

123

Cork South

           188

             977

           242

142

Cork West/North

           240

         1,393

           343

155

Donegal

           183

         1,358

           364

250

Dublin City

           349

         1,670

           452

285

Dublin DLR

           229

         1,308

           342

166

Dublin Fingal

           192

             831

           275

140

Dublin South

           261

         1,230

           226

123

Galway County/City

           243

             962

           163

79

Kerry

           437

         1,962

           355

82

Kildare

           152

             881

           191

115

Kilkenny

           266

         1,500

           480

222

Laois

           102

             485

           102

37

Leitrim

           162

             422

           104

44

Limerick

           302

         1,856

           315

125

Longford

           242

         1,061

           213

102

Louth

           231

             780

           217

83

Mayo

           220

         1,239

           242

116

Meath

           207

             927

           200

85

Monaghan

           153

             903

           252

129

Offaly

           202

             921

           151

82

Roscommon

           155

             704

           121

40

Sligo

           215

         1,095

           227

38

Tipperary

           295

         1,437

           436

119

Waterford

           304

         1,469

           284

121

Westmeath

           265

         1,375

           283

106

Wexford

           187

         1,192

           197

103

Wicklow

           116

             699

           209

124

Total

       6,846

       34,634

       7,883

3,679

Table 1:          Local Enterprise Office Annual Employment Survey Results 2016* FT & PT = Full time and Part time

 

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