The Local Enterprise Office in Donegal created 203 jobs in 2018 – up 19% on the previous year.
Details of the jobs increase were announced by announced by Heather Humphreys T.D. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Pat Breen T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection.
This is an increase of over 300 jobs since 2017.
This is the 5th year of employment growth for the Local Enterprise Offices, with 3,656 net jobs created nationwide in 2018. The Local Enterprise Offices now support over 36,000 jobs in 7,000 LEO client companies all over Ireland.
Since the LEOs were established in 2014 their clients have created over 18,000 jobs in small businesses across the country. The Local Enterprise Offices also approved €18.2million worth of financial assistance to 1,259 projects.
Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise said these figures highlight the important role that Local Enterprise Office Donegal continues to play in supporting small and micro enterprises at local level – creating jobs and sustaining small businesses in the county and the region.
He said “The LEOs are the first engagement any entrepreneur or small business owner should have when they want to develop or grow their idea or company. Every day Local Enterprise Offices help small businesses to get off the ground, overcome challenges, hire new staff, fund innovation, prepare for Brexit and plan for the future.
“The range of supports on offer from the Local Enterprise Office is there to assist promoters seeking to start or grow a small business and range from highly practical business advice and guidance, to services such as professional business and management training, mentoring, networking opportunities, and of course access to finance. While the figures are very positive our biggest challenge is the need for more start-up businesses which we and other agencies such as Enterprise Ireland are able to support.”
Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council said they are extremely happy with the jobs figure announced and particularly happy with the performance of Donegal companies in 2018.
“These figures indicate that notwithstanding the uncertainty in the market and the economy, that local firms in Donegal are continuing to invest and grow. The Local Enterprise Office, as an integral part of Donegal County Council, not only brings the services of the LEO to the assistance of its clients but also access to the broader services of the Council.
“We will continue to support the creation of the best conditions and environment for the promotion of enterprise and the creation of new firms in our county and look forward to some new programmes and initiatives of the Local Enterprise Office in 2019.”
In 2018 the Local Enterprise Offices worked successfully with 171 of their client companies to help them transfer to Enterprise Ireland along with 796 associated jobs. This was up from 60 companies making the transition in 2017.
Last year was a particularly strong year for Local Enterprise Office Donegal which approved over €777,200 in grant aid to 36 projects, ran 85 programmes and workshops with over 1,500 participants, approved 47 Trading Online grants, delivered 93 mentoring assignments and had national finalists in both the National Enterprise Award and Ireland Best Young Entrepreneur competitions.
Minister Humphreys T.D. said; “The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are a hugely important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this country. They do Trojan work in every county right across the country and these 2018 jobs figures highlight the significant contribution they make to the economy as a whole. This is the 5th year in a row of employment growth for the LEOs, which support our indigenous businesses to create jobs locally. Not only are they helping small businesses to plan, start and grow, but they are also working closely with their 7,164 client companies to minimise their Brexit exposure. The LEOs will continue to play a key role in 2019 and beyond, ensuring that every small business has access to the support it needs. I was delighted to allocate them an additional €5m in Budget 2019 to further support their invaluable work on the ground.”
Minister Breen T.D., said; “Since its inception, the Local Enterprise Office network has been a key element of this Government’s commitment to enterprise development, across all regions in the country. It has been hugely successful. LEO-supported companies now account for over 36,000 jobs throughout the country, across such sectors as food, textiles, manufacturing and computing. It is particularly pleasing to see them grow in ambition and scale. Last year alone, 171 LEO companies transferred to Enterprise Ireland because they have the potential to scale to become internationally – trading companies”.
He added; “The Local Enterprise Offices will continue to support our indigenous companies through the provision of one-to-one mentoring, training, specialist workshops and Brexit preparedness supports.
Mark Christal, Regions and Entrepreneurship Division, Enterprise Ireland, said; “The Local Enterprise Offices are a key component in local business across the country and have been the success story of the strategic partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. The figures announced today show the impact that LEOs make in communities nationwide, enabling small businesses to get off the ground and to grow, helping to create, and support, local jobs. The role that LEOs play in this is getting more and more crucial as many of these companies with global ambition look to build scale and expand reach. The Local Enterprise Office is working with these companies to ensure they are in the best possible position to innovate, compete and diversify in the global market. The fact that the amount of companies transferring from LEOs to Enterprise Ireland has almost trebled in 2018 is a testament to the quality of company the Local Enterprise Offices are helping to create, and this will only continue to grow in the years ahead.
The 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, an initiative of the Government of Ireland, are operated in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. They provide expert training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may want to start, develop or grow their company.
The Local Enterprise Offices have played a key role in preparing small businesses in Ireland for Brexit. This includes Brexit Mentoring, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporting grants for small businesses looking to diversify into new markets, the Brexit SME Scorecard, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for those selling online internationally and LEAN for Micro enabling small companies to trade more effectively and competitively.
The Local Enterprise Offices will also roll out the Brexit Customs Training across the country beginning in February which will enable any small business to learn about the customs import and export procedures that will be required post-Brexit to ensure they can continue to trade effectively with a country outside the single market.
Job Creation in 2018 – Local Enterprise Offices
Cavan – 146 net jobs (up 12% on 2017)
Donegal – 203 net jobs (up 19%)
Leitrim – 24 net jobs (up 6%)
Longford – 70 net jobs (up 6%)
Monaghan – 134 net jobs (up 13%)
Sligo – 33 net jobs (up 4%)
Dublin City – 343 net jobs (up 25%)
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown – 145 net jobs (up 9%)
Fingal – 125 net jobs (up 14%)
Dublin South – 153 net jobs (up 11%)
Laois – 67 net jobs (up 12%)
Offaly – 68 net jobs (up 7%)
Westmeath – 66 net jobs (up 6%)
Kildare – 285 net jobs (up 30%)
Louth – 98 net jobs (up 11%)
Meath – 143 net jobs (up 13%)
Wicklow – 74 net jobs (up 12%)
Clare – 104 net jobs (up 9%)
Limerick – 213 net jobs (up 12%)
Tipperary – 168 net jobs (up 15%)
Carlow – 57 net jobs (up 5%)
Kilkenny – 103 net jobs (up 9%)
Waterford – 100 net jobs (up 7%)
Wexford – 33 net jobs (up 3%)
Cork City – 88 net jobs (up 12%)
Cork North & West – 68 net jobs (up 5%)
Cork South – 120 net jobs (up 14%)
Kerry – 104 net jobs (up 9%)
Galway – 111 net jobs (up 11%)
Mayo – 130 net jobs (up 12%)
Roscommon – 80 net jobs (up 10%)
The Local Enterprise Offices are the first touch point for entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country who require expert advice, mentoring, training or financial assistance in getting their start-up off the ground or growing their existing small business. This includes feasibility and expansion grants, trading online vouchers, LEAN consultancy to improve business efficiency, Brexit supports, export grants, innovation funding, one-to-one business specific mentoring and training for upskilling at all levels of business.
For more information on the Local Enterprise Offices and their supports go to www.LocalEnterprise.ieTags: