County Enterprise Boards to be scrapped and replaced by more dynamic model

21 Nov 2012

The Irish Government plans to go ahead with plans to scrap the existing County Enterprise Boards and replace them with what it describes as an “enhanced support model for small business.”

The new model will be delivered by Local Enterprise Offices which will be established in each local authority office, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, said today.

Bruton has launched a four-week public consultation on a number of reforms seeking the views of small businesses and start-ups.

The reforms include establishing a Centre of Excellence for micro and small businesses within Enterprise Ireland.

The offices of City and County Enterprise Boards will operate under a robust Serve Level Agreement with Enterprise Ireland.

The reforms also intend to develop a strong network for entrepreneurship by working with local businesses and the wider community.

Targets of new local enterprise focus

Targets include increasing the number of new start-ups and ensuring survival beyond the initial five years, increasing the number of start-ups by women, increasing exports by small businesses and in the overall sense, increase job creation and innovation by start-ups.

The plan is to establish the Micro and Small Business Division and Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland by early December.

In January, the plan is to launch advance Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities and enact the enabling legislation by the summer of next year.

“Micro and small businesses are the backbone of the Irish economy, and employ over a third of all people working in Ireland today,” Bruton said.

“If we are going to create the jobs and growth we need we must provide better supports to this sector so that more of these businesses can start-up, grow, export, and create the jobs we need.

“That is why as part of the Action Plan for Jobs we have introduced a range of new measures aimed at micro and small businesses, including the €90m microfinance scheme and the €450m credit guarantee scheme,” Bruton said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years