Entrepreneurs supported by LEOs generated 3,700 jobs in 2017

6 Feb 2018

Market Cross in Kilkenny. Image: BOULENGER Xavier/Shutterstock

LEO-supported start-ups and small firms have created 15,000 jobs since 2014.

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around Ireland are making an impact, with 3,700 new jobs created by supported companies in 2017, including existing businesses and new firms started by entrepreneurs.

This brings to 15,000 the number of jobs delivered by start-ups and small businesses supported by the LEOs since 2014.

‘I believe the LEOs will have a major role in supporting entrepreneurs to start and stay locally’

There are 31 LEOs nationwide, which are run in partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the various local authorities.

They function as ‘first-stop shops’ for the supports available to entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.

“Creating more and better jobs in regional and rural Ireland is a priority for the Government,” said the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“As the Government rolls out its plans for balanced economic development over the next 10 years, I believe the LEOs will have a major role in supporting entrepreneurs to start and stay locally.”

A testament to determination

The job creation numbers were revealed at the annual LEO and Local Authority Forum in Athlone yesterday (5 February).

“These jobs figures are a testament to the determination of local entrepreneurs who are growing their own businesses with the help of their Local Enterprise Office,” said Sheelagh Daly, representing the LEOs.

“Every day, thousands of small businesses are accessing a range of supports through LEOs, such as training, mentoring, grants and microfinance loans.”

The forum also highlighted the need for LEO companies to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which becomes law in May 2018.

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen, TD, said LEO companies need to prepare for the onset of GDPR.

“There is a range of information available to assist LEO companies in complying with their GDPR obligations. As a first step, I would encourage them to visit GDPRandyou.ie, which is an excellent source of guidance provided by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

“Don’t leave it until the last minute – now is the time to think about data protection measures.”

Market Cross in Kilkenny. Image: BOULENGER Xavier/Shutterstock

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