Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, announced the annual results for the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for 2022, which showed that LEO supported companies created 7,870 new jobs in 2022. This was the third highest year of job creation by the LEOs since their inception in 2014 and meant a net employment gain of 3,447 for the year in spite of difficult economic conditions related to the cost of living and energy crises.
The new figures show that the Local Enterprise Offices, located in the local authorities and funded by Enterprise Ireland, now financially support 7,221 client companies in their portfolio and a total of 37,863 jobs. The LEOs also support thousands of additional companies through a range of programmes and initiatives such as Digital Start, Green for Micro, the Trading Online Voucher and Lean for Micro.
The results showed a 10% increase in employment in Local Enterprise Office supported companies compared to 2021 and is the 9th consecutive year of jobs growth by the LEOs. The figures also revealed that 84% of the new jobs created were outside of the Dublin region and there was employment growth in each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices.
Simon Coveney, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said, “these results show the significant role the Local Enterprise Offices are playing in not only creating new businesses and jobs but also in sustaining them. On the back of some of the most difficult years for small businesses we are still seeing growth across the country. During the pandemic we saw how essential the LEOs were to small businesses and they will be essential as we navigate the ongoing cost of living and energy crises.”
“With 84% of new jobs being created outside of Dublin it reinforces the government’s strategy to strengthen employment throughout Ireland. As the remit of the Local Enterprise Offices has now broadened to companies up to 50 employees, even more SMEs will be able to avail of their supports, but also their expertise in growing enterprise in towns and villages across the country.”
Padraic McElwee, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said, “the Local Enterprise Offices continue to deliver outstanding results across the country. Working within the Local Authorities and closely with Enterprise Ireland we are helping businesses to not just sustain, but to grow. While the figures point to supporting over 7,000 companies, that is just our financial interventions. In many cases our training, mentoring and supports such as Lean, Green and Digital can create just as significant impact on a business and we work with thousands of those companies across the country.”
“Small businesses know that many challenges still lie ahead in 2023 but what we have seen in recent years is the adaptability and resilience of our SMEs. We will continue to support that going forward, working closely with our partners and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment we will ensure we are providing the best guidance and supports to our new and growing businesses.”
CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, said, “these are very positive employment results from the Local Enterprise Offices. It demonstrates the close relationship that exists between the LEOs and the companies they support and how they are able to navigate a challenging business environment, such as we witnessed in 2022. Enterprise Ireland and the LEOs are engaged in an exciting work programme to increase alignment between both organisations so that we can better serve businesses at all stages of growth and development and help them to create prosperity and jobs throughout Ireland. I look forward to continuing to work on that agenda in 2023.”
Sonya Kavanagh, Chair of the CCMA Business Committee, said, “Local Enterprise Offices play a key strategic role in Local Authority’s efforts, to support and sustain, enterprise and economic development in their areas. The supports and advice LEOs offer make a tangible difference to thousands of businesses nationwide. This, in turn, has a positive impact on economic activity and job creation. It is reassuring to see employment creation continue and to recognise that this growth is happening right across the country.”
This announcement took place at Hatched Analytics in Dublin City, who have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office since they were founded in 2017. The alternative data company has contracts with seven of the top 10 hedge funds in the world and employ 11 people in their office with 6 new roles coming online thanks to LEO funding.
Co-Founder Charmaine Kenny said, “the Local Enterprise Office has been a great growth partner for us as we scaled up and they gave us the confidence to do so. Their support came at vital stages in our development and ensured we didn’t hit any bottlenecks as we grew.”
The Local Enterprise Offices located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support thousands of small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. Since their establishment in 2014 they have been for the first stop shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses and providing a range of supports including financial, mentoring, training and sector specific expertise to help guide businesses at any stage of their development.