Galway’s Local Enterprise Office is marking its fifth anniversary this year, having helped businesses and entrepreneurs create hundreds of jobs.
Since first being set up in 2014, the Galway LEO has created 470 jobs at supported companies across the city and county.
In total, 31 LEOs around Ireland have created 18,600 jobs since first being established, and have dispensed €81.5 million in grants to businesses.
The five year figures were released recently by Minster for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys.
“Since their inception in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices have played a hugely significant role in generating indigenous employment across the country,” Minister Humphreys said.
“There are now over 36,000 people employed by LEO-supported companies, small Irish businesses that are creating jobs in their own towns and villages.”
She added that supporting regional economies was the driving principle behind allocating an additional €5 million in funding to LEOs in 2019.
In the past five years, 40,577 people have received mentoring support through the LEO network, while over 17,500 have taken a Start Your Own Business course.
Under the new budget, the government has said that it plans to expand the range of supports that LEOs can offer to domestic entrepreneurs under the Future Jobs Ireland 2019 plan.
“Our entrepreneurs are central to ensuring balanced regional development into the future, and I have no doubt the LEOs will continue the success of the past five years in the next five and beyond,” said Minister Humphreys.
LEOs offer a comprehensive range of supports from mentoring and training to financial assistance and Brexit planning, to entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to help them to plan, start and grow.
The Local Enterprise Offices also run some significant programmes to increase engagement and draw entrepreneurs and small businesses into the business support eco-system.
These include Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), the National Enterprise Awards, Food Academy, the Student Enterprise Programme and Local Enterprise Week.
Minister for Jobs Pat Breen said that small businesses are the “heartbeat of the Irish economy” and are crucial to local economies.
He added that Local Enterprise Offices have become the most important resource for budding entrepreneurs who are looking for a helping hand.