Enterprise Ireland announces €5m funding for 48 projects in drive for new local and regional job creation

1st June, 2016

Julie and Minister 1 June 2016
Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland,

2nd round call to be launched later this year

Enterprise Ireland today (Wednesday 1 June, 2016) announced the allocation of €5m in funding for local and regional initiatives to support new businesses and jobs across the country under the LEO Competitive Fund and the Community Enterprise Initiative.

This funding is the beginning of a new approach to supporting job creation initiatives at local and regional level in support of the Regional Acton Plans for Jobs.

In line with the commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government to create jobs in every region of the country, this €5m allocation will support ‘bottom up’ projects where:

  • The Local Enterprise Offices will group together to create collaborative projects in their region (€2m) and
  • Community organisations will partner with other regional organisations to deliver new job creation projects (€3m).

Welcoming the funding allocation, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said:  “Every parish, county and region knows it has particular strengths that can create jobs. The Government is committed to supporting that effort. In my first few weeks as Minister, I am impressed by the commitment of everyone involved in the Regional Action Plans for Jobs. Local and regional organisations, public and private, have committed to work together in the drive for jobs and to create the opportunities for people to live and work in their local communities. I am determined to support these regions to help them to achieve their potential and their ambition. In that regard, I am particularly pleased that Enterprise Ireland will issue a 2nd call later this year and work with interested groups to deliver quality projects in their regions.”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said:  “Job creation is alive and well in the regions and Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting that effort. The first competitive call for funding was very well subscribed and we look forward to working with those allocated funding today and with all the other organisations that have come forward with projects to boost job creation potential across the country.  Enterprise Ireland knows that working with local and regional groups, and supporting collaborative initiatives is the key to strengthening job creation at community, local and regional level.”



Purpose of Funds

The Regional Job Creation Funds were set up to boost job creation by encouraging ‘bottom up’ collaborative projects between private and public organisations e.g. providing incubation space, mentoring entrepreneurs , start-up accelerator programmes, supporting industry clusters within and between local and regional areas as well as local driven initiatives.

In the initial calls, €5m was made available to the Local Enterprise Offices for collaboration across the region and €5m was made available to public and private community enterprise organisations to work together at the regional level.


Today’s Awards

For the Local Enterprise Offices, 16 projects (out of 50 proposals) will receive €2m in funding for collaborations in the local region. Among the LEO awards is:

  • A Midlands Engineering Cluster Programme,  which will create new synergy between engineering enterprises, educational institutions, and government agencies in the region,
  • A South East Artisan Food Initiative to establish a cluster of fledgling food exporters across 5 counties,
  • A project to develop a Digital Media and Gaming Corridor linking the Mid-West and South East regions.

Under the Community Enterprise Initiative Scheme a total of 118 projects, valued at €12m, were received. Today’s announcement awards €3m to 32 projects that immediately meet the criteria. The Community Enterprise Awards include:

  • ‘Enterprise Goal’ – a collaborative partnership between GMIT, the GAA Community Development Group, Galway County Board and ‘Communities Creating Jobs (CCJ) to harness the GAA as a vehicle for community enterprise development,
  • Meath Enterprise Centre  -  the development of a Food Innovation & Research Centre and a Digital Media Hub,
  • Dungarvan Enterprise Centre - a South-East Shared Asset collaborative project to expand the range of facilities and services available to start-up and growth stage enterprises in the South East region.


Future Calls

Given the level of interest under the first 2 calls, Enterprise Ireland will issue another call for proposals in Q3 of this year. This new call for proposals will be open to those that may have been unsuccessful under the first call for proposals and also to new applicants. EI looks forward to working with all applicants that apply for funding under the second call for proposals. 


New Approvals under LEO Competitive Fund      

Local Enterprise Offices Collaborating:Initiative Approved for Funding
LEO Wicklow, LEO Tipperary, LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO KilkennyConsolidate a creative hub in the South Eastern region through an extensive networking and training programme for established SMEs and Start Ups servicing the creative industries.
LEO Cork North/West, LEO South Cork, LEO Cork City, LEO KerryDevelop a Graduate Programme, placing high performing graduates in micro enterprises for a 12 month accredited assignment in order to support the accelerated growth of the hosting business. The placement will form part of existing Masters Programmes and will span a range of disciplines.
LEO Donegal, LEO Sligo, LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Monaghan, LEO LouthACCELINVEST will be to create a clear pathway for export focused, investment-ready regional companies to progress from the LEO Network to Enterprise Ireland. 
LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wexford, LEO Kilkenny, LEO CarlowA South East Artisan Food initiative to establish a cluster of fledgling food exporters across 5 counties and develop the export capability of a selection of artisan food clients
LEO Kilkenny, LEO Carlow, LEO WicklowThe EMBARK Programme will proactively prepare small businesses, identified by the LEOs as having potential for growth and export, to exploit new export opportunities.
LEO Mayo, LEO Roscommon, LEO GalwayiFactory West aims to scale up 30 companies with growth potential across the West region through an intensive innovation programme suited to their individual needs.
LEO Wexford, LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wicklow LEO Kilkenny, LEO Carlow, LEO Kildare, LEO LaoisA pilot programme that will offer carefully selected micro-enterprises with growth ambitions the opportunity to benefit from concentrated support from the dedicated advisory panel of 3 experts per enterprise.
LEO Westmeath, LEO Laois, LEO Offaly, LEO LongfordThe Midlands Engineering Cluster Programme is a structured programme of market-led innovation, best practice transfer and product and trade development. It will create a new synergy between engineering enterprises; educational institutions and support agencies in the region that will aid their sustainability.
LEO Fingal, LEO Dublin City, LEO South Dublin, LEO Dun Laoghaire-RathdownThis project is targeted at the Dublin food producer cohort and focuses on the creation of an online video education platform to enhance knowledge, improve skill sets and develop producer competencies.
LEO Offaly, LEO Westmeath, LEO Longford, LEO LaoisThe Midlands One to Two Growth Initiative will break down inherent job creation obstacles by assisting carefully selected solo entrepreneurs from across the Midlands in overcoming the legal, regulatory and administrative barriers to adopting employer status, thus stimulating new employment creation and business expansion.
LEO Sligo, LEO DonegalThe programme is aimed at two particular cohorts of businesses, i.e. existing LEO clients and artisan producers trading in farmers’ markets and other similar early stage niches.  The main objectives of the programme will be to increase the business potential and expertise of promoters, to foster innovation and know-how, increase turnover and sales and to equip participants to trade in new markets.
LEO Tipperary, LEO WicklowDevelop a strong Digital Media and Gaming corridor linking the Mid West and the South & East Regions, building on existing strengths, heighten awareness of the potential of the creative industries and assist in diversifying the current employment base.
LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Longford, LEO RoscommonThe Graduate Internship for Entrepreneurship Programme. Through this programme, graduates will be connected with full-time, paid internship centred on a two way skills transfer – graduates will transfer new skills and approaches, employers will transfer entrepreneurial learning and experience of running/managing a business.
LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Longford, LEO RoscommonThis initiative will provide the opportunity for shared learning, dynamic trade development and knowledge transfer in the creative sector which will result in job creation and greater sustainability of the often challenged creative sector with a specific emphasis on the craft sector.
LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO KilkennyThis programme will explore the potential for higher levels of innovation, entrepreneurship, and productivity in agricultural technology (AgTech)
LEO Galway, LEO Mayo, LEO RoscommonThis will create a gateway to the lucrative London market for West-based micro food and drinks enterprises, through a shared co-opetition logistics and market development model.  


New Approvals under the Community Enterprise Initiative     

Community Enterprise Initiative:Description of Project:
An Tsli Ghlas - the Green Way LimitedTo scale-up a pre-acceleration programme for cleantech and sustainability firms with follow-on support on how to scale-up their business.
S.C.C.U.L. Enterprises LimitedTo further develop a national panel of voluntary mentors to support the development of micro business. 
Meath Enterprise Centre Company LimitedTo develop a Food Innovation & Research Centre and a Digital Media Hub while continuing to manage, promote and develop existing facilities, projects and initiatives.
Limerick City Build (Regen) LimitedLimerick City Build Ltd (LCB) provides direct employment, bespoke training, and employment placement and enterprise incubation facilities for those who are longer term unemployed.
Innovate Dublin Communities LtdSocial innovation for community regeneration via new solutions.
Opportunity in a Million LimitedEstablishment of the ‘HQ’ 100Mb Super-speed Enterprise Hub – a smart technology incubator in Monksland, with ‘hands-on’ support aimed at fostering enterprise and jobs in new/growth sectors in collaboration with local partners.
Ballyhoura Development LimitedDevelopment and management of a community led cluster of food enterprise activities and infrastructure
Action Community & Enterprise LimitedThis project will be the catalyst for real change in the local community, ensuring that a tangible and effective ‘ecosystem of enterprise’ is enhanced and embedded in Dublin West.
The Dublin Commissioner for Startups Office LimitedStartup your English Pilot: a package of services to attract young (non native English speakers) developers to work for startups in Dublin.
The DCU Ryan Academy LimitedIreland’s first incubator and co-working space for ‘connected hardware’ entrepreneurs and start-ups, will constitute a refurbished floor of Innovation House approx 8000 sq ft in size. There will be 80+ co working spaces/benches plus a central hardware workspace catering for individual entrepreneurs and small teams.
Galway-Mayo Institute of TechnologyEnterprise-Goal is an innovative collaborative partnership established by GMIT, National GAA Community Development Urban and Rural Work Group, Galway County GAA Board and Communities Creating Jobs (CCJ) to develop an Enterprise-Goal Network in order to harness the GAA as a vehicle for enterprise development in our communities.
Tipperary Culinary Delights Company Limited By GuaranteeFeasibility to assess the viability of a Food Centre of Excellence in Tipperary
Galway Chamber of Commerce and IndustryThe PorterShed will be a vibrant technology hub and co-working space as the first step towards a Galway City Innovation District.  (a) modification of premises located adjacent to the Ceannt Station Galway Programme Director (c) Collaboration initiatives including the establishment of the Western Innovation Network.
Ferbane Business and Technology Park LimitedThis application is for matching funding to facilitate the continued development of employment generation opportunities in Ferbane and West Offaly in the Food Sector through an expansion of activities.
Dungarvan Enterprise Centre LimitedSouth-East Shared Asset collaborative project aims to expand the range of facilities and services available to start-up and growth stage enterprises in the South East region, while maximising the assets of each participating Community Enterprise Centre (CEC) and enhancing links with other support agencies such as Chambers, Area Partnerships, Local Authorities and LEOs.
U-Casadh LimitedSocial Enterprise offering all members of the community and in particular unemployed, ex-prisoners and the most disenfranchised members of the community - stabilisation, training & education, sheltered employment & enterprise opportunities for the people furthest from the labour market
Irish Smart Ageing Exchange LimitedTo conduct a detailed Feasibility Study –for establishing three key elements of the wider Smart Ageing  Exchange; A Smart Ageing SME Cluster, A Smart Ageing Test-Bed & A Smart Ageing Design Shop
Design Island Initiative Limited and Crafts Council of Ireland LimitedDevelopment and launch of mentoring and education programme for the design start-ups in a new Design incubation centre in Dublin.  Further development of clusters to engage and support design activities in the creative industries. The design centre will provide a hub for the engagement of regional and sectoral networks and design communities across Ireland including third level institutions, LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, ID2015 initiated networks and sectoral membership organisations
Offaly Innovation and Design Centre LimitedTo recruit a dedicated Business Development Manager, To enhance the Junction and thereby create more enterprise space.  To create a fab lab and further office space adjacent to the Junction, thereby connecting design with prototyping/batch manufacturing.
Love Castlebar Community Project LimitedCommunity Creative Hub providing a unique regional innovation eco-system based on the ‘dream-learn-make-grow’ principles.  This project is a maker space for local innovators, artists and entrepreneurs to create, launch & scale exciting new ventures. 
Kilkee Tourism LimitedKilkee Geocentre Enterprise Facility.  This centre will have a training facility, hotdesk facility to foster entrepreneurs in the locality.  The educational facility has the capacity to expand its educational offering beyond geology to ornithology, botany and archaeology
Kantoher Development Group LimitedPut in place a full-time Business Development Executive to drive economic activity around a cluster of community enterprise centres in the West Limerick area namely Kantoher Business Park, Broadford Enterprise Centre, and the Red Door Business Incubation Centre with a particular focus on the opportunities that can be created in the agri-food / agri-tech sector
International Aviation Services Centre & Shannon Commercial PropertiesDevelopment of a facility for the setting up of  -  the Aerospace and Aviation Enterprise & Incubation Centre in Shannon offering facilities and support to entrepreneurs and start-up companies
I.R.D. Kiltimagh LimitedSupporting Entrepreneurship and existing business in the Kiltimagh area.  The projects also involves a National Component led on behalf of NACEC to raise awareness of what CECs nationally can do to support a project as a means of stimulating a pipeline of Entrepreneurs and new business start-ups.
Hospital Food Units LimitedIn Autumn 2013 Andersen Ireland Ltd announced 169 redundancies and that the business in Rathkeale, Co Limerick was going into liquidation. Innovate Limerick are now applying to Enterprise Ireland for grant assistance towards the cost of sub-dividing the former Andersen Factory into incubation and enterprise space.
Enniscorthy Enterprise and Technology Centre LimitedThis project intends to expand the level of services of Enniscorthy Enterprise & Technology Centre, by creating an Innovative Hub within the Enterprise Centre where innovative start-ups can work together and receive mentoring from the centre’s staff.
Creative Spark LimitedThis project seeks to support the employment of a skilled manager who will implement a strategic collaboration programme between Creative Spark and Millmount Development Centre to scale up enterprise development supports; to undertake a feasibility study into establishing a FabLab for Co. Louth; and to participate in a series of collaborative actions with NACEC
Coolock Development Council LimitedStimulating and supporting enterprise and job creation in the North Dublin area with a specific focus on fostering an entrepreneurial culture within disadvantaged areas. This will be achieved through collaboration with a range of enterprise development and business support agencies who will localise the delivery of existing and new services through a network of  Community Based Enterprise & Innovation Hubs’ which will be embed in accessible locations across the community.
Ballinasloe Area Community Development LimitedManagement of Community Projects to create and sustain employment and economic growth in Ballinasloe and its surrounding hinterland
Bailieborough Development Association LimitedExpansion of Business Activities. Offering advice to business on funding opportunities, training programmes, business development, networking etc.  Expanding the existing state of the art business facilities through the development and renovation of the Bailieborough Courthouse.
Arklow Business Enterprise Centre LimitedABEC currently supports a variety of businesses in the ICT, Food, Services, Construction, Consultancy/Training and Distribution sectors there are plans to develop the Centre to support a Call Centre Business, to convert space to provide a Commercial Kitchen and a Hot Desk location in the Centre
Convoy Enterprise Centre Limited  The development of an Online Fulfilment and Distribution Hub to empower indigenous Irish companies to sell directly across the European Union.



For further information, please contact:  

Press Office

Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation

+353 1 631 2200 


Conor O’Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland. 

+353 1 7272178

+353 87 9671342