Last week Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD, announced the annual results of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for 2022 which showed that Local Enterprise Office Wicklow supported companies created 131 jobs in 2022. This figure was up significantly from the 117 that were created by LEO Wicklow in 2021.
The net jobs created by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow supported clients in 2022 was 64 which takes into account companies that amalgamated, ceased trading and those that transferred on to Enterprise Ireland.
The new figures show that the LEO Wicklow financially supported 159 small businesses in their portfolio across the county these companies in turn employ 696 people.
The total national figures for the Local Enterprise Offices across the country were announced with the LEOs now supporting 37,863 jobs across 7,221 companies. In 2022 there were 7,870 new jobs created by LEO clients companies with a net jobs creation figure of 3,447. This was up 10% nationally on 2021. From the jobs created, 84% were outside of the Dublin region.
The LEOs also provide substantial funded supports to thousands of other small businesses across the country with programmes such as the Trading Online Voucher, Lean for Micro and Green for Micro along with training and mentoring.
Simon Coveney, T.D., 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.”
The Local Enterprise Offices were to the fore in supporting small businesses across the country in 2022, helping thousands to pivot online or adapt their products and services through a large suite of supports. They Local Enterprise Offices offering training and mentoring in a range of areas from financial skills and product innovation to starting your own business and maximising your presence online.
Vibeke Delahunt, Head of Enterprise, LEO Wicklow said; “The results announced today are a testament to Ireland’s small business community. When faced with adversity, they have adapted, pivoted, upskilled and did whatever it took to sustain themselves. The figures show that companies have seen the opportunities in the challenging trading conditions they have faced. The Local Enterprise Offices across the country have gone above and beyond in their support of small businesses but there is renewed optimism. We are seeing new opportunities for Irish businesses here and as always with tough economic periods we see new ideas and companies emerge and flourish. This year will be no different and as we continue to work closely with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities to ensure our small businesses get the best possible supports there are.”
Welcoming the strong employment results, Enterprise Ireland CEO, 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.”
Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council added: “We’re delighted to see a growth in jobs in companies supported by the LEO year on year, especially after the challenging times that companies were faced with during the Economic lockdown. Micro and SMEs make up the largest cohort of employers in the county and make a significant contribution to the local economy and we have a fabulous range of innovative small companies across a wide range of sectors. Wicklow County Council will continue to support economic development through a number of support measures and new infrastructural developments”.
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.
They also run key initiatives to foster entrepreneurship across the country including Local Enterprise Week, National Women’s Enterprise Day, the Student Enterprise Programme and the National Enterprise Awards. For more information on the Local Enterprise Offices go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie