News & Events

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

2nd round call to be launched later this year

Enterprise Ireland today (Wednesday 1 June) 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.”


For further information please contact: 

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. P: (01) 631 2200 

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland. P: (01) 7272178 M: +353 (087) 9671342


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 Kilkenny

Consolidate 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 Kerry

Develop 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 Louth

ACCELINVEST 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 Carlow

A 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 Wicklow

The 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 Galway

iFactory 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 Laois

A 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 Longford

The 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-Rathdown

This 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 Laois

The 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 Donegal

The 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   Wicklow

Develop 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 Roscommon

The 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 Roscommon

This 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 Kilkenny

This programme will   explore the potential for higher levels of innovation, entrepreneurship, and   productivity in agricultural technology (AgTech)

LEO Galway, LEO Mayo,   LEO Roscommon

This 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 Limited

To scale-up a   pre-acceleration programme for cleantech and sustainability firms with   follow-on support on how to scale-up their business.

To further develop a   national panel of voluntary mentors to support the development of micro   business.

Meath Enterprise Centre   Company Limited

To 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) Limited

Limerick 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 Ltd’

Social innovation for   community regeneration via new solutions.

Opportunity in a Million   Limited

Establishment 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   Limited

Development and   management of a community led cluster of food enterprise activities and   infrastructure

Action Community &   Enterprise Limited

This 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 Limited

Startup 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   Limited

Ireland’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   Technology

Enterprise-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 Guarantee

Feasibility to assess   the viability of a Food Centre of Excellence in Tipperary

Galway Chamber of   Commerce and Industry

The 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 Limited

This 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 Limited

South-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 Limited

Social 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 Limited

To 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 Limited

Development 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 Limited

To 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 Limited

Community 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 Limited

Kilkee 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 Limited

Put 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 Properties

Development 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

Supporting   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   Limited

In 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 Limited

This 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 Limited

This 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 Limited

Stimulating 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 Limited

Management of Community   Projects to create and sustain employment and economic growth in Ballinasloe   and its surrounding hinterland

Bailieborough   Development Association Limited

Expansion 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 Limited

ABEC 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.