When the 35 County and City Enterprise Boards are dissolved in mid- April, their existing functions will transfer to Enterprise Ireland (EI) and will be delivered on EI's behalf by the Local Authorities in 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). A Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities provides that the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CEB will be the designated Head of LEO and will have a direct reporting relationship with the County Manager. In organisational terms, the LEO will be a dedicated Unit within the Local Authority by virtue of having its own specific funding stream, branding, website and metrics and by conducting its work on the basis of the SLA. Therefore, as there will be no Board going forward to the new LEO structure, the position of CEO will not arise. It is not intended, or envisaged, that the LEO service to local business will cause displacement of already existing private sector service provision. In fact, I would actively encourage private sector providers to work closely with their local LEO in the provision of these services in order to enhance and maximise the opportunities for micro and small businesses at local level.
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is a "one-stop shop" for the business needs of SMEs in the EU and beyond. It provides enterprises with information and a range of quality and free-of-charge business support services to make them more competitive. The Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland is coordinated by Enterprise Ireland and can be contacted via the Cork, Galway, Dublin, Sligo and Waterford Chambers of Commerce.
As regards the EEN Call 2015-2020, the EU Commission has recently confirmed that the deadline for submission for the above call is 15 May 2014, with the communication of results in September 2014.