Enterprise development continues to be a key pillar in the creation of jobs in all regions across the country.
I am currently in the process of finalising the launches of the new Regional Enterprise Plans in every region, with eight Plans launched to date, with the ninth Plan (South-East) scheduled to be launched by the end of this month.
The Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 are enterprise focused documents that are the result of a refresh and refocus of the Regional Action Plans for Jobs to ensure their relevance and impact out to 2020, so that they continue to deliver jobs across the country, in every region, and can be robust to address the challenges we face, including Brexit.
The principle behind the Regional Enterprise Plans is collaboration between regional stakeholders on initiatives that can help to realise the region’s enterprise development potential. These stakeholders include: Local Authorities, the LEOs, the enterprise agencies, the Regional Skills Forum, tourism bodies, private sector ‘enterprise champions’, the Higher Education Institutes and others.
Shaped from the ‘bottom-up’ by regional stakeholders, and overseen by my Department, the new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 complement national level policies and programmes emanating from the ‘top-down’. There is a strong alignment with Ireland’s national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed and the recently launched Future Jobs Ireland strategy.
They are two-year, focused Plans, which are also ‘live’ documents, so new initiatives can be adopted during their operation by the regional stakeholders working together.
Enterprise Ireland’s results for 2018 show the progress that the Agency have been making in driving enterprise development at a national and regional level. Client companies assisted by Enterprise Ireland created 18,846 jobs in 2018 and 64% of the jobs created were outside Dublin with all regions recording increases in employment. There were 215,207 people employed by Enterprise Ireland supported companies in 2018, the highest total employment in the history of the agency. Last year, Enterprise Ireland supported 82 high potential start-ups and 50 competitive start fund approvals as well as 245 client investments of over €500k.
The IDA’s results for 2018 demonstrate the progress we have been making in encouraging regional investment. Last year, 56% of all new jobs created by the Agency’s overseas clients were in locations outside Dublin. Every region in the country saw FDI-driven job gains. There are now over 132,000 people employed in IDA client firms outside the capital, representing nearly 60% of IDA-supported employment. These are all promising figures and show how real strides have been made in boosting FDI-related job creation across Ireland. Last year, the Agency delivered 113 regional investments.
In 2018 clients supported by the Local Enterprise Offices increased employment by 8,007 gross new jobs which resulted in 3,656 net jobs being created across the LEO client portfolio to bring the total number employed to 36,666.
The LEOs approved grants to 1,259 clients in 2018, with over €18.2m. in funding to projects approved. Also, in 2018, the LEOs provided training to 34,907 participants. Of these, 3,944 participants took part in the LEO-run ‘Start Your Own Business’ programmes. The LEOs have continued to support, build resilience and scale up within their client base. In 2018, 171 of LEO client companies progressed to Enterprise Ireland along with 796 associated jobs, this is an increase from 60 companies in 2017.
We will continue to reinforce and strengthen these positive trends and to further job creation and investment across the entirety of the country.