04/12/2012

Enterprise Ireland Establish New Micro Enterprise And Small Business Division

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD together with the Minister of State for Small Business John Perry TD announced that Enterprise Ireland has established a new Micro Enterprise and Small Business Division to spearhead the delivery of an enhanced national enterprise support model to entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2013.

This is a key part of the Government's plans to restructure the support infrastructure for small businesses and represents delivery of a key action under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.

The Micro Enterprise and Small Business Division will develop a world-class Centre of Excellence providing best-in-class support to entrepreneurs and small business in the execution of a national micro enterprise policy. The new business support model will also see the establishment next year of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in the local authority network and these new offices will deliver services and support to the micro and small business sectors on behalf of Enterprise Ireland.

The Centre of Excellence will:

• Operate Service Level Agreements between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities

• Drive progression of high potential companies from the LEO network to Enterprise Ireland

• Develop and train LEO staff to ensure that core enterprise support skills are maintained and enhanced

• Establish a new online support system which will respond to the needs of all entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises throughout the country

The announcement was made during a visit to the inaugural meeting of the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Network by Minister Bruton and Minister Perry. Over 140 entrepreneurs are part of this network and are participating in the current run of the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme. New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology and funded and managed by Enterprise Ireland. Its primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses which have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: "Micro and small businesses are the engine of the Irish economy, and employ over 650,000 people. If we are going to create the jobs and growth we need we must provide better supports to this sector so that more of these businesses can start-up, grow, export, and create the jobs we need. That is why as part of the Action Plan for Jobs we have introduced a range of new measures aimed at micro and small businesses, including the €90million microfinance scheme and the €450million credit guarantee scheme."

(CD)

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