October 4, 2019
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Fine Gael TD for Cavan Monaghan, and Fine Gael TD for Cavan Monaghan, today announced almost €200,000 for projects involving the Local Enterprise Offices in Monaghan and Cavan, as she revealed the results of the new €2.5 million LEO Competitive Fund at a special event at the Monaghan County Council Chamber.
Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to announce that projects involving LEO Monaghan and LEO Cavan are receiving a combined €200,000 under the €2.5 million LEO Competitive Fund.
I launched the new fund earlier this year to strengthen job creation and entrepreneurship in the regions, and a total of sixteen projects are receiving funding today. I am very pleased to say that a project led by LEO Monaghan will receive €56,640 to develop an e-commerce cluster for retailers. As lead partner, they will be working with colleagues in Cavan, Louth and Meath to strengthen online retail in our shared region.
The purpose of the project is to help local businesses, who have been trading online for at least 12 months, to get to the next level of online sales, and increase turnover and profit. The cluster will create a platform for online retailers to share experience and best practice; access online expertise; and develop and grow their online business, both domestically and internationally. It is a fantastic idea, and I wish them every success in the exciting period ahead.
Separately, LEO Cavan will be working with Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon to establish a Mobile Fabrication Laboratory for SMEs, enterprise hubs and schools. In the Lab, they will be able to work with digital technologies, and come up with ways to increase innovation, develop products and sharpen their skills. The project, which includes input from the Local Authorities, will receive €141,340. This is another hugely innovative idea, I look forward to tracking the project’s progress.
I have been very impressed by the work of the LEOs since I was appointed Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, so I was determined to help them to build on their success through this extra funding.
“Brexit is an unprecedented challenge, so it is important that we do everything we can to support our smallest firms to grow and scale.
2019 was the 5th successive year of employment growth for the LEOs. Today, they work with over 7,000 companies, which employ around 37,000 people throughout the country. In Monaghan alone, the LEO supports 1,165 jobs, which is 29% more than 5 years ago, and between 2017 and 2018, their client companies created an additional 134 net jobs. Meanwhile, LEO Cavan supports 1,374 jobs - 31% more than 5 years ago, with 146 net jobs created between 2017 and 2018.
Those figures may not seem huge to someone in Dublin or Cork, but they are very significant in rural counties like Monaghan and Cavan. They do Trojan work to support our businesses and entrepreneurs at the coalface, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment and dedication. I would particularly like to pay tribute to John McEntegart, Head of Enterprise at LEO Monaghan, and Marcella Rudden, Head of Enterprise at LEO Cavan, for their wonderful leadership.
Congratulations and well done to everyone involved for two submitting top-quality funding applications. I have no doubt that they will continue the success of the past 5 years in the next 5, and beyond.”