By @SimonCocking

The Government will today (Friday) launch a new €10million initiative to
support more start-up businesses in every county of the country.

More details here.

As part of the Government’s Regional Action plan for Jobs, the 31 Local
Enterprise Offices and other public, private and community organisations
that support the job-creation are being invited to bid for funding to
create new collaborative projects that will unleash the jobs potential in
their locality.

The initiative comprises two funds, which go live today, with closing date
of 10th July 2015:

1.   A €5million LEO fund, covering the period 2015-2017, open to groups
of Local Enterprise Offices who come together to bid for funding for
projects to support job-creation initiatives in their areas. The
funding will be awarded on a competitive basis to the projects with
the greatest capacity to create jobs.

2.   A €5million Community Enterprise Initiatives fund, open to groups and
organisations in every county of the country who come together with
ideas for projects to create jobs. The fund will be awarded on a
competitive basis to the projects with the greatest capacity to
create jobs. Examples of projects which might succeed could include –
hiring skilled people who could assist with mentoring businesses,
investing in hubs and co-working space where businesses could work in
their early days.

The new initiative forms part of the Government’s €250million Regional
Action Plan for Jobs, and will provide funding for organisations and groups
in every county of the country. Action Plans are currently being developed
for all 8 regions of the country, coordinated by the Department of Jobs,
Enterprise and Innovation. At the heart of the Regional Action Plan for
Jobs process is the principle that while Government can provide funding and
coordination, many of the best ideas for job-creation around the country
will come from the people working on the ground in every area of the
country.

The funds are an opportunity for local groups to come up with their own
innovative solutions that will boost job creation locally.

The announcement was made today at Enterprise House, Carlow, as the Carlow
Community Enterprise Centre celebrated its tenth birthday with Taoiseach,
Enda Kenny TD, Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister of State
for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD.

Making the announcement, the Taoiseach said: “The priority of this
Government is to spread economic recovery to all parts of Ireland.
Supporting local businesses to create jobs is essential to get Ireland
working again.  To support local economies, we announced in February a
package of €250m to build on the success of IDA and Enterprise Ireland in
all of the regions.  Today, we are unveiling the first part of that funding
– €5m for collaboration by the 31 LEOs on regional-specific initiatives and
€5m, available through Enterprise Ireland, for new and existing business or
community groups to collaborate on projects which will strengthen the job
creation potential of their region.”

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said: “Every region of the
country is growing employment, but some regions are growing faster than
others, and at the heart of our plan is accelerating that jobs growth in
every part of the country. That is why we are putting in place 8 regional
jobs plans, backed by €250million in new funding, to build on the strengths
of each region and create more jobs. Today we are announcing that the first
€10million of that funding is now open, and I encourage people in every
town and village of the country to consider whether they can work with
other groups in their area to develop projects that could be funded through
these schemes, to help create the jobs that their areas badly need”.

Minister Nash said: “What we are doing through these two funds is
supporting people with great business ideas from the bottom up.  Local
organisations, institutions and individuals across the country are already
collaborating on new plans to create jobs or enterprise hubs for their
regions.  Now they can apply for funding to turn those ideas into new
businesses in their region.  This is a real opportunity to grow jobs
locally and keep them local through the LEOs and Community Enterprise
Initiatives.”

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