Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Project Ireland 2040
282. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if e-hubs will be provided for entrepreneurship and start-ups in each county in view of her goal under Project Ireland 2040; the funding allocated to each local authority and local enterprise office, by county, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4064/19]
Over the next 20 years advances in digital technologies will transform the enterprise potential across the country, particularly in our smaller towns and rural areas. To maximise those opportunities, co-working spaces (or “eHubs”), are envisaged under Project Ireland 2040 as part of an ongoing suite of measures to encourage greater levels of collaboration between entrepreneurs in accessing available supports and assistance in helping to make their businesses grow.
These future eHubs will also play an important role in facilitating remote working which offers many benefits to businesses and to individuals and which contributes to balanced regional employment.
With regard to developing these eHubs, there are already cross-governmental efforts encouraging a bottom-up approach to strengthening the regions, notably through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Urban Regeneration and Development Fund and the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. In that regard, I recently announced allocations under the second call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. A number of the projects that have been offered funding are already prototype digital Hubs and should develop throughout the duration of their project into sustainable ehubs in their own right.
My Department is committed to working with companies of all sizes and across all sectors to develop and achieve their potential including in developing strong digital resources and skills in order to remain competitive.