Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Enterprise Ireland

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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127. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the way in which he plans to grow indigenous enterprises in County Kerry in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43928/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Enterprise Ireland’s Powering the Regions plan provides an overarching national plan underpinned by nine regional specific plans, to grow and sustain jobs, and to expand the reach of the Enterprise Ireland client base in every county and region in Ireland. The plan proposes six new national initiatives which aims to futureproof the regions through enhanced productivity and resilience, drive new entrepreneurship, develop urban centres of growth, support the expansion of scaling companies into the regions and attract foreign direct investment in the food sector.

Working in partnership with regional stakeholders it will see Enterprise Ireland maximize its investment through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to strengthen regional infrastructure and drive the growth of businesses across Ireland. Enterprise Ireland has approved funding totalling almost €100 million to 68 projects under three calls of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. Projects approved in Kerry include; AgriTech Centre of Excellence CLG, RDI Hub, KerrySciTech, Sneem Digital Hub, MOL TEIC, Vista Agri 4.0, Firies Business Hub.

Enterprise Ireland has identified the following initiatives for Co. Kerry to scale and expand reach of our indigenous enterprise:

- Support KerrySciTech to assist a cluster of companies attract and retain talent in the science and technology disciplines to locate to the region and fill key knowledge intensive posts in local companies. It promotes the job opportunities and the option to live and work in Kerry, West Limerick and West Cork.

- Support Killorglin’s RDI HUB boosting Kerry’s financial services, digital innovation and ICT strengths.

- Support Kerry’s Agri-Tech Centre of Excellence driving new product development for the Agri sector and creating 300-500 jobs.

- Promote entrepreneurship space for West Kerry in partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta to attract and retain entrepreneurs.

- Deliver Enterprise Ireland’s world-class market intelligence service locally via Enterprise Ireland’s offices in Shannon and Tralee.

In November, I announced €8.24m in grants for 95 Enterprise Centres around the country under Enterprise Ireland’s Enterprise Centres Fund, including 7 successful applications from Co. Kerry totalling €557,469. The funding will ensure that the Enterprise Centres can modernise their facilities, protecting the health and safety of the people who work there and help to secure much needed jobs in Co. Kerry.

The Local Enterprise Office in Kerry will continue to work closely with the microenterprise sector in the County and work in close partnership with sister agencies in ensuring there is strong cross referral of businesses and projects. The core financial offering of business support grants in Feasibility, Business Priming and Expansion grants will continue to be available to qualifying businesses where viability, added value and capacity to grow can be demonstrated creating local jobs. LEO Kerry will continue it’s one to one support from a mentoring perspective and will deliver over 100 assignments. The office continues to work with established business networks including Chambers and Craft and Food Networks. There will be a specific support for female entrepreneurship though the Kerry Business Women’s Network. LEO Kerry staff will also continue to support the project evaluation process in the Local Development groups and Fisheries Local Area Group as is presently the case. The Kerry Month of Enterprise will also be delivered across the agency structures.


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