NACEC Chairman Press Statement
Community Enterprise Centres Receive National Recognition
The role that Community Enterprise Centres (CEC’s) are playing in helping those with ideas to start or develop a business is receiving increased national recognition, says Joe Kelly, Chairman of the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC). The decision by the recently appointed Minister for Business and Development, Mr. Ged Nash, T.D., to invite NACEC to become part of a distinguished membership of the newly convened Advisory Group on Small Business, is indicative of NACEC’s expanding role. The frequent and significant mentions that Community Enterprise Centres received in the newly launched Government Policy Statement on “Entrepreneurship in Ireland” is further proof of NACEC’s increasing impact, Joe Kelly adds.
Speaking after Minister Nash had chaired the first meeting of the Government’s Advisory Group on Small Business, Joe Kelly expressed his satisfaction at the significant roles now being played by CEC’s. “It is clear that Government and the job-creating agencies are recognising the role that CEC’s can play in local job creation. This is particularly so in areas, both rural and urban, where the local economy has had historical difficulty in combating unemployment and creating sustainable local jobs.” Joe Kelly said.
He went on to say that the recent comprehensive national survey, undertaken by NACEC and Enterprise Ireland, clearly indicated the extensive and emphatic role played by CEC’s in getting Ireland back to work. The survey showed that almost 4000 jobs were being facilitated in CEC’s and that almost 400 new businesses were started in CEC’s during the three years of the worst economic conditions that the country has ever seen. Joe also stated that the survey identified what can be done when a properly supported environment is put in place for the benefit of those with business ideas and ambitions.
Joe Kelly believes that the newly expanded role also brings huge responsibilities and challenges to CEC’s in every county around the country. “We are being given a recognised role in assisting small business but there is also a challenge and a responsibility to ensure that each CEC gets the maximum out of its limited resources to ensure that every potential business and job in its area gets the support needed.”
He also stated that CEC members are very much looking forward to working shoulder to shoulder with Government and all the agencies that have a role in job creation at local level. This includes Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s), among others. “CEC’s can really bring a benefit to these agencies by being their hands and eyes at local level, provided that the potential that lies within the CEC sector is fully recognised, and we all engage in a spirit of teamwork for the benefit of client businesses and job creation” concluded the NACEC Chairman.