Creating Supportive Enterprise Eco-Systems: Enterprise Centres & Local Enterprise Offices National Agreement to Benefit Clients.
The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) has signed a formal agreement with Enterprise Ireland aimed at streamlining the first stop services between the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and the Enterprise Centres nationally.
Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first stop shop’ for people interested in starting up a new business or already in business including entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start-ups and small business looking to expand. The LEOs provide advice, information and support in starting up or growing a business, including referring interested parties to other agencies where relevant.
The 117 Community Enterprise Centres located throughout the country provide low cost workspace with an array of services often including centralised reception, messaging, broadband, training and so on. Moreover, they provide a supported environment to assist a business at any stage of development. The array of supports, and the linkages they can create with the agencies, gives all businesses, particularly those in the startup phase, the best possible chance of surviving and prospering.
The services of the Local Enterprise Office and the Community Enterprise Centres therefore complement each other and the new agreement will help bring the best benefits of both to the client.
The new arrangement aims to:
- Increase awareness of Community Enterprise Centres & LEO Services.
- Increase awareness of resources available to Start Up & Developing Companies from Community Enterprise Centres.
- Create Opportunities for joint programmes.
Speaking about the agreement, Chairman of NACEC, Joe Kelly, said he was delighted that the new arrangement was now in place. “We expect the real winners here to be the clients we serve. Those with ideas for start-up, those with plans to develop an existing business and indeed, those who are going through difficult times and perhaps need a shoulder to lean on to protect the business and jobs, can all make contact with either their local CEC or LEO and they will have access to the best of the services offered by both, delivered in a fashion that suits the client. What’s most important is that we get the maximum output in terms of jobs, whether that’s by way of new businesses or sustaining and developing existing businesses.”
Speaking about the protocol Kieran Comerford, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices said “The LEOs are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for business advice, information and referrals to other appropriate business support bodies and agencies. This protocol represents another good example of a co-ordinated and integrated support system to the business community throughout the country. .”