The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) is the strong representative body of 120 community enterprise centres in the Republic of Ireland.  Formed in 2008, its primary role is to support and develop the interests of community enterprise centres on a national basis. Many centres were developed in areas of low employment and population, with the support of Enterprise Ireland, County Enterprise Boards, Local Development Groups and other local community organisations.  In 2016, NACEC members housed over 1,600 businesses employing over 4.600 people.  Many of these are new businesses – over 600 new businesses had set up in enterprise centres from 2013 to 2016 employing 2,000 people (during the three years of the worst economic conditions that the country has ever seen)

Each  centre  operates in an economy which is challenged in terms of Economic Activity and Employment. In addition to providing serviced workspace for clients, CECs perform a valuable business development and support function. This includes providing advice, mentoring and training to start-up and existing businesses. They act as a hub of entrepreneurial activity in their area, constantly encouraging enterprise development and engaging with the wider local economy to create jobs and economic activity with private sector businesses. NACEC also develop partnerships to ensure the provision of various infrastructural developments, training initiatives, mentoring and other activities to assist the Business Development function.

NACEC is managed by a voluntary National Executive Committee that has representatives from around the country. At a minimum, the membership of the National Executive consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and three other members. Other members are nominated by the membership as deemed appropriate. The Executive works as a collective body for decision-making purposes.


About Community Enterprise

Community Enterprise Centres adopt a clear bottom-up approach to the enterprise development needs of their local community in which they operate. They are unique in this way in that they can be highly responsive and flexible to local needs and conditions.
They provide a nurturing and supportive environment for their clients, especially start-ups where an environment that facilitates networking and peer learning is important in early stage business development. Together with incubators in third level institutions, they are best placed to provide this supportive environment. Additionally, through Community Enterprises Centres engage in a much wider role within their operational areas. They are a fulcrum of support for the local economy, a place where relevant information and advice is available to all businesses in terms of supports, signposting to business development agencies and general business advice.