Almost 60% of participants who received training from Local Enterprise Office Louth in last year were female, according to new year-end figures revealed by the body at the County Louth Enterprise Finals on Friday.
Thomas McEvoy, Louth County Council’s Head of Enterprise, revealed that 199 new jobs were created last year by Local Enterprise Office supported companies in the county, which represents a significantly increased figure over a five year period.
“These are real jobs that already exist, not projected figures, and are a really good indicator of growth in the county,” McEvoy said. He added that LEO Louth has 240 grant aided clients with over 970 employees between them in total.
In 2019, over 150 participants completed nine Start Your Own Business courses across the county while 1,195
people took part in LEO Louth training events. Over 390 mentoring sessions were provided to business owners too.
“Our team work hard to ensure that our training and management development programmes constantly adapt to the changing needs of business. Business advice clinics give them the chance to talk about opportunities or challenges with an expert, who helps them develop robust plans.”
One of the more interesting figures to emerge from 2019 is that 60% of participants in LEO Louth training in 2019 were female, with many new female entrepreneurs starting their own business – a major buck in the trends of previous years.
Meanwhile, four LEO Louth supported companies progressed to become Enterprise Ireland clients last year, meaning these companies have potential for scalability and for strong national and international growth.
Student Enterprise, too, is going from strength-to-strength. In 2019, over 1,100 pupils from every secondary school across the county took part in the 2019 Student Enterprise Programme – while two young entrepreneurs from Louth made it to the final 24 of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition.
Dundalk’s Conor Kerley of Setanta Nutrition Science was a finalist in the Best Idea category with Drogheda’s
Orla Stafford of Izmoo ice-cream on Laurence’s Street was one of the top 8 in the Best Start-Up Business category. Orla started her company while in Transition Year at school. She was one of the guests present at this year’s Student Enterprise Awards held last Tuesday.
“Strong 2019 results are no excuse to rest on our laurels this year. Supporting entrepreneurs as they establish, develop and grow their business is crucial to the health of our local economy and creation of high quality jobs,” McEvoy said.
“The greatest challenge facing many local businesses in the year ahead is BREXIT. Next month we will launch a range of new supports to help business prepare for the true impact of BREXIT. These will include specialist supports around exporting, retail, innovation, green enterprise and financial management.”