Kilkenny TD and Trade Minister John McGuinness has identified city and county enterprise boards (CEBs) as essential components in supporting the country through tough economic times.
Having recently assumed Ministerial responsibility for the country’s 35 enterprise boards, Minister McGuinness is looking forward to working closely with the boards in tackling Ireland’s economic challenges.
The CEBs, he added, have had an excellent track record in tapping into “local entrepreneurial potential” and had increasingly focused on assisting enterprises with “genuine potential for sustainable growth and employment”.
Stated Minister McGuinness: “We need to keep the long-term economic picture in our sights and lay the proper foundations for better times ahead. The indigenous small business sector is, more than ever, the key to a solid economic future and we must do our best to continue to encourage entrepreneurship and maintain the momentum built up in recent times.”
Since their creation in 1993, CEB-assisted companies have created over 30,000 jobs, 2,000 of those last year alone. And, if preliminary indicators from CEBs are anything to go by, 2008 looks like being another good year for the enterprise boards. –
But job figures, in the Minister’s view, tell only one side of the tale.
“Much of the worth and value of the boards is the work that they do within their own county in encouraging, advising and mentoring expanding and new entrepreneurs and in sending out the message that setting up your own business is indeed a feasible option,” he said.
“The current climate surrounding public finances could not be ignored in relation to the level of funding available to the Enterprise Boards,” said the Minister, himself a former member of Kilkenny County Enterprise Board.
“However, I remain confident that the boards would be able to use available funding in a judicious and effective manner so as to ensure that business growth and development will not suffer.”