The development of micro enterprise in Duhallow has been a long standing priority for IRD Duhallow and we offer many supports to Small Businesses from mentoring, to training, capital grants to R&D studies.
Through the LEADER programme operating from 2014-2020 we have developed and further supported business networks and supports for rural businesses based in Duhallow. IRD Duhallow has a track record of creating jobs that last. The recent Technical Study into the Economic Development of Duhallow and Kerry proved that 85% of jobs created through the support of LEADER 1 are still in existence over 25 years later, and that these companies are going from strength to strength.
As a region, Duhallow has a rural economy that is heavily reliant on agriculture and associated industries, accounting for 15% of all employment. We have also seen a decrease in the manufacturing workforce and in the construction sector, on which, we were particularly dependent in the past. Now, our economic profile comprises primarily of micro enterprises with less than ten employees. IRD Duhallow has put in place many targeted initiatives to support the development of Businesses throughout the region and provide targeted soft and capital supports to further our region’s economic advancement. Maximising our integrated approach, we work collaboratively with other agencies to ensure the best possible supports can be offered to support rural enterprises. The findings of our Technical study prove that Duhallow is recovering economically and that as a region, we merit greater agency and private investment, as jobs created here prove to be sustainable and viable, however, investment into enterprise alone will not suffice, there needs to be continuing input into the development of knowledge capital and rural infrastructure to compliment this.