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Regional Impact

(Sligo, Leitrim, & Donegal)

Regional Impact at a Glance
Strategic Focus 2022-2024
Aligned with Enterprise Ireland’s Strategy 2022 – 2024 Leading in a Changing World, across the regions Enterprise Ireland will focus on the dual priorities of delivering an effective and supportive enterprise ecosystem and driving entrepreneurship activity with a strong focus on the following areas:
  • Supporting the growth and transformation of Irish enterprise
  • Supporting first-time exporters and boosting capability of SMEs
  • Boosting the region’s enterprise ecosystem
  • Supporting the development of skills and talent
Strengths of the Region

Powering the Regions is Enterprise Ireland’s response to recent Government Regional Initiatives. This includes the Future Jobs Ireland framework, the Regional Assemblies, Regional Enterprise Plans and Project Ireland 2040. It provides an overarching national plan underpinned by nine regional specific plans to grow and sustain jobs and to expand the reach of the Enterprise Ireland client base in every county and region in Ireland.

The plan proposes six new national initiatives which aim to futureproof the regions through enhanced productivity and resilience, drive new entrepreneurship, develop urban centres of growth, support the expansion of scaling companies into the regions and attract foreign direct investment in the food sector.

Start, Scale and Grow

Enterprise Ireland’s works with clients across the full spectrum of size and sector from entrepreneurs to HPSUs to established companies.

From an entrepreneurship perspective, the region’s New Frontiers Programme, funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by IT Sligo and LYIT, has a long track record of supporting early-stage entrepreneurs. A Border Region Manufacturing Cluster initiative will increase the engagement and connectivity of the three border ITs – Sligo, Dundalk and Letterkenny – with manufacturing SMEs and micro/small companies throughout the region. It will help to strengthen productivity, competitiveness and internationalisation.

The region faces the urgent issues of Brexit, internationalisation, automation/industry 4.0 and digitalisation, new technologies and the low carbon economy.


The success of Irish-grown companies, from entrepreneurship to start-up, scale-up and global success, requires investment in regional development supports such as enterprise centres and industry clusters. Enterprise Ireland funds and supports several important regional development initiatives and investments across the North West as significant catalysts and economic drivers.

  • Support the Strandhill Digital Gaming Campus and Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub to drive the region’s Digital / Creative Cluster and enhance start-up support.
  • Develop the “Blue” Coastal Economies in Killybegs and Strandhill to diversify, compete internationally and drive new products, innovations, and enterprise.
  • Increase digitalization of the region’s SMEs through the European Research DEVISE project.
  • Maximise the impact of the Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone project to create 137 new jobs through export-focused agri-food start-ups. Build on the success of the Drumshanbo Food Hub.
  • Sustain jobs and build resilience for client companies using key supports in response to Brexit.
  • Work with BEDF project, Future Cast – this project is an Innovation and R&D Centre for the Quarry and Construction industry under Industry 4.0 focussing on robotics and cobotics, artificial intelligence and smart data, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D industry printing, software development to develop new prototypes or products and upskill staff, within both industries.
  • Foster deeper engagement between Letterkenny IT, Sligo IT, SMEs and innovative start-ups.
  • Leverage relationships with Letterkenny IT, IT Sligo and the North-West LEOs to continue to build a pipeline of innovative start-ups in the region.
  • Promote entrepreneurship in West Donegal in partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta and with the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative to attract and retain entrepreneurs.
  • Continue to support 500 coworking and incubator spaces in the North-West under the #Worksmartchallenge #SmartAtlanticWay coworking initiative.
  • Ministers of State with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy TD and Damien English TD, announced the 24 successful projects, which will receive over €9.3m in funding, under the Government’s Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS), delivered through Enterprise Ireland.
  • Leitrim based project Manorhamilton Innovation & Development Co. were successful with their application under the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme and received funding of €813,000.
  • The Enterprise Centre Scheme supported nine centres across the North West for the amount of €799,131. The purpose of this fund is to provide financial support to eligible enterprise centres that have been impacted by Covid-19.

Collaboration is key and Enterprise Ireland’s North West team works closely with important regional stakeholders to deliver enterprise development supports that drive the growth of start-ups and established client companies. These include the North West Regional Skills Forum; Local Enterprise Offices in Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim; IDA, Ireland, Skillsnet, Sligo Chamber of Commerce, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal County Councils; the New Frontiers Programme team at IT Sligo and LYIT. We collaborate with education and training providers in the region: IT Sligo, LYIT, Donegal ETB and Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB.