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Regional Impact

(Waterford, Wexford, Carlow & Kilkenny)

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

The South-East region has successfully partnered with important industry sectors including food, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and digital technologies. The region has produced innovative and ambitious companies including Nearform, which developed the Covid-19 app tracker used in Ireland and several states throughout the US.

Companies such as Immersive Education continue to grow and scale into international markets, RelateCare continues to expand their medical service business while Cartoon Saloon’s international reputation as a leading animation company was confirmed with their fifth Oscar nomination in 2021 and continued commercial success.

The South-East has also seen important company expansions further endorsing the region as a great place to start and grow a business. Microgen (Carlow), Halo Care (Carlow), Loanitt (Kilkenny), Sullivan’s Brewery (Kilkenny), Scurri (Wexford), Apparel Supply (Waterford) and Zevas (Waterford) are some of the companies that announced further expansion and job creation in recent years.

Start, Scale and Grow

Enterprise Ireland works with clients across the full spectrum of size and sector from entrepreneurs to HPSUs to established companies. From an entrepreneurship perspective, the New Frontiers Programme, funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology, has a track record of supporting early stage entrepreneurs and helping them develop into successful start-ups and scaling companies.

An area that has been brought into focus in recent times is the imperative to grow the number of indigenous exporting SMEs. The South-East has a solid bank of successful domestically traded companies across all sectors. Enterprise Ireland has added a dedicated development advisor to the South-East team to work directly with those companies with exporting potential to drive new growth through developing ambitious exporting strategies and bolstering management capability.


The success of Irish-grown companies, from entrepreneurship through to start-up, scale-up and global success requires investment in regional development supports such as accelerators, enterprise centres and industry clusters. Enterprise Ireland funds and supports several important regional development initiatives and investments across the South East that are significant catalysts for company growth.

  • Building on sectors where the region performs well, in September 2021 two new sector-focussed pre-accelerators were announced.
  • SportX, is a new pre-accelerator programme designed by the Arclabs Fund in Waterford to identify ideas and founders that can go on to become high potential start-ups in the South East region of Ireland.
  • Insurtech is a pre-accelerator specifically designed to develop opportunities in the Insurance industries, building on the network developed by IT Carlow Insurtech Centre of Excellence.
  • Tradebridge, the international trade initiative linking Savannah, Georgia with Wexford is another key initiative unique to the South-East.
  • 35 companies from Wexford and the South-East engaged with pilot programmes from sectors including engineering and advanced manufacturing, agritech, education and ICT and with funding support from Enterprise Ireland, the initiative is poised for further development.
  • Under the Regional Technology Cluster Fund, Enterprise Ireland approved funding for the South East Engineering Cluster and is working with other regional stakeholders to develop further clustering projects in Life Sciences, Financial Services and ICT.
  • Enterprise Ireland continues to support, through collaboration and funding, the region’s centres of excellence: Insurtech, 3D WIT, Lean 4.0 Centre, Centre for Design and Kinetic Labs.

Collaboration is key and Enterprise Ireland’s South East 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 region’s four local enterprise offices, the South-East Regional Skills Forum; the South-East BIC which supports Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU prospects from the region and the Design & Crafts Council Ireland which drives Ireland’s creative industries from Kilkenny.