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Regional Impact

(Cork City & County)

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

Cork City and County has developed strongly in many sectoral areas including food, IT, agritech, life sciences and engineering with a good balance of both manufacturing and internationally traded services activity.  The county is home to a number of high-profile, high-achieving indigenous companies including Dairygold, Teamwork, EPS and Global Shares to name a very few.

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 County’s New Frontiers Programme, funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by MTU, has a track record of supporting early stage entrepreneurs and helping them develop into successful start-ups and scaling companies.  The region has produced several start-ups of note in recent years that are making significant progress internationally and growing employment including Altada, Workvivo and Trustap.

Cork has a wide base of successful SME companies across all sectors from food to IT to business process outsourcing.  An area that has been brought into focus in recent times is the imperative to grow the number of Irish exporting SMEs. Cork County has a wealth of successful domestically traded companies and Enterprise Ireland is paying particular focus on encouraging more of those domestically successful SMES to become first-time exporters.  Enterprise Ireland recently added a dedicated development advisor to the South Region team to work directly with those companies 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 Cork City and County that are significant catalysts and economic drivers for the South. These include:

  • The Cork Bio Hub in Cork City
  • Seirbhisí Forbaithe Gnó, Ballyvorney
  • The Ludgate Innovation Hub in Skibbereen,
  • Benchspace and Cork Urban Enterprises in Cork City as well as
  • The Cyber Security SME Cluster and
  • The South West’s technology cluster IT@Cork.

Collaboration is key and Enterprise Ireland’s South 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 South West Regional Skills Forum; three Local Enterprise Offices in Cork City, South Cork and Cork North and West; the New Frontiers Programme team at Rubicon Centre, MTU Cork and Cork BIC which support the development of Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU prospects from the region.

University College Cork and Munster Technological University play a significant role, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, in supporting client companies to innovate.  The region also benefits from major research centres including the Tyndall National Research Institute, MAREI, APC Microbiome institute and Teagasc Moorepark Dairy and Food Research Centre all of which work collaboratively with Enterprise Ireland’s research and commercialisation teams to support innovation and research by our client companies.