Green shoots on the Waterford start-up landscape

Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office

If you are confident, determined, a risk taker and have a sound business idea, not only do you possess the traits of an entrepreneur, the Local Enterprise Office Waterford wants to talk to you.

Since LEO Waterford opened its doors in Waterford and Dungarvan in 2014, almost 1,000 entrepreneurs have availed of the myriad of support services on offer from LEO Waterford helping them take their businesses to the next level.

As part of a network of 31 LEO’s across the country, Waterford LEO works with people thinking of starting a business by giving them access to the full range of State supports from different Government bodies, such as Waterford City and County Council, Enterprise Ireland, Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office and training bodies.

Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office, said the calibre of start–ups in Waterford is striking.  “Waterford is punching well above its weight when it comes to new businesses.  The portfolio of food, drinks, IT and pharma enterprises is very impressive.  We have been very fortunate in seeing a lot of success from businesses that started small and have now gained huge national, and in some cases, international attention.”

“Many of the entrepreneurs that we meet with have a brilliant business idea in mind, they are hungry, not afraid of failure and passionate about succeeding.  What we do is give them the tools, advice, direction and support to turn that idea into a viable business enterprise.”

“In many cases the assistance comes in the form of mentoring, in some it’s financial assistance and in others it is business training and upskilling.  These resources are easily accessible and invaluable to anyone thinking of starting a business. Waterford is open for business and these services serve to encourage the growth of the small business sector in Waterford.”

Waterford LEO is the 4th highest performing Enterprise Office nationally and last year alone €633,000 was approved for direct grant-aiding to 35 local businesses.

Waterford LEO has met with almost 1,000 clients and provided over €1.5 million in business grants and funding and over €1 million in soft supports such as training and mentoring.

Mr. Walsh added “Anyone thinking of starting a business is bound to be encouraged by the wealth of successful businesses that started in a garage, a shed or a scribble on a notepad.  Many of our food clients have now secured shelf-space in the aisles of the country’s largest retailers, innovative IT entrepreneurs have been approached by international tech giants and local pharma companies have received investment from global industry leaders.”

If you have a business idea and would like to find out more about what support services are available, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or call into the offices at 35 The Mall, Waterford or The Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

A list of LEO support services is also available on