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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has announced that Business Development Managers are to be appointed to 37 Community Enterprise Centres across the country as part of a €2m programme.

The scheme is aimed at protecting and growing businesses in the community.

€1.6m of funding has been allocated to support the management infrastructure within the national community enterprise centre network, managed by Enterprise Ireland.

The employment of a Business Development Manager is expected to increase to 848 employees by 2014 in the businesses they support.

In 2013, a second call for proposals for a further €400,000 will be published, it was also announced.  

The people appointed to these positions will be responsible for managing Community Enterprise Centres, building business links and driving entrepreneurship locally. They will also be required to: facilitate and provide business development programmes and training courses; facilitate companies to graduate from the centre once their employment levels rise; manage cooperation with other business development stakeholders locally such as local entrepreneurs, third level institutions, CEBs, Local Authorities, Chambers of Commerce; collaborate and network with other Community Enterprise Centres in the area.

Minister Bruton said:“A key part of the Government’s plan for sustainable jobs and growth is a drive to support enterprise in the community. In many cases communities by coming together to focus on job creation can have a much greater impact on their local economy than Government ever could, and initiatives such as “Local Heroes” and “Fiver Friday” have shown what can be achieved.”

The 37 Centres were selected from applications received from Community Enterprise Centres following a call for proposals made by Enterprise Ireland in March 2012.