As part of April’s ‘Why Choose Dun Laoghaire’ SHOWCASE we are delighted to feature Mariea Mullally, a senior Senior Enterprise Development Officer at LEO Dún Laoghaire and get a glimpse into the work of a local enterprise office in our town.
The Local Enterprise Office in Dún Laoghaire supports small businesses, startups, and businesses with up to 10 staff (although the office now supports some businesses with over 10 staff as well). DLR LEO provide training, business advice, mentoring, management development programs, and financial supports. The LEO also signposts startup businesses to other government supports. They are funded by Enterprise Ireland and are the local arm of the enterprise.
In our conversation with Mariea highlighted the unique programs and initiatives run by the DLR LEO office. Mariea works with various local stakeholders including small local businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and businesses that are expanding, pretty much all types of businesses. Her team also works with second level students through their LEO student enterprise program. They work closely with the nearby IADT, who runs the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programs and entrepreneurship boot camps. Dún Laoghaire LEO collaborates with other institutions in the town, such as the Chamber of Commerce, local business associations, and the County Council.
When we asked about the specific programs that are unique to Dún Laoghaire here’s what Mariea shared with us. They have a program called the Catapult Program, which is a local programme the LEO created for very early stage entrepreneurs. They also have a financial literacy program that they run with extended mentorship to help companies become more financially literate. DLR LEO also has a free financial literacy app that anybody can log into. Additionally, they have a leadership program through Lift Ireland, which is solely to do with leadership and leadership competencies, its goal is to trying to improve leadership competencies at all levels in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown.
What drives Mariea in her work is the support she is able to provide to people and see them develop from coming in with just an idea to eventually getting matched funding from Enterprise Ireland. It’s a great satisfaction to her and she is proud of the programs the LEO provide because they are helping small businesses in practical ways.
Mariea’s connection to Dún Laoghaire started when together with her husband she set up a guest house business in our town. She thought it was a great place to start the business. She’s lived in the town for over 25 years. Mariea believes Dún Laoghaire has wonderful environment with green spaces, the sea, great shops, community, and services. The one thing she loves most about Dún Laoghaire is the sea.
The attraction of Dún Laoghaire to innovation-driven enterprises
Speaking about attraction of Dún Laoghaire to innovation-driven enterprises in the coming year, Mariea emphasised that Dún Laoghaire has great facilities. There are excellent opportunities for companies that want to downsize to a hybrid working model. The Ferry terminal is expected to be coming on stream soon, which will provide excellent incubation and office space. Accessibility to all kinds of services, amazing transport, and great lunchtime walking areas are some of the reasons why Dún Laoghaire is a great place to work.
Find out more about the Dún Laoghaire LEO office here.