An ongoing project, funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund, aimed at building a profile of enterprise hubs operating in the Atlantic Economic Corridor which has now identified 101 enterprise hubs.
The Department of Rural and Community Development working together with the AEC Co-ordination Team initially identified 72 enterprise hubs in the AEC. Further work by the AEC Officers and Údaras na Gaeltachta added a further 29 hubs.
This collaborative data-gathering was followed up by a survey of the managers in the hubs identified. The AEC Co-ordination team is now using this survey data to produce a profile of the hubs in the AEC as a regional economic asset for the AEC as a whole.
The next steps will see the development of an overarching strategy to support and co-ordinate the development of these hubs into a collaborative network. This will involve classifying different types of hubs (social enterprise hubs, digital workspaces etc.), working with hub managers to identify solutions to challenges hubs face and developing agreed quality standards for hubs in the network. Hubs will also be supported to implement ‘hub improvement plans’ to meet these standards. The hub network will also offer real opportunities to identify and develop shared branding and marketing, events and networking and supports for both hub clients and staff.