Economists and the local business community to attract EU funding to the South East
Last Thursday two of Ireland’s eminent economists Patrick O’Riordian, European Commission Representation in Ireland and Loretta O’Sullivian, Chief Economist with the Bank of Ireland met local SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Europe Direct Centre at Central Library to discuss the EU Investment Fund which is available to local businesses. Proceedings were introduced and chaired by Nick Donnelly, CEO Waterford Chamber.
The speakers outlined how the Investment Plan for Europe aims to generate at least €315 billion of funding for projects in key strategic areas to get more people back to work.
Under the plan, major investors have better access to viable projects throughout Europe and it’s now easier for SMEs, local authorities, universities and individuals to source finance for innovative ventures.
The plan is already showing results, with around €50 billion of investment triggered during 2015, and dozens of Irish SMEs, start-up businesses and local authorities are set to benefit from the initiative.
The EU recognises that there are plenty of great ideas that can create employment and generate growth in the European Union, but sourcing finance to get them off the ground can be a problem. The Investment Plan creates new opportunities to bring together institutional investors, from both the EU and around the world, and project promoters with innovative ideas that need financial backing. Micro-loans and loans are available for entrepreneurs in Ireland looking for finance. EIF intermediaries in Ireland are Bank of Ireland, llied Irish Banks (AIB) and Microfinance Ireland.
Ireland is already benefitting from the Investment Plan for Europe as a major project to build 14 primary health care centres around the country (including one in Waterford City) was one of the first to receive pre-financing. The EIB and the EIF agreed to fund up to €70 million of construction costs for the centres, which will create thousands of construction jobs as well as numerous training and apprenticeship opportunities.
The Waterford Europe Direct Centre based at Central Library, Lady Lane is a service which helps the public find answers to questions about the European Union. It offers information on all sorts of subjects related to the EU including your rights and opportunities as an EU citizen. It can provide direct responses to general inquiries and, if you have more detailed questions, signpost you to the best sources of information and advice at EU, national, regional and local levels. You can contact the centre by email