Celebrating 15 years as a National Association in 2023
Built on more than 20 years across the Regions

Community Enterprise Association Ireland CEAI emerged from voluntary, peer-led community enterprise centre regional support networks in the early 1990s, amalgamating as a national association – the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres NACEC – in 2008 and incorporating as NACEC CLG, a company limited by guarantee, in February 2019.

In 2021, the Association undertook a rebranding exercise, and today CEAI provides representation, supports, training and mentoring, learning, independent advice and guidance, thought leadership, and best-in-class insights on an individual basis to boards, management, and key personnel across the community enterprise sector.

CEAI is recognised as a key stakeholder across the National Hub Network, is an active and regular contributor to government policy discussions, and is the respected Voice of Authority for the community enterprise sector and the wider enterprise hub network across Ireland.

Our Commitment

CEAI is committed to developing long-term partnerships based on trust, a willingness to collaborate, and an ambition to succeed.

Through collaboration, advocacy, and strategic partnerships, we  ensure that our Association continues to build on its reputation and
standing as the Voice of Authority for the community enterprise sector in Ireland.

Our Contribution

CEAI  has been a significant stakeholder in and a committed champion of the community enterprise sector for over twenty years now, has operated as a national representative organisation since 2008, and has been a fully incorporated CLG since 2019.

The progression of our Association from seven regional networks in the early noughties to its position today as the Voice of Authority for the sector is testament to the commitment, ambition, and tenacity of a sector that has continued to grow, despite the many
challenges that have arisen over the last two decades.

Our Support

CEAI has a unique role as the Voice of Authority for the community enterprise sector, a conduit between national policy and local practice, and a driver of quality and performance excellence.

The sector is key to the delivery of a wide range of local, regional, and national policies which look to community enterprise centres and enterprise hubs as key contributors to balanced regional development, digitalisation, smart specialisation, and remote working. These policies also give enterprise centres and enterprise hubs key roles in building thriving local, regional, and national economies.

Enterprise centres and enterprise hubs play vital roles in their local communities and in the delivery of strategies designed to drive local, regional, and national economic development.

At a local level, they contribute to economic stability and social cohesion, while, nationally, they offer an enabling environment for the growth and success of both the HPSU and SME sectors.

What Our Community Says


“As a small rural enterprise center, membership of CEAI is crucial to the survival of our business. Having access to a large network of similar enterprises and models of best practice means we can follow and learn from their experiences. It’s also great comfort to have access to many supports if and when we need it.”

Peter Walsh
Centre Manager
Brookpark Business Centre, Dunmanway, Co.Cork 

“CEAI has been a unique support structure and really helped us form appropriate responses to economic and market challenges as well as the day-to-day issues unique to an Enterprise Centre Manager. The active involvement and sharing of knowledge by both large and small entities provide a pool of knowledge to tap into, helps us build resilience to handle a myriad of challenges while providing real life role models to further develop sustainability and future expansion. CEAI has, I believe been the life blood of the community enterprise sector in enabling centres to not just stay on their feet but deliver numerous expansion projects. Their work in raising the profile of the sector over the last few years is phenomenal and has been instrumental I’ve no doubt, in additional supports and funding being made available through the stage agencies.”

Angela Tynan
Centre Manager
Nutgrove Enterprise Park, Dublin 14

“CEAI has quickly become our go to support partner for networking, project collaboration, and promotion of our members and our technology Centre. GTC are delighted to be part of your ambitious plans for the future and we look forward to further collaboration with CEAI as we scale our legacy with our Academy West expansion.”

Noreen Conway
Acting Manager
Galway Technology Centre (GTC)

“We have found the accumulated knowledge and experience of our fellow members of CEAI to be an invaluable network for advice, information and guidance in the complex management of our Enterprise Centre and its clients. As a lobby group, CEAI have successfully represented our interests at Ministerial level and beyond, putting us at the forefront of the ‘new working hub’ arrangement of the modern world. We would like to voice our appreciation of the officers and staff of the CEAI for their selfless dedication over the years.”

Ted Murray
Thompson Enterprise Centre, Clane Co.Kildare

“CEAI’s broad reach across the Irish Enterprise Centres and Hub Community has given Innovate Communities the opportunity to strengthen our business relationships and organisational awareness among this network and to develop valuable and supportive relationships with other members. However, being a member of CEAI offers us more than networking opportunities, it enables us to be part of a national framework and have a voice at national government level to influence relevant policies and funding opportunities. We have developed an exciting strategic plan for the next 5 years and look forward to the continued assistance and support of CEAI as we grow and expand.”

Annabelle Conway
Social Innovation Manager
Innovate Communities, Dublin

“The onset of Covid coincided with a house move for me. Lucky for me, Portlaoise Enterprise Centre was close by which meant that I could work fully remotely from the outset. Adapting to this was seamless with the support of the Enterprise Centre Manger, Patricia Frayne. With Patricia’s support and input from CEAI, I was able to establish a fully hybrid working arrangement which worked for my employer and for me. I reclaimed a balance between work/ life that had been missing for a long time. The benefits I have found range from gaining a sense of responsibility and independence to increased productivity and less stress and knowing that I am actively contributing to reducing the carbon footprint.”

Portlaoise Enterprise Centre, Portlaoise, Co Laois

Our Latest News

CEAI is a non-profit Association and we are grateful to those who continue to fund our work, including: