Chairperson of NACECs National Steering Group for Quality Standards, Minister Damien English TD shares his thoughts on Remote Working with Irish Tech News

Minister Damien English TD, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment recently took some time to speak to Simon Cocking and the team at Irish Tech News.

Minister English shared his views on what to expect as the country’s workforce returns to the re-imagined workplace, the hybrid model for working and how practice moved faster than policy, driven by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Listen to Minister English’s Podcast here



#BuildBackBetter … Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan





June 1st, 2021

Today sees the launch of the much anticipated National Recovery and Resilience Plan for Ireland.

Building on the extensive supports the Government put in place since the start of the pandemic, this Plan sets out a new phase of supports, investment and policies for a new stage of economic recovery and renewal.

Government’s overarching ambition is to have 2.5 million people in work by 2024, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Many of these jobs will be more productive, innovative, resilient and in new areas of opportunity, aligned with the Government’s green and digital ambitions.

The overall objective of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan is to contribute to a sustainable, equitable, green and digital recovery effort, in a manner that complements and supports the Government’s broader recovery efforts.

Ireland’s Plan will do this through a set of 16 investments and 9 reform commitments, to a total value of just under €1 billion, to be supported both by grants from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and national funds.

Government actions committed to economic recovery are set out here

Ireland’s first digital network of national remote working hubs launched today.

May 31st, 2021

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today launched the Connected Hubs Network, Ireland’s first digital network of national remote working hubs.

Announcing the launch of the network in Swinford, Co Mayo, Minister Humphreys said: “Remote Working is a key commitment of ‘Our Rural Future’, the most ambitious policy for Rural Ireland in decades.

“Hub working can support the development of employment opportunities and career paths in rural areas. This will give young people the choice to stay closer to home while pursuing their careers and also to encourage people living in cities to consider moving to a more rural location. The Connected Hubs Network provides the perfect opportunity for workers and employers to embrace a ‘blended working’ model, and to find the balance of hub, home and office working that works best for them.” is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and managed by the Western Development Commission. It is a new and exciting Government initiative developed as part of the Our Rural Future – Rural Development Policy. This shared remote working platform can support the rebalancing of economic activity throughout and help to promote regional development in Ireland.

NACEC hosts its first National Steering Committee meeting for the development of a Quality Standards Framework for Ireland’s Enterprise Hub Sector.

April 1st, 2021

Chaired by Minister Damien English TD, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, the inaugural meeting of the National Steering Committee for the development of a Quality Standards System and Framework for Ireland’s enterprise hub sector took place this week.

The National Steering Committee, which will be managed and coordinated by NACEC, has been assembled to oversee the project and support collaboration and alignment between the key stakeholders. Committee members include senior officials from Enterprise Ireland; IDA Ireland; the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI); the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, the Western Development Commission; the Regional Enterprise Plans Programme and the County & City Managers Association (CCMA). Independent consultants Dolmen Design & Innovation have been appointed to design and deliver the project which will help to provide a connected and professional structure to a national hubs infrastructure that already plays a pivotal role in supporting startups, SMEs, multinationals and remote workers from across the public and private sectors.

Speaking to committee members, Minister Damien English TD said ‘this project is timely and fits in with Government’s ambitions under our renewed Regional Enterprise Plans and the ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy which was announced earlier this week. It sets out a pathway to develop a national network of enterprise centres and coworking hubs that will support the realisation of a sustainable regional development model for Ireland. NACEC’s plans are important in improving work-life-balance, will support environmental sustainability and facilitates balanced economic development – all of which are important strategic and policy objectives for this government as we work towards a post pandemic jobs-led recovery’.

The Quality Standards for Hubs project is a key deliverable of the NACEC Strategic Plan 2019-21 which was launched by Minister Heather Humphreys in October 2019. The project is also one of the key actions to be delivered as part of the NACEC Regional Transformation Programme which is being supported under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. Once completed it will be the first of its kind in the world and this presents a great opportunity for Ireland post Covid.

Mark Christal, Manager of Regions and Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland said ‘we want to continue developing and improving the capability and effectiveness of the national hubs infrastructure with the end user in mind and that means adapting to the changing needs of our clients and customers and being more creative, collaborative and ambitious. The development of this new Quality Standards System for Ireland’s Enterprise Hub sector presents an real opportunity for Ireland to position itself as a world class destination for remote working, startup ecosystem, SME and community enterprise development, clustering and innovation and we are delighted to be funding and supporting this fantastic initiative’.

To conclude, Gary O’Meara, Chairperson of NACEC and CEO of Meath Enterprise said ‘I think a hybrid or blended approach to flexible working is the future where people from across the public and private sectors will be able to work from home and hub and possibly the office when really necessary. The challenge for hubs is to be ready to facilitate this new hybrid working model by providing clean, safe and professionally managed services and facilities that can meet the requirements of a varied client base which might include Startups, SMEs, staff and executives from large Corporates or MNCs as well as public sector employees, social enterprises and education / training providers. Hubs, if managed correctly, have the potential to really drive economic activity and social prosperity throughout our regions and across rural Ireland and I believe that this new quality standards for hubs project, with the support of this National Steering Committee, can help make these new future of work opportunities a reality’.

– ENDS –


The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) is the leading community network of enterprise, digital, sectoral and co-working locations across Ireland.  With over 120 members, NACEC was formed in 2008, building on the foundation of earlier regional community enterprise centre networks.

NACEC’s Strategic Plan for the community enterprise sector in Ireland was launched by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in late 2019.  At the core of the strategy are five strategic goals and a number of accompanying actions, including the rollout of a quality standards framework for enterprise centres and remote working hubs.

Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund 2017 – 2020 forms part of an overarching strategy by the national government to support regional enterprise development. This Regional Competitive Fund aims to support significant regional initiatives which build upon sectoral strengths and/or to better leverage identified resources to improve enterprise capability.

The Regional Co-Working Analysis – which was prepared by the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland in 2020 – found that 387,000 private sector workers are capable of operating remotely in Ireland.

National Steering Committee Members

  • Minister Damien English TD (Committee Chairperson), Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment
  • Gary O’Meara, Executive Director (Chairperson) at NACEC / CEO at Meath Enterprise (Project Manager)
  • Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager at NACEC (Project Coordinator)
  • Sean McNulty, Director (Chairperson) at Dolmen (Lead Project Consultant)
  • Mark Christal, Manager of Regions & Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland
  • Colm O’Neill, Assistant Principal at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment – Regional Enterprise Plans & Initiatives
  • Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO at the Western Development Commission (WDC)
  • Des Foley, Director of Services at Meath County Council and member of the County & City Managers Association (CCMA) – Business, Enterprise, Innovation, Urban/Town Economic Renewal (BEIUER)
  • Geraldine Larkin, CEO at the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
  • Conor Simpson, Regional Manager at IDA Ireland
  • Sarah Morgan, Programme Manager for the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan / Planning Policy & Research, Officer at Laois, Longford, Offaly & Westmeath Local Authorities



Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager @ NACEC

Tel: 353 86 287 2286 | Email: [email protected]

Gary O Meara, Chairperson @ NACEC | CEO Meath Enterprise

Tel: 353 87 222 2306 | [email protected]

NACEC’s response to our Government’s Plan Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy 2021-2025

March 30th, 2021

As the national association representing the community network of enterprise, digital, sectoral and co-working locations across Ireland, we at NACEC strongly welcomed yesterday’s launch by Government of Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy 2021-2025.

For more than a year now, the immense challenges brought about by COVID-19 have challenged our lives and our country in ways we would not have thought possible, not least forcing a move to remote working for the vast majority of our workforce.  In doing we have been forced to change the way we work, accelerating the adaption of a hybrid model of working and offering us a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine the future of our towns and villages across Ireland.

Our Rural Future outlines an extensive range of incentives, actions and commitments to Rural Ireland, including the development of 400 co-working spaces, relocation grants, tax incentives, funding for local authorities and community groups, move to 20% remote working in the public sector in 2021, with further annual increase over the next 5 years.

The strategy sets out a commitment for major investment in remote working over the next five years, allowing people to live and work in rural communities regardless of where their employer or head office is located.

Such commitment by government represents significant opportunity for our member centres and hubs across the country.  With an infrastructure that is imbedded in multiple communities across the country, NACEC will work side-by-side with our members to ensure every centre and hub will maximise opportunities for the communities in which they are located.

At NACEC, we are committed to working with community stakeholders including Enterprise Ireland, IDA, WDC, Grow Remote and many more.  We have confidence in the future of rural Ireland and we look forward to supporting our government in the delivery of a stronger future for our rural communities across the country.


Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager @ NACEC

Tel: 353 86 287 2286 | Email: [email protected]


Gary O Meara, Chairperson @ NACEC | CEO Meath Enterprise

Tel: 353 87 222 2306 | [email protected]

NACEC welcomes the opportunity to support the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project ‘Spanning Boundaries’.

NACEC – Ireland’s Enterprise Hub Network – supports the commitment of many organisations across the enterprise community who actively contribute to the sustainable and balanced economic and societal development of our regions and cities.

In this context, NACEC welcomes the launch of the ‘Spanning Boundaries Development Programme’ under the umbrella of the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance ‘Spanning Boundaries’ Project. One of their key deliverables is Europe’s first dedicated training programme for individuals working to break down the barriers between academia and industry.

The project team will work with HEIs and the business community to bridge the gap between policy and practice through the design and delivery of this experiential learning programme.  Successful outputs will enable university and business professionals to make a stronger contribution to regional economic and social development by facilitating knowledge exchange; support and a closer engagement with each other and their respective communities. Commencing in March 2021, the free programme will be delivered across a European-wide network from 8 European countries.

This Spanning Boundaries Development Programme is funded under the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance and includes 10 partners across the EU.  In Ireland, the project is led by Meath County Council and Leitrim-based Momentum Educate + Innovate and is being proudly supported by NACEC – Ireland’s Enterprise Hub Network.

To reserve a place on the programme, visit SB Training – Spanning Boundaries (

NACEC appoints Siobhán Finn as National Hub Network Manager


Siobhan Finn of Cork Innovates.

NACEC has appointed Siobhán Finn as National Hub Network Manager.  Working alongside the NACEC Board, and other relevant stakeholders, Siobhán will be responsible for the delivery of NACEC’s Regional Transformation Programme which is a key deliverable of NACECs Strategic Plan for the period 2019 – 2021.

With the backing of Enterprise Ireland’s 2019 Regional Enterprise Development Fund, NACEC’s Regional Transformation Programme is a step change programme of tailored actions for the community enterprise sector to realise transformation, growth and future proofing of the enterprise centre business model in Ireland, enabling centres to continue to accelerate economic recovery in all regions of the country by delivering on the potential of local and regional enterprise strengths.

This Regional Transformation Programme has been specifically designed with capacity building and innovation in mind. The entire programme of initiatives and activities is geared towards enabling enterprise centres to maximise their resources, streamline their activities and so provide ultra-professional services to their clients to enable community and economic development.  This has never been more critical than in this economic climate where startups and SMEs are challenged to survive and rebuild in the face of the current pandemic.

Commenting on the appointment Gary O Meara, Chairperson of the NACEC Board said ‘This is the start of a very exciting chapter – albeit in very challenging times – for NACEC, and Ireland’s Enterprise Hub sector in general, and I really look forward to working with and supporting Siobhán and the rest of the team in the weeks and months ahead’.

Commenting on her appointment, Siobhán Finn said ‘NACEC has a key role to play in the recovery of our economy post Covid-19, most particularly across our rural regions. I very much look forward to making a significant contribution to the vision of NACEC and to supporting its member network during these challenging times.  I am confident that NACEC will emerge as an even stronger network on the back of the Enterprise Ireland funded Regional Transformation Programme’.

A native of Cork county, Siobhán is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with an MSc in Management Practice as well as being a graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and having a Diploma in Business Innovation Development from TU Dublin. Siobhán has worked across the public and private sector for over 30 years with particular focus on leading, facilitating and managing multiple-stakeholder consortia. Siobhán also has extensive experience in managing EU projects and acts as external advisor on a number of additional projects.


Country’s enterprise centres awarded €8.24m in funding – NACEC

NACEC Members meeting in Galway Technology Centre – February 2020

Country’s enterprise centres awarded €8.24m in funding

Grants will range in size from €10,000 to €150,000

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD, has announced a total of €8.24 million in grants to 95 enterprise centres throughout the country under Enterprise Ireland’s Enterprise Centres Fund.

The funding is considered crucial for the future of the enterprise centre sector in Ireland as hubs around the country implement a recovery plan for businesses within their remit over the next six to 12 months.

Mr Varadkar said the funding made available through his Department would help enterprise centres all over the country modernise their facilities, protecting the health and safety of people working there and helping to secure jobs.

The 95 centres will receive grants ranging in size from €10,000 to €150,000.

A major analysis of the sector earlier this year shone a light on the devastating effects Covid-19 has wrought on enterprise centres in every county, with almost 88% of centres reporting a drop in income of between 21% and 80% as many of their entrepreneur tenants struggled to keep their own businesses afloat.

Among its stark findings were that while the vast majority of hubs had seen tenants closing their doors temporarily (83.5%), one-third (33%) of centres said some tenants have shuttered their businesses permanently.

The chairperson of the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC), Gary O’Meara, welcomed today’s funding announcement, saying it was the culmination of months of research and collaboration between NACEC, Enterprise Ireland, the Dept of Enterprise and other key stakeholders from across the public and private sector, and which resulted in the publication of the Enterprise Centres/Hubs Covid-19 National Impact + Recovery Plan by NACEC last August.

He added: “Hubs, if managed correctly, have the potential to really drive economic activity and social prosperity throughout our regions and across rural Ireland, and I believe NACEC is now very well placed to help make these new future of work opportunities a reality.”

Mr O’Meara added that as traditional workplace dynamics have been overturned by Covid-19 and new social distancing requirements, enterprise hubs and co-working spaces are in an ideal position to provide a new ‘Hub-Home-HQ’ model as companies and their employees embrace new ways of working.

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, said: “Over the past 20 years, enterprise centres have provided important infrastructure for entrepreneurs and are an essential part of the start-up ecosystem across Ireland.

“The centres, many of which are regionally based, provide space, connectivity, mentoring and support to start-up founders and teams, helping them to scale nationally.”

She added that the funding just announced would ensure that enterprise centres, many of which have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, can sustain their businesses, pivot and further develop their services to support the next wave of start-up companies.

According to the NACEC Strategic Plan 2019-2021 launched last year, its enterprise hub members supported over 5,500 jobs in over 1,800 businesses, with a salary contribution to the economy of €247.5 million per annum.

For-profit approvals:

Number Applicant Name (Correct legal entity name) County Nuts III Region Grant Amount (€)
 1 Landingzone Ltd T/A Dogpatch Labs Dublin City Dublin 150,000
 2 Republic of Work (Cork) Limited Cork South 149,000
 3 CIT Innovation Centre DAC. T/A The Rubicon Cork South 43,045
 4 Haslette Holdings Ltd. T/A ManorHUB Leitrim Northwest 16,304
 5 Thurles Community Enterprise Centre Limited (TCEC) Tipperary Mid-West 97,766
 6 Blackgate Innovation Ltd T/A Vision 85 Portlaoise Midlands 46,800
 7 Vaaw Ltd/Culture Co-Working Cork South 41,200
 8 Charlesford Ltd T/A The Spool Factory** Roscommon West 67,500
 9 Mobile Clipboard Ltd Galway West 10,905
10 The Box CoWork Ltd Kerry Mid-West 46,600
11 HQ Coworking Space Ltd. Kerry Mid-West 91,920
12 Ardee Community Development Company Ltd. Louth Northeast 105,420
13 Ionad Fiontar Pobal Iar Dheisceart Dhun Na Ngall Teoranta Donegal Northwest 10,648


Not-for-profit approvals:

 Number Applicant Name (Correct legal entity name) County EI Region Grant Amount
1 Action Community & Enterprise CLG t/a ACE Enterprise Park Dublin South Dublin      150,000
2 Action Tuam Company Limited by Guarantee Galway West      150,000
3 Allenwood Community Development Association CLG Kildare Mid-East        75,359
4 Arclabs Research & Innovation Centre Waterford Institute of Technology Waterford Southeast      119,830
5 Arklow Business Enterprise Centre Ltd. Wicklow Mid-East        99,820
6 Athlone Community Development Association CLG Westmeath Midlands        82,600
7 Ballinasloe Area Community Development CLG Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre Galway West        50,176
8 Ballyhoura Food Centre (Hospital) DAC Limerick Mid-West        28,480
9 Ballyhoura Food Centre (Mitchelstown) DAC Cork South        28,400
10 BASE Enterprise CLG Dublin Fingal Dublin        81,920
11 Bia Innovator Campus CLG Galway West        54,000
12 Broadford Community Enterprise Centre CLG Limerick Mid-West        40,000
13 Brookpark Enterprise Centre CLG Cork South        38,560
14 Carlow Community Enterprise Centres CLG Carlow Southeast        96,478
15 Castleblayney Community Enterprise CLG Monaghan North-East/ North-West        45,760
16 Cavan County Enterprise Fund ** Cavan Northeast        83,200
17 Cavan Digital Hub DAC Cavan Northeast        56,128
18 Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre Ltd Cavan Northeast        99,040
19 Churchfield Community Trust Cork South        37,502
20 COLAB Letterkenny Institute of Technology Donegal Northwest      150,000
21 Cork Urban Enterprises CLG T/A Northside for Business Campus Cork South      103,400
22 County Kildare Chamber of Commerce CLG Kildare Mid-East        17,416
23 Creative Spark CLG Louth Northeast      108,000
24 Croom Community Enterprise Centre DAC Limerick Mid-West        44,171
25 Digital Hq CLG t/a Dún Laoghaire Enterprise Centre Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Dublin        28,483
26 Donegal County Enterprise Fund ** Donegal Northwest        90,648
27 Drogheda Enterprise Centre CLG Louth Northeast      140,600
28 Drumshanbo Enterprise Centre Company CLG Leitrim Northwest        81,384
29 Drumshanbo Community Council CLG Leitrim Northwest        96,240
30 Dublin Business Innovation Centre t/a [email protected] BIC Dublin City Dublin        34,353
31 Dublin Enterprise & Technology Centre T/A Guinness Enterprise Centre Dublin City Dublin      147,000
32 Dundalk Institute of Technology t/a Regional Development Centre Louth Northeast      146,170
33 Dungarvan Enterprise Centre CLG Waterford Southeast        64,369
34 Enterprise & Research Incubation Centre (ERIC) Carlow Southeast        32,000
35 Enterprise Castlerea Company Limited by Guarantee – T/A The Hub / An Chistin Food Hub Roscommon West        52,500
36 Ferbane Business & Technology Park CLG Offaly Midlands        40,000
37 Fumbally Exchange CLG Dublin City Dublin      148,600
38 Galway City Innovation District CLG Galway West      149,978
39 Galway Mayo Institute of Technology – GMIT Innovation Hubs- Galway (iHub Galway) Galway West      101,442
40 Galway Technology Centre DAC Galway West      149,400
41 Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Innovation Hub Mayo Mayo West        75,828
42 Innovate Dublin Communities CLG Dublin Fingal Dublin      145,024
43 Institute of Technology Sligo T/A Innovation Centre at IT Sligo Sligo North-East/ North-West      146,220
44 IRD North Mayo – West Sligo (t/a Moy Valley Resources) Mayo West        10,200
45 Kells Community Enterprise Company CLG Meath Mid-East      148,720
46 Kerry Innovation Centre CLG t/a Tom Crean Business Centre Kerry Mid-West        95,067
47 Kilkenny Community Enterprise Centre CLG t/a The Abbey Business Centre Kilkenny Southeast        86,880
48 Killarney Technology Innovation Limited Kerry Mid-West        75,600
49 Leitrim County Enterprise Fund T/A The Hive ** Leitrim North-East/ North-West      139,637
50 Limerick Institute of Technology Questum Acceleration Centre Tipperary Mid-West      112,322
51 LIT Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre (HEAC) limerick Mid-West        87,525
52 Ludgate Operations CLG Cork South      117,152
53 Meath Enterprise Centre Company CLG Meath Mid-East      145,664
54 Midlands Innovation and Research Centre Westmeath Midlands        56,327
55 Mitchelstown Community Forum CLG Tipperary Mid-West        84,400
56 Mol Teic Kerry Mid-West        65,680
57 Monaghan County Enterprise Fund ** Monaghan Northeast        81,600
58 National University of Ireland Galway Business Innovation Centre (BIC) – Innovation Office Galway West        98,000
59 Nexus Innovation Centre UL Limerick Mid-West      145,394
60 Nutgrove Community Enterprise Centre CLG Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Dublin        39,896
61 Offaly Innovation and Design Centre CLG Offaly Midlands        69,760
62 Partas CLG Dublin South Dublin        64,000
63 Portarlington Enterprise Centre CLG Laois Midlands        67,840
64 Portlaoise Enterprise Centre Laois Midlands        88,000
65 RDI Hub Company Limited by Guarantee Kerry Mid-West      104,794
66 S.C.C.U.L Enterprises CLG Galway West      150,000
67 Sneem Innovation & Technology Services CLG Kerry Mid-West        77,808
68 Social and Local Enterprise Alliance DAC Dublin South Dublin      136,000
69 St Paul’s Area Development Enterprise Ltd t/a SPADE Enterprise Centre Dublin City Dublin      119,200
70 Sustainable Ireland Cooperative Society Ltd & North Tipperary Green Enterprise Park CLG Tipperary Mid-West        71,760
71 Tangent Dublin City Dublin      100,200
72 The Community Enterprise Society CLG t/a Terenure Enterprise Centre Dublin South Dublin        54,660
73 The Media Cube Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Dublin      120,000
74 The Model County Enterprise Group CLG – Centre Enniscorthy Wexford Southeast        98,400
75 The Model County Enterprise Group CLG – Centre The Hatch Wexford Southeast        52,800
76 TU Dublin Tallaght Campus t/a Synergy Centre Dublin South Dublin        89,390
77 Tubbercurry Development CLG T/A An Chroí South Sligo Enterprise Centre Sligo North        67,600
78 UCD Nova Designated Activity Company Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Dublin      132,043
79 University College Cork Cork South      105,480
80 Waterford City Community Enterprise Centre CLG: Trading as: Waterford City Enterprise Centre Waterford Southeast        80,503
81 Westport Multi Agency Enterprise CLG TA Leeson Enterprise Centre Mayo West        74,600
82 Wexford Community Development Association Society Limited Trading as Wexford Enterprise Centre Wexford Southeast     144,395


NACEC is recruiting a National Hub Network Manager


NACEC is recruiting a

National Hub Network Manager

The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) is the national representative organisation for community enterprise centres and coworking hubs in Ireland. Across over 120  communities, NACEC  supports, promotes and develops the regional enterprise environment as they:

  • lead and enable enterprise revitalisation through creative and innovative economic development solutions,
  • provide a powerhouse of entrepreneurial activity and job creation in their area,
  • deliver positive long-term sustainable impacts on regional economic and social prosperity.

The new National Hub Network Manager will work alongside all local and regional enterprise hub managers, community, social and enterprise development leaders, local & national government, state agencies and academia to deliver balanced, sustainable and transformational change, growth and future proofing of the enterprise centre and coworking hub business model in Ireland to enable the sector to continue to accelerate economic recovery in all regions of the country by delivering on the potential of local and regional enterprise strengths.

About the Role

The National Hub Network Manager will lead the delivery of NACEC’s Strategic Plan for the enterprise hub sector in Ireland, which was launched with the support of Minister Heather Humphreys in October 2019, and will work closely with the NACEC Board of Directors and local & national stakeholders / partners to support communities and regions with the impact and recovery challenges and opportunities presented by Covid-19.


As remote / flexible working and blended learning become ever more constant in our daily lives and routines it is important that the national hub infrastructure is ready to facilitate these new hybrid models by providing clean, safe and professionally managed services and facilities that can meet the requirements of a varied client base which might include Startups, SMEs, staff and executives from large Corporates or MNCs as well as public sector employees, social enterprises and education / training providers. Hubs need to be connected, flexible, highly adaptable and an important driver and facilitator of community and regional economic, enterprise and ecosystem development where structured learning, collaboration, innovation, diversity, inclusion and sustainability are core values that all stakeholders can embrace.

Key Responsibilities (but not limited to):

  • Managing, overseeing and directing all aspects of NACEC operations including strategy implementation, finance, memberships, training, marketing, events (and all related activities), and facilitate the operation of key NACEC Strategic Advisory Boards/Committees as required,
  • Developing strong, productive and collaborative working relationships with members, their clients, hub managers, community and ecosystem development leaders and all other relevant external stakeholders from public, private, educational/training, community and social enterprise sectors to ensure that the vision and objectives of the organisation are delivered,
  • Supporting, promoting and developing a culture of innovation, collaboration & entrepreneurship within the organisation and across Ireland’s community and regional enterprise sector,
  • Exploring and securing additional sources of government and/or EU funding and finding new income generation opportunities for NACEC, its members and its clients,
  • Designing and leading effective interventions to increase the number and quality of connections, innovations, collaborations and partnerships among network members and other relevant national and international stakeholders in order to maximise economic impact and social prosperity,
  • Developing membership models further, matching the existing models with new audiences through different value propositions that benefit, members, communities, regions and Ireland,
  • Ideating, strategizing and executing on the internal and external communications of NACEC,
  • Initiating and executing creative and innovative activities, events  and programmes to engage, support and develop Ireland’s community and regional enterprise sector,
  • Working to ensure best practice Governance in line with the Good Governance code is achieved in the operation and growth of NACEC – Ireland’s Enterprise Hub Network,

Key Skills & Experience:

  • A QQI level 8 Degree in Business, Management or a related discipline is essential,
  • Minimum 5 years professional and relevant industry/sector experience is essential,
  • Excellent IT, digital media, presentation, reporting, business & financial planning skills and experience is essential,
  • Ability, and a proven track record, in planning, promoting and delivering major local, regional and national projects, events and initiatives that support and promote economic and enterprise development, multi-sectoral and multi-regional clustering, sustainability and social prosperity,
  • Ability to strategically and tactically manage, lead and negotiate with large teams, groups, organisations and networks in order to deliver on the organisations vision and objectives,
  • Ability to connect, lead, motivate and inspire people both online and offline,
  • Strong PR, marketing and digital content creation skills and experience,
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Full clean ‘B’ driving licence is essential for this role.

Key Conditions:

Location: Home, Hub & HQ

Contract Type: Full-time & Flexible

Contract Duration: 3 Year fixed term contract subject to 11 month probationary period

Reporting Structure: Reporting directly to the Board of Directors of NACEC clg.

Deadline for Applications: 19th October 2020

How To Apply: Email a CV and Cover Letter to [email protected]

(Only CVs and Cover Letters submitted directly to [email protected] will be considered or accepted)

Click Here to View or Download a PDF of this Advert / Job Spec

This position is being part-funded under the governments

Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) which is administered by

 NACEC is an equal opportunities employer.

New action plan aims to drive recovery


Focus on practical solutions includes resourcing of regional clusters, investment in digitisation and embracing sustainable practices

NACEC has set out an ambitious framework for a post-coronavirus recovery as community enterprise centres around the country begin to reopen following months of prolonged uncertainty.

The association’s National Impact + Recovery Action Plan plots a future that will see enterprise and co-working hubs positioned to provide professional working environments for a new army of remote workers seeking a blended approach to employment in the months and years ahead.

The newly published blueprint follows on from the comprehensive NACEC Impact + Recovery Survey published in May which laid bare the enormous disruption and devastating consequences caused to regional enterprise centres and co-working hubs by the Covid-19 shutdown.

But striking a more positive note, the research also highlighted the many opportunities presented for centres to provide responsive solutions to Irish businesses, large and small, particularly in the area of remote and flexible working.

The country’s enterprise hubs believe they can facilitate not only SME tenants in the future but potentially also large corporate and multinational firms, providing long-term solutions beyond the pandemic for businesses keen to support a more agile and flexible workforce in the years ahead.

The new National Impact + Recovery Action Plan has initiated 14 stimulus actions, grouped under five broad themes, which the association believes can revitalise enterprise centres and hubs, equipping them as changemakers in the new post-Covid world.

Embracing The Blend: The plan calls for dedicated support funding for the creation of enterprise centre cluster networks in each region, reducing duplications of marketing effort and accelerating technology advancement through the co-ordination of regional digitised booking systems.

Skills and talent mapping is considered vital and regional clusters will be encouraged to engage with local authorities, Regional Skills Fora, Enterprise Ireland and regional educators to undertake and update skills and talent mapping.

A think-tank of key players in remote and blended co-working will be brought together to devise policies on future-of-work possibilities and introducing the concept into both public and corporate consciousness.

A major requirement underpinning the entire initiative will be progressing a quality standards framework for enterprise centres in conjunction with the NSAI, Enterprise Ireland and others, resulting in an enterprise hub classification system.

Digitisation: Future-proofing digital capacity for enterprise centres is key to survival. With this in mind, a survey into enterprise centre digitisation and broadband connectivity is to be undertaken which will benchmark centres under headings which include wi-fi access, connectivity and security.

Training facilities and technology will be updated and training offerings digitised through migrating classroom training programmes to blended training programme delivery formats. Furthermore, centres will help overcome the digital divide by providing learning facilities for college students, digital education and training.

Specific opportunities have been highlighted for centres to provide regional pre-acceleration programmes, potentially unlocking the learning from the NDRC running acceleration programmes in the Portershed and Arc Labs.

There is also a role for centres to build on the work of partnerships with the self-employed and social enterprise sector.

Climate Action: The development of a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) charter is envisaged to which each centre or hub will commit with a view to culture change and prioritising sustainability.

The delivery of an enterprise centre climate change programme is a further goal to mitigate future increases in operating and energy costs. A pilot programme for a cohort of centres will be developed as well as a practical guide for centres to help embed a healthier outlook.

Focus on Clusters: A Cluster Development Plan will be developed for each of the country’s six clusters with enterprise centre representation. The action plan seeks to kickstart building the capacity of clusters focused on regional recovery and trade, increased innovation, knowledge transfer and new value chains.

Financial Stimulus: While individual enterprise centres are struggling to maintain their viability in the face of the disruption caused by the pandemic, they continue to support thousands of entrepreneurs in navigating the crisis.

Enterprise hubs are positioned to provide both leadership and responsive solutions in safe working facilities, blended co-working and remote working facilities, social enterprise solutions and reskilling programmes; however, it is clear there is a need for direct financial supports to underpin survival and growth.

The new €12m fund launched by Enterprise Ireland and the Dept of Business, Enterprise & Innovation to ensure the future viability of the enterprise centre sector is a welcome development. For more information on the fund or to apply please CLICK HERE

Chairperson of NACEC, Gary O’Meara, said the overarching theme of the action plan is to future-proof the enterprise centre sector as it navigates change.

“Across Ireland, enterprise centres and hubs are working hard to devise tangible solutions that will safely and strategically get our centres back to work, and back to what we do best: enabling businesses, creating connected environments for working and co-working and acting as powerhouses of regional enterprise activity and job creation,” he said.

He added that centres and hubs are ideally positioned to provide a new blend of working, dubbed ‘Hub-Home-HQ’.

“For countless businesses, remote working practices will be part of their new normal – and regional hubs are positioned to provide structured, well-connected, professional working environments that are potentially less expensive than the equivalent area of office space.

“But this is not just about space – the creation of regional ecosystems and enterprise clusters that innovate quickly is as vital as premium workspaces,” Mr O’Meara said. “Covid-19 offers a chance to reset and reshape enterprise centres in a more sustainable way.”

Following the publication of May’s survey findings – which showed that almost 88% of centres reported a drop in income of between 21% and 80% and revealed that one-third of centres had seen tenants closing their businesses permanently – NACEC initiated a process of engagement with key stakeholders to focus on practical solutions to drive recovery.

The National Enterprise Centres / Hubs Impact + Recovery Action Plan is the result of those consultations.

Enterprise Centres / Hubs Covid-19 Impact & Recovery SURVEY – Click Here

Enterprise Centres / Hubs Covid-19 Impact & Recovery ACTION PLAN – Click Here