Board of Management


CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT January 2020

As Chairman of the Wexford Enterprise Centre Group, I would like to pay special tribute to our loyal Clients, Partners, Staff, and Board for their continued support throughout 2019.

As expected, the year brought many challenges for us to overcome, but also many opportunities to explore and execute. With guidance from our dedicated voluntary Board, and the professional delivery of our various programs across our Social Enterprise, Social Advancement and Entrepreneurial Divisions by our Chief Executive, Brendan Ennis, and his committed team, 2019 embraced change while staying true to our core values of integrity, inclusiveness and sustainable employment in Wexford.

From humble beginnings in 1986, when a group of concerned business people and community leaders, backed by the Local Authority, decided to tackle the extraordinary high levels of unemployment in County Wexford, Wexford Community Development Association Society Ltd, better known as Wexford Enterprise Centre, has grown to become one of Ireland’s largest and most successful Social Enterprise Organisations. While initially focusing on providing affordable enterprise space, mentoring and training for start-up businesses, the Centre has broadened its offering and transformed into a modern, vibrant and professional hub of business, enterprise and innovation.

Working across our chosen fields of Social Enterprise, Social Equality and Entrepreneurial Advancement, we have successfully achieved a positive impact on individual people within our community, combating marginalisation and disadvantage, while at the same time supporting start-up companies and SME’s to establish, grow and prosper within the local, regional and international marketplace. Broadening our Social Equality program within our community, we have recently supported the expansion of FDYS youth counselling services, enabling them to increase the quantity and quality of the services they offer to children and teenagers. It is our hope that supporting this early intervention service will help individuals address their difficulties before they develop into larger issues in adult life.

Under our Entrepreneurial Advancement remit, the Savannah “Tradebridge” initiative merits special mention. Over the past two years, in conjunction with our partners at Wexford County Council, Enterprise Ireland and Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) in the USA, we conceived and incubated the Tradebridge program. The program, based out of the Wexford Enterprise Centre, focuses on developing trade links between Wexford and Savannah, Georgia, USA, who share a long forgotten historic connection. Through establishing and deepening solid relationships with SEDA, we have facilitated numerous diplomatic, business, cultural, educational and tourism connections between Wexford and Savannah and for the first time export trade is now occurring between companies in both regions. During 2020, due to the substantial success of the pilot program, TradeBridge will now develop into a Regional Development Program, funded primarily through Enterprise Ireland, The Local Authorities of the South East, and the participating Companies.

Going forward, we will continue to work towards the betterment of Wexford and its people as we have over the past thirty five years, though continual innovation and pushing the boundaries of excellence. The work of Wexford Enterprise Centre and its divisions could not be done without the loyal support of our client companies and tenants. Our strong volunteer Board of unrewarded, talented individuals who do what they do purely for the betterment of their community deserve special mention. To all our professional staff in all our divisions we owe a great debt of gratitude. It is a pleasure to work with them all.

Yours in Enterprise

Eamonn Murphy
Chairman