Since its establishment, the Western Development Commission has played a significant role in the economic growth of the region, investing €56.6m in 187 SMEs, micro and social enterprises, directly creating 2,500 jobs and generating an annual spend of €24m on research and development.
In 2016 there were 54,410 enterprises registered in the Western Region which makes it home to 17.4% of all of the enterprises in Ireland. The majority of these are micro-enterprises – 92.7% in the Western Region compared with 91.6% in the rest of the state. Roscommon (94.6%) and Leitrim (94.4%) have the highest shares of micro-enterprises in Ireland.
The Western Region is comprised of the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare and is a largely rural region and includes some of the most remote parts of the country. In fact, 64.7% in of the population live outside of towns of 1,500 or more and that’s why the WDC has a particular focus on the needs of, and opportunities for, more rural and peripheral areas.