Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to be here with you today.
One of the best parts of my job is that I have the opportunity to get out and meet companies, and experience first-hand the exciting new ideas that are coming out of Irish businesses.
It is particularly special to be at an event like this –
The Government, through my Department, has worked hard over the past few years to strengthen Irish businesses, helping them to recover from the global economic downturn.
As a result, employment and export growth has strengthened across all sectors and all regions.
We now have 2 million people in employment and are heading for full employment.
Last month, Enterprise Ireland announced record levels of employment in their client companies, with over 19,000 jobs created last year.
But we are not resting on our laurels.
The focus now must be towards creating and sustaining quality jobs.
Quality jobs are those that provide value, and harnesses the talents of our skilled workforce, to innovate and grow our economy.
Because, a strong economy will help us to withstand the global challenges that we face.
So, it’s great to be here today, announcing the creation of 100 jobs in Ergo.
Scaling on this level is an achievement for any company.
But I am especially delighted that we are here announcing 100 new quality jobs.
The jobs announced today cover a wide spectrum of skills, creating opportunities for those with technical, project management and programme management skills.
It is an excellent way for the company to celebrate its 25th anniversary in business, and is a shining example for other companies of what can be accomplished.
Ergo was set up in 1993, with just eight employees, supplying print components, and has developed an impressive track record of achievement over the past 25 years.
Today’s announcement represents part of the company’s ambition to reach 500 employees and a €100m turnover by 2020: two tremendously impressive milestones for an indigenous Irish-owned company to reach.
Ergo has achieved significant gains over the past number of years, particularly in its Managed Service Division, which has achieved growth of 100% over the past two years.
This increase has come from a diverse portfolio of significant contracts, along with added growth from its strong, mid-market segment, and proven expertise in a wide range of solutions, such as cloud computing and cyber security.
Ergo, along with its CEO, John Purdy, are accustomed to achieving success.
John was named EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
In 2017, Ergo won too many awards to mention, but significant among them was winning Managed Service Company of the Year at the Tech Excellence Awards, and also IT Project of the Year in the Irish Public Sector.
Ergo has an enviable list of clients, some of which are the largest companies in Ireland, to which it delivers enterprise-wide solutions that drive productivity and profitability.
Examples include CIE, Tourism Ireland and Openhydro.
Significantly, the company is increasing their involvement with multinational businesses such as the Ardagh Group, ICON and Primark, who leverage Ergo’s range of solutions to help scale globally.
We face a number of economic challenges, which is why Enterprise Ireland has developed a suite of supports and grants to help Irish companies prepare for Brexit.
The advice that we are giving to companies is to invest in innovation and broaden their export base.
Because, companies that invest in innovation are more resilient, and can take advantage of global opportunities, which in turn strengthens our economy.
Ergo has done this, investing in R&D, and building a truly international business.
Their 24/7 helpdesk, staffed by one of the largest subject matter teams in Ireland, gives the company an ability to service no less than 36 countries.
Irish companies like Ergo should be celebrated, and held out as an example to other Irish companies of what can be achieved through hard work, commitment and great leadership.
I know that Enterprise Ireland will continue to deepen its engagement with Ergo across all business functions to support the company at home and in international markets.
I would congratulate John, Ergo’s leadership team and all the staff, on their achievements to date.
I look forward to following the company’s continued growth and development in the coming period.