In 2011, Cork County Council started the Economic Development Fund, part of which was charged with assisting communities to start locally-owned facilities for business people and would-be entrepreneurs. This initiative is called the E Centres project.
The fund is available to not-for-profit community and business groups wishing to start such facilities. In most cases, an E Centre would consist of a ‘hot desk’ area which is called ‘COCOON’, a meeting/training /conference room and a break-out area for people to mix and make contacts.
A group would need to locate a building for the project. Funding would be made available for the cost of fitting out the premises with ICT infrastructure and the branded E Centre furnishing.
The E Centres remain locally owned, but will join a supportive network of such Centres throughout County Cork, in partnership with Cork County Council and state enterprise agencies.