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Irish among the most entrepreneurial in Europe

Report explains Ireland that economic necessity is driving entrepreneurship.

A place for aspiring entrepreneurs? - RTÉ's Dragons' Den has highlighted the more novel and innovative business ideas out there
A place for aspiring entrepreneurs? - RTÉ's Dragons' Den has highlighted the more novel and innovative business ideas out there
Image: Photocall Ireland

IRELAND HAS ONE of the highest levels of entrepreneurial activity in Europe, according to a new report published today by Enterprise Ireland.

Although there has been a decrease in the number of aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners since the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years, Ireland still came in near the top of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report 2010.

In 2010, about 2.6 per cent of all adults in this country started their own business, while 8.6 per cent were already established owner managers of firms.

This figure shows that Ireland is matching Australia in terms of entrepreneurship and start-up business activity. It is also ahead of the US, which has just 7.7 per cent of its adult population at the head of their own businesses.

The 2010 GEM report found that economic necessity drove entrepreneurship in Ireland.

The authors note that this necessity-driven activity is completely new to Ireland but is a key element in other innovative economies.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the report proved that “entepreneurial spirit is alive and well” in Ireland and urged potential business men and women to be “highly ambitious”.

He added:

The downturn offers a particular opportunity for new businesses to establish and grow.

Recognising the Government’s role in supporting new and small business, he said it will focus on three things: improving access to finance, reducing business costs, and encouraging innovation and R&D.

Delving into more detail, the report suggests that because the Irish economic recovery continues to run at two speeds – a strong exporting market versus a weak domestic one – potential and new business owners expect to have customers outside of Ireland.

As a nation, we are also more confident in our own business capabilities when compared with other countries and more entrepreneurs here believe they will be successful in their ventures.

Some figures from the report:

  • 77 per cent of Irish entrepreneurs expect to become employers.
  • In 2010, 32 per cent of entrepreneurial activity was deemed to be driven by necessity.
  • Only 23 per cent of Irish people believe there are decent opportunities now to start a business. When asked the same question during the “boom years”, 46 per cent perceived there to be good opportunities.
  • About 1.7 per cent fewer men are engaged in entrepreneurial activity now than they were in 2008.
  • Women represent 29 per cent of early stage entrepreneurs.
  • 35 to 44 year-olds are the most active in the business start-up arena.

Read a full copy of the report here >

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