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More than 2,000 entrepreneurs starting new businesses every month

More people started new businesses last year than ever before.

Ireland's Dragons, helping Ireland's entrepreneurs through RTÉ's television programme
Ireland's Dragons, helping Ireland's entrepreneurs through RTÉ's television programme
Image: RTE's Dragon's Den via Facebook

ABOUT 2,200 PEOPLE in Ireland are starting up new businesses every month.

That is according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for 2011.

The report, launched this morning by Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, shows that there was an increase in early-stage entrepreneurial activity across the country last year.

Almost three quarters of those enterprising individuals expect to become employers with the report’s authors noting that while the majority will remain small, the impact – when taken together – will be significant.

About 11 per cent are engaged in medium- or high- technology sectors, a much greater average than across the European Union.

The GEM report also highlights the relative ambitious growth aspirations of about 20 per cent of these entrepreneurs in Ireland compared to other countries across the EU and OECD.

“It is most encouraging that a significant minority of early stage entrepreneurs expect to employ 20 or more people after five years,” said Forfás manager Declan Hughes.

Welcoming the report, Minister Bruton said, “It is successful businesses, not Government, that creates jobs. That is why the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs includes a series of measures to support entrepreneurs and new startups.”

“It is good to see increased numbers of enterprising individuals determined to turn difficult circumstances into an opportunity for personal and commercial success,” he added.

Gender breakdown

The GEM revealed that there are two-and-a-half times as many men as women who describe themselves as entrepreneurs.

Equality Minister Kathleen Lynch welcomed the focus on the potential of women as business owners in the report, as well as profiles of enterprising women who have recently set up businesses throughout the country.

“The challenge now is not only to get more women to start new businesses, but to encourage more of them to start innovative businesses focused on exports, growth and job creation,” she said.

Other challenges and possible difficulties facing start-ups were highlighted by the report. Hughes said the positive trends are only part of the greater picture.

The report found an increase in those who are motivated to entrepreneurship by necessity – up from 19 per cent to 30 per cent in three years.

There are also fewer investors and a decline in the amount of money being pumped into businesses.

He says there is a need to continue to improve the perceived attractiveness of entrepreneurship as a career option.

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