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Positive Trends in Entrepreneurship Means Opportunities for Graduates

positive outlook for entrepreneurship in Ireland

In January, Forbes magazine named Ireland as the best country in the world to do business, while previously the World Bank said it was the seventh easiest place to start an enterprise.

So it’s good to hear that a global report has found that entrepreneurial activity is at its highest level in Ireland since the economic crisis. Increasingly people are realising that starting a business is a career option.

A Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report has found that 32,000 people in Ireland set up a new business in 2013 and Ireland is now ranked second across the EU in terms of entrepreneurial activity (with the Netherlands in first place).

It also found that one in eleven of the adult population are engaged in some form of early stage entrepreneurial activity.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton commented:

“As I have said before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland - we just don't have enough of them. Start-up businesses account for around two thirds of new jobs created in Ireland. That is why we in Government, through the Action Plan for Jobs, have put in place measures to support more start-up activity - for example the establishment of the Local Enterprise Offices and the new county-based competition to find Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur.”

GEM also found that 85% of these entrepreneurs expect to become employers.

However, entrepreneurs still face challenges to ensure their new business are sustainable and can compete with the best in home and export markets. Successful sustainability will lead to growth and create much needed employment.

Commenting on the report Tom Hayes, Head of Micro Enterprise and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland, said:

“The GEM report indicates that Irish early stage entrepreneurs have a stronger focus on international markets and exporting than their OCED and EU counterparts. This focus of entrepreneurs on developing innovative products and services for export is essential for growth and economic recovery."

The report also found that entrepreneurs are amongst the happiest individuals across the globe when it comes to individual well-being and satisfaction.

Advice on Starting Your Own Business

Last month The Irish Independent is publishing a series of useful articles on how to set-up your own business. Read more here.

Calling All Secondary School Entrepreneurs!

Every March, Griffith College hosts a Business Enterprise Competition for creative and enterprising secondary school students so watch this space for more information on the 2015 competition.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition

If you are aged 30 and under with an outstanding idea/commercial venture for a start-up or existing business then you should enter the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur Competition.

Almost any young person with a business idea can enter this competition. Maybe you have been to university and researched a business idea; maybe you have always wanted to be your own boss; maybe you are an existing young entrepreneur; maybe you have an idea to improve your existing business; or maybe you want to return home and set up your business in Ireland.

It doesn’t matter what you want to do, all that matters is you have a good business idea that works. Check it out on The closing date is 30th June 2014.

Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund for Graduates

This new €500,000 fund aimed at graduates is hoping to encourage more entrepreneurs to strike out on their own. Those wishing to apply to the programme must have graduated with a FETAC level eight qualification in the past three years. Applications will open on 9th July and close at 3pm on 23rd July 2014. Find out more.


Useful Resources

Local Enterprise Office – a ‘First Stop Shop’ for anyone seeking information and support on starting a business in Ireland

Enterprise Ireland’s Information Store for Start-Ups

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition

Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund for Graduates

Download the GEM Report 2013


Citizens Information

Business Access to State Information & Sciences

Written by Lydia Casey

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