Ireland has moved into fifth place among EU countries for people who aspire to be entrepreneurs, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

The country also ranks fifth for rates of early-stage entrepreneurship.

According to the global research, entrepreneurs are more highly regarded in Ireland than they are in France, Germany or Italy.

Women entrepreneurs on the rise

“I am particularly pleased by the fact that the gap between the number of male and female entrepreneurs is narrowing and that there has been an increase in the rate of women in Ireland becoming entrepreneurs,” said the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD.

“The GEM data tells us that Ireland is above European average in terms of those who aspire to start their own business and who are nascent entrepreneurs”

“Ireland is now ranked fifth highest in Europe in this regard, which is proof that our ongoing efforts in this space are paying off.”

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which is the world’s foremost study of entrepreneurship, was recently conducted in Ireland by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting and Dr Colm O’Gorman, Professor of Entrepreneurship, DCU Business School.

The annual study, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, with the support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation also found that close to 27,000 people across the country have reported that they were involved in starting a new business last year.

Battening down the hatches for Brexit

“This year’s survey has once again highlighted the considerable global ambition of early stage entrepreneurs in Ireland, with more than one in three expecting to attain a quarter or more of their sales in international markets,” the manager of Policy and Government Relations with Enterprise Ireland Rowena Dwyer added

“The UK’s exit from the European Union is only weeks away which means entrepreneurs and business owners alike are embarking on challenging and uncertain times but as is often the case, challenges can present new opportunities.

“As part of its Brexit preparations, Enterprise Ireland has been extending its full support to early-stage entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to develop and realise their potential to step into new global markets.

“The GEM data tells us that Ireland is above European average in terms of those who aspire to start their own business and who are nascent entrepreneurs. However, the fact that less than 7pc of those aged under 25 are entrepreneurs shows that our work must continue for further improvements to be achieved in this regard.

“This is a clear indication that the importance of initiatives such as Enterprise Ireland’s Feasibility Grants and Competitive Start Fund to encourage graduate entrepreneurs to venture into business cannot be overstated.”

Image: Peshkova/Shutterstock 

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 16 August, 2019