In total, 5,482 new companies were registered in Q3, representing a three per cent year-on-year increase, compared to the same period in 2019.

While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt across the Irish business sector, there are positive signs of growth in the Irish start-up space.

According to latest figures from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net, Irish start-up figures are showing positive signs of Covid-19 recovery, with Q3 showing a 37 per cent (pc) increase in start-up registrations versus the previous quarter.

In total, 5,482 new companies were registered in Q3 (up 1,487 on Q2), representing a three per cent year-on-year increase, compared to the same period in 2019.  

“The growth in start-ups this quarter is a clear indication of the prospects and opportunities in an economy that is beginning to find its feet again”

However, despite the positive signs of recovery in Q3, overall start-up figures for year to date are down 12pc when compared to 2019, demonstrating the wider impact of the pandemic on the start-up community.  

“As Minister Donohoe outlined in his recent budgetary speech, the SME sector in Ireland has a crucial role to play in facilitating the recovery of the economy in a post Covid world,” said Christine Cullen, managing director of CRIFVision-net.

“For this reason, it is particularly encouraging to see the start-up sector in Ireland begin to rebound following what a very difficult start to the year – where new company start-up registrations reached a five-year low. 

“The growth in start-ups this quarter is a clear indication of the prospects and opportunities in an economy that is beginning to find its feet again. However, following the Government’s recent decision to move to Level 5 lockdown restrictions for a six-week period, many SMEs are now faced with further challenges and setbacks. As a result, maintaining an environment that provides supports and promotes growth for the sector needs to be the priority.  

Sector insights: Q3 2020 vs Q3 2019 

Legal, accounting and business was the biggest contributor to new company start-ups for Q3, accounting for a total of 990 new registrations. This, however, marks a 14pc decrease for the sector when compared to the same period last year (1,149). 

Wholesale and retail trade experienced the biggest growth in new start-ups in the third quarter of this year, with 682 new start-up registrations compared to 460 in 2019. This represents an increase of 48pc on this time last year.  

Agriculture grew by 3pc (127 new companies), followed by education (+34pc, 110 new companies) and fishing, which increased by 33pc year-on-year.

“In order to ensure that we create the most sustainable environment for businesses to survive and thrive, the focus needs to be on collaboration between Government and industry”

Regional overview: Q3 2020 vs Q3 2019 

A total of 19 counties across Ireland experienced a year-on-year improvement in new company registrations for Q3 this year.  

Of those, Offaly experienced the largest increase in post-lockdown recovery presenting an increase of 45pc in new registrations, compared to Q3 2019. Other counties which experienced significant growth include Laois (+37pc), Carlow (+34pc) and Wexford (+21pc). 

Dublin accounted for the largest number of new start-up companies in Q3 this year, recording a total of 2,539 registrations, marking a 2pc year-on-year decline for the county. Cork recorded a total of 501 new company start-ups (+2pc), Limerick recorded 157 (-17pc) and Galway saw an increase of 8pc with a total of 215 registrations.  

“To date, the Government have been very proactive in creating and implementing supports for the SME sector in particular. In our last quarterly review, we spoke about the measures that were introduced under the July Stimulus Package, which were of huge benefit to industry,” added Ms Cullen.   

“Since then, these supports have been further enhanced through the additional funding and measures outlined in Budget 2021.  

“However, the future threat of Covid-19 and what these additional Level 5 restrictions could mean for businesses across all levels still remains a real concern. In order to ensure that we create the most sustainable environment for businesses to survive and thrive, the focus needs to be on collaboration between Government and industry.  

“The ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 will continue to be unpredictable and the key to mitigating damage in the coming months will rely on an agile and adaptable approach by businesses and Government,” she finished.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 9 November, 2020 

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