Covid-19 wipes out almost one-third of Irish start-ups

CRIF Vision-net analysed the number of start-ups registered on their database during the period January 2020 – April 2020.

The number of Irish start-ups declined by 2,253 for the combined period of March and April when compared to the same period in 2019, according to the latest figures from business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net.

The new figures show that there has been a 29pc  year-on-year decrease in Irish start-ups since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the growth of start-ups across most industries, with the majority of sectors experiencing a decline in start-ups.

“Whether it is a company start-up or a well-established business, everybody has felt the brunt of the pandemic”

April proved to be the most difficult month for start-up companies, recording a decrease of almost 45pc compared to April 2019.

Leasing (-52pc), construction (-49pc) and motor (-49pc) industries experienced the biggest decline in start-ups during this period, followed by education, community, social and personal activates (267) and hospitality. However, the financial intermediation sector experienced unique growth in start-ups during this period, with an increase of 22pc during March and April, totalling 586 start-ups to date.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on businesses of all experience levels,” said Christine Cullen, managing director of CRIF Vision-net. “Whether it is a company start-up or a well-established business, everybody has felt the brunt of the pandemic with lockdown and social distancing restrictions having obvious operational and financial implications for many industries.

“To this end, it may not come as a complete surprise that we have experienced a decline in start-ups since the beginning of the pandemic. Even in the best of times, the survival of a start-up isn’t guaranteed, and the current climate is certainly not one that fosters growth and development.

“Last year Ireland recorded its highest start-up figures in 13 years, which demonstrates the capabilities and potential that exists here”

To help combat this decline, Ms Cullen says it is important to remain future focused and develop a robust recovery strategy for the start-up community that encourages growth and innovation.

“As we continue to progress on our roadmap to recovery, it is vital that industry and Government work together to fully understand the implications of the pandemic on the start-up community and to ensure that necessary supports are put in place to help start-ups rebuild and adapt to the evolving situation.

“Last year Ireland recorded its highest start-up figures in 13 years, which demonstrates the capabilities and potential that exists here. We must work to protect this and to help businesses get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

According to the data, Sligo, Leitrim, and Longford were among the counties worst affected by Covid-19, experiencing the biggest drop in start-ups during the months of March and April.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 15 June, 2020