Enterprise Ireland reports highest net gain in jobs in a decade

Companies supported by Government agency created 18,033 new jobs in 2013

Julie Sinnamon, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, said that the performance of EI supported companies is “no mean achievement”, given the highly challenging business environment they are competing in. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Julie Sinnamon, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, said that the performance of EI supported companies is “no mean achievement”, given the highly challenging business environment they are competing in. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Mon, Jan 13, 2014, 11:17

Enterprise Ireland supported companies created 18,033 new jobs in 2013, resulting in the highest net gain for Irish companies in the last decade, the Government agency responsible for supporting Irish businesses said this morning.

In its end-of-year statement, the agency said that there was a net increase of 5,442 in the number of people employed by Enterprise Ireland- supported companies, primarily due to the strong export performance of its client companies.

The agency supported companies now, directly and indirectly, account for more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy (16 per cent of the total workforce). Total direct employment (full and part time) in client companies stood at 175,750 in 2013. Of these, 149,718 are full-time jobs, while 26,032 are part-time. These full-time employment levels are the highest since 2007 and total employment is the highest recorded in the last decade. In addition, new job commitments made by Enterprise Ireland clients in 2013 were over 7,100 exceeding the target of 6,250 for the year

Julie Sinnamon, chief executive officer of Enterprise Ireland said the performance of client companies over the past year was “very heartening”.

“Once again, they have continued to increase employment, recording the highest net gain in the last decade. This is no mean achievement considering the highly challenging business environment they are competing in.”

Looking ahead, Ms Sinnamon said Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for 2014-2016 will be to “support entrepreneurship across the regions, and develop strong, export focussed, ambitious Irish companies that can win new business and jobs for Ireland”.

During 2013, the body invested in 97 new high-potential start-up companies which together aim to employ over 1,600 new staff and to generate over € 300 million in annual sales.

Enterprise Ireland’s initiatives and supports for entrepreneurship and business in 2013 included:

- A € 250,000 competitive feasibility fund for female entrepreneurs aimed at continuing to significantly boost the number of high potential female-led business start-ups

- Access Silicon Valley - an initiative designed to fast-track early-stage Irish tech companies who are targeting Silicon Valley and San Francisco

- Sprint - an initiative designed to help the founders of start-up companies in the digital content sector to shorten the timescale from product development to paying customers

- A€ 375,000 competitive feasibility fund aimed at stimulating new start-ups or expansion of existing business activity in the aviation sector.

- A € 21 million Enterprise Ireland commercialisation fund was made available to researchers in the third-level sector to support the commercialisation of research and inventions at all stages of development

- € 175 million seed and venture capital scheme aimed at leveraging private sector funds to create a total of € 700 million for investment 2013-2018.

- € 20 million Innovation Fund Ireland investment with leading international venture capital fund Highland Capital Partners Europe

€ 125m Growth Capital Ireland Fund to focus on Irish SMEs - a new fund which will focus on investing in Irish SMEs, under the Government’s Development Capital Scheme.

- The International Scholarship Scheme was launched for students from target markets including India, China and Brazil

- A € 1 million research programme in data analytics

- 27 spin-out companies were created from higher education research and research commercialisation activities facilitated the transfer of 89 pieces of commercially valuable technology to companies in 2013.