Enterprise Ireland-backed firms ‘to create 1,500 jobs’

Nine out of 10 new client companies say they intend to take on more staff this year

Enterprise Ireland chief Julie Sinnamon. The organisation says client companies are expected to create more jobs this year.

Enterprise Ireland chief Julie Sinnamon. The organisation says client companies are expected to create more jobs this year.

 

Enterprise Ireland-backed companies are expected to create over 1,500 jobs over the next three years, according to a new forecast.

The organisation said some 105 so-called High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs), which comprise export-led firms with the potential to create at least 10 jobs apiece and deliver sales of €1 million or more, are all due to increase headcount.

New research carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of Enterprise Ireland shows 9 out of 10 HPSUs supported by the body plan to take on additional staff this year. In addition, six in ten HPSUs predict substantial growth in 2016 with the main export markets being targeted including the UK, mainland Europe and the US.

Study findings were announced at the annual Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Investor Day in Dublin on Wednesday.

“2015 was a record year for Enterprise Ireland in terms of supporting start-ups. The outlook is positive but some challenges remain. According to the research of start-ups, the main barrier to growth is access to talent (for 55 per cent of HPSUs), followed by competitive pressures and regulation/compliance requirements. 8 in 10 HPSUs see growth coming from new clients, while three quarters expect to grow by launching new products,” said director of global business development Kevin Sherry.

While 1 in 5 respondents to the research were female, almost half felt that it was getting easier for women to start and grow a business - with the balance seeing no change.

Mr Sherry noted that up to 2011, female-led enterprises accounted for just 7 per cent of new start-ups. He said participation by female entrepreneurs in Enterprise Ireland’s high potential start-up programme increased to 22 per cent in 2015, surpassing its target of 18 per cent.

“This is a positive trend and we need to continue to encourage more female entrepreneurs to start and scale new businesses. Our ambition is that in the coming years there will be no need for tailored supports and initiatives for Irish female entrepreneurs because Irish business women will no longer be under-represented in the businesses and boardrooms of Ireland. However, until we reach that point, we will be continuing our drive to increase their participation levels”, said Mr Sherry.