Ireland slips down entrepreneurial activity rankings

Just over 20,000 people started a new business in 2014, down significantly from 2013

Ireland has slipped in the ranking of early-stage entrepreneurial activity, falling from second place to eighth across the EU-15, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Just over 20,000 people started a new business in Ireland in 2014, down significantly from 2013 when 32,000 people set up a new business.

Ireland also dropped in the rankings of early stage entrepreneurial activity across the EU-28, falling from ninth place in 2013 to 16th place last year.

Commenting on the report, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, said that while Ireland has great entrepreneurs, it does not enough of them.


“The GEM report published today confirms this, with Ireland placing around or slightly below the EU average on most key measures of start-up activity – number of people starting a business, number of nascent entrepreneurs, number of people who aspire to start a business, perception of opportunities for starting a business,” he said.

He said the Government has put in place a number of measures to double the number of jobs being created by start-up businesses.

“We have put in place the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition to encourage more young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career option, we have provided extra sources of credit and new tax incentives for early stage entrepreneurs and we have provided more soft supports like mentoring and co-working spaces.”

Ireland ranked sixth for number of intrapreneurs – one in fifteen people involved in developing or launching new goods or services for their employer. Considering only those in employment, the rate is higher at 11.8 per cent, with Ireland ranking 2nd to Denmark.

Entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 34 accounted for 39 per cent of new business owners in Ireland, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

One in eleven (9.5 per cent) of those aged between 18 and 34, that are not currently active as entrepreneurs aspire to start a business in the next three years. This compares to about one in fourteen for those aged 35 to 50 (6.9 per cent), and to one in twenty six for those aged 50 to 64 (3.8 per cent)

The results of the GEM report show 15.5 per cent of new company owners in Ireland are in the medium or high-tech sectors.

More than half (51 per cent) have identified a market niche with limited competition.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor provides an annual assessment of the entrepreneurial activity, aspirations and attitudes of individuals across a wide range of countries. It is the largest on-going study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world.