Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (280)

Robert Troy

Question:

280. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the timeline for the implementation of the recommendations emanating from two reports (details supplied); when the consultative group is due to hold its first meeting; the budget that will be allocated to the group and towards implementation of the report recommendations; the data for Irish SME rates in tabular form; the OECD average for productivity rate, start-up rate, churn rate and percentage of SMEs trading across borders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46017/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I am committed to driving the recommendations of the recently launched Report and Strategy Roadmap of the OECD’s Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland. My Department and its Agencies are focused on providing the most appropriate and focused supports to Irish firms.

Through my Department’s ongoing engagement with the OECD secretariat, I was made aware of what was at that point a forthcoming recommendation to establish an interdepartmental committee on SMEs and entrepreneurship and extending the consultative role of the Advisory Group on Small Business to a broader group of Departmental entities. The OECD also stated the vital importance of such a group being Ministerial led thus giving the group the recognition and engagement at political level it so deserves.

The Advisory Group on Small Business (AGSB) has served us well and has carried out a lot of very valuable work since its inception in 2011. However, this recommendation has hit the nail on the head and both I and Minister Breen, group chair, warmly welcomed this recommendation as a positive opportunity to broaden its current remit.

We need to use the policy experts throughout our network to the best advantage of entrepreneurs and SMEs. We need the representative groups and business people themselves to be actively involved. By involving all the different parties that interact with SMEs or are SMEs themselves, we can get the best value and effect out of relevant policies.

The inaugural meeting of the SME and Entrepreneurship Consultation Group took place on Wednesday 27rd March 2019. Subsuming the original functions of the AGSB, this new portfolio provides a platform for high-level structured engagement between Government, agencies, representative bodies and small businesses.

Over 40 stakeholders attended the inaugural meeting, together, they will be formulating a plan of how to progress the conclusions and recommendations from the OECD Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Polices in Ireland.

Through the mechanism of the new SME and Entrepreneurship Consultation Group my Department has hosted and facilitated two further meetings in 2019. In July my Department hosted a SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy Conference under Future Jobs Pillar 2 - SME Productivity at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on July 12th and the more recent launch of the OECD Report and SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy Roadmap on the 31st October at DBEI in Kildare Street.

Going forward into 2020, committee members will be asked to focus on the pillar most suited to their own expertise. The group will focus on a number of pillars such as R&D, Standards, Skills, Finance and Clustering. As we progress and firm up what the role of the Committee will be, members will be asked to take responsibility for their areas of consideration and provide structured feedback to the Group and its Secretariat who will be expecting concrete feedback and thought out suggestions.

Finally, there is no budget allocated to the running of the Consultation Group as with the previous AGSB. Those willing to participate give of their time and invaluable experience at no additional cost to the exchequer. They like I, Minister Breen and our colleagues across the whole of Government are committed to driving a new SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy which is wholly beneficial to anyone trying to turn a business idea into a business reality.

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Ireland

Share  of Start Ups

10%

Churn Rate

7.1%

Productivity  Rate (GDP)

83.2%

Firm Exporting Propensity

6.3%

* Share of Start Ups – SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland, Overall Assessment and Recommendations, Figure 1.3

* Churn Rate- SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland, SME and Entrepreneurship Characteristics and Performance in Ireland, Figure 2.7

* Productivity Rate (GDP)- SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland, SME Productivity in Ireland, Figure 7.2