Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (290)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

290. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of an overview of the national policy statement on entrepreneurship; and the period it covers. [46390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I am committed to the development of a business environment that is encouraging of entrepreneurs countrywide. My Department launched the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship (NPSE) in October 2014. It was designed to cover the five years up to 2019.

This Policy Statement represents the first time an Irish Government has published a comprehensive national plan for entrepreneurship in Ireland. It set out the Government’s strategic objectives as a facilitator within the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem. Its ambition to double the jobs impact of start-ups on the Irish economy over the 5 years by:

- Increasing the number of start-ups by 25% (3,000 more start-ups per annum)

- Increasing the survival rate in the first five years by 25% (1,800 more survivors per annum), and

- Improving the capacity of start-ups to grow to scale by 25%.

The Central Statistics Office Business Demography report 2016 indicates there were 19,249 new enterprise births in 2016, up from 16,256 in 2015. This is already very close to the target of 3000 for the five-year period. The other measurements will be examined from future Business Demography reports.

In its inception, the NPSE was seen as a means for facilitating the entrepreneurs of Ireland in creating, surviving and growing their businesses after a period of huge upheaval in terms of the economy and in new technologies and disruptive business models. Irish entrepreneurs, as ever, have shown resilience, innovation and the willingness to take risks which has seen the rapid increase in the number of business births but also a reduction in the rates of business deaths. Marking the half way point of the Statement, 2017 saw the development and organisation of the Mid-term Review. My Department held a number of stakeholder meetings grouped by those involved in education; state bodies and entrepreneurs themselves.

Members of the start-up community were asked to identify those areas which have the potential to impede the growth of their businesses. Entrepreneurs expressed that the ecosystem was of good quality. However, there were concerns that there were numerous supports for start-ups but less and not enough supports once a company grew to the 8-10 employee stage. They felt strongly that there had been progress in increased female participation, but further efforts were needed. The entrepreneurs stated that there is a lack of available skilled labour in the Irish market and the current restrictions and high salary requirements are putting them under enormous pressure. The general access to finance ecosystem in Ireland was seen as under developed with a lack of Venture Capital. The Venture Capital available was perceived to be particularly lopsided in favour of male entrepreneurs. They stated that there needs to be greater diversification in this market.

In response to the feedback from the entrepreneurial stakeholders of the Mid-term Review, I committed to ensuring Ireland has an even more startup friendly environment. I recognised the need to develop a tailored SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy which would ensure Ireland’s reputation as being a positive environment to start and grow a business.

In March 2018, my Department engaged the OECD to undertake a Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland to support as I saw to fit the specific needs of Irish enterprises.

It has taken 18 months of intensive largescale engagement across Government, academia, agency, business representation and our small businesses to get to where we now have a SME and Entrepreneurship Policy Roadmap.

I firmly believe that the work and engagement over the past five years carried out as a result of the NPSE, provided the impetus and conversation to accelerate the engagement of the OECD.

The final report on the NPSE is currently being compiled by my officials.