Surge in entrepreneurship last year as 32,000 people started new businesses

Entrepreneurship is on the rise, with a study showing nearly 70% more people set up their own business last year than in 2012.

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that 32,000 people started new companies here in 2013; as opposed to just over 19,000 in 2012, and that nearly 10% of adults are currently engaged in some form of early-stage entrepreneurial activity.

According to the findings, early entrepreneurial activity is at its highest since the onset of the economic crisis and the pipeline for future entrepreneurs is strong.

The level of people indicating an intention to start their own company over the next three years grew significantly during 2013 and is at its highest level since 2000.

This data was warmly welcomed by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, who noted that start-ups account for around two-thirds of jobs created in the country annually.

“As I have said before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland — we just don’t have enough of them,” he said, before noting that the Action Plan for Jobs contains measures to support more start-up activity.

Mr Bruton said the upcoming National Strategy on Entrepreneurship, due to be published in the autumn, will build on measures already in place to support start-up activity.

The latest monitor report also indicates that more than 80% of respondents expect to become employers — rather than just one-person enterprises — and most hold a strong export focus.

Declan Hughes, head of enterprise, trade, and innovation policy at Forfás, said that while the trends are encouraging, there is still a need to continue to improve the perceived attractiveness of entrepreneurship as a career option.

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