EI firms to create 60,000 jobs by end 2015 – O’Keeffe

8 Jul 2010

Enterprise Ireland-supported companies are set to create 60,000 new jobs by the end of 2015, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD said today as the government’s agency’s annual report for 2009 was published.

According to O’Keeffe, the EI 2009 report shows a “resilient” performance by Irish firms during 2009, with the agency’s client companies continuing to win new export sales, start new high-potential enterprises, invest in high-value research and development projects and create jobs last year.

The report showed that total export sales by Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2009 were almost €13bn and included new export sales of €693m.  This represents 90pc of the levels achieved in 2008, which itself was a record year.  Many companies maintained their existing export business while a number of sectors recorded growth in total export sales, including software, internationally traded services and life sciences, EI said.

Entrepreneurship and high-potential start-ups
According to its annual report, Enterprise Ireland made seed-capital investments in 73 new high-potential start-up companies across 2009. Together these firms will create more than 900 new jobs and achieve total sales of more than €600m within the next three years, the government agency said.

In all, Enterprise Ireland’s investment in more than 800 start-up companies over a 20-year period (1989 – 2009) has yielded more than €1bn in Irish exports and in excess of 14,000 jobs.

Research and commercialisation
More than 120 client companies were approved financial support in excess of €100,000 for significant R&D projects across 2009, a significant increase on 2008, which saw 89 companies receiving such support, the EI annual report showed. 

Thirty-five spin-out companies also emerged from Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with Enterprise Ireland support last year, which represents a three-fold increase on the numbers achieved in 2008.

Job creation continued in 2009
.On the jobs front, the report showed that 7,443 new jobs were created in Enterprise Ireland-supported companies, bringing the total number of people employed by EI-supported firms to 133,523. 

However, there was an overall net decline of 19,078 jobs in 2009, EI said, but it added that the investment pipeline for 2010 indicates new jobs created this year will exceed 2009 figures, as client companies continue to invest in competitiveness improvement measures and achieve export sales.  Based on this performance, Enterprise Ireland expects that its client companies will generate 60,000 new jobs between now and the end of 2015.

A resilient performance
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD welcomed the publication of the EU report: “Last year was very challenging for the international and domestic economies but the results outlined in Enterprise Ireland’s Annual Report and Accounts 2009 show a resilient performance by Ireland’s indigenous exporting firms.  The Enterprise Stabilisation Fund and the Employment Subsidy Scheme were vital in supporting companies secure their business and retain workers. 

“As Ireland emerges from recession and business activity in our main trading partners recovers, these firms can build on the base they maintained over difficult times and focus on further growth.  These firms already have a significant economic impact in every region of Ireland.  We estimate that these firms, and other Enterprise Ireland-supported start-ups, can between them generate 60,000 jobs over the next five years.

“A key priority for Government is to continue to deliver on the Smart Economy Framework and implement the recommendations of the Innovation Task Force.  We will support the continued growth of entrepreneurial-led firms that will underpin Ireland’s global reputation as a centre for innovation providing high-value, sustainable jobs.”

Client firms strengthened over 2009
Enterprise Ireland chairman Hugh Cooney said “great encouragement” should be taken from what the agency’s client companies achieved in 2009. 

“There were many indicators of resilience and economic vitality from our clients, and a resurgence in economic confidence, including the number of new high potential start-ups and investments in R&D, which exceeded expectations. 

“2010 is still challenging but that does not have to be a deterrent,” he added.

According to Enterprise Ireland’s CEO Frank Ryan, the agency’s ambition for its client companies is high, as is its confidence in them.  “They have overcome difficult challenges in the past 18 months, demonstrated exceptional resilience and in many cases they have come through stronger, leaner, fitter, more innovative, and definitely ready to capitalise on the global recovery now in evidence. 

“Enterprise Ireland is driving and supporting a high level of activity across key business areas – developing new markets, growing more entrepreneur-led businesses, co-financing  company R&D, driving the commercialisation of third-level research for the benefit of industry. Resources and efforts in these key areas are being intensified to support our clients in every way possible to ensure they capitalise on the global recovery,” Ryan added.

EI said while its focus in 2009 was on helping companies consolidate and secure new sales in existing markets, expand in the Eurozone and explore new business opportunities in key high-growth markets, this year it will increase its focus on the specific growth sectors of software, internationally traded services, life sciences and clean tech, and on specific markets – UK, USA, Eurozone and the high-growth markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and the Gulf.

Enterprise Ireland is the Government agency responsible for the development of Irish companies and driving Irish export sales. EI client companies are responsible for more than 250,000 Irish jobs (134,000 directly employed) and they spend an estimated €19bn per annum in the Irish economy.

Article courtesy of Businessandleadership.com