Ireland tops European entrepreneurial league

29 Apr 2004

Ireland is now the most entrepreneurially active country in the EU and leading entrepreneurial efforts in Europe, according to the Irish report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

The report found that entrepreneurial activity has been on the decline in all developed economies since 2001.

While most new businesses in Ireland are small and their owners expect them to remain so, the percentage of entrepreneurs with growth aspirations in Ireland (15pc) is higher than is the case in Europe generally (5.9pc) or in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand group of countries (11pc).

The report cited a strong and supportive culture of entrepreneurship was identified in the research as an important factor in the overall environment for entrepreneurship in Ireland. Two-thirds (66pc) of Irish adults consider that starting a business represents a good career choice, while three-quarters of Irish adults (75pc) consider there is a high degree of status associated with successful entrepreneurial endeavour.

The Irish report of the GEM for 2003 was sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and InterTrade Ireland.

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Tánaiste Mary Harney TD, welcomed the report’s findings. “It shows that entrepreneurship is now regarded as a high status, highly rewarding career choice. I am happy to see the days of where fear of failure was regarded as one of the greatest inhibitors of entrepreneurship in Ireland at an end. As one of the most open economies in the world, we need ambitious entrepreneurs to take business risks. We also need a society which recognizes those risk-takers and values their endeavours in both success and failure.”

By John Kennedy