The Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) is arguing that the Budget could behold the potential for job creation. How? Welcoming the renewal of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme, IVCA members believe this fund should be expanded to include investment in venture-capital funds.
Speaking this afternoon, Regina Breheny, director-general, IVCA, argued that if it’s followed through properly, Budget 2012 will unlock new job creation for Ireland.
In welcoming the renewal of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (formerly the BES/Seed Capital Scheme), the IVCA has put forward the contention that this scheme should be expanded to include investment into venture-capital funds.
It says that investors, by investing in a venture-capital fund, ie, a ‘pool’ of high-growth SMEs, would be able to mitigate the risk associated with early stage investment.
Breheny pointed to how other countries are moving in this direction and said is important that Ireland is not left behind.
“This initiative could provide some relief towards resolving the funding crisis facing Ireland’s high-growth SMEs and could have a significant impact on job creation in start-ups and indigenous technology companies,” she said.
Breheny also singled out research carried out at UCD, which found that VC-backed companies create more jobs and exports faster.
“We look forward to engaging with Government on how private-sector funding can be encouraged,” she said.
The IVCA also welcomed the fact the R&D tax credit had moved towards a volume-based approach, whereby companies can now get relief on the first €100,000 of R&D expenditure with no reference to 2003 levels.
“This makes Ireland more competitive and brings us into line with what is happening in other countries,” said Breheny.
IVCA members have invested some €1.5bn into Irish SMEs over the past 10 years.