Irish start-ups plan a major hiring buzz over next three years

10 Feb 2016

Research into Ireland’s current batch of high potential start-ups (HPSUs) shows that 1,500 jobs could be created by 2019, with indigenous entrepreneurs leading the way.

According to Enterprise Ireland’s report, within which Amárach Research was commissioned to survey Ireland’s new HPSUs, 90pc of those surveyed plan to up staff numbers this year.

HPSUs are start-ups judged to have innovative services, an international focus and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within four years of starting up.

Last year, 105 new HPSUs were supported by Enterprise Ireland (around the same number as 2014), with more than half expecting “substantial growth” this year.

Sound familiar?

Remarkably, the 1,500 jobs predicted to be created is bang on the number predicted by the same group at this stage last year. What are the odds?

Although back then there were just 102 HPSUs, so, if anything, the number of jobs expected to be created per start-up is marginally down.

The increase in numbers of other early-stage businesses supported by Enterprise Ireland was significant (up from 81 in 2014 to 112 last year), which the agency puts down to a drive to attract female entrepreneurs.

The female of the species

Indeed, the number of female-led start-ups rose by almost half, up to 61. This was probably given a late push with November’s creation of a dedicated €500,000 fund.

Over just a two-week spell, women were encouraged to apply for batches of funding worth up to €50,000 each.

The idea was to boost the number of businesses created by women in Ireland, with areas from IT, games, apps, cloud computing, enterprise software, life sciences, food, consumer products, medical devices and e-health all included in the parameters for funding.

Elsewhere in 2015, 11 spin-out companies from higher education institutions gained support, while 15 start-ups were established by entrepreneurs overseas.

Record year

In what the state body calls a “record year” for investment in start-ups, Enterprise Ireland’s Kevin Sherry explains that €31m went into start-ups in 2015.

“A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to support entrepreneurs to start new enterprises, to develop innovative products and services and to scale their businesses on international markets.”

The growing sentiment is it is getting easier for females to get their start-ups going, with the 7pc of female-led enterprises established in 2011 rising to 22pc by last year.

More “tailored supports” for more female entrepreneurs are also in the offing, Sherry added.

Main now hiring image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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