Irish SMEs ever the optimists with job creation expected soon

30 Sep 2016

Small business. Image: Aila Images/Shutterstock

A major survey of SMEs throughout the world has revealed Irish businesses are some of the most optimistic around. They want to expand soon, too.

Almost one-quarter of SMEs are looking to increase their workforce over the next six months, according to a major new research project from OECD, the World Bank and Facebook.

Surveying hundreds of SMEs in over 20 countries, the study found Irish business optimism levels to be among the highest in the world, with neither a stuttering global economy nor the emergence of Brexit dampening the mood.

Future Human


There is little evidence of a slump in confidence post-Brexit outside of the UK, with its international trading partners happy to go the course.

Irish respondents, collated through their Facebook business pages, had a more positive evaluation (current and future) of their own businesses compared to the economy as a whole, with 24pc seeking to up their headcount in the coming months.

Niamh Sweeney, head of public policy for Facebook in Ireland, said the data compiled in the report provides a “unique and timely window” into the digital economy.

Throughout the whole survey, 17pc of businesses surveyed engage in international trade, though in Ireland that number was far greater.

The top five countries in terms of the percentage of businesses engaged in international trade were: Egypt (27pc), Vietnam (24pc), Ireland (23pc), Thailand (22pc) and Poland (21pc).

“Small businesses are among the most innovative and dynamic marketers and our initial results show that confidence among them is positive,” said Sweeney.

“In fact, confidence levels in August were the highest they’ve been since we started the survey.”

Future of Business Survey - Infographics August, Ireland

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Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic