Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

What We Do


Central Bank research published in 2013 showed that startup companies in the first five years of existence account for two thirds of all new jobs created in Ireland1. Entrepreneurs are the heroes of the economy, creating businesses, jobs and growth from which the rest of us benefit, and Ireland has some amazing entrepreneurs, but not nearly enough. As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, the Government committed to develop and implement a Strategy to increase the number of entrepreneurs in Ireland and thereby support thousands of extra jobs.

National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement

The Government’s National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland, published in 2014, represents the first time a Government has published a comprehensive national Strategy for entrepreneurship. It is the Government’s plan to deliver an ambitious but realistic increase in the numbers of quality startups in Ireland over five years.

The plan follows on from and draws on the report of the expert Forum on Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sean O’Sullivan, and published in January 2014. The Minister and the Department also consulted with academics and entrepreneurs, other Government Departments and Agencies as well as the national business community through the Action Plan for Jobs forums in drawing together the plan.

The plan identifies six key elements that make up the ecosystem for entrepreneurship in Ireland

  1. Culture, human capital and education
  2. Business environment and supports
  3. Innovation
  4. Access to finance
  5. Networks and mentoring
  6. Access to markets

The overarching objectives of the plan are to:

  1. Increase the number of startups by 25% (3,000 more startups per annum)
  2. Increase the survival rate in the first five years by 25% (1,800 more survivors per annum)
  3. Improve the capacity of startups to grow to scale by 25%.


The various actions will be delivered and overseen through the Action Plan for Jobs process and the Department will monitor progress against key performance indicators and work with partners in enterprise to achieve the ambition.

Mid-Term Review of the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship

Marking the half way point of the Statement, 2017 saw the development and organisation of the Mid-term Review. In addition, Action 45 of the 2017 Action Plan for Jobs calls for a mid-term review of the NPSE. Meetings were the organised and grouped in three pillars; education, state bodies and entrepreneurs with related representative bodies. These meetings were held between May and June 2017. Of the 96 Actions outlined in the NPSE, 74 have been completed and the remainder are ongoing in nature.

Read more about the National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement.

Support for Entrepreneurs

Mapping of support environment for entrepreneurs

The Department has compiled an online resource of over 700 State and non-State supports for entrepreneurs around the country including funding opportunities, co-working, networking opportunities, accelerators, and supports for female entrepreneurs.

Supporting SMEs Online Tool

An online guide to increase awareness of the range of Government supports for start-ups and small businesses. Answer the questions at SupportingSMEs.gov.ie to find out which of over 170 state-supports might be a good fit for your business.             

1 centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/publications/research-technical-papers/research-technical-paper-02rt13.pdf?sfvrsn=8