News & Events

Enterprise Ireland supported companies created record 21,000 new jobs in 2015

64% of New Jobs were created outside of Dublin - increases in all regions

Agri, Technology and Business Process Outsourcing sectors were key performers  

Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business globally, has reported the creation of 21,118 new jobs by client companies in 2015. 

This translates into a net increase of 10,169 jobs for 2015 (taking account of job losses) in Enterprise Ireland supported businesses and brings total employment in these companies to 192,223 - a record high for the agency. Almost two thirds of the new jobs created were outside Dublin and all of the regions recorded increases in full-time employment over the period. 

Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong performance by Irish businesses to an improving entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, dynamic Irish companies innovating and scaling up in key sectors such as food, fintech and business process outsourcing and improving international economic conditions. 

Commenting, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “At the very heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is creating a powerful engine of Irish industry alongside the strong multinational sector we have built up in recent years. Irish companies have an unparalleled capacity to create jobs in towns and cities right around the country, and in recent years these companies have created more than three quarters of the 135,000 extra jobs created across the economy. In order to deliver on this plan we have put in place a range of new measures, including placing extra Enterprise Ireland staff in overseas markets and doubling the number of trade missions.

“Today’s results, the best in several decades, show that more than 10,000 extra people are at work in Irish exporting companies today compared to one year ago. They also show that almost two thirds of the new jobs were created outside Dublin and that jobs grew in every region in 2015. This did not happen by accident – it happened as the result of a carefully designed and implemented plan. I wish to pay tribute to Julie and all the team at Enterprise Ireland on this excellent achievement. If we continue to implement our plan we can have confidence that we can keep the recovery going in every part of the country in the coming years”. 

Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: “Irish businesses are making a huge contribution to the recovery in the economy and 2015 was a great year for job creation in the companies Enterprise Ireland supports. Our focus on helping businesses to start, innovate and scale is paying dividends with the highest level of full time jobs created and the lowest level of jobs lost in businesses that are competing globally from Ireland”. 

Commenting on the importance of supporting entrepreneurial effort, Ms Sinnamon said: “Start-up companies account for over two thirds of all new jobs created in Ireland and over 200 early stage companies have been approved for investment by Enterprise Ireland. We have also supported a further 500 start-up companies through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). 

“I am also delighted that 61 of the Start-up companies that Enterprise Ireland invested in were led by female entrepreneurs and there were 15 investments in companies established in Ireland by overseas entrepreneurs last year through our new fund, which gives an indication of our competitiveness as an attractive investment location. 

“Innovation is a key success factor for many Enterprise Ireland clients. In 2015 the agency invested in a record 875 collaborative research and development projects between companies and higher education. Furthermore, we have made strategic investments in new technology such as the new €35m Dairy Processing Technology Centre to position Ireland as a world leader in dairy innovation and the partners involved produce €2.5bn in exports annually”. 

A strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help scale more indigenous businesses into multinationals. In 2015, 240 Enterprise Ireland clients made investments of over €500,000 in their companies reflecting increasing confidence in their scaling opportunities. The agency has also undertaken 121 international trade events and brought over 1,000 international buyers to Ireland to help clients to scale by winning more business globally. 

Enterprise Ireland is working to help clients overcome barriers such as access to finance and the challenge of finding talent, particularly in the technology sector. Enterprise Ireland has a number of funds in place and was recently involved in the launch of alternative sources of finance. However, there is still a need to see greater access to finance in the market to enable companies to scale. 

“In 2016, the global outlook remains positive but winning market for our exports is always challenging. In Enterprise Ireland we will continue to focus on supporting Irish business to start, innovate and scale to win new business, compete internationally and to create new jobs,” concluded Ms Sinnamon. 



Conor O’Donovan, Head of Marketing & Communications, Enterprise Ireland. 01-7272912 / 087 9671342 or  

Press Office, Department of Jobs, 01-6312200 or 

Note to Editors

More detail on companies and sectors supported are set out in the attached Highlights document


Start – Driving Entrepreneurship and High Potential Start-Up Units

·    Approximately 500 start-up companies were invested in by Enterprise Ireland in 2015 through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)

·    105 High Potential Start-up (HPSU) companies were approved for funding by Enterprise Ireland in 2015

·    Enterprise Ireland has invested in a further 112 new early-stage businesses through the Competitive Start Fund

·    15 of these investments were in start-ups backed by overseas entrepreneurs

·     8 of the High Potential Start-Up investments were in the Food sector – the highest number ever

·     61 Enterprise Ireland investments are in companies led by Female Entrepreneurs

·     High Potential Start-Up Companies supported by Enterprise Ireland included the Connacht Whiskey Company, nearForm and Eastcoast Bakehouse.

Innovate – through Commercialisation for Competitive Advantage

·    Enterprise Ireland supported a record 875 collaborative research projects between companies and higher education funds

·    Enterprise Ireland approved 86 R&D funding packages of over €100,000 in 2015, enabling its clients to invest in the people, resources and facilities required to deliver ambitious research programmes

·    Companies partnering in the new €35m Dairy Processing Technology Centre cumulatively process 85% of Ireland’s milk pool and produce €2.5bn in exports annually

·    Irish companies and academics were awarded €135m in European research funding through Horizon 2020 and 29 Irish companies won €12.4m in European Space Agency contracts

Scale – Through Export Growth

  • Enterprise Ireland client realised value through client company trade sales and investments including Logentries which was acquired by Rapid7
  • Also during 2015, 3V Technologies was acquired by SafeCharge in UK; Duolog Technologies by ARM, the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker; Amartus by Huawei, China; Aran Chemicals by Almac; Brown Bag Films by 9 Story Media Group; Creagh Medical by SurModics; Powervation by Rohm, Japan; Celtrak by ThermoKing and S3 Group’s TV technology business was acquired by Accenture and Trustev by TransUnion

·    In 2015 Enterprise Ireland transferred a total of 25 clients employing over 2037 people to IDA Ireland as a result of mergers and acquisitions that resulted in the Irish entity becoming majority foreign owned.  Four IDA Ireland clients employing 163 people transferred to Enterprise Ireland as a result of the companies transferring into Irish ownership

·    Enterprise Ireland brought 1,064 international buyers to Ireland and co-ordinated 121 outward trade missions and international trade and knowledge events