OECD Studies on SMEs and Entrepreneurship: SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation invited the OECD to undertake a review of entrepreneurship and SME growth and development in Ireland in 2018. This report examines how to strengthen SMEs and entrepreneurship across the economy.

It covers the characteristics and performance of SMEs and entrepreneurship, the business environment, the framework for policy formulation and delivery, national programmes for SMEs and entrepreneurs, the role of local bodies and interventions in tailoring policy to spatial differences, the productivity performance of SMEs, and the design and delivery of business development services. The report identifies a number of challenges for policy. These include increasing productivity growth in SMEs, increasing the business start-up rate and business dynamism, facilitating entrepreneurship among women, youth and migrants, scaling up micro-enterprises and generating more medium-sized firms, and increasing SME activity on foreign markets. Recommendations are provided to help meet these challenges.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has worked with the OECD over the 18 months in facilitating an open and inclusive engagement between the OECD and its international experts and the Department, other Government Departments, agencies, academia, business representatives and the small business sector in Ireland. This engagement has enabled the OECD to gain insightful knowledge of our SME and entrepreneurship ecosystem at the various critical stages of building this report.

DBEI held an SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy Conference at the Aviva Stadium, in July which coincided with the launch of Future Jobs Ireland Pillar 2 – Improving SME Productivity. The high-level event was Ministerial led with the Taoiseach providing a key note speech. Guest speakers also attended from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the EU Commission and the OECD. Thematic panel discussions were held, led by international and national experts throughout the morning. 

The Review and the Strategy Roadmap was launched in DBEI on 31 October with Minister Humphreys, Minister Breen and the OECD DSG Ulrik Verstergaard Knudsen.

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Topics: Supports for SMEs, Entrepreneurship, Future Jobs Ireland, The Business Environment